A few minutes ago I got an email saying I had been accepted into the Steam family sharing beta. There are detailed instructions explaining how to set everything up but in a nutshell:
- Sit down at the computer where you want your Steam library to be shared. This is not your own PC and login.
- Enable beta participation in the settings.
- After restarting Steam go into “Settings->Manage Family Sharing & Devices” on that computer. Not your own PC. Authorize this PC.
- Logout and login as your family member’s account.
So, you don’t allow other Steam accounts access to your Steam library. You give access to other machines. Unless you want to give out your Steam login details (which would be against the T&C) you won’t be giving your online friends access to your games.
It was painless to set up. Once I logged in as the second account my games had “shared by donncha” after each title and could be played. It makes the idea of having a Steam machine in the living room all the more attractive.
8 thoughts on “Here’s how to use Steam Family Sharing”
Thanks for posting this mate. This will be fantastic especially when the kids get a bit older and maybe want to play something I already have.
Thanks for posting this! I just did this with a friend and it worked perfectly!
Thanks for posting this, the steam instructions are vague on a few important parts.
I have a problem here it doesnt show steam family and sharing when i go to the settings
you are not on the beta program, steam family sharing is not yet out
LOL, Family sharing is out of beta and available to all now. I’ve been using it since I posted this and it works great.
Pity they took out the offline mode “hack” though. It was useful when I could put the guest Steam account in offline mode and then both of us could play games at the same time. Now I have to be offline as the master PC..
Does it work between user accounts on the same computer (iMac) with only one Steam account? I can’t get it to function. Looks like I have to download a fresh install for each game for each user on the same computer?? What a waste of dowmload and disk space.
Karl – that’s odd. I’ve been able to play a game as a different user on the one machine without redownloading it.