Steam is without doubt the most popular gaming platform on the PC, reaching new heights every month it seems.
When it comes to login issues on Steam, there are two different cases that we need to look at.
First, there is the Steam client software that you can log in to, and then, there is also the Steam Powered website where you can log in to as well.
Lets take a look at the basics first, before we look at possible solutions:
When you sign in to Steam, you are always asked to provide your Steam account name and your password.
This is true for the website and for the Steam client software.
A couple of things can happen when you are on that page:
- You forgot your Steam account name.
- You forgot your Steam password.
- The information that you enter are not accepted.
- If you have forgotten your Steam account name, download the Steam client, select Forgot your login info and follow the prompts.
- If you have forgotten your Steam password, do the same.
- If you cannot fill out what is required of you, contact Steam Support as a last resort.
The Steam Account name
You select the Steam account name during registration. It is not your email address, and if you cannot remember it anymore, there is only one option to recover it. It is also important to note that the account name is unique, and cannot be changed anymore once setup.
- Download the Steam client software from the official website and install it on your system.
- Start Steam on the system, and select the “forgot your login info? retrieve a lost account” option when the Steam Login prompt appears on the screen.
- You will be asked if you know your account name. Since you do not, select “I don’t know my account name” from the options provided to you and click next.
- If you remember the email address that you used to sign up for Steam, or a product code that you registered on the service, select those options.
- If that is the case, the account name will be sent to your email address Steam has on file.
- If you cannot remember those, you are out of luck. Your only option in this case is to contact Steam Support directly here.
- If you know the account name, you can select that option instead.
- You are asked to enter it then on the next step.
- An email is sent to the registered account containing a verification code and secret question.
- Enter those two values into the fields on the next page of the recovery form.
- You are then asked to enter a new password which will be the new account password.
Your account was hacked
If you are unable to log in, but believe that you have entered the right account name and password, then your Steam account may have been hacked by a third party.
If that is the case, do the following to reclaim access to your account.
- Contact Steam Support immediately and provide them with as many information as possible. At the very least, include the account name, the original contact email and select “Account Questions” as the category and “Hijacked or Stolen Account” as the subcategory.
- If retail software has been registered to the account, attach a digital photo or scan of the software’s key that has been registered to the account. Write the Steam Support Ticket number on the label somewhere as seen on the support page.
- If a game was purchased using a credit card, provide the card type, name on card and the last four digits of the credit card number.
- If a game was purchased through a PayPal account, provide the billing name, full billing address, the PayPal PayerID, the invoice ID and the transaction ID.
Changing your account email address
You can change the primary email address associated with your Steam account. This is useful if you decide to switch providers for example.
- You need the Steam client software installed on your system for this as well.
- Select Steam > Settings from the menu and click on change contact email when the page opens up.
- You are asked to enter your account password again and the new email address that you want to use.
- Check your new email account for a confirmation message. A link is provided that you need to click on, or copy and paste into a browser, to verify the new email address.
- Once you see a success page, return to Steam and the dialog box should confirm that your email address was successfully changed.
Improving security on Steam
There are several ways to improve the sign in security on Steam. It goes without saying that you should pick a secure password for your account, preferably with 16 or more characters, at least one digit and one special character.
Steam Guard is another option that I’d highly recommend to enable. It adds a new level of security to your account. It works similar to two-factor authentication, only that it is only triggered if Steam notices an account login from a computer system that it does not recognize.
If that is the case, you will receive an email containing a verification code. You do need to enter this code into Steam when asked for it to proceed and sign in completely to the system.
To get started with Steam Guard, verify your email address that you used to register Steam. You can initiate the process by selecting Steam > Settings > Verify email address.
To enable Steam Guard, select Steam > Settings > Manage Steam Guard Account Security under the Account tab.
Additional information about Steam Guard are available here.