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How to share games on Steam

Only one account can play the game at once, though.
By
December 13, 2023

Games can be expensive to buy, especially if you want to build up a big catalog. However, thanks to family sharing options, Steam lets you share your game library. But you will need to enable Steam Guard, and you will only be able to share your entire game library and not just individual games.

QUICK ANSWER

To share games on Steam, you will need to first enable Steam Guard on both accounts. Log into the donor account on the computer where the receiver account is used and authorize the donor account by navigating to Steam > Settings > Family.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to enable Steam Guard

To share your Steam library, you need to enable Steam’s security system, Steam Guard, on the account with the library you want to share, and the account(s) you want to access the library from. To enable Steam Guard, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Steam account in the Steam app on your PC.
  • Click the Steam button on the menu bar at the top of the Steam app window.
  • In the drop-down menu, click Settings.
  • Click Account in the left navigation pane. In the right pane, select the MANAGE STEAM GUARD SECURITY button.
  • Choose between Get Steam Guard codes from the Steam app on my phone or Get Steam Guard codes by email.

 

Depending on which option you select, you will need to verify via the Steam Authenticator app or email. Make sure to do this on both accounts before turning on family sharing.

How to share games on Steam

This part is a bit tricky. Steam handles family sharing in a two-step manner. You have to authorize the account you will use to access the shared library, and the computer you’ll be using to access the library with the aforementioned account. Let’s refer to the account with the library as the donor account and the account that will get access to the library as the receiver account. For the family sharing set up, follow these steps:

  • Log into the receiver account on the system where the shared library will be used.
  • Then, log out and log in to Steam with the donor account on the same computer.
  • Click the Steam button on the top menu bar.
  • Select Settings.
  • In the settings window, click Family in the left navigation pane. Under Family Library Sharing in the right pane, click the check box next to Authorize Library Sharing on this computer.
  • The receiver account should appear in the list of eligible accounts right below. Check the box before the name of the receiver account. Click OK.

Next, you’ll need to request access from the receiver account. Log out of the donor account in Steam and log in to the receiver account on the same computer.

  • Click on Library in the upper navigation tab. All the donor account’s library games will appear in the left pane.
  • Select the game you want to play and click the Download or Play button.

That’s it. Enjoy your shared Steam library. Oh, and don’t forget to hide Steam games that you might not want to share first!

Can you link two Steam accounts together?

Family Sharing lets you link up to ten accounts to share one library. This is the only way to link two Steam accounts together. Steam accounts cannot be merged, even if the same person owns them.


FAQs

Family sharing will only let you access the library when the donor account isn’t using it. Only one instance of a game will run at once, with the donor account getting priority. Additionally, some games, especially those that rely on third-party launchers, may not work with family sharing on Steam.