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My brother and I share the same PC, but we each have our own Steam accounts. Before Steam mobile authentication was introduced, we did the good old trick of adding the -login %u %p parameters to two different shortcuts of Steam, allowing each of us to switch accounts easily without re-entering passwords each time.

Now, with the mobile authentication, we have to enter a mobile code each time one of us logs in, regardless of whether or not we use two different shortcuts.

The only way to overcome this is by checking the "remember me" box, but this will only work if you've one account, because once you log out, it will ask for the code next time you log in.

Is there anyway to overcome this by making Steam remember the PC or something? It truly is stressful to be forced to have my mobile on me whenever I need to use Steam.

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  • 14
    Curious if you have/share the same PC account. Like when you login in the morning (to the computer not to steam), do you use the same credentials.
    – joedragons
    Feb 1 '17 at 16:26
  • We do share the same windows user yea, if that's what you're asking Feb 1 '17 at 17:02
  • 1
    If you have different games then you can use family settings so you can start games from each other steam accounts.
    – JIV
    Feb 2 '17 at 13:34
  • @JIV Yeah thanks, but that doesn't help. Please refer to my comment on Artery's solution. Feb 2 '17 at 17:33
  • 3
    @JIV Well ofc :D if I could buy another PC I would have done :D Feb 3 '17 at 14:43
94

You say you both use the same Windows account.

Create a new account for your brother. Login to steam with his account information. Sign in back as your shared account. Create a new shortcut to steam and change the command to

%windir%\system32\runas.exe /user:YourBrothersWindowsAccount /savecred Steam.exe

(make sure to use the full path to Steam.exe from the original shortcut)

Now, when your brother wants to use his Steam account, all he has to do is close Steam, and run it again through this shortcut.

Do note that Steam will use the new windows profile, so if your brother has games that store configuration or saved games in the user profile, he will need to copy them over to the new account.

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    Each steam instance using an own windows profile to store savegames is actually quite useful, because it prevents the two users from accidently overwriting each other's savegames when they play the same game.
    – Philipp
    Feb 2 '17 at 9:49
  • 1
    Hmm - I wonder if this could potentially solve the issue in games, like Ark, where playing with Family Share doesn't work due to mods not downloading properly for both profiles. Might be worth trying.. Feb 3 '17 at 14:03
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    This answer seems to contradict the notion that Steam will use different steam accounts for different windows accounts: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/40761/… Feb 5 '17 at 14:23
  • @ThatBrazilianGuy FYI, that's because that question was from 2011, and seems to be outdated (even though this comment is also 2 years later).
    – JMac
    Nov 6 '19 at 14:38
  • This solution no longer works. Steam runs as a system-level user, so no matter who's account is running Steam, it always knows. There's only ever 1 spot it can be installed. Copying it around doesn't help either.
    – Sawtaytoes
    Sep 2 at 1:55
63

The @Luaan's answer seems like a cool workaround. It suggests to create a "fake" second Windows account and don't use it. I think that you should take one step further, and actually use that second account! Don't you have similar issues with other stuff, like web browser and Facebook, or Skype? Don't you need to endlessly log-in-and-out from various apps and services? The popular way for using same PC by two different people is to have separate Windows user accounts. It's really quite a lightweight solution and I think that nowadays you will be even able to switch profiles without closing your open windows. You can share any data you like, it's not an issue. You will have your own wallpaper, your own shortcuts, you will be always logged in to your Facebook, Skype, and the most important, Steam.

Summing up: to switch between 2 Steam accounts on one PC without having to enter mobile code every time, just switch the Windows account.

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    +1 "Use separate accounts" seems like a pretty legit answer to me. Feb 2 '17 at 9:53
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    This is entirely what user accounts are for.
    – user88837
    Feb 2 '17 at 14:57
  • 2
    Yeah thank you, but I wanted a way without creating separate windows users .. we don't really have any problem with the rest of the applications Feb 2 '17 at 14:58
  • @AbdullahEGY Without creating separate Windows users, or without using separate Windows users? Is Luaan's solution OK?
    – cubuspl42
    Feb 2 '17 at 15:04
  • @cubuspl42 I meant without using different users, I didn't try Luaan's but from what I read I believe he means that I will create a windows account but I won't really use it as a sign in, instead it will be used just to add the shortcut command right? Seems pretty good and will be trying it later on, for now I'm just using the big picture and it's fine Feb 2 '17 at 17:32
21

I got it working thanks to Reddit u/psxsquall.

The way around it works by using Steam's Big Picture Mode.

You use it and login with both accounts and tick the "remember me" button in Big Picture Mode, confirm with the phone codes once, and then when you log out (only through Big Picture Mode) it allows you to switch users without asking for password/phone codes.

TL;DR: Use Big Picture Mode to sign out, but make sure never to sign out from the normal Steam interface (you can still exit steam normally) and only through the Big Picture interface.

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    This doesn't work anymore. The log out function was removed from big picture mode.
    – Fritz
    Dec 14 '19 at 15:34
8

Luaan's answer is great, but things have changed a bit.

