How to Install Windows on Steam Deck (Easy Guide).
The Steam Deck will get a ton of issues proper for a handheld gaming console. It’s transportable, reasonably priced, and more importantly, hackable, which makes it the proper device for all of the tinkerers on the market. However, like several piece of expertise, proudly owning a Steam Deck does have just a few ache factors. For starters, the record of supported Steam video games remains to be rising, and in response to ProtonDB, over 50% of the video games within the library are unplayable. This is as a result of Steam Deck comes with SteamOS, which relies on a fork of Arch Linux. Hence, likelihood is that your favourite sport in all probability refuses to begin on the Deck because of anti-cheat software program. However, there’s a resolution to the identical – putting in Windows. Yes, it’s attainable to put in Windows in your Steam Deck and even play Xbox Games Pass titles on the hand held console. So, on this information, we’ll present you the way to do precisely that.
Install Windows on Steam Deck (2023)
Valve affords customers the pliability to put in Windows or any working system on their Steam Deck handheld console. Windows drivers for Steam Deck are available. However, the console doesn’t help dual-booting on the time of writing this text. Valve says they’re engaged on a instrument that will permit customers to simply dual-boot SteamOS and one other OS.
Now, there are a few methods to go about putting in Windows on a Steam Deck – organising a dual-boot configuration within the inner SSD or putting in Windows on a microSD card to make use of it anytime, anyplace. The former is nice when you’ve got the 512GB variant however requires prior data of repartitioning drives. The latter, however, is the go-to methodology when you’ve got the Steam Deck 64GB variant. Below, we now have proven you how one can set up Windows 10 on Steam Deck using a microSD card. You can consult with the desk beneath to navigate to the specified part.
Prerequisites to Install Windows on Steam Deck
Your Steam Deck (after all)
A 256GB or above microSD card for Steam Deck – we’ll set up Windows on this storage device.
USB microSD card adapter – required to attach the SD card to your Windows machine and create a bootable drive.
Windows 10/11 Media Creation instrument
Windows PC with Rufus put in to create a bootable Windows 10 SD card. We used this instrument to create a Windows 11 bootable USB and bypass TPM, on-line account necessities, and different restrictions.
Windows drivers for Steam Deck, which we now have linked beneath.
How to Create a Windows 10 Bootable SD Card
To get began, you’ll need to obtain the Windows 10 Media Creation instrument from Microsoft’s web site and use Rufus to create a bootable SD card to make use of along with your Steam Deck. We suggest putting in Windows 10 over Windows 11 in your Steam Deck as a result of it’s lighter and more steady, and therefore, ought to assist launch video games sooner. That mentioned, let’s get began:
1. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation instrument (go to) and launch it. If you want to set up Windows 11 in your Steam Deck, obtain the Windows 11 Media Creation instrument (go to) as a substitute. Most of the steps beneath stay the identical for Windows 10 and 11.
2. Once launched, give it a while to arrange issues and click on “Next.”
3. Here, choose the “Create installation media” possibility and click on “Next.”
4. On the subsequent web page, go away the whole lot as default and click on “Next.”
5. In the “Choose which media to use” web page, choose the ISO file possibility and click on “Next” on the backside proper.
6. Next, browse the situation the place you wish to obtain the Windows 10/ 11 ISO file and click on Save.
7. The ISO file will then begin downloading. Meanwhile, set up and arrange Rufus to create a bootable SD card. Download and set up Rufus from its official web site and launch it.
8. Insert your SD card into the USB stick and plug it into your pc. Rufus will mechanically detect and show its title. Ensure the title of your drive matches what’s being proven within the instrument.
9. If it does, click on the “Select” button to decide on an ISO file.
10. Select the Windows 10 ISO downloaded within the above steps and click on “Open.”
11. Ensure you choose the “Windows To Go” possibility from the “Image option” drop-down. This creates a Windows image that boots proper into the OS setup (on Steam Deck, on this case) and retains no matter adjustments you make within the working system. Once carried out, click on “Start” on the backside proper.
12. On the subsequent step, choose Windows 10 Pro and verify the “Prevent Windows To Go from accessing internal disks” and “Disable data collection” choices. That’s all. Once the method is full, you’ll have Windows 10 put in in your SD card.
14. Now, all that you must do is head to this Steam Deck help web page and obtain all of the Windows drivers. Then, make a brand new folder referred to as “Drivers” within the SD card and extract all ZIP information on this folder.
How to Install Windows on Your Steam Deck
Now that we’re carried out making ready a bootable SD card with Windows 10 on it, it’s time in addition into the put in image on Steam Deck. Here is how that works:
1. Insert the SD card into your Steam Deck. Then, press the Steam button, navigate to the “Power” possibility, and press the “A” button.
2. In the “Power” menu, choose the “Shutdown” choice to energy off the console.
3. Once turned off, maintain the quantity down button and press the facility button till you hear a beep. You will then boot into SteamOS recovery.
4. Here, seek for the SD card underneath “EFI Boot Devices” within the recovery and boot into it by urgent the “A” button.
5. You ought to now boot instantly into the Windows setup. This may take some time relying on how briskly your SD card or USB stick is. Also, as you possibly can see within the image, the Windows 10 setup runs in a vertical orientation on the Steam Deck.
6. Go by means of the standard Windows setup, and as soon as carried out, change the orientation from the “Display” settings. Go to Settings -> Display and choose “Landscape” orientation right here.
7. Then, open the File Explorer and go to “SD card -> Drivers folder” and set up each Windows driver. Some of them will be put in by double-clicking whereas just a few require you to right-click and choose Install.
8. Once put in, restart your console, and voila! You have efficiently put in Windows 10 in your Steam Deck! You can now insert the USB or SD Card or an exterior SSD and boot into Windows on to play your favourite video games that aren’t accessible on SteamOS.
Windows on Steam Deck: FAQ
Can I dual-boot Windows on a Steam Deck’s inner SSD?
Although Valve says dual-booting isn’t attainable proper now, there’s a strategy to dual-boot Windows alongside SteamOS on a Steam Deck. However, we wouldn’t recommend doing the identical, because it requires twiddling with the SteamOS partitions.
How does Windows carry out on a Steam Deck?
For probably the most part, Windows performs fairly effectively on the Steam Deck. The video games carry out as you’ll count on them to carry out on a regular PC.
Play Games By Installing Windows on Steam Deck
Windows on Steam Deck makes it simpler for folk to play video games which might be unavailable on SteamOS, resembling Fortnite, PUBG, Destiny 2, and Genshin Impact. That mentioned, Windows 10 won’t be fairly as optimized as SteamOS, and the battery life may take a success. Not to say, downloading a number of video games from an SD card or USB is sort of sluggish, therefore, we suggest using an exterior SSD as a substitute. For an optimum expertise, we suggest a USB 3.0 stick or a Class A2 UHS-1 SD Card that may attain no less than 120MB/s learn and write speeds. If you’ve tried working Windows on a Steam Deck using an SD card, do share your expertise within the feedback part beneath.