Thanks to family lending, we can share game libraries with other Steam accounts. However, there are rules and procedures to follow in order to activate this option. In this tutorial, we will show you the necessary steps to share games on Steam. We also detail what rules there are to using the family loan.
Step 1 – Activate Steam Guard
The first step in sharing games on Steam is to verify that Steam Guard is enabled on all accounts. To check it, open the Steam program. Then go to the top left corner and tap on Steam→Settings. The parameters window will open, in the "Account" section.
In that section, notice what it says under "Security Status":
If you have any account protection activated, you don't have to do anything! Otherwise, click on "View account details". It will take you to the account page in the Steam program. Scroll down that page until you see the "Account Security" section. From there you can select one of the available methods to activate Steam Guard.
Do this step on all accounts.
Step 2: Authorize the family loan
Without leaving the parameters window, enter the Family section. There are two sections: Family Mode and Family Loan. The second, the Family loan, is the one you are interested in sharing games on Steam. When you authorize the account to use this option, you will enable Family Borrowing on your PC.
Once you check the "Authorize family lending on this computer" box, click OK. The steam account is almost ready to share games! As we indicated in Step 1, it is good that you do this second step in all the accounts in which you want to use the family loan.
Step 3 – Sign in on another PC
Connect to another PC with the same account in which you authorized the family loan. Already inside your account on that other PC, repeat Step 2 . Do the same for all the accounts you want to share games with, i.e. try to log in to your PC with the other accounts.
Please note: Check the "Authorize family loan on this computer" box for all accounts and PCs. This way, all accounts will benefit from the family loan.
Step 4 – Enable Family Loan for the other PC
Go back to your PC and your main account. Go back to the Steam menu →Settings→Family. In the Family Loan box at the bottom, you'll see a list of accounts to enable Family Loan on. Try to check the boxes of accounts with which you want to share games. With this step complete, you will be able to use a family loan and share games on Steam!
If you don't get the other PCs, check the first three steps. Remember to do all these steps for each account, both on your PC and on any other PC where those accounts are used. You may need to sign out and sign in to Steam again; Sometimes Steam doesn't update features instantly.
Rules and limitations of sharing libraries on Steam
It is only possible to share your library on a maximum of 10 PCs. In addition to this restriction, you can only give up to 5 Steam accounts access to your library at a time.
The entire library of games is always shared, ie it is not possible to select specific games to share.
Only one person can access the same game library at any given time. To play games owned by another account, make sure no one else is playing games on that account.
The owner of the library has the right to access it at all times. If the owner logs in to play games from their library on Steam, anyone else using their library will have 5 minutes to purchase the game or exit the game.
There are games that disqualify for Steam Family Loan. Those games that need third-party programs or use other platforms to work are left out of the family loan.
To access shared libraries owned by other accounts, you must be connected to the Internet.
In the event that cheating is detected by the VAC (Valve's anti-cheat system), the account will lose privileges to share games and use this functionality with that account.
As a result of the above, the other accounts will lose the privilege of using the family loan with the account affected by the VAC.
If you own a game and want to play the DLCs, the only way to do so is to buy them. It is impossible to play a shared game DLC unless you don't own the game.