Steam hosts a huge library of games that players can purchase, download, and play. Family Sharing on the platform allows players’ family members and guests to play one another’s games while keeping their accounts separate. You can share your game library with up to 5 users and up to 10 devices in a 90-day period. Nonetheless, at times users have reported facing issues with Family Sharing not working on Steam and so, in today’s article, we will discuss why this happens and how to fix it.
How to Fix Family Sharing Not Working on Steam
Finding the gates of an amusement park locked on a Sunday evening can be a real bummer and so could be malfunctioning Steam Family Sharing. But hey, these road bumps should not let you drive through the action track. Let us know the causes behind the discussed error and then proceed to resolve it.
Here are some of the reasons why Steam Family Sharing might not be working:
- Authorization issues
- Account Restrictions
- Corrupt game files
- Winsock catalog errors
Note: Ensure that the Steam accounts of the library owner or any family member added under the plan are free from VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) or Community Bans as these can impact sharing.
To fix this issue, you can reauthorize the Steam library access. If that does not help, verify the game integrity files following the steps below:
1. Open Steam and move to the LIBRARY tab.
2. Right-click on the problematic game and select Properties from the context menu.
3. Now in the LOCAL FILES tab, click on Verify integrity of game files.
Method 1: Re-authorize Access to Shared Steam Library
It is required for users to authenticate their accounts and authorize library sharing on the PCs of their friends or family members. Misconfigurations in this process may result in sharing problems. Re-authorizing your shared library can help resolve any conflicts.
1. Open Steam and click on the Steam tab in the top left corner.
2. Select Settings.
3. Move to the Family tab and then disable & enable the toggle next to Authorize Library Sharing on this computer.
4. Now click on Manage next to Family Library Sharing.
5. In the MANAGE FAMILY LIBRARY SHARING window, click on Revoke for one PC.
6. On the authorization message that appears, request access to run a game from the shared Steam library on that screen.
7. Click the link in the email to re-authorize that particular PC.
You can similarly repeat steps 5 to 7 for all the PCs added under the Family Sharing plan.
Method 2: Verify Game File Integrity
Corruption in the shared library files may cause sharing problems in games. Some such issues are corrected by verifying the integrity of game files. Follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Open the Steam client, click on Steam in the top left corner, and choose Settings from the context menu.
2. In the LIBRARY tab, right-click on the game that is showing issues with sharing, and select Properties
3. Now move to the LOCAL FILES tab and click on VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME CACHE.
Method 3: Update Steam
The outdated Steam client app could also be why Family Sharing not working on it. We suggest you update the app following the steps below:
1. Open Steam and click on Steam at the top left corner.
2. Click on Check for Steam Client Updates…
3. Wait until Steam checks and notifies you about any available updates. If there is any, Download and Install it.
Method 4: Relocate Steam Installation Files
If the error still persists, this workaround can help as it potentially fixes minor glitches and bugs that could be causing the discussed error. Follow the under-mentioned steps:
1. Exit the Steam client first.
2. Right-click on the Steam shortcut on the Desktop and select Open File Location from the menu.
3. Press Ctrl, then select the steamapps & userdata folder and steam.exe file.
4. Right-click on any of them and select the Copy icon.
5. Paste them into a different folder temporarily and then Delete all other files in the Steam directory.
6. Now, again copy the steamapps & userdata folder and steam.exe file from the temporary location and paste them into the Steam directory folder.
7. Restart Steam and check if the Family Sharing error is fixed now.
Method 5: Run an SFC Scan
SFC Scan detects and repairs corrupt & missing system files and helps maintain the stability & integrity of Windows OS and other programs. You can run it to fix the Steam Family Sharing not working issue. Follow the steps:
1. Press the Windows + R keys together to launch the Run dialog box.
2. Type cmd in the text field and press Enter.
3. Execute the following command: SFC/scan now.
4. Once the process is completed, exit Command Prompt and Restart the PC.
Method 6: Reset the Winsock Catalog
Windows Sockets Catalog acts as a set of rules and protocols for applications to communicate over a network, i.e., the Internet. Occasional network issues or corrupt Winsock configurations can affect Steam’s ability to communicate with its servers and lead to the discussed error. Follow the steps to reset it:
1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
2. Enter the following command in the terminal and hit Enter: netsh winsock reset
3. Once the process is completed, Restart the PC.
Check if the error is fixed.
Also Read: How to View Hidden Games on Steam
Method 7: Add Steam as Excerpt to Windows Firewall
All the network traffic on a PC is either allowed or blocked by Windows Firewall to prevent potential threats and unauthorized access. Although you can disable the Firewall completely, we do not suggest that as it might impose risk to your system. Instead, you can except Steam from being monitored. Refer to our guide on Allow or Block Apps through the Windows Firewall.
Method 8: Contact Steam Support
If the error still persists, consider reaching out to Steam Support as they can investigate the problem further and provide more advanced troubleshooting steps.
Method 9: Reinstall Steam
As a last resort, you can also try reinstalling the Steam client app. This will allow the client to install fresh files and fix underlying bugs and glitches. Before reinstalling, make sure to back up all your game files.
Once the backup is created, follow the steps below:
1. Open the Control Panel, click on Programs, and then select Uninstall a program.
2. Right-click on Steam and click on Uninstall.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the client.
4. Hit the Windows key and in the Start menu, search & open the %localappdata% folder.
5. Delete the Steam folder.
6. Similarly, search for %appdata%, and delete the Steam folder in it.
7. Now, Restart the PC.
8. Open Steam’s official website and INSTALL STEAM from there.
Recommended: How to Download Steam Games on External Hard Drive
That is it! We hope our guide helped you resolve the Steam Family Sharing not working issue. If you have any queries or suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments box below. Stay tuned to TechCult to find out solutions to more such tech or app-related errors.