On Windows 10

  1. Create a new user in Windows
    • Settings > Accounts > Family & other users > Add someone else to this PC > I don't have this person's sign-in information > Add a user without a Microsoft account
    • Choose a one-word username for simplicity (say, "Bob")
    • Leave the password blank (yes, Windows will let you do this)
  2. Login as that user, open Steam, login with the new account
  3. Switch back to your normal user. Copy and paste the desktop Steam shortcut so now you have two copies of it.
  4. Rename the new shortcut to the new username ("Bob" in this example) so you know which is which.
  5. Right click on the new shortcut and select Properties.
  6. Change Target to %windir%\system32\runas.exe /user:Bob /savecred "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe"
    • Change "Bob" to your new username
    • If you didn't install Steam in the default location, then change C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe to wherever Steam is installed on your computer. If you're not sure, look at the properties of the original Steam shortcut.
  7. Tell windows to allow blank passwords:
    • Search for regedit in the Start Menu. It's also called "Windows Registry" or "Registry Explorer"
    • Copy and paste this into the address bar at the top: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Lsa
    • Double click on LimitBlankPasswordUse on the right
    • Change the 1 to a 0
    • Close the registry editor

Now when you double click on the new Steam shortcut it should be logged in with the second Steam account, and the original shortcut will still be on the first account.

You can't have both open at once, and if you need to switch between the two you have to completely exit Steam by clicking Steam > Exit, or by right clicking the Steam icon in the Windows taskbar (bottom right) and clicking Exit.

4

That's the purpose of a two-factor (i.e. mobile) authentication.

The workarounds I am aware of is to either:

  • Remove the mobile authentication entirely, or
  • Use the 'Family Share' function to use games from both accounts, while only logged in to one account.

It seems there are some better workarounds other than these two but these are also viable alternatives.

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    Dang it :\ sadly family share wouldn't serve us good, for instance we both bought CS:GO and each have his own online progress (matchmaking doesn't even work on sharing) and also to gain access to the rest of steam features; like trading and stuff Feb 1 '17 at 17:02
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    Two Factor Authentication is for your own safety. You wouldn't want your brother logging in to your account and messing around with things, would you? Same goes for the rest of the world!
    – Kaizerwolf
    Feb 1 '17 at 17:05
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    I mean they should allow the feature of "remembering the PC" just like it used to be with the Email Steam Guard, you need to enter your password every time you login, but unless you're logged in from a different PC it shouldn't ask you for the code every time And I don't mind my brother using my account, hence that we used to do the login parameter thing, which showed the whole password to anyone who had access to the PC Feb 1 '17 at 17:08
  • @Peilonrayz yes you proved me wrong. But I don't think this is intended.
    – Artery
    Feb 2 '17 at 9:27
  • It is definitely possible. I don't remember how, but I set my desktop (less likely to be stolen) to not use the 2FA, but my laptop to use it. Feb 2 '17 at 13:39
0

You can use PsTools (by Microsoft) to achieve this in a similar method to those already given. However, PsTools allows you to embed another users Windows password, so you don't have to hack the registry (which will likely be reset to it's default value in future Windows updates, breaking the shortcut).

  1. Create a new user, with a password
  2. Head to: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/psexec
  3. Download the zip file, and unzip it somewhere awesome, say: C:\Program Files\PsTools
  4. Hold WinKey + Push R
  5. Type: SystemPropertiesAdvanced, and click OK
  6. Click Environment Variables
  7. Under System variables, scroll down until you find Path, under the Variable column, click it, and then click Edit... below
  8. Click New, and type in the awesome location that you unzipped PsTools to (C:\Program Files\PsTools - In this case), then click OK in each of the windows that opened
  9. Now... Right-click on the desktop, and select New ~> Create Shortcut
  10. In the Type the location of the item: textbox, type:

psexec -user NewUserName -p NewPassword "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe"

Replacing NewUserName and NewPassword with the credentials you used in part 0, and changing the steam executable path to your steam installation (the example above uses the default installation location)

  1. Click Next
  2. Type a meaningful shortcut name in to the box, and click Finish
  3. Double click the shiny new shortcut
  4. Enjoy!

There's one caveat to this, and that is that it opens a CMD shell window, this can be hidden by using some VB/C#/PowerShell stuff, but it would significantly complicate this one minute set of instructions. The window can be closed immediately, and steam will continue running just fine.

0

There's an even easier way. Using a Steam account switcher. Most let you swap accounts easily, some without even needing to enter a password or 2-factor again. Most of these are open-source, including SAM - Steam Account Manager (180★), Steam Account Switcher (75★) and Steam Account Switcher (42★).

I am biased here, as I have created a solution myself. Not just for Steam, but also Origin, Epic Games and a ton of other platforms, hence the other suggestions first. It swaps files on your computer that store the 'last logged in account', or token, and allow you to swap without entering a password or 2-factor again (Assuming you've logged in at least once before - and don't click "Sign out"). See the TcNo Account Switcher (201★)

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