Steam (software)

How to Get Refunds for Steam Games

Steam offers a generous refund system. You can refund any game you purchase through Steam, for any reason—whether it isn’t working properly on your PC or you just don’t find it fun.

This feature encourages you to try games you’re not sure about. If you don’t like a game, you can always refund it and get your money back. It’s particularly useful now that so few games offer free demos.

When You Can Refund a Game

There are two basic requirements for when you can get a refund: You must have purchased the game in the last 14 days, and you must have played the game for less than two hours.

If you meet these requirements, Valve promises it will refund you for any reason. You can ask for a refund on a game even if you don’t meet these requirements—Valve will take a look at your request, but won’t guarantee a refund.

You can’t refund games that you purchased outside of Steam and added to Steam with a product key (at least, not through Steam—you’d have to request a refund through the original retailer). While you can sometimes save money on Steam games by purchasing Steam keys from third-party game stores, this feature encourages you to buy games through Steam if you think you might want to refund them.

If you refund a lot of games, Valve may consider this “abuse” and stop offering refunds to you. “Refunds are designed to remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam—not as a way to get free games,” according to Valve’s policy. Valve doesn’t specify exactly what they consider “abuse”, but you should probably be fine as long as you’re not regularly buying a large number of games and refunding most of them.

Valve notes that refunding a game purchased before a sale and buying it at the lower sale price isn’t considered abuse. So, if you purchase a $60 game and it goes on sale for $30 a few days later, you can refund the game and purchase it at the lower price—as long as you’ve played it for less than two hours.

Your refund can be returned to the same…

Why Do Some Mac Apps Need to “Control This Computer Using Accessibility Features?”

Some apps, like Dropbox and Steam, will ask to “control this computer using accessibility features.” But what the heck does that even mean?

The wording is confusing, to say that least. What does this permission actually grant? Basically, this gives the app in question the ability to control other programs. Apple outlines their advice here:

If you’re familiar with an app, you can authorize it by clicking Open System Preferences in the alert, then selecting the checkbox for the app in the Privacy pane. If you’re unfamiliar with an app or you don’t want to give it access to your Mac at that time, click Deny in the alert.

But that just leaves more questions. Why do you have to give this permission at all? What does giving this permission mean—will such applications really “control this computer”? And why is this called “Accessibility” access, instead of just system access? Let’s break this down.

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Why Do I Have to Do This?

The process of enabling Accessibility Settings is a bit convoluted. You need to open System Preferences, then head to Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility. From there you need to click the lock icon in the bottom-left corner, enter you password, and only then can you grant your application access.

So why do you have to do this? The answer, in short, is to protect your security.

By default, Mac apps are self-contained, and can’t change the way you interact with the system or other applications. This is a very good thing. It prevents sketchy things from happening, like games you’ve downloaded logging your keystrokes or malware clicking buttons in your browser.

But some applications need to control other applications to…