Main Menu

What is Steam Guard and how does it impact me?

Steam Guard is an additional level of security that can be applied to your Steam account. The first level of security on your account is your login credentials: your Steam account name and password. With Steam Guard, a second level of security is applied to your account, making it harder for your Steam account to fall into the wrong hands.

When Steam Guard is enabled on your account, anyone attempting to login to your Steam account from an unrecognized device must provide additional authorization. A special access code will be sent to your contact email address, and this code must be entered into Steam before your login is complete.

Once you've verified your email address with Steam, Steam Guard becomes available for your use after restarting Steam twice. Once enabled, you will be required to access your email and provide the special access code from Steam Support when logging into Steam from any device which we don't recognize.

 

How do I enable Steam Guard and take advantage of this additional layer of account security?

Steam Guard is enabled by default on your Steam account if your email is verified and you have restarted Steam twice since verifying your email. If you have disabled Steam Guard, and wish to reactivate it, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Be sure your contact email address is verified with Steam.
    You must verify your contact email address with Steam. You can check whether your email address is already verified by visiting Steam Account Settings. A verified address will be marked as "Verified." To verify your email address, follow these instructions.
  2. Enable Steam Guard in Steam Settings. 
    While logged into the Steam client, you can enable Steam Guard by clicking on "Steam" in the top left hand corner of the client. Then  go to "Settings" and click "Manage Steam Guard Account Security" under the Account tab.

That's it! With Steam Guard enabled, you will be asked to enter the special access code sent to your email address each time you login to Steam from an unrecognized device.

 

Is there a limit to the number of machines that can be authorized at once?

No, there's no limit. Steam Guard is aimed to protect the value that is yours, not limit your access to your stuff. As always, you can access your Steam account and library from as many machines as you'd like.

 

How do I get a new access code?

Exit Steam and log back into your account. This will generate a new verification email.

Ensure that you enter the most recent code sent to you - older codes will not work.

 

What do I do if I do not receive a Steam Guard email when I am prompted for the access code?

Please check to make sure that you are accessing the email address that is registered to your Steam account.

If you do not receive the e-mail at all, check and make sure it is not being filtered as spam.

Please try adding "support@steampowered.com" and "noreply@steampowered.com" to your contacts or trusted senders list within your email client and request a new access code.

Even though Steam instantly sends an email, you may encounter a delay with some email providers depending on their server load and processing times. Please contact us if you have not received the verification email after 3 hours.

 

Why am I being asked to authenticate a new device every time I log in on the same device?

To resolve this issue please do the following:

On Windows

  1. Restart Steam
  2. If the issue persists, exit Steam, rename your ClientRegistry.blob, and restart Steam. The ClientRegistry.blob can be found in your Steam installation directory. C:\Program Files\Steam by default.
  3. If the issue still persists, you may have issues with your local Steam files. You may refresh these files without deleting your game files. Please follow this process to refresh your Steam files:
    • Exit Steam
    • Navigate to your Steam installation directory. (C:\Program Files\Steam\ by default.)
    • Delete everything in that directory EXCEPT the following:
      • steam.exe
      • steamapps directory (All of Steam's game files are kept here.)
    • Restart Steam to test the issue

On Mac

  1. Restart Steam
  2. If the issue persists, exit Steam, rename your ClientRegistry.blob, and restart Steam. The ClientRegistry.blob can be found in your Steam installation directory. ~/User/[username]/Library/Application Support/Steam by default.
  3. If the issue still persists, you may have issues with your local Steam files. You may refresh these files without deleting your game files. Please follow this process to refresh your Steam files:
    • Exit Steam
    • Navigate to your Steam installation directory: ~/User/[username]/Library/Application Support/Steam
    • Delete everything in that directory except your SteamApps and UserData
    • Restart Steam to test the issue

On Linux

  1. Restart Steam
  2. If the issue persists, exit Steam, rename your ClientRegistry.blob, and restart Steam. The ClientRegistry.blob can be found in your Steam installation directory. ~/.local/share/Steam by default.
  3. If the issue still persists, you may have issues with your local Steam files. You may refresh these files without deleting your game files. Please follow this process to refresh your Steam files:
    • Exit Steam
    • Navigate to your Steam installation directory: ~/.local/share/Steam
    • Delete everything in that directory EXCEPT for the following:
      • steam.sh
      • steamapps directory (All of Steam's game files are kept here.)
    • Restart Steam to test the issue

Web browser on PC or Mac

This issue may be attributable to your browser security settings. If your ‘Privacy’ settings are set too high, then your browser will be unable to store (web) cookie information. Check your browser settings to ensure that cookies are allowed.

Running programs that clear internet history, delete other unused files, block cookie creation or that clean up orphaned registry entries may have a setting to clear cookies as well. Disabling this feature will prevent this issue from occurring when logging into Steam via your web browser.

 

I need help! How do I contact Steam Support for assistance with account access once Steam Guard is enabled?

Visit Steam Support and create your support account or login to your existing one if you've requested help from our support team in the past. Submit a question with "[Steam Guard]" in its Subject, categorized as "Account Questions" and then "Steam Guard/Email Verification." If you don’t have access to the email address that is currently associated with your Steam Account please provide proof of purchase within your ticket.

 

Will Steam Guard prohibit me from logging into Steam on my PlayStation 3? What about 3rd party sites that sign in through Steam?

No, Steam Guard will not get in the way of your ability to access your Steam account through Portal 2 on the PS3, nor through partner sites that enable sign in via your Steam account credentials.

 

Does Steam Guard take advantage of the Intel® Identity Protection Technology?

No, not at this time.

 

How do Steam accounts get stolen with Steam Guard enabled?

Steam Guard protects your Steam account by requiring access to your verified email account. Using a secure email account with multiple layers of security is the best way to ensure Steam Guard cannot be bypassed. Below are the common methods used to steal accounts with Steam Guard enabled:

  1. Hijacking Email: If your verified email account is stolen or compromised, a user can enter your account freely provided they know your account name. Knowing your Steam account password would not be required as this can be reset with access to your email account. Never use the same password for both your email and Steam account.
  2. Acquiring Steam Guard File: Steam will never ask you to provide any Steam Guard files. If you upload or give a user your Steam Guard .SSFN file, they can gain access to your account without accessing your email account. However, they must know your Steam account password and username to use this file.
  3. Malware: Hijackers can use malware to gain access to your computer and login to your account using your already authorized device. Since your Steam account could be open or you have your account credentials saved, the hijacker does not need to know anything about your account to gain access. Using a proper anti-virus software with real time protection and avoiding unsafe websites/files will prevent malware from entering your system.

Problem with Steam?

Contact Steam Support
Related Articles
Steam Guard Account Security Recommendations
Steam Guard E-Mail Verification
Steam Guard Why do I have to enter a Steam Guard code every time I log in?