Steam Family Sharing: What it is and How to Enable It

Steam is the most popular game-distribution platform among PC gamers.

If you’re a PC gamers, and aren’t downloading pirated/cracked games, then steam is one of the only options you’re left with.

But there was one problem with this system previously. You couldn’t share the games, that you had purchased, with your friends/family and even with yourself (in case you use more than one computer).

What is Steam Family Sharing Option?

​Here comes this family sharing option.

As its name implies, it allows you to share your purchased games with your friends and family – without letting them use your own computer or your steam account.

One good thing is that when you share a game, the in-game activities (game progress, in-game purchases) are only saved to the user who’s playing the game (not the owner).

Limitations of Steam Family Sharing

This feature, like many other systems around us, is not flawless. Its first drawback is that you have to share your whole library with your friends/family, not a single game or two.

Secondly, this whole network, between you and your friends/family, can’t have more than 5 steam users and 10 different computers.

Third problem is the number of users that can access a library at a single time, which is only one. In case of two users, account holder is prioritized.

It means that if you are playing gta 5, and have shared your library with one of your friends, then he/she can’t access the library (until you are accessing it), even if he/she wants to access Watch Dogs 2 – not GTA 5.

If the the other user wants to access at the same time, he/she must purchase that particular game.

Another disappointment is the peculiar behavior of Steam Family Options ( a parental control feature in Steam) when used in combinations with Family Sharing.

Since you share all of your library with other users, there’s no way you can apply restrictions over which game you want to show and which one you don’t.

This really seems problematic because you can’t select which game you think is inappropriate and don’t wanna share it with your kids/younger siblings etc.

How to Enable Steam Family Sharing

OK, so now that you have read all the possible caveats related to this option, let’s find out how to enable it.

In order to enable this sharing option, first you’ll have to enable Steam Guard option of your account.

It’s basically a two-factor authentication which requires you to enter password (whenever someone from a new PC logs into your steam account) that you’ll receive by a text message or an email. If you’ve already enabled this option, you can skip this part. If not, then continue.

Enable Steam Guard Option

So, to enable this verification, first you need to go into your preferences tab.

Once you’re in preferences tab, you’ll see a number of options on the left side like Account, Downloads, Interface etc. There, you need to click on Accounts Options and then click on a label called “Manage Steam Guard Account Security”.

Next, you’ll have to choose whether you want to see notification alert via email or text message. Now you have successfully activated Steam Guard Option and finally it’s time to actually activate the family sharing option.

Enable Family Sharing Option

First you need to log into Your Steam account from the other computer (the one on which you want shared access) and go to preferences and then into the Family Tab.

In the Family Tab, Check against a text-box which says “Authorize Library Sharing on this computer”.

Upon checking this box, you will be able to see a list of steam account that have been used on that particular PC. Then you can select whichever account you want to give access to, and Click OK.


That’s it. Now, when the other user will log into this computer (using the steam account you just gave access to), he/she will be able to access and play your library games .

I hope you enjoyed this post. Looking forward to your comments.