Here’s how to use Steam Family Sharing

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:

  1. Sit down at the computer where you want your Steam library to be shared. This is not your own PC and login.
  2. Enable beta participation in the settings.
  3. After restarting Steam go into “Settings->Manage Family Sharing & Devices” on that computer. Not your own PC. Authorize this PC.
  4. 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.

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

8 replies on “Here’s how to use Steam Family Sharing”

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.

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