BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

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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.
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Brethzel Jul 25, 2017 @ 12:01pm 
My first ever comment on steam community... I don't usually complain but come on... The UX of this feature is PURE SHIT! My brother can't see some games, some are installed, he clicks play but nothing happens,... You became the Micosoft of gaming, cool features, but pure shit UX! Not even a simple error message, even MS shows you random error numbers... Ah and after 2h of following all the docs, forums and trying out everything, he still needs to connect to my account and can't play with his account!
👌The Future Is Now Feb 14, 2017 @ 11:28am 
Having the same fucking retarded issue like Sniper is below, it used to work now I'm authorized BUT IT STILL WANTS TO REQUEST PERMISSION this is literal autism. kys steam
iceman Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:43pm 
Valve needs to make this a lot easier and safer .. click on friends library click game beside install or play/ Send request which sends that grey trade item or invite to game bubble on your steam msg click that and it will bring you to a page to authorize their computer. Presto done .. wtf is all this other stuff. Eliminate the risk of having an account stolen and stuff.
Secret Sniper Jul 19, 2016 @ 2:09pm 
This is the worst support I've ever seen.

First of all, I had this painfully complex setup working for a few days yet now it's telling me that to play the game I want I need to request prmission AGAIN, and yet when I do that there is no email sent, it tells me that the owner needs to sign on and activate the family sharing. Yet family sharing IS activated on that account and as I said above, it WAS working.

I tried to deactivate it and redo everything from scratch however now I can not authorize my PC nor do I ever get any way to authorize the user name.

In addition, if you're going to update the actual program to the point that it looks totally different with menu choices in different areas, you might want to also update your instruction as well.

Piss poor support.
DarthKegRaider May 18, 2016 @ 1:56pm 
Because, I have a pretty large library and expesive games library, and if I'm playing any particular game (Rocksmith, Project Cars etc) my kids cannot play another different game from my library. If this were back in the cartridge or CD days, there would not be a problem. This is just locked down theivery.

I'm with Innomen, HumbleBundle and GtooA (won't let me put 2) get my money now, Steam are overpriced.
RedMan115 May 14, 2016 @ 10:06am 
why is every one so mad?
Innomen May 3, 2016 @ 1:56pm 
This is repugnant. Clearly the intent here is propaganda for people outside steam. Pure punishment for people trying to play by the totally lopsided exploitative rules. No wonder pirates point and laugh at us for being chumps and stooges. We are.

And this is why neither Steam nor the game industry will ever get another dime of my money.

Humble bundles with 100% charity split for me and nothing else.

Meanwhile, services that treat me right get regularly paid. Ask netflix.
DarthKegRaider Mar 5, 2016 @ 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, 2016 @ 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
"Ni No Kuni II" Feb 14, 2016 @ 10:37am 
what is the point to all this? if only one can play? and the other has to disconnect?