How to Activate a Steam Product Key
Do you have a product key for a Steam game that you want to add to your account? Follow these steps to activate a Steam product key.
Have you purchased a physical copy of a game that’s only playable through Steam? We can help.
While physical disks are becoming rarer, it’s still very much possible to receive a Steam product key. Steam product keys provide you with the ownership of a game through the Steam platform itself.
If you’re unsure how to activate a Steam product key on your account, follow the steps below.
How to Redeem a Steam Product Key on PC or Mac
Steam product keys are accessible in various different forms. You might receive one as a digital code in a physical media box for a released game. Alternatively, you might receive a Steam product key to be able to test a new game during beta testing.
You can add these games to your Steam library at any point by using the Steam gaming client on your PC or Mac.
To activate a Steam product key on PC or Mac:
- Open the Steam client on your PC or Mac and sign in (if you aren’t already).
- Press the Library tab in the menu at the top.
- In the bottom-left, press the Add a Game button.
- From the pop-up menu, select the Activate a Product on Steam option.
- Click Next in the Product Activation menu box.
- When prompted, accept the Steam license agreement by pressing the I Agree button.
- Type or paste in your Steam product key in the Product Code box.
- Click Next.
- If the product key isn’t correct, go back and re-check your key.
- When you’re done, press the Finish button.
If the product key is correct, Steam will add the game to your library, and you’ll be prompted to install the game. In the case of other digital products (such as subscriptions or game DLCs), these items should also become available immediately.
You can repeat these steps at any point for multiple keys. However, you can only own one of the same item. If you try to add a Steam product key for a game you already own, this won’t work—you’ll need to consider gifting the code to someone else to use instead.
How to Redeem a Steam Product Key on Mobile
At the time of publication, the Steam mobile app doesn’t allow you to redeem steam product keys directly. You can only redeem wallet codes and gift cards to add funds to your Steam wallet using the mobile app.
If you’re away from your computer, you can instead redeem a Steam product key using the Steam website on your mobile device. To be clear, this is the website and not the Steam mobile app for iPhone and Android users.
You can use these steps on an Android, iPhone, or iPad device. If you don’t have Steam installed, it should also work for PC, Mac, and Chromebook users.
To activate a Steam product key on mobile:
- On your mobile device, open the Steam store website using this link and sign in. This will take you directly to the product key registration menu.
- In the Product Code box, type in or paste in your Steam product key.
- Check that you agree to the Steam subscriber agreement by tapping the checkbox to activate it.
- Double-check the key is correct before tapping the Continue button.
- Follow any additional on-screen instructions.
If the code is correct, your game, game subscription, or other Steam item will activate on your account. For instance, if you’ve activated a new game using these steps, you’ll be able to install it on your PC using the Steam client immediately.
If you run into problems, however, make sure to double-check the code is correct. You can’t reuse codes that have been used previously. It isn’t possible to redeem a code for a game or item that you already own on Steam, either.
You can always contact Steam for support if you run into any problems that you aren’t able to solve.
Enjoying Gameplay on Steam
Using the steps above, you can quickly activate a Steam product key, allowing you to play a game or use a product you’ve purchased elsewhere.
A word of warning, however. Don’t be tempted to use a non-reputable site for purchasing games. If you’re unsure of the cost, you can always add a game to your Steam wishlist for later (or borrow it from a friend).
Having trouble managing your game catalog on Steam? You can always add or create Steam categories to sort them out in your library.