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How to install and format SD card on Steam Deck


Steam Deck became a popular name after its release because of its powerful hardware and extensive game library. However, who doesn’t want to enhance the device’s storage capacity and flexibility? Users can leverage the SD card slot for additional space and in this guide, we will walk through the straightforward process to install and format an SD card on the Steam Deck. Whether it’s to expand the game library or manage files effectively, with a few steps, we can minimize the gaming experience and ensure seamless access to our favorite titles.

How to install and format the SD Card on Steam Deck?

How to install and format SD card on Steam Deck

Well first and foremost, it’s really necessary to check whether the format of microSD is compatible with Steam Deck or not, and that is ext4, a Linux-friendly format. Now let’s see how to format the card, and the quickest and most convenient way to set it up is right on the Stream Deck.

  1. Firstly, slot the microSD card facing up into the bottom of the Steam Deck and secure it well in the available space just below the lower right corner of the screen.
  2. Now, click the Steam button, and navigate to the Setting option.
  3. Select System, scroll down to find the System Settings option, and open it.
  4. Once there, go to the Format SD Card option, and click the Format button.

This procedure will take some time and will hit the users with a data losing warning; however, that’s it. Your SD Card will be formatted.

Read: How to reset Steam Deck

Furthermore, if a user wants the microSD card as their main storage, then they can head back to Settings, scroll down to Storage, find the Internal Drive, and then the new MicroSD Card. If it is for the first time, select the Internal Storage option, click the X button to Make it default, and set it as the primary storage. Next up, move to the MicroSD Card, and select Make Default for it too. And if you don’t want the same settings for freshly installed games, then don’t worry; a prompt will be provided asking the users to select the place.

Read: Steam Deck Proton Compatibility Tool failed

How do I fix Steam Deck unable to format SD card?

To fix a Steam Deck SD card formatting error, ensure your SD card isn’t locked and is inserted correctly. Format the card to FAT32 using Steam Deck’s format tool in the System Settings. If problems persist, use a PC to format it to exFAT. Back up important files beforehand to avoid data loss.

Should Steam Deck SD card be ExFAT or NTFS?

It’s quite confusing as to what to choose, but let’s simplify it. If there is no Stream OS, and users want to access it on Windows, then NTFS is the choice, however, if accessing games is the demand, then ExFAT is the answer. It is also recommended for providing maximum compatibility and optimal performance. exFAT is a file system that is well-supported across different platforms, including Linux. It allows for large file sizes and is suitable for use with external storage devices like SD cards.

Read: How to install Google Chrome on Steam Deck

Why is Steam Deck not reading my SD card?

There can be various reasons why Steam Deck is not reading the SD Card. One of the most basic ones includes random bugs or glitches, low battery charges, damaged SD card (malfunctioning or corrupted), or as mentioned earlier, incompatible SD