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Understanding Steam Family Sharing
By Jimo
I will give you instructions and information on the Steam Family Sharing feature.
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Introduction
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.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=153396149
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.
48 Comments
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Patin Dragon Jul 3 @ 3:02pm 
What about free to plays and shared games? If my sister is playing a game in my library but I want to play a game that we both own it will still kick my sister... Same goes for free to plays. Can these games please be set up so they don't count as part of my library?
Kashkalgar May 27 @ 12:52pm 
This is really terrible. I hate Steam a bit now. I gave my sister access to my library and she couldn't play Bejeweled because I was playing Endless Space. That's pathetic. If it is different games, we should both be able to play. We narrowly avoided an argument: "I'll log off, you play," "No, I will log off, you play!" "Fine, you do what you want, but I'm not playing." With hard feelings on both sides.
Please, fix this.
Jimo  [author] May 3 @ 11:41pm 
If both games are on a single account you can only play one of them. Someone would need to log off.
magnaangemon01 May 3 @ 8:23am 
I have a question. Say my wife authorizes me to use her library. I'm playing say Star Wars Knights II. If she decided to play Fable, can I continue playing? Or do I have to quit playing?
The Doctor Mar 13 @ 8:47am 
Hey yall if you want to give a friend acesss without actually go to his house use a RAT. Remote Accesss Tool.
Jimo  [author] Mar 1 @ 10:39am 
This feature is now out of beta.
AndyLVV Mar 1 @ 6:16am 
Good stuff
CarlosJ Jan 29 @ 12:20pm 
Good.
GaV.Divinum Umbra Jan 10 @ 2:09pm 
Hello, my cousin is having an issue: We are both part of the beta, and while he is able to play my games successfully and everything works for my account, his 'Family' Tab lacks the family sharing area, with the authorization box, he only has the 'Family Options' button, and no 'Manage Family Sharing and Devices' button. Why is this? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
MisterWhite Jan 9 @ 12:22pm 
Sorry, I joined it on my other account the other day and haven't received anything back. I have just joined it with this one now though. Argh!
Thank you again!