Steam Deck is a powerful handheld gaming console that allows users to play their favorite games on the go. It has gained massive popularity among gamers since its launch, and one of the most common queries is regarding running Windows on the device.
Well, the good news is that it is entirely possible to run Windows on Steam Deck. This article will walk you through the necessary steps to achieve that, along with detailed explanations and some tips and tricks to ensure a smooth running process.
Steps to Run Windows on Steam Deck:
Step 1: Download Windows
The first step is to download the latest version of Windows from the official website. Select the appropriate version depending on your requirements, whether it is the 32-bit or 64-bit version. Also, ensure that you have a valid product key for activation.
TIP: Use a fast and reliable internet connection to download Windows to ensure a quick and seamless download process.
Step 2: Download Rufus
Next, head over to Rufus’ official website and download it. Rufus is a utility software that creates bootable USB drives, which we will use to install Windows on Steam Deck.
TIP: Make sure to download Rufus from the official website to ensure that you don’t end up with a compromised or faulty version.
Step 3: Format USB Drive
Insert a USB drive into your computer and format it using the FAT32 file format. Remember to save any data from the USB drive that you want to keep since the formatting process will entirely erase all data from the drive.
TIP: Use a USB drive with at least 16GB of storage to ensure that it can accommodate the Windows installation files and all other necessary files for Steam Deck to run smoothly.
Step 4: Create a Bootable Drive with Rufus
Open Rufus and select the USB drive you formatted in the previous step. From the “Boot selection” option, browse and select the Windows ISO file you downloaded. Then, click on “Start” to begin the process of creating a bootable USB drive with Windows installed on it.
TIP: Do not unplug the USB drive during the bootable creation process to avoid any errors or corruptions.
Step 5: Prepare the Steam Deck
Power on the Steam Deck and enter the BIOS setup. Disable the secure boot option and enable the USB boot option to ensure that the device can boot from the USB drive. Save the changes and exit the BIOS setup.
TIP: Follow the specific instructions provided by Valve to enter the BIOS setup and make the necessary changes.
Step 6: Connect the USB Drive
Connect the USB drive that you created in step 4 to the Steam Deck using a USB-C hub. Make sure that the hub is connected to Steam Deck’s USB-C port that supports video output.
TIP: Use a USB-C hub that supports video output to ensure that you can use it to connect the Steam Deck to an external display.
Step 7: Boot from USB Drive
Power on the Steam Deck and hold the “F7” key to enter the boot menu. Select the USB drive from the list of bootable devices, and press enter to boot from it.
TIP: Be patient during the booting process, as it might take a few minutes to load the necessary files from the USB drive.
Step 8: Start Windows Installation
Once Windows has booted from the USB drive, select the language, time zone, and keyboard layout and click on “Next.” Then, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the Windows installation process.
TIP: Connect the Steam Deck to an external display to ensure that you can view the installation process on a larger screen.
Step 9: Install Drivers
After the Windows installation is complete, install the necessary drivers and updates for Steam Deck. You can download the drivers from Valve’s official website or through Windows Update.
TIP: Ensure that all components in Steam Deck are functioning correctly by checking the device manager for any missing or outdated drivers.
Step 10: Install Steam and Games
Once all drivers and updates are installed, download and install Steam on Steam Deck. You can then download and install your favorite games on Steam, just like you would on a regular PC.
TIP: Make sure to install games on Steam Deck’s microSD card to save internal storage space.
Step 11: Configure Steam Settings
Configure the Steam settings based on your preference, such as graphic settings and controller mapping. You can use the Steam controller, a third-party controller, or connect a keyboard and mouse to Steam Deck.
TIP: Use a controller or input device that is comfortable and easy to operate with Steam Deck to enhance your gaming experience.
Step 12: Enjoy Your Games on Windows
With Windows installed on Steam Deck, you can now enjoy your favorite games on the device. The powerful hardware of Steam Deck ensures that you can run most games at optimal settings, providing a deeply immersive gaming experience.
TIP: Close any unnecessary programs or tasks to ensure that Steam Deck runs smoothly without any performance issues.
Running Windows on Steam Deck might seem daunting at first, but by following these simple steps explained in detail above, you can do it with ease. With Windows installed and configured, you can enjoy a plethora of games on the go, making Steam Deck an unbeatable handheld console for gamers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Running Windows on Steam Deck
Steam Deck is a portable gaming system that allows users to play their PC games on the go. While the device runs on SteamOS, there are ways to install Windows on the Steam Deck. This can provide several advantages and disadvantages for the user.
1. Access to Windows-exclusive games: Windows has a wider selection of games than SteamOS, and running Windows on Steam Deck will grant users access to those games.
2. Better game performance: Windows is known for its better optimization for games, so running Windows on Steam Deck can result in a better gaming experience.
3. Familiarity: Those who are already familiar with using Windows will find it easier to navigate and customize the operating system.
4. Multi-tasking: Windows allows for better multi-tasking capabilities, making it easier to switch between applications and games.
5. Greater software compatibility: Windows has a wider selection of software and programs, which will enable users to run non-gaming apps on Steam Deck.
