If you have a big family that shares your passion for gaming or close friends you want to make something nice for, the Steam game share feature is just the right thing for you. Check out this article to learn how to game share on Steam to show your appreciation to your friends or loved ones, because, you know, sharing is caring.

What Is Steam Family Sharing?

Steam Family Sharing is the name of the feature within Steam that allows you to share your game library with (drumroll) your family members. In reality, you can as well share it with your friends, since no one will come asking for your kinship certificate.

That said, the feature will perfectly suit those who live under the same roof or even use the same computer with different Steam accounts and want to play the same games without having to spend an extra penny on another copy.

The feature allows you to share your game library with up to five accounts, and each player gets their own achievements and can save their own game progress.

Setting it up is quite easy, too, but before we get into how to family share on Steam, let’s first learn how to add one more layer of security to your account by enabling Steam Guard. By the way, you won’t be able to share your library or play games shared with you if Steam Guard is off.

How to Enable Steam Guard

Steam Guard is a security feature that helps protect your account from unauthorized access. It requires you to enter an additional code whenever you log in from a new device. Simply put, it is similar to 2FA, or two-factor authentication, employed by lots of apps and services nowadays. 

And just like 2FA, Steam Guard ensures that even if someone somehow steals your password, they !!won’t be able to log into your account without the Steam Guard code. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Open Steam on your computer and log in to your account with your username and password.
  • Click on Steam in the top-right corner and select Settings.
Steam settings
  • Go to Security and click on Manage Steam Guard.
Steam security

Here, you need to select one of the options: either to enable Steam Guard via email or mobile authenticator.

Manage Steam Guard

Via email:

  • Select the appropriate radio button.
  • Steam will send a code to your registered email address whenever a login attempt is made from a new device.

Via mobile authenticator:

  • Select the appropriate radio button.
  • Download the Steam Mobile App on your phone.
  • Log in to the app with your Steam account credentials.
  • Go to the Steam Guard section in the app.
  • Follow the instructions to set up the mobile authenticator. This will generate a unique code that you will need to enter every time you log in from a new device.

Also read: How to Troubleshoot the “App Already Running” Error in Steam

How to Enable Family Sharing on Steam

Now that you’ve set up Steam Guard, it’s time to learn how to share games on Steam. The first step is (surprise) enabling the Steam game share feature:

  • Open Steam and log in to your account on the computer you want to share games from.
  • Click on Steam in the upper left corner, then select Settings.
  • Go to the Family tab.
  • Switch on the Authorize Library Sharing on this device radio button (or check the box next to it).
Steam family
  • Under the Eligible Accounts section, check the box next to the accounts you want to share your library with.
  • Click OK to save your settings.

Repeat these steps on each device you want to authorize for Family Library Sharing. Remember, you can share your library with up to five accounts and ten devices.

Some games can’t be shared due to various restrictions, such as a third-party key or subscription requirement, region restrictions, and others. Those games won’t be available in the game library.

Further reading: Boost Advice: How to Effectively Speed Up Steam Downloads

How to Share Steam Library with Friends

Sharing games with friends using the Steam game share feature is easy. Once you have authorized a friend’s device (you can learn how to do that in the previous section), they can access and play your games as if they were their own. Here’s how to game share on Steam:

  • Have your friend log into their Steam account on the authorized device.
  • They will see your library under [User]’s Games (for instance, in the pic below, it’s MartinO’s Games) in their game list.
Steam all games
Image: store.steampowered.com
  • Your friend can install and play the games from your library. They will be able to earn achievements and save their progress independently.
Only one person (including the owner) can play games from the shared library at a time, even if you and your friend want to play different games.

Related: How to Uninstall Steam Games Safely and Easily?

How to Manage Shared Libraries on Steam

If, for some reason, you no longer want your friend to play the games you shared with them or they have lost access to their account, you can easily revoke their access to the game library in Steam settings. Here’s how:

  • Go to Steam > Settings > Family.
  • Under the Eligible Accounts section, you can see a list of devices and accounts that have access to your library.
  • To revoke access, simply uncheck the box next to the device or account you no longer want to share your library with.
Steam family share
  • Click OK to update your settings.

