I understand that once a game is in the library it cannot be removed, only hidden. My question is, can I gift an uninstalled copy of a game to a friend? I understand that this may be impossible due to legal issues, and that once a game is in the library it stays.

  • 5
    Sorry to say this, but you answered your own question; once a game is in your library, it's there forever.
    – Schism
    Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 2:40
  • @Yves You might want to post this as an answer. Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 2:48
  • 6
    @user43246 Games are tied to an account and are not transferrable after purchase unless they are purchased as gift keys. If you want to have games that have resale value after use, buy the retail disc instead. Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 2:48
  • This question seems like it would be easily researched in the EULA and Terms of Service for Steam.
    – Coronus
    Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 4:30
  • 1
    @James Unfortunately, more and more these days even the retail disc is tied to an account so it cannot be resold. Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 4:58

5 Answers 5


From the information on the Steam Support Knowledge Base under Steam Gifts they have this question:

Can I gift games I no longer play to my friends?

You can not gift games that were previously purchased on your Steam account to friends.

Even though the question is about previously played games, the answer seems to indicate any games that were purchased for your account.


No, you cannot gift an uninstalled game.


At this time it's not possible to transfer games from your account to another, It is however something that's routinely discussed on the Steam Forums; Giving up ownership and transferring it to someone else as a gift that is.

Currently the only way to gift a game is to buy another copy, Only spares can be gifted at this time.


The other users already stated it's not possible.

There may be two other possibilites, but I don't think it'll fit your requirements:

  1. Steam Family Sharing: Currently in beta (only the "host" has to download the Steam beta) you can share your library to other PCs. They can access and download games from your library and also play them. Currently playing a shared library is only possible when its owner is NOT playing a Steam game a once.
  2. Wait. There have been statements that Steam wants to create a little market place for trading second-hand. But... user cried for that for years and there is no date set. Maybe it won't happen anyways. Try 1. :)
  • 2
    Where did you see talk of a second-hand marketplace? I know that you cannot gift redeemed games, but I've been looking through these questions to see if there was ever a hint of it being possible in the future.
    – nrubin29
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 23:26

It may be possible, if the friend, sibling, etc. wants a game that you have. Just link your account to their pc and let them download the game. It may ask you to authorize it by code, but it could work.

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