Activating a product on Steam is a fairly straightforward process assuming you already have a Steam account and Steam installed on your computer.
STEP 1: OPTIONAL STEP IF YOU DO NOT HAVE STEAM INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER
If you do not have Steam installed yet it can be downloaded from this page: http://store.steampowered.com/about/. Locate the green button labelled "Install Steam Now" and click it, it should look similar to the image below.
Once the download is finished click the downloaded file to run the Steam installation program. Follow any prompts during installation. Once installation is complete please continue with the article.
STEP 2: OPTIONAL STEP IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY LOGGED INTO STEAM
Find Steam in your computer's program menu and click it to launch it if it is not already running. You should get the login prompt if you have not enabled auto login. If you haven't created an Steam account yet click the "CREATE NEW ACCOUNT" button and follow the prompts for creating a new account before continuing. Enter your login credentials (account name and password) into the prompt. See image below.
After you have entered your credentials click the "LOGIN" button to continue. See image below.
If you receive errors after clicking the "LOGIN" button ensure you have entered your Account Name and Password correctly. If you continue to have login problems please contact Steam support. After successfully logging in please continue to the next step.
STEP 3: FIND THE ACTIVATE PRODUCT ON STEAM MENU ITEM
After logging in Steam will start and may present you with some store offers, close any dialog windows that open before continuing. Find the "Games" menu along the top of the Steam window and click it. See image below.
After clicking the "Games" menu a dropdown will appear, click the option that says "Activate a Product on Steam...". See image below.
STEP 4: PRODUCT ACTIVATION DIALOG
After clicking "Activate a Product on Steam..." from Step 3, you will be presented with the Product Activation dialog, click the "NEXT >" button to continue. See image below.
After clicking the "NEXT >" button you will be presented with the Steam Subscriber Agreement, read as necessary and when you are ready to continue click the "I AGREE" button. See image below.
After clicking the "I AGREE" button you can then enter the activation code that was emailed to you after your purchase. Enter it into the Product Code box as shown below. Do not enter the code presented here, enter the one that was emailed to you.
After entering your product code click the "NEXT >" button to continue. See image below.
After clicking the "NEXT >" button you will be presented with the Product Activation Successful dialog. It will list the name of the product that was activated. If your product fails to activate be sure you have entered the code correctly. For example try substituting an "8" instead of a "B" or the letter "O" instead of a zero, etc. You can view this article for more help with an unsuccessful activation. Click the "FINISH" button to continue. See image below.
STEP 5: DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION
After clicking the "FINISH" button find and click the "LIBRARY" menu item in the Steam interface. See image below.
After clicking "LIBRARY" the list of all your games will appear. Search the list until you find the game you just purchased. Click it to continue. See image below.
After clicking the game title the game's page will load in the right side of the interface. To install the game click the blue "INSTALL" button. See image below.
After clicking the "INSTALL" button you will be presented with the Install dialog. Make any changes necessary and then click the "NEXT >" button to download and install the game. Follow any prompts during installation to completely install the game.
Congratulations, once download and installation is complete the blue "INSTALL" button will change to a "PLAY" button. Simply click it to begin playing your game.
If you have problems that aren't covered by this article please contact us and we will be happy to help you.
Looking for more great Steam games? Check out our Steam games page to see what's new.