6. Customize settings: Running Windows on Steam Deck offers more advanced settings that can be customized to enhance the gaming experience.
7. Streaming options: Windows offers more streaming options for users, including game streaming and video streaming.
8. Additional storage options: With Windows, users can use external hard drives and other storage devices to store their games and files.
9. Oculus VR support: SteamVR and Oculus VR are not compatible with SteamOS, but running Windows on Steam Deck will allow users to play VR games on both platforms.
10. Games for Education: Windows has a larger selection of educational games that can be used on Steam Deck to facilitate learning.
1. Complicated installation: It can be challenging to install Windows on Steam Deck, and it requires a considerable technical knowledge.
2. Cost: Windows can be expensive, especially the latest versions. This can add to the overall cost of owning a Steam Deck.
3. Compatibility issues: Some games and software may not work correctly with Windows on Steam Deck, leading to compatibility issues.
4. Reduced battery life: As Windows is more resource-intensive than SteamOS, running Windows on Steam Deck can result in a decrease in battery life.
5. Updates: Windows requires frequent updates and can be time-consuming, especially on a portable device.
6. Security: Windows is prone to malware and viruses, which can compromise the security of the system and the user’s data.
7. Overheating: Running Windows on Steam Deck can cause the device to overheat, leading to hardware damage.
8. Reduced Portability: The added weight and bulk of Windows can make Steam Deck less portable.
9. Technical Support: Repair and technical support for Steam Deck, running Windows, can be more challenging and expensive than when using SteamOS.
10. Heating up: Running Windows on Steam Deck can cause the device to heat up, making it uncomfortable to hold and potentially dangerous.
In conclusion, running Windows on Steam Deck has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision to switch operating systems will entirely depend on the user’s preferences and needs. While it can offer better gaming performance, access to more games, and greater compatibility with non-gaming applications, it can also be challenging to install, expensive, and less portable.
1. What is Steam Deck?
Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device that allows you to play your favorite PC games on the go. It is developed by Valve Corporation and runs on a customized version of Linux.
2. Can I run Windows on Steam Deck?
Yes, it is possible to run Windows on Steam Deck. However, it requires some technical knowledge and may void your warranty.
3. Why would I want to run Windows on Steam Deck?
Running Windows on Steam Deck can give you access to a wider range of games and applications that are not available on Linux. It can also improve compatibility with certain games and peripherals.
4. How do I install Windows on Steam Deck?
You can install Windows on Steam Deck using a USB flash drive and a Windows ISO file. However, the process is more complex than installing it on a regular PC and requires some technical expertise.
5. Is there a risk of damaging my Steam Deck if I install Windows?
Installing Windows on Steam Deck may void your warranty and there is a risk of damaging it if not done properly. It is recommended to seek professional help or follow a comprehensive guide.
6. Can I switch between Linux and Windows on Steam Deck?
Yes, it is possible to dual boot Steam Deck with both Linux and Windows. However, it requires more storage space and may affect the performance of your device.
7. Will running Windows on Steam Deck affect its battery life?
Running Windows on Steam Deck may affect its battery life and performance. Windows is more resource-intensive than Linux, and certain applications and games may consume more energy.
8. How do I know if my games are compatible with Steam Deck?
You can check the game’s system requirements and compatibility with Steam Deck on its official page or consult with the game’s developer or publisher.
9. Do I need to purchase Windows to run it on Steam Deck?
Yes, you need to purchase a license for Windows. It is not included with Steam Deck and must be bought separately.
10. Can I use a controller with Steam Deck when running Windows?
Yes, you can use a controller with Steam Deck when running Windows. However, certain games may require specific drivers or configuration.
11. What are the minimum system requirements for running Windows on Steam Deck?
The minimum system requirements for running Windows on Steam Deck are not officially confirmed yet. However, it is recommended to have at least 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, and a compatible processor and graphics card.
12. What are the potential benefits of running Windows on Steam Deck?
Running Windows on Steam Deck can give you access to a larger library of games and applications, improve compatibility, and allow you to use certain features or programs that are not available on Linux.
13. Is it worth running Windows on Steam Deck?
It depends on your needs and preferences. If you want to play games or use applications that are not available on Linux, running Windows on Steam Deck may be worth it. However, it requires some technical knowledge and may affect the performance and battery life of your device.
Running Windows on Steam Deck is a straightforward process that requires a little bit of technical know-how. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly install Windows and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer, including the ability to run legacy applications and games.
Of course, it’s worth noting that running Windows on Steam Deck may void your warranty, so proceed at your own risk. Still, for those who are willing to take the plunge, the rewards can be significant. With Windows installed, your Steam Deck becomes an incredibly versatile device that can handle just about anything you throw at it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide on how to run Windows on Steam Deck. We hope that you found it helpful and informative, and that you’re now ready to take your gaming and productivity to the next level.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or consult other resources online. With a little bit of work and some experimentation, you too can turn your Steam Deck into a powerful and versatile machine that can accomplish just about anything.
Until next time, happy gaming!