What is Steam Trade Hold and how to avoid it?

Jun 24 • 4 min read

Steam is a platform that connects millions of players across the world and allows them to interact in their favorite games safely. On top of that, a Steam account provides many more features and benefits, such as offering users to trade, buy, and sell virtual game items. Because there are so many, and not all of them are your closest friends, Steam has implemented a few security measures to avoid any scams or illegal activity while trading items on the market with your account.

Protecting Your Steam Account

There are a few very effective methods to always protect your account. As you are already probably aware, the first way is to have a unique username and a secure and strong password, and frequent password resets as well.

But sadly, that's not enough in today's world as there are various ways people can use to find out your account details like your email, password, and similar. Nonetheless, if you plan on joining CS:GO trading sites or the community market, it's always a priority to secure your Steam account. Here are a few of the best ways to do exactly that.

Activate Steam Guard or Mobile Authenticator

Steam Guard is an amazing tool used for account security that prevents anyone from taking over your account. This protects everything from your Steam wallet funds, inventory items, sensitive details, and more. Steam Guard is also a very important user protection tool that you can't trade items without.

Here is how to activate your Steam Guard and protect your Steam accounts:

  • Launch Steam and Log In
  • Click on “Steam” at the top right corner of the screen
  • Go to “Settings”
  • Activate Steam Guard under “Manage Steam Guard Account Security”

Once you've activated your Steam Guard and two-factor mobile authenticator, you will have to perform extra security steps to log into your account. Each time you log in you will receive a new unique code either to your email or as a text message, depending on how you configured the settings.

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What Is a Community Market Hold?

Another layer of protection for all Steam accounts is known as trade hold. This is a term that all players hate when it comes to item trade on the Steam Community Market. A trade hold or market hold is when Steam prevents you from conducting trades for a certain amount of time. To be more precise, there is a slight difference when it comes to a trade or market hold on Steam.

Trade holds occur after a trade has been accepted by both accounts. After you and the other party both confirm the trade, the items are held by Steam for a certain period of time. This can last anywhere from 1 day and even up to 15 days. It's something that makes trades on Steam so annoying, as you also lose time when you send trade offers and wait for everyone to respond individually. Getting a new item on the platform can definitely be quite a hassle for any user.

Market holds, on the other hand, can take place before you even begin trading with other users on the Steam web browser or mobile app. This happens when owners place their items for sale and create market listings. Steam holds them for a period of time and then makes them available for other user accounts to purchase.

Why Do I Have to Wait 15 Days to Trade on Steam?

You, and many other users, may not be too keen on trade holds, but they are very important when it comes to protecting your account. It's crucial to have the latest security and privacy settings on Steam. Tools like the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator can save your high-value items and protect you from thieves. You can set this up on each device that you use so that you're always protected. Steam trade holds are also important, and waiting for 7 or 15 days can be worth it when it comes to making sure no one steals your valuable items when you're making trades.

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Unfortunately, anyone who doesn't use Steam Guard for trading or the community market and protect their account will not be allowed to trade on the mobile app or web browser. Trading will be restricted for that account and later trade holds that come will be even longer. Anyone who hasn't activated Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator in the last 7 days before making a trade will receive the maximum period for an item hold, which is 15 days. These market restrictions are what allow Valve to avoid having to deal with criminals and thieves, and is what protects users from scams and allows safe trading. It's a simple yet effective answer to the issue.

Do I Have to Wait 7 Days to Trade on Steam Community Market?

Valve Corporation doesn't force everyone to wait 7 days every time they confirm a trade offer on the platform. However, this can always happen if you should cancel a trade after both trade confirmations. If you cancel the trade for some reason after both of the parties have confirmed, then the items will immediately be held by Steam for 7 days for your protection. Nothing, not even Steam support or a password reset, can get your items out of this until the 7 days pass.

How Can I Remove Trade Holds?

In the old days, it was easy to see this feature and even experience a trade ban if any suspicious activity was detected by Valve. The Steam client didn't take nicely to scammers because there were so many of them. However, after the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator was implemented everything became much safer in the Community Market. Owners could feel safer knowing it was hard to fall under a scam case if they weren't tricked by some friend or colleague.

So, if you're using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator and a physical device to always confirm your trading transactions you can avoid holds altogether. This allows you to trade Dota 2, CSGO, Team Fortress 2, or any other items from different games in the community market that you wish safely and securely.