Fix: Steam Family Sharing Not Showing Up

Is your Steam Family Sharing feature not showing up? Follow this easy guide to enjoy family-shared game libraries again.

Owning all the cool games would cost a lot of money, and although that’s every passionate video game enthusiast’s dream, it’s still financially out of the question for many.

Luckily, Steam came up with a method of allowing family members to share their game libraries and play games they don’t own, which in the long run means much lower expenses.

Unfortunately, though, the Steam Family Sharing Feature covered in one of our thorough guides can sometimes stop working unexpectedly, leaving users confused and looking for a solution.

But, as worrying and complicated as it might look, this problem is easily solvable, and we’ll show you how.

Let’s get into it.

The Problem Explained

Once the Family Sharing feature is active and users are set up, the person who has the games shared with them can simply open their Steam library and launch the titles as if they own them.

However, users sometimes report that even after days of using the feature as intended, they log into Steam and the games are missing from the library as if the Family Sharing feature was never enabled on their accounts.

User Reports Family Sharing Feature Stops Working

This happens without any warning or notification even, as it’s a bug and nobody knows the real reason behind it.

However, thanks to Steam’s active community, a few user-crafted yet working solutions quickly came up on the forums.

Take a look below to see how you can get the Steam Family Sharing feature up and running on your account once again.  

Fix 1: Fully Restart Steam And Sign Back In

One of the easiest solutions for this problem seems to be completely shutting down Steam and all of its background processes, then starting the client again and signing back into your account.

Fully Restart Steam And Sign Back In

It’s not a guaranteed fix, but many users reported being able to see the shared games in their library once again after doing this, so let’s take a look at the steps you need to take.

  1. Assuming the Steam client is already running on your PC, open the window on your screen and click on Steam in the top-left corner, then click Exit.
  2. Right-click an empty area on your taskbar and choose Task Manager from the list of options.
  3. Navigate to the Processes tab (which is the first one by default) and try to find any that may be related to Steam.
  4. If you do find such a process, click on it and then click on End Task at the bottom-right corner of the Task Manager window.

Once you ensure Steam is fully closed and no processes related to the client are still running on your PC, start the client once again with administrator privileges. You can do this by right-clicking the Steam shortcut on your desktop and choosing Run as Administrator.

Now you should be able to see the games in your library once more, but if you don’t, there are still more methods you can try.

Fix 2: Use The “Untick And Tick” Method

This is another method suggested by members of the Steam community, specifically a Reddit user who confirmed it as working, and we advise you to try it as it’s quick and easy to do, yet can solve the problem efficiently.

Use The “Untick And Tick” Method

This method requires you to either have access to the account sharing the games or if that’s not possible, politely explain to the owner of that account that the following steps can help you regain access to the titles.

Here’s what needs to be done:

  1. Open the Steam client as an administrator logged in as the account that’s sharing their games with other users.
  2. Click Steam in the top-left corner, then Settings, and then Family.
  3. Here, all the owner needs to do is “untick” your account under the “Eligible Accounts” section and then press OK at the bottom, and then “re-tick” your account and press OK at the bottom again.
    Steam Settings

This basically “refreshes” and “reminds” Steam that you wish to share your games with another account, and for many users, it worked, even though it seems like a very simple and illogical solution at first.

If this method doesn’t work, you can always try to re-authorize the accounts from the very start  

Fix 3: Re-Authorize The Accounts

Sometimes the only solution for this problem is to fully re-authorize the accounts, which means canceling the family sharing and then going once again through the authorization setup from the very start.

It may take a few minutes of your time, but it can solve the problem permanently, or at least for a longer period.

If you are the person requesting access, do the following

  1. Log into your Steam account. Ensure Steam Guard is enabled.
  2. If you have previously authorized your account on the computer your family member uses, you will be able to see their games in your library. Select the game that you want to have shared with you and click “Play” to open a window where you can request access.
    Request Access to play game by another Steam user
  3. This will send an e-mail to the game owner with a link they can click to grant you access to the game. You might need to tell them about this via other means if they are known to rarely check their inbox.

If you are the person granting access, do the following:

  1. Open the Steam client and log in to your account.
  2. Click Steam in the top-left corner and then Settings in the dropdown menu.
    Clicking Steam Settings
  3. The main settings panel will appear on your screen. Click Family and then tick the box next to the “Authorize Library Sharing on this computer” option, as indicated in the image below.
    Steam setting Authorize Library Sharing on this computer
  4. You will now see a list of eligible accounts with which you can share your library. Select an account, or multiple accounts, then complete the process by clicking the “OK” button at the bottom.

Ultimately, you can take a look at our helpful guide on how to configure Steam Library Sharing which also covers all the crucial things you should know about this feature.

Conclusion

With that said, you now know how to deal with the Steam Family Sharing Not Showing Up issue which can appear out of nowhere and leave users confused without access to the games they recently played.

We hope the methods provided in the guide will help you overcome the problem, and remember, if it ever happens again, simply repeat the method which worked for you last time and the problem should be gone for some time again.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
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Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.