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Crazy question, I know. And no, this is not "how 2 get steam gaems for free", I fully expect them to show up with a "Buy Now" button (or something of the sorts) instead of the usual "Play" one.
Simply adding all the files to my "common" folder doesn't do anything. Where, perhaps, does Steam store the data of what games are installed for me?

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  • I doubt it's supported in the app itself. But I agree it would be a nice thing to have. Jul 21, 2016 at 19:21
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    Why? What exactly are you trying to accomplish with this? What's your end goal? Depending on what exactly you're trying to do, you might have better options. Jul 21, 2016 at 20:19
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    @Michaellogg is right, this could very well be an instance of the XY problem. Jul 22, 2016 at 0:22
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    Wait. If family sharing is already active, the games should automaticly be in your library. If it's not active (or not connected to your account, or what ever the current set up is), you're basicly trying to "activate Falmily Sharing" without activating family sharing. Something I'm pretty sure Steam seeks to avoid.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Jul 29, 2016 at 8:40
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    I had family sharing. Then I did a clean reinstall. Now I don't have family sharing because I don't have any extra games. Also, yes, I copied the files back to my Steam folder, but they're not going into my library.
    – Torn
    Aug 1, 2016 at 21:38

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I'm afraid this can't be done.

It's seems that Family Sharing authentication isn't given to a Steam-account, but to a "machine". And a different Steam installation (as well as a resintall) counts as a "new" machine, as far as Steam is concerned.

As such, the reinstall has wiped out the Family Sharing authentication that your friend has given earlier. Steam is actively ignoring the files you copied, because it no longer thinks you have an authentication to play the games.

I'm afraid that the only solution is to have your friend somehow re-authenticate your "new machine" through Family Sharing. Yes, this means somehow getting him in front of your computer again.

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/groups/familysharing/discussions/1/540738051790971117/

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  • While not entirely false, and after investigating the matter, I feel this will be the way I'll try to solve the issue, I'd still like to point out that Steam doesn't check every time you open your library whether you're authorized to play or not.
    – Torn
    Aug 7, 2016 at 8:36
  • It checks only when you actually try to launch the game, otherwise I believe the information is stored somewhere on your computer, and it decides based on that whether to: a) display the game in your library at all, b) display a "Play" button, c) display a button with some other text. In the 2 latter cases, it checks whether your account and PC are authorized, and if not, asks if you want to send your friend a request for authorization.
    – Torn
    Aug 7, 2016 at 8:37
  • @Torn You seem a bit stuck on the notion of making games "appear" in the Library. Sure, there may be a way to hack Steam-files to make it so (at least temporarily), but I doubt it'll be very easy and I doubt even more it will be any help.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Aug 7, 2016 at 14:36
  • Oh, it's surely possible, but it does seem Steam hasn't made it easy. Why wouldn't it be of any help though? If the games were in my library, I could ask for authorization without them accessing my computer. Regardless, this issue has been solved in another method.
    – Torn
    Aug 8, 2016 at 16:14
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I think that this whole feature is contained in Wishlist, where you can store games you would like, and be able to return to them any time. And it can warn you by e-mail, where there is discount for them and so.

Try it, it is under Shop button, and it is fully designed for bookmarking the games you would like to have.

For Library, I doubt that it will be possible, just because it would do the same as mentioned Wishlist feature. :)

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    You are mistaken. I am aware of the wishlist, and use it extensively. I had unplayable games in my library before I wiped my hard drive. These are sometimes left over from free weekends or from Family Sharing.
    – Torn
    Jul 21, 2016 at 19:26
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Free games will only show up in the library if you have downloaded a DLC for them. For example Team Fortress 2 will show up in your library if you have bought premium account (because it counts as a DLC), however Path of Exile will not show up as there's no DLC for it.

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