Setting Up Windows on Your Steam Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide


The gaming universe has long contemplated the possibility of uniting the robustness of PC gaming with the portability of a handheld console. Valve Corporation’s Steam Deck bridges that gap, offering an unprecedented gaming platform to enthusiasts.

Amongst the gaming community, there is a persistent curiosity about the seemingly intricate steps necessary to equip the Steam Deck with Windows, enhancing its versatility even further.

Is Windows Installation on Steam Deck a Lengthy Process?

Contrary to popular belief, outfitting your shiny new Steam Deck with Windows is a breeze, taking less than a quarter-hour to accomplish.

So, what do you need to embark on this Windows installation adventure on your Steam Deck?

The following items are essential for the installation process on your Steam Deck game console –

  • A UHS-1 microSD card, boasting a minimum of 32GB capacity
  • A USB flash drive, also with no less than 32GB of free space
  • A USB-C docking station with an available USB slot
  • And not to forget, a separate computer running Windows

Challenges You May Encounter With Windows Installation on Steam Deck

Indubitably, the process isn’t without its trials, particularly since running Windows might present some hiccups. Booting the OS from a microSD card could prove a safe haven, preserving your primary SteamOS installation. This workaround can effectively transform your Steam Deck into a stand-in for your regular computer.

Steam Deck

Here’s an illustrated guide for installing Windows on the Steam Deck.

Please be aware that since the Steam Deck isn’t officially sanctioned to support Windows 11, which needs a TPM, this could be a sticking point. The Steam Deck does not come with TPM, but a workaround can still have Windows 11 operating minus guaranteed updates.

Detailed Steps to Install Windows on the Steam Deck’s Solid-State Drive

  • Initiate the procedure by crafting a Windows installation USB.
  • Secure the Windows media creation tool and use it to make an installer on your flash drive.
  • Shut off the Steam Deck and plug in the USB drive via a USB-C hub.
  • Invoke the Steam Deck’s boot manager by powering on while pressing the volume-down button, then select the USB drive loaded with the Windows installer.
  • Pick the version of Windows you desire and click ‘Install now.’ It’s prudent to connect a keyboard and mouse for this part to ease the flow.
  • Proceed with activating Windows by keying in your product key.
  • Opt for ‘Custom: install Windows only’ and get set to clear the partitions on the Steam Deck to pave the way for Windows.
  • Ensure you’ve backed up your data on Steam Cloud as your games, configurations, and media saves will be wiped out in this phase.
  • Select the most capacious partition and hit ‘delete,’ which will then display as ‘Unallocated space.’
  • Trail the ‘Next’ prompt, triggering the Windows installation on your device.
  • Post the automatic reboot, you’ll be whisked into a regular Windows setup process.
  • Celebrate the installation of Windows on your Steam Deck by configuring the ‘Display Orientation’ to ‘Landscape’ in the ‘Settings > System > Display’ menu.
  • Prepare another USB with Steam Deck’s Windows drivers for installation. This helps ensure a recovery path now that SteamOS ceases to operate.

Thinking About Booting from an External MicroSD or USB Drive?

If that’s your route of choice, arm yourself with additional tools like Rufus, alongside the Windows drivers specific to the Steam Deck. Venturing this way is slightly more involved than the primary method.

Keen for additional insights on this process? Encounter any difficulties? Reach out to us, and we’ll guide you through each step of installing Windows on your Steam Deck.

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