I downloaded Team Fortress 2 for free yesterday off Steam. I used my account to download it. My brother has set up his own now and would like to play TF2 on his, that way we could also have separate profiles and scores. I don't want to re-download TF2 because we don't have much bandwidth. Is there a way to transfer the whole game over to his account?


1 Answer 1


If you want to play on the same PC:

Yes. Steam should recognise that the game is already installed. Failing that (which definitely works on games newer to Steam, but I'm unsure about older games like TF2), copy the contents of your SteamApps folder to his. (see the SteamApps\username instructions below)

If you want to play on seperate PCs:

Yes. Open your SteamApps folder. This will be depend on your operating system and be:

C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps

for 32 bit (older) Windows systems,

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps

for 64 bit (newer) Windows systems, and

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps

for Mac OS X systems.

You will need to copy all files who's name begins with "source" or "team fortress 2" from that folder on your PC to the folder on your brother's PC. There is also a file called winui.gcf which you will need to copy in there also.

Then follow the instructions in the below heading.

SteamApps\username folder instructions

You will also need to copy the <your steam username>\team fortress 2 folder inside your SteamApps folder to SteamApps\<your brothers steam username>\team fortress 2. If there are any folders beginning with source or winui in there as well, you should copy those also. Apart from required files for the game itself, these folders contain configuration and downloaded maps.


If you miss any individual files then they will be downloaded when Steam launches the game.

These instructions will not work for Windows to Mac, or Mac to Windows.

  • 5
    It should also be noted that steam includes a nice backup utility within itself that could be used in place of copy-pasting a folder. It's under the Steam menu in the top-left corner, or I believe you can find it per-game with the right-click context menu.
    – Aeo
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 14:16
  • 3
    The backup option is also safer in many instances than simply copy-pasting.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 14:29
  • Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that, as the only times I do this are in bulk when I have to move Steam to a new PC, and for that the backup utility is extremely slow.
    – Macha
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 14:47
  • IIRC, regarding recognition of older games, my brother played TF2 on my computer several times, after it went free. He now plays it on his own PC, but back then, we didn't download nor copy anything more, he just used what I had downloaded for my account.
    – Fadeway
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 15:45
  • I added info about doing the same on Mac systems to your answer, and a couple other bits of information. Please feel free to revert or further edit if you disagree. (Also, I think I recall successful Mac⇔Windows copies of just the .gcf files, which are the majority of the download size, but I'm not certain.)
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 16:20

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