Apart from that, here are a few general tips that will make your library management easier:

  1. Only share your game library with people you trust. 
  2. Organize your library by genres to make it easier for everyone to find the desired titles.
  3. Try to reach an agreement with the ones you share your library on when and how long they can play for, so that each of you can plan ahead.

How to Optimize Your Steam Game Share Settings

Learning how to share a library on Steam is one thing, but to make the most of Steam Family Sharing, you might want to optimize Steam settings for sharing:

  • Enable automatic updates for your games so that you and your friends or family always have access to the latest version.
  • Check and update your sharing settings from time to time to remove devices or users that no longer need access.
  • Don’t forget to update your password regularly and enable Steam Guard to stay on the safe side.

Also read: Follow These Easy Steps to Uninstall Steam on Windows or Mac

How to Use Steam Remote Play Together

This one is for those of you who want to know how to share a game on Steam without installing it on the device you share it with. The Remote Play Together feature allows you to play local multiplayer games with your friends online by streaming your game to your friend’s device. It means that they don’t even need to install it to join the fun.

Here’s how to use the feature:

  • Go to Steam, sign in with your account, and start a local multiplayer game.
  • Open the Steam overlay by pressing Shift + Tab, then right-click on your friend’s name and select Remote Play Together.
Remote play together
Image: steamcommunity.com
  • Your friend will receive an invite. Once they accept it, they can join the game and play as if they were sitting next to you.

Also read: How to Fix “Steam Is Having Trouble Connecting to the Steam Servers”

How to Improve Your Steam Family Sharing Experience

Now that you know how to game share on Steam, there are still a few tips that can make your experience a little bit better:

Keep Steam and games updated

No app (or game) is perfect, and Steam is no exception. Bugs within games or the app itself can affect your gameplay, and, as you can guess, not in a good way. The good part is that developers regularly release new patches, so make sure you always install the latest game and Steam updates.

Update your graphics card driver

Your graphics card is most responsible for the quality and overall visual performance in games, so you’d probably want to maintain its operation at the highest possible level. That’s one reason to keep your graphics card driver up to date. There are several ways you can do that:

If you know your system and GPU’s make and model well and are confident in what you’re doing, you can update your graphics card driver all by yourself, be it NVIDIA or AMD. However, exercise caution, as installing the wrong one may only make things worse.

Update it using Device Manager:

Open Device Manager, find your graphics card under Display adapters, right-click it, select Update driver, and then select Search automatically for drivers.

Nvidia search automatically for drivers
This method doesn’t guarantee that the latest driver will be installed, as it might not have been uploaded to Microsoft servers yet.

Keep all drivers up to date with Auslogics Driver Updater:

And here’s my personal recommendation: try Auslogics Driver Updater, a reputable tool that takes care of all your drivers, allowing you to update them to their latest manufacturer-recommended versions with one click, including the graphics card one.

Auslogics Driver Updater outdated drivers found

Also read: How to Update Device Drivers on a Windows 10 PC?

How to Share Games on Steam: Explained

Well, there we are. Now that we’ve come this far, you know that Steam Family Sharing is not only a great feature that allows you to take full advantage of your game library but also an opportunity to help your friends or loved ones save a few pennies on buying another copy of the same game.

Don’t forget to enable Steam Guard (since you won’t be able to share games without it), install the latest patches and updates for Steam and games in your library, and keep your drivers updated with Auslogics Driver Updater so that you can play without having to worry about a thing.

Was the article helpful? If so, please drop a comment below.


Can I share my entire game library on Steam?
Yes, that’s the idea. Moreover, Steam Family Sharing is designed to share your entire game library, and you cannot share games separately.
How many friends can I share my games with on Steam?
You can share your library with up to five accounts (presumably, your friends or family members) and up to ten devices.
Can I share games across different platforms on Steam?
No, Steam doesn’t support cross-platform sharing, so Steam Family Sharing will only work within the Steam ecosystem. That said, it’s impossible to share games from Steam to consoles or other digital distribution services, meaning you can only share your library with people who have Steam accounts.
What happens if I uninstall a game that I’ve shared on Steam?
If you uninstall a game just on your computer, your friend (or a family member) who you shared it with can still play it unless you delete the game from the library or remove it from the Steam store. If, for some reason, you no longer want them to have access to a game, you can remove this game from the shared library or revoke their access in the Steam settings.