Main Menu

What is Steam Family Library Sharing?

Steam Family Library Sharing allows family members and their guests to play one another's games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam Cloud. It works by granting family members' access to your games on a shared computer.

How do share my library?

Step 1 - Log into your Steam account on the computer where you'd like to share your games

Step 2 - Make sure that you have  Steam Guard security enabled via Steam > Settings > Account in the Steam Client.

Step 3 - From the Steam Settings panel select the Family tab (or in Big Picture mode, Settings > Family Library Sharing). Here you can select users who have also logged into this computer to share your library with.

Click the "Authorize Library Sharing on this Computer" box.

Check the box next the account you'd like to share your Library with.

How do I play someone else's games?

Step 1 - Be sure to enable Steam Guard on your Steam Account.

Step 2 - From your Library you'll be able to see games owned by other Steam accounts that use the same computer. Select a game and click "Play" to see which account owns the game and to request access to their Library.

Step 3 - Requesting access will send the game owner an email with a link to allow you to play games in their Library.


Shared games are only available on computers that have been authorized by the account owner. This means they need to log in to their Steam account on that computer to authorize both the computer and any accounts that should be able to share their Library.



Shared games may be unavailable if the account owner's Library is currently in use on another computer.


How do I accept a request to share?

Your friend or family member's request to share will arrive as an email message. Click the link to authorize that computer and grant their Steam account access to your games.

Can I share my games with users that don't live with me?

While Family Sharing can work for users that are not accessing Steam from the same location, due to technical limitations, the feature may encounter issues that Steam is unable to provide support for.

I want to play my own games, but they're being played by another account. What do I do?

As the owner, you may always access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when another user is already playing one of your games, he/she will see a message giving them five minutes to either purchase or quit out of the game.

Can I share specific games?

No, libraries are shared in their entirety. You aren't able to select specific games to share or exclude.

Additionally, for users that are borrowing multiple Steam Libraries, they will be unable to choose who they borrow a game from.

Can all Steam games be shared?

No, due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing.

For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or a subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts.

DLC may not be shared if the borrower also owns the base game.

Free to play games and any purchased DLC for those games is also not supported for Family Sharing.

In addition, if your account has a VAC ban, you will be unable to share any VAC protected games.

Can two users share a library and both play at the same time?

No, a shared library may only be played by one user at a time including the owner and even if they want to play different games.

Is there a limit to the number of accounts I can share my Library with?

Yes. A Steam account may authorize Family Library Sharing on up to 5 accounts and on up to 10 devices in a 90 day period. This includes accounts/devices that you have cancelled sharing with in that same time period.

How do I stop sharing?

You can log into the Steam client and visit the "Family" tab in Settings, where you'll find a button to "Manage Other Computers..." Here you can deauthorize any computer or account that's been authorized to share your library.

Or you can remotely deauthorize computers from the web. Visit your Account Details online, and then select "Manage Family Library Sharing". Using either the client or the web site, you can view all currently authorized devices and accounts and disable any or all of them.

How do I stop a previously authorized account from using my games?

In these same settings, deselect any account from the list of authorized users to prohibit them from accessing your games.

DLC and in-game content

A borrower will have access to the lender's games and DLC, but only if the borrower does not also own the base game. If a they already own the game, they'll need to purchase the DLC themselves in order to play it. For free to play games, DLC cannot be shared since all Steam users "own" the game.

Any player may purchase, trade, earn, or otherwise acquire in-game content while playing a game, but in-game items cannot be shared between accounts. These items remain the property of the account that purchased or acquired them.

Trading cards will not be dropped while playing a shared game.

Can region-restricted games be shared across regions?

No, any region restrictions will remain in place when lending or borrowing games.

What if a borrower is caught cheating or committing fraud while playing my shared games?

Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may also be VAC banned if a borrower cheats or commits fraud. In addition, not all VAC protected games are shareable. We recommend you only authorize familiar Steam Accounts and familiar computers you know to be secure. And as always, never give your password to anyone.

If you receive a VAC ban, you will be unable to share any VAC protected games.

Reporting an issue with Family Sharing

If you have an issue with Family Sharing and wish to discuss it with the community, use the Family Sharing Community Discussion forum.

If you have have a new bug or issue that you wish to report, use the Family Sharing Bug Reports section of the Steam Discussion forums.

Should you continue to have issues, please contact Steam Support

Problem with Steam?

Help Me With My Issue
Related Articles
Family Library Sharing Family View