BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

219 ratings
Understanding Steam Family Sharing
By Jimo
I will give you instructions and information on the Steam Family Sharing feature.
This guide will give you instructions and information on the Steam Family Sharing feature.

Steam Family Sharing provides a way to share your Steam library with other users who share the same devices as you.

Steam Guard
Before you can use the Steam Family Sharing feature your account needs to be protected by Steam Guard.

You can learn more about how to enable and use Steam Guard here. You can also follow my guide on how to enable Steam Guard below.
Authorizing a Device
Before other people sharing your computer can access your Steam library you'll need to authorize the device and their account.

Authorizing a device can be done by opening the Steam Client and clicking on the Steam button located on the menu at the top left. Once you have the menu open click on Settings.

Mac users will need to choose Steam and then Preferences from the applications menu at the top of the screen.

From the Settings page select the Family tab.

To authorize the device you're currently using select Authorize this Computer button.

Once authorized you'll be able to select which Steam users you want to grant access to your library. The list will only contain accounts which have logged into Steam using that device.

From now on if an approved account logs into Steam from the device you gave authorization to they will be given access to play games from your Steam library if it's not in use. You can return to Family tab within the settings menu at any point to view which account has been using your library and when.

Other users using an authorized device can view your library by using the filter tool near the top of their games list and selecting your username.

Steam libraries can be accessed by one person at a time across all devices. If you're playing a game from somebody's library and they begin playing a game themselves, you'll receive a notification stating you have a set amount of time to exit your current session.

As the account holder you'll always have priority access over your library.
Requesting Access
If somebody else has used Steam on your computer and installed a game, but has not authorized the device for Steam Family Sharing, you can request access to their Steam library. Any game installed through Steam by any user will appear on your Steam library beneath their account name.

Locate one of their games and click on the Play button. You'll then be given a prompt which will ask you if you want to request access or purchase the title for yourself. To request sharing access click on the Request Access button.

You'll then be required to give your device a name so the person you're requesting access from can identify it.

Once your request has been sent you'll get a confirmation notice. The person you're requesting access from will receive an email letting them know that you would like access to their Steam library.

Once the request has been accepted you'll be able to access their full Steam library if it's not currently in use. The person you requested access from will also see the device listed on their Authorized Devices screen in their Steam settings.
Deauthorizing Devices
If you'd like to revoke access to your Steam library for one or multiple devices you can do so by visiting the Family tab within your Steam Settings.

From this screen you can choose to deauthorize the device you're currently using by selecting the Deauthorize this Computer button. You can also choose to revoke library access to a specific account by unchecking the box next to its name on the list.

If you'd like to restrict library access from a device that you're not currently using you can select the Manage Other Computers button. This will direct you to a Steam Community webpage where you can choose to revoke access from all of your authorized devices and accounts.
Closing Notes
If you have any questions or comments regarding this guide please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Steam or through my website[].

You can also check out all of my other Steam Guides here.
< >
DarthKegRaider Mar 5 @ 1:29pm 
The bit that really annoys me is, you can have over 300 games in your library, and be playing say Project Cars, but your kids cannot then play Metal Slug or any of your other 299 games because you are using one!

If this were back in the better days of gaming, you would simply give the disc to your kids, and they could play your game. But not with Steam, greedy muther%$*K3rs. I bought them all, I don't see why they cannot play a different game of mine. Time to go back to piracy I think. You try and do the right thing, but get F3cked over at every turn.
marius-lawrenz Mar 5 @ 8:59am 
i'm trying to request access so I can use games from my one account on my other, but I ain't getting no email
"Mum-Ra" Feb 14 @ 10:37am 
what is the point to all this? if only one can play? and the other has to disconnect?
A Melted Biscuit Feb 11 @ 1:17pm 
Long story short, I have a main steam account and then this account (if you're wondering why, look towards the bottom of this post).Point is, I'm wondering if sharing my games from my main to this, alt account, would risk the secruity of my main account? Also in the event that this (alt) account got hacked, I assume I could deauthorize this account from the sharing in the downtime that it would take me to recover it. Am I correct in that assumption?

Why 2 accounts - I have two seperate accounts for the sake of minimizing the chance of my main account being hacked - this accounts is on my laptop/workcomputer which has a higher chance of be effected by a virus or other malware than my dedicated gaming computer which I rarely use for anything than steam (the excpetions being Battlenet and Origin)
Black Manツ Feb 5 @ 12:42pm 
say i made an alt for csgo will all the main profile stuff be up there or will i have to start fresh
floofeymarshmallow Dec 1, 2015 @ 7:00pm 
I'm sorry, but I have done absolutely everything to try and get to share one of my games with my sister. I've googled everywhere, but everything seems to be outdated, including this.
sandwix Oct 24, 2015 @ 12:44am 
So in order to authorize someone you would have to both have logged into the same computer? If for example me and my brother live in a different house, we would not be able to simply share the library unless we both our own and each others computer authorized in our own accounts?
taosaur Sep 25, 2015 @ 11:24am 
To be clear, "using" or "accessing" a library means having a game launched, correct? All the documentation on Family Sharing is incredibly unclear on this point. I almost always have my Steam library open on my PC. Will shared accounts still be able to play my games as long as I'm not playing anything?
Jimo  [author] Jul 26, 2015 @ 12:30pm 
@ Delfar : There is no "Steam" guide section.
Delfar Jul 14, 2015 @ 12:50pm 
Why this guide is at Bioshock Infinite guides? It seems useful for general purposes.