Guide: How To Share Games On Steam With Family And Friends.


Did you know that you can share your games on Steam with your family and friends?

Yup, it’s true. It’s an in-built feature in Steam called Steam Family Library Sharing.

For various reasons, not all games support it, though.

In this quick guide on how to share Steam games with friends and family, I’ll break down how to do it, why to do it, and when to do it – and not do it.

But first, you need to know the difference between Family Library Sharing and Family View options.

Let’s look at how to share games on Steam with friends and family.

What is Family Library Sharing on Steam?

Enabling Family Library Sharing on Steam lets other users download and play the games in your library when you’re not playing the games.

Family Library Sharing allows sharing your Steam games library with your family or guests using either the same computer or other authorized computers.

You can authorize up to 5 Steam accounts and ten computers simultaneously.

Check out this handy guide on how to find Amethyst in Minecraft and what you can do with it.

How to share your games library on Steam in 3 easy steps

Follow these steps to share a game on Steam with a family member or guest.

First, you need to make sure Steam Guard is enabled in Steam.

  1. Go to Steam (top menu bar) > Settings > Account > MANAGE STEAM GUARD ACCOUNT SECURITY…
  2. Choose to receive Steam Guard codes to the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator on your phone or send them to your email.
  3. Go to Steam > Settings > Account > Family and enable Authorize Library Sharing on this computer under Family Library Sharing.

You can see the accounts and computers you’ve authorized if you click on Manage other computers.

If you click the link ‘Show excluded games, you’ll be shown a list of games in your library that don’t allow this feature.

Notice that free games are excluded from sharing, which makes good sense.

Don’t feel like sharing your games on Steam but want to hide them from your friends instead? Then read this guide on how to hide your games on Steam.

What is Family View on Steam?

How to share games on steam - family view

Family View is used to restrict access to certain games and features in Steam by requiring a PIN code.

This is a useful feature if you have kids you want to restrict from playing certain games in your shared Steam library.

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How to enable Family View on Steam

To enable Family View on Steam, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Steam (top menu bar) > Settings > Family > Manage Family View
  2. Follow the steps in the Wizard to choose the games and features you want to share in the protected Family View
  3. Choose a secure recovery email address only you, as a parent, can access in case your Family View PIN is lost or forgotten. Note: this email address may differ from your Steam account.
  4. Choose a secret PIN code.
  5. You’ll be sent a confirmation code to your Steam account’s email address. Enter the code to complete the Family View Setup wizard.

You can always run the wizard again to change what you want to include/exclude, add/remove games, or change the PIN.

What’s the Family Games Library?

During the Family View wizard setup guide, you’ll be prompted to choose the games you want to include from your Steam games library.

These games are now in a separate library group called ‘Family Games.

If you want to add or remove games from the Family Games list, you need first to disable Family View:

  1. Select the Family View icon in Steam
  2. Enter your PIN

Now you have access to your full games library again. So if you’ve bought fx a new LEGO game for your child, you can now add it to the Family View:

  1. Right-click on the game
  2. Choose Add to/Remove from Family Games

How to disable Family View on Steam

To remove Family View, follow these steps:

  1. Exit Family View.
  2. Go to Steam (top menu bar) > Settings > Family > Manage Family View
  3. Select “Disable Family View”
  4. Confirm

If you’re using the Big Picture mode, you need to uncheck the “Use Family View with this account” box on the first page of the Family View wizard.


So that’s how you share your games library on Steam and control who gets access to what.

I hope this guide was helpful to you. If you found it helpful, please share it.


Below I’ve created a list of frequently asked questions that I didn’t want to include in the guide above not to clutter it or make it confusing.

Do I need to be online to play shared games?

Yes, you’ll need to be online to play games another account has shared with you on Steam.

How many accounts can access my shared Steam library at the same time?

Unfortunately, only one Steam account can access your shared library at any time, even though you can share it with up to 5 separate accounts.

If another user is playing a game from my Steam library, can I access it myself?

Yes. You’ll always be able to play your games. If you launch a game, the other user will have a few minutes to end it or buy it.

Are games locked to specific regions, or can I share them with accounts and computers worldwide?

Games are region locked. So if you’ve purchased a US edition of a game, you can’t share it with friends in Europe or Asia.

Why can’t I access the game that has been shared with me?

If the owner of the game is using his/her account, you can’t play a game at the same time.

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Jan has played video games since the early 1980s. He loves getting immersed in video games as a way to take his mind off stuff when the outside world gets too scary. A lifelong gamer, the big interest led to a job as a lecturer on game sound at the University of Copenhagen and several written articles on video games for magazines.

Read more on the About Page.