5 August, 2020 | 19:59
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Tutorial: how to use the “Steam Desktop Authenticator”

The problem

SDA 001


The agenda

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SDA 002 lower
“Adding a phone number to your Steam account” does not answer the “15 days delay” problem that most people on that page would want to know.
I think it’s called “playing the straw man” or “the straw man’s answer”, or… oh what the hell… let’s move on.


How to setup “Steam Desktop Authenticator”

The abbreviations I will use on this page:
Steam Desktop Authenticator – SDA.
Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator – SGMA.

So instead of the “Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator” I will setup and use the “Steam Desktop Authenticator”.
Download the SDA and extract that archive somewhere. I created a folder “Program Files (no install)” in drive C and extracted it there (anywhere will do – but remember that SDA will have access to your Steam – so don’t just extract it somewhere buried deep inside of your Desktop).
Then launch “Steam Desktop Authenticator.exe”. If it crashes or gives error then install “vcredist_x86.exe” provided in that archive.
After that click lower button:

SDA 003


After that press “Setup New Account”:
SDA 004


Fill the required fields:SDA 005


When someone steals your $500+ laptop he can gain access to your Steam inventory. (and thus can sell all your trading cards for 3 cents each).
Someone got access to your Steam and can purchase the DLC’s for a total of 4000$?? PROTECT THE CARDS!!!

Let’s do just that.
SDA 006

Write the password that will encrypt your steam login and password that SDA will store in it’s “maFiles” folder:

SDA 007Now we are safe.

Let’s move on. Write down this “revocation code”. It’s actually important so it’s recommended to write it down on paper, and store it in a safe place (the one you won’t forget in a week):

SDA 008

Now, type down your code you got from the SMS:

SDA 009

And now the final step – enter your revocation code:

SDA 010

You will either get an “Unable to finalize” error message or the “successfully linked” message. In any case – go to your steam profile and verify if it was ACTUALLY successful or not.
In my first attempt I got that error, maybe because it took me way too long to type all that stuff (over 30 minutes) or maybe it was just an internet connection issue or the steam issues, not sure. But the point is – you will have to try again from the beginning (and all the codes should be new so you will have to write them down again).

Now, let’s verify if the “Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator” is activated or not:
SDA 011This is how it looked for me when I got that “Unable to finalize” error. You should have that green shield when it was successful.


How to use “Steam Desktop Authenticator”

Next time you start the SDA it will ask for your encyption key – if you made one during setup (the one during the “very insecure” warning):

SDA use - 001


This is what you will see – the SDA connected to your Steam account:
SDA use - 001 a

Your settings (located in File->Settings) will be all default – with all checkboxes unchecked, although I changed 5 seconds to 10 – which doesn’t really matter.
If you press “View Confirmations” button you will see all pending “sell item” requests (if you have any).
As you can see I have created a sell trading card listing (from a game BloodRayne), which will not become active until I confirm it (mouse click on it).
If you have just created a sell listing but can’t find it in this list – you have to wait a bit and press “Refresh“, and then you can confirm it.

As you can see the whole process is redundant and unnecessary (actually the whole “Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator” is, which is forced to make it worse, but let’s drop that) so lets explore the options of SDA:

SDA use - 002
Periodically check for new confirmations and show a popup …” – normally you have to press “View Confirmations” button, but with this enabled the popup prompting for accept/decline with show up, and it will happen automatically. You can check that and press “Save”:
As an example I will put my trading card for sale on the steam market:
SDA use - 003

The prompt will pop up:

SDA use - 004

-“Are you absolutely, positively, definitely want to sell this item?”
BUT: keep in mind that you can no longer see what kind of item is being confirmed, so if someone gets access to your steam account they might sell your 4 cents worth background FOR 3 CENTS INSTEAD… to a RANDOM PERSON ON THE STEAM MARKET!!! (This happens every day, I swear.)

If you have several accounts you can add them via “Setup New Account” and check “Check all accounts for confirmations” option.
You can check the “Auto-confirm market transactions” option to automatically and silently confirm the creation of all your sell listings of: trading cards/emoticons/backgrounds/etc. No questions will be asked:SDA use - 005Read the warning and press “Yes”.
DONE. Now, you can now minimize SDA (it will hide to the tray) and as long as the SDA is running it will keep automatically confirming all those sell market listings you create (in my case – with delay of 10 seconds between each auto-confirm).


Before you ask:

You need to confirm in SDA/SGMA the creation of the sell background/trading card/emotiocon listing. When someone will actually buy that – he/she and you no longer need to confirm anything. From that point that item will be sold automatically. And (hence) if you buy background/trading card/emotiocon you don’t need to confirm anything too.


Related useful links

Detailed tutorial on configuring and using “Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator”: