I am sharing my dad's steam account on my computer. He bought/downloaded/installed a game on his user, but I have to reinstall it on my user. How can I get it on my user without re-downloading it, like internally transferring it? Extra info: My computer is a Mac running Mavericks

  • Are you sure the game isn't available under your user? It would be under the same circumstances on Windows.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 19:41
  • Yes, it says "install" where it should say play off I owned the games. Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 20:02
  • Sounds like those games are not using SteamPipe so they're installed in a user directory, not the common directory.
    – Keavon
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 20:18
  • How can I change the directory? Is that a preference in steam? If so, will the games already installed move to that directory? Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 20:22
  • 1
    Maybe not a dupe, but definitely helpful
    – MBraedley
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Regarding the comment on your question, you can change your install directory, but that's more for pushing things onto a different hard drives if your computer has them.

The files you'll need will probably be sitting around in your steamapps directory. Since you're running a Mac, this should be ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps. For completeness - on a Windows computer, this is usually C:/Program Files/Steam/steamapps or C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps, and on my Ubuntu laptop, this is ~/.steam/steam/SteamApps/, though your exact Linux setup may vary. The steamapps directory should contain a few subdirectories. Find the ones named after yours your dad's Steam accounts and open them both up.

Stop here, open up Steam, and set the download off for the game you want to install. Leave it for a couple of seconds, then exit Steam. This will drop a directory in your steamapps folder named after the game you're trying to install. Find the corresponding folder in your dad's steamapps directory, then just copy-paste everything across. Restart Steam, and resume the download. Steam should check to see what files are already around and what files are needed, note that all the files are already there, and then let you play your game.

If your dad has a bunch of saved games or some clever keybinds set up, those might be transferred across to you, too. Check everything is in order before you start playing.

This is far from the most efficient way of accomplishing this goal, since you'll effectively end up with two separate installs of the same game. If you're familiar with symbolic links and don't mind turning your filesystem into some kind of Cretan labyrinth then you could probably achieve the same effect with those and without making a double-install. This, however, is a little more complex.

Again, for completeness, I'll outline the steps. Rather than copying the install directory across, drop a symbolic link to the install directory in your own steamapps directory. The tricky part, however, comes when the game's install directory also stores saved games and similar items, since you probably don't want your dad to accidentally beat a bunch of the game for you. To solve this, you'd need to have a complete path to your own saved games directory. Every other file and directory in the game's install directory can be replaced with a symlink back to your dad's directory.

  • For completeness you might include steps or a link for the more complex option.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 15:45
  • FYI, I'm on a mac and just tried to install Rocket League your way. What worked for me : copy the folder "rocketleague" and its content (just a .app) into the "common" folder of "steamapps", and then launch the install. Only then was it able to verify what was already downloaded/installed. Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 13:32

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