I own a bunch of games on Steam, but my family only has one computer (capable of running them). My brother would like to play some of the games I own as well, and it would obviously be nonsensical to buy them twice when we're literally physically in the same place.

We both have a Windows account on the computer, and the accounts are set up such that they all have file system permission to access the games.

However, I would like NOT to log into my Steam account on his user account, so I'm trying to find some way to let him play the already installed games without having to do so.

Is there a simple way to do so? I read about offline mode, but it seems that it's the same as being logged in just when you don't have an internet connection.

I obviously can't start the games because after loading they just crash and say "Steam needs to be running".


1 Answer 1


Yes, this is possible with Steam Family Sharing

With Steam Family Sharing, you can share your games with up to 5 Steam accounts on up to 10 devices.

How do I enable Family Library Sharing on my computer?

To enable Family Library Sharing, first be sure you have Steam Guard security enabled via Steam > Settings > Account in the Steam Client. Then enable the sharing feature via Settings > Family, (or in Big Picture mode, Settings > Family Library Sharing,) where you'll also authorize specific computers and users to share.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Your brother must be online to play your games.
  • Not all games can be played via Family Sharing.
  • You can only share your entire library, not individual games. Keep that in mind if you intend to buy games you want to keep secret (for whatever reason).
  • Your brother can access the same DLCs you own. If he wants to play a DLC you don't own, he must buy both the game and the DLC. He cannot buy DLCs for games he doesn't own, even if you're sharing that game with him.
  • If your brother gets caught cheating (in multiplayer) or conducting fraud using a game you own, you may lose your privilege to share games, and your account may be VAC banned. VAC bans are permanent, so make sure your brother is informed, understands the gravity of this, and can be trusted.
  • Every time your PC changes, your brother must send another authorization request, and you must approve it for the new PC. Don't forget to remove authorization for old PCs, as you can only authorize up to 10 devices at the same time.

If you and your brother ever get to play on different PCs:

  • Your brother must send an authorization request for every PC he wants to play your games on.
  • Your brother cannot access your games while you're playing yourself.
  • There are no restrictions for you to access your own games. If you decide to play a Steam game (no matter which game), your brother will be given a few minutes to stop playing, or purchase the game he is currently playing.
  • If your brother moves to a different region and changes his Steam region, he won't be able to play games that are not available in his new region. Region restrictions still apply, even with Family Sharing.

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