Steam Trade Hold (Steam Escrow)

If you’ve ever gone through a Steam trade before and found yourself getting stuck in a trade hold, you’ll know how frustrating it is. This is especially true if you’re trying to process a quick trade through. Naturally, the first thing to do is get exceptionally mad at Steam. After all, everything is legit and proper with the trades you’re doing.

However, you need to know that this is done for security reasons. If you have been a friend with the person that you’re looking to trade with for over one year, then the trade itself will be held in escrow for 24 hours. If you’ve been friends for less than that amount of time, then the trade will be held for 72 hours instead.

Why Does Steam Hold Your Trades?

There are many users utilising Steam every day to trade, and many of these are actually being scammed as well. This sees them lose their items on a daily basis, so in a bid to make Steam a lot more secure, it has brought in a two-way authentication. This requires that you not only accept a trade via your desktop computer, but also via a Steam application that operates through your phone.

Through this, the prevention of unauthorised access to your account is in play. So, your CS:GO skins and additional items can be considered a lot safer.

Why Steam Escrow Is a Good Thing

Naturally, the first course of action is to think that Steam is purposely putting you through obstacles. It stands out as being an inconvenience because you now have to authorise the trades through your smartphone or tablet. However, this isn’t an inconvenience at all. It works completely in your favour as an added security measure.

At one point, the number of Steam users being hijacked each and every day was huge. Steam could not handle the amount of cases building up, and in certain situations the support team were not able to help with getting those items back, either. However, if you were in possession of high-value skins and these were lost and had no chance of being regained, you’d likely be a lot angrier than having to wait through two forms of authentication. With this system in place, there isn’t any way of someone hijacking your Steam account now.

How to Remove the Escrow

You can make use of a number of ways to go about getting around the escrow period, which include the following:

Using a Smartphone

Download the Steam app from the Google Play Store via an Android device or the Apple Store for iOS devices. Simply sign in to your Steam account through this app and open the menu found on the top-left side of the screen. Be sure to select Steam Guard there and visit the Settings section. From there, select the very first option of ‘Get Steam Guard Codes on My Phone’.
Then, input your phone number and Steam will send you a code via text message. Enter this code that you’re sent and make a note of the recovery code. You’ll need this in case you lose access to your smartphone or tablet. You can then proceed with the trade.

Every time that you make a trade, you will receive a notification to your phone with the code to approve authentication or trade confirmation. Should you not receive this notification, then simply open up the app and visit Steam Guard where you’ll find the current code.

Without a Smartphone

If you don’t have a smartphone or a tablet on you, you can make use of a PC or MAC. To do this, you need to follow these simple steps:

  • On a PC, you need to install the WinAuth program. This is a basic piece of software that gives you the ability to control multiple authentications for several games. You’ll need to use a phone capable of receiving SMS messages anyway, so that you’re able to link your number to your Steam account. If you’re not in possession of a phone, then simply ask a friend or family member to use theirs. You’ll not need to use it all the time, just to confirm the SMS code when you install the WinAuth program.
  • On a MAC, you can go to the site. This is a free platform, and the software will automatically download sponsored apps. This can be a little bit of a hassle, as you might find your computer being cluttered with apps you don’t specifically want or need. However, it is free, so don’t forget that. If you really don’t have access to a smartphone or tablet, then this is sort of like a last resort.

How Long Does the Steam Hold Take to Be Removed?

Should you now opt to set the Steam Guard Authenticator, it will take a total of 7 days for the trade hold to be removed. After this, you’ll be able to proceed with quick and secure trades. Remember though, during this cooldown period, you cannot cancel any of your trades on hold. If you do, you’ll have to wait another 7 days to process such through.

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