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Family Library Sharing User Guide

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's all enabled by authorizing family members' accounts and shared computers.


How do I enable Family Library Sharing on my computer?

To enable Family Library Sharing, first be sure to have Steam Guard security enabled via Steam > Settings > Account in the Steam Client. Then, enable the sharing feature via Settings > Family (or in Big Picture mode, Settings > Family Library Sharing), where you’ll also authorize specific computers and users to share.


How do I access and play someone else's games?

First, be sure to enable Steam Guard on your Steam Account. Then, once your account and a computer have been authorized by the lender following the steps above, simply log in. In your Library, you'll have access to install and play any of the lender's games on this computer.

Note that shared games are only available on devices that have been authorized by the account holder. Also, shared games may be unavailable if the account holder's library is currently in use on another computer.


I want to play my own shared games, but they're in use. What do I do?

As the account holder, 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 be given five minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.


Can I share specific games, or do I have to share my whole library?

Libraries are shared in their entirety.


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. Additionally, if you are VAC banned, 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 accessed by one user at a time.


Is there a limit to the number of devices or friends I can authorize to share my Library?

Yes. You may authorize Family Library Sharing on up to 10 devices at a given time, and for up to 5 accounts that may then use your game library on any of your authorized computers. 


I share a computer with another Steam user and want to request access to their games. What do I do?

If another Steam user has installed a game on your shared computer, you can log into Steam on this device using your own account and send a sharing request. To do this, visit your library, where you'll see your friend's installed games. Select the Play button to launch a request form. Once sent, this will send an email request to the account holder.


I've received a request to share my games. What do I do?

A friend's request to share will arrive as an email message. Click the link within to authorize the requesting computer to grant this Steam users access to your games.


How do I disable Family Sharing?

To disable Family Sharing, 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 games. You can remotely deauthorize devices from the web too. 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 disable 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.


Who owns and can access the DLC and in-game content associated with a shared title?

A guest will have access to the lender's DLC, but only if the guest does not also own the base game. Guests may not purchase DLC or in-game items for a base game they don't own. 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.


Can region-restricted content be shared across regions?

No. Any region restrictions will remain in place when lending or borrowing content.


Will I be punished for any cheating or fraud conducted by other users while playing my games?

Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may also be VAC banned if your library is used by others to conduct cheating or fraud. In addition, VAC-banned games cannot be shared. 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.

Note: If you are VAC banned, you will be unable to share any VAC protected games.


Reporting an issue with Family Sharing

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

If you have encountered 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

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