How to Share Games on Steam


In the past, sharing Steam games with friends or family members would have been impossible since they are digital files that cannot be taken to another location. However, in the modern world, we have Steam Family Library Sharing, which enables others to access and play your collection of games.

This feature is particularly beneficial for families, as it allows you to purchase a single copy of a game and share it with multiple members in your household. When you share your library, the recipient can download and play the games on their own computer.

If you have a game sitting idle in your Steam library that a friend or family member has expressed interest in borrowing, or if you’ve recommended a game that someone wants to try, Steam’s Family Sharing feature makes it all possible. So, how does it work? Let’s explore how to set it up and share games on Steam.

How to Share Games on Steam

  1. Set up Steam Family Library Sharing: First, ensure that your Steam account has Steam Guard security enabled. You can activate this feature by clicking on “Settings” in the Steam menu (located in the top left corner of the client). In the settings window, navigate to the “Account” tab, where you can turn on Steam Guard.
  2. Authorize other computers: With Steam Guard activated, you can authorize other computers to access your Steam library. To do this, log into Steam on your friend or family member’s PC. Click the Steam menu, select “Settings,” then go to the “Family” tab. Enable the “Authorize Library Sharing on this computer” option.
  3. Log out and let them log in: After completing the steps above, log out of your Steam account on their PC. Your friend or family member can now log in with their own Steam account. They will be able to see your Steam Library in their own “Games” tab. All they need to do is download the games they want to play.

Please note the following restrictions for Steam Family Library Sharing

  • You can authorize up to 10 computers to share your games.
  • The library is shared on a computer basis, not a Steam account basis. Therefore, games can only be played on authorized PCs.
  • You can only access a shared library if the owner is not currently using it. If you are playing a game from your library, your friends and family cannot use it, even if they want to play a different game.
  • If someone is using your library and you wish to play a game, Steam gives you priority. The person using the library will be prompted to either purchase the game to continue playing or quit to the desktop.
  • Certain games in your library cannot be shared, such as those that require external launchers like Uplay for Ubisoft games.

By following these steps, you can share your games with up to ten friends and family members using Steam Family Library Sharing. It is a powerful and useful feature offered by Steam, allowing you to extend your gaming library to others.


Can I share my entire Steam game library with multiple people?

Yes, you can share your entire Steam game library with friends and family members through Steam Family Library Sharing. They will have access to all the games in your library, except for a few exceptions like games that require external launchers or certain restrictions.

How many computers can I authorize to access my shared Steam library?

You can authorize up to 10 computers to access your shared Steam library. This allows you to share your games with multiple individuals, such as friends or family members, as long as they are using authorized computers.

Can I play games from my shared library while someone else is using it?

No, if someone is currently using your shared library to play a game, you won’t be able to access and play games from that library simultaneously. Steam gives priority to the owner of the library, so the person using the library will be prompted to either purchase the game to continue playing or quit to the desktop if you wish to play a different game from the library.

Joshua Brick
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