The Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator is a feature of the Steam Mobile App that provides an additional level of security to your Steam account. The authenticator generates a code that you need to enter every time that you log on to your Steam account. The code changes every 30 seconds, can be used only once, and is unguessable.
This system (commonly called two-factor authentication) is stronger than just your username and a password.
Valve also strongly recommends that you add a phone number to your account, which makes recovering your account quite a bit easier, should you lose access.
Your phone does not need to be connected to the Internet for the authenticator to work (however, your phone does need to know the correct time).
Adding a phone to your account gives you more options to recover your account in case you forget your password, or if your account is stolen. You can use SMS messaging to reset your password, or transfer your Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator from one phone to another.
To add a phone number to your account or manage a previously added phone number:
You will now be able to reset your password or transfer your Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator from one phone to another via SMS.
Please note that only one phone number can be associated with a Steam account at a time.
If your account has the authenticator enabled, you will be asked to enter your current code after you've entered your user name and password.
You can't use a code more than once, and you can't use old codes. So if you just used a code, you should wait for the code to change before using another.
The Mobile Steam App provides the current authenticator code for your account.
Not at this time. Support for standalone authenticators is being considered, but is not available today.
First, you need to realize that just because you've enabled better protection for your account, this does not give you super powers.
It's a good idea to print out a set of backup codes that you can use in an emergency.
You can remove two factor authentication from your account by opening the Steam Mobile App, navigating to the Steam Guard menu item, and choosing a different method of Steam Guard protection, such as "Get Steam Guard codes by email".
The Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator works on Apple iOS devices running iOS 6.1 or later, Android devices running 2.2 (Froyo) or later, and Windows Phone 8.1 and later.
Any trades or Market listings created before a Mobile Authenticator is added, or during the first 7 days after it is added, will be held for 15 days. Trades or Market listings created more than 7 days after a Mobile Authenticator is added will not be held by Steam. Adding a Mobile Authenticator will not reduce the length of existing item holds.
Read more about Trade and Market Holds, or why items are held by Steam.
Read more about Trading and Market Restrictions, or why you may be unable to trade or use the Market.
Make sure the app is up to date on your phone and restart the app. This is a rare issue, that is commonly solved by restarting the app. Do not delete and reinstall the app. If you delete the mobile app from your phone, you'll need to reset your authenticator using https://help.steampowered.com.
If possible, you should contact your wireless service provider and get a replacement phone with the same phone number. Steam will be able to send SMS messages to your replacement phone, and you will be able to recover your account as described below.
If you no longer have access to your phone and don't have your recovery code, you'll need the assistance of Steam Support. Use the "Help me with my issue" button at the top right of this page to get help removing your authenticator. If you don’t have access to the email address that is currently associated with your Steam Account please provide proof of account ownership within your ticket.
If you are unable to log in using the authenticator codes:
You can remove the authenticator from the account; see the section below on authenticator recovery.
Yes, you can.
To transfer your authenticator to a new phone, you'll need access to the phone number associated with your account (so we can send you a text message to confirm it's you).
From the Steam Mobile app on your new device, try to log into your account. When the app asks for your authenticator code, select "Please help, I no longer have access to my Mobile Authenticator codes." Follow the steps the app provides and you can either transfer your authenticator to the new device or remove it from the previous device.
After transferring the authenticator, any new trades or market listings will be held for a couple of days to protect your items in case your authenticator is ever transferred by a malicious person. See our Trade Holds FAQ for more information about trade holds.
If you're keeping your phone number, then you don't need to do anything in advance to prepare. Once you get your new phone, you can transfer your authenticator to the new phone using the steps in the answer for the previous question above.
If you have two factor authentication enabled, and you will also lose access to your old phone number, then you should:
Before you sell or give your phone away, we recommend doing a factory reset on it and removing personal information.
Log into the store in a browser, then:
Yes, you can generate backup codes to use in an emergency. It's easy:
It's a good idea to print these codes instead of saving them on your computer. Don't take a screen shot of them.
Log in to the Steam Mobile App, from the main menu select Steam Guard, and on the Steam Guard page you'll see a menu option for "My Recovery Code".For security purposes, if you're unable to log into the Steam Mobile App, you will not be able to view your recovery code.
If you are unable to receive SMS messages from Steam, check with your wireless provider that your wireless account is allowed to receive them. Our text messages can come from a 6 digit phone number, please ensure that your provider supports this. Steam will also stop sending SMS messages if too many have been sent to you, so waiting a few minutes to an hour may allow messages to come through again. You should also check to make sure that your phone's inbox is not full.
First, make sure you are entering your phone in international format (with '+' and your country code first).
Make sure that your country code is correct (Steam tries to guess where you are in the world, but you can also select your location from the menu below your phone number).
Valve does not allow certain phone numbers, such as VOIP numbers and numbers that cannot receive text messages. If your phone number is being rejected and you think that the rejection is in error, please contact Support by clicking on the "Help me with my issue" button.
We are unable to accept new VOIP phone numbers on Steam due to them not meeting our security requirements. If your phone number is blocked because it's considered VOIP you will need to find a mobile or prepaid phone number to use on Steam. Select carriers use VOIP technology in their cellular plans and we are unable to support these. Our system will notify you when you enter your phone number if we consider it to be a VOIP number.
No, only one authenticator can be active on an account at any one time.
Yes. You may use the same phone number on multiple accounts. You may enable Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator on multiple accounts on the same phone by logging in to each account within the app and following the procedure to enable the authenticator on each account. The app will provide codes for all accounts regardless of which account is currently logged in to the app. Accounts with the same phone number may be treated as the same identity with respect to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, policies, or restrictions.
Standard messaging charges may apply; check your wireless phone plan to confirm.
To make logging into your account faster, we do not require a code if you have saved your Steam client credentials. You may choose not to save your credentials and require a code on every login. You can change this in Steam's client settings under the account tab anytime by checking the box at the bottom that says, 'Don't save account credentials on this computer'.
If an account that has a phone number registered to it receives a VAC or Game ban, all other accounts that use the same phone number will also receive a ban. If the other accounts do not own the game they will still receive the ban and be unable to purchase the title on that account. The phone number on an account that receives a ban will be suspended for three months and cannot be applied to another account during that time. The cooldown duration for applying a phone number after a ban will increase each time a cooldown is applied.
This feature is not enabled for all games and will be used at the discretion of the developer.