How to Install Windows 11 on Steam Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide

Installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck is an exciting way to expand the capabilities of this handheld gaming device. By following a few steps, you can run Windows 11 and have access to a vast array of games and applications not available on the SteamOS. Let’s dive into the details and get you up and running with Windows on your Steam Deck.

Step by Step Tutorial: Installing Windows 11 on Steam Deck

Before we start, it’s important to note that installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck will require a bit of time and patience. But don’t worry, I’ll guide you through each step to make the process as smooth as possible.

Step 1: Prepare a USB Drive with Windows 11 Installation Media

To begin, you’ll need a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage. Download the Windows 11 installation media from the official Microsoft website and use the media creation tool to create a bootable USB drive.

Creating a bootable USB drive might sound daunting, but it’s pretty straightforward. The media creation tool will guide you through the process, ensuring your USB drive is set up correctly. Make sure to follow the on-screen instructions carefully.

Step 2: Enable Developer Mode on Steam Deck

Next, access your Steam Deck’s settings and navigate to the ‘System’ section. Here, you’ll find the option to enable Developer Mode. Turn this on to proceed with the installation.

Enabling Developer Mode allows you to make deeper system changes that are necessary for installing Windows. It’s a simple toggle, but be aware that it opens up your device to potential risks if you’re not careful with what you install or modify.

Step 3: Access the Boot Manager and Select the USB Drive

With the Steam Deck powered off, insert your bootable USB drive. Then, hold down the ‘Volume Down’ button while pressing the power button to access the Boot Manager. From here, you’ll select the USB drive to start the Windows 11 installation process.

Accessing the Boot Manager is crucial as it lets you boot from the USB drive instead of the Steam Deck’s internal storage. This step is a bit like choosing which road to take on a road trip – make sure you pick the USB path!

Step 4: Follow the Windows 11 Installation Process

The Windows 11 installer will guide you through the setup. Choose your language, time, keyboard input, and other preferences. When prompted, select ‘Custom: Install Windows only’ to start a fresh installation.

The installation process is similar to installing Windows on a desktop PC. You’ll be asked a series of questions to tailor the installation to your preferences. Take your time to read through each option and make your choices accordingly.

Step 5: Install Steam Deck Drivers for Windows 11

After Windows 11 is installed, you’ll need to download and install the necessary drivers for your Steam Deck. These can be found on the Steam Deck’s official resource page.

Drivers are the software that allows Windows 11 to communicate with your Steam Deck’s hardware. It’s like teaching a new language to someone – the drivers are the vocabulary that Windows needs to understand the Steam Deck.

After you complete the installation, you’ll have a fully functional Windows 11 operating system on your Steam Deck. You can now enjoy the flexibility of having both a gaming device and a portable PC in one.

Tips: Installing Windows 11 on Steam Deck

  • Make sure your Steam Deck is fully charged or plugged in before starting the installation process.
  • Use a high-quality USB drive to avoid any issues during the boot and installation process.
  • Back up any important data on your Steam Deck before installing Windows 11, as this process may wipe your device.
  • Consider using an external keyboard and mouse during the installation process for easier navigation.
  • Keep in mind that installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck may void the warranty, so proceed with caution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will installing Windows 11 on my Steam Deck erase my data?

Yes, installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck will likely erase all data on the device. It’s important to back up any important files before proceeding with the installation.

Can I switch back to SteamOS after installing Windows 11?

Switching back to SteamOS after installing Windows 11 is possible, but it will require you to reinstall SteamOS and may result in the loss of data. It’s like moving back to a house you’ve lived in before – you can do it, but you might have to start from scratch.

Do I need a Windows 11 license to install it on my Steam Deck?

Yes, to use Windows 11 legally, you’ll need a valid license. You can purchase one from Microsoft or authorized retailers.

Will all my Steam games work on Windows 11 installed on the Steam Deck?

Most Steam games should work on Windows 11 installed on the Steam Deck, but there may be some exceptions. Check compatibility for each game to ensure they’ll run smoothly.

Can I use my Steam Deck’s touch screen with Windows 11?

The touch screen functionality may not be fully supported in Windows 11 on the Steam Deck. You may need to rely on external input devices for optimal navigation.


  1. Prepare a USB drive with Windows 11 installation media.
  2. Enable Developer Mode on Steam Deck.
  3. Access the Boot Manager and select the USB drive.
  4. Follow the Windows 11 installation process.
  5. Install Steam Deck drivers for Windows 11.


Installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck can open up a whole new world of possibilities. From gaming to productivity, having a full-fledged operating system at your fingertips is a game-changer. While the process requires a bit of technical know-how, it’s a rewarding experience that can enhance your Steam Deck’s functionality. Just remember to back up your data, follow the steps carefully, and enjoy the versatility of your newly upgraded device. With the capability to run Windows 11, your Steam Deck just got a lot more powerful. Happy gaming, and here’s to taking your portable PC experience to the next level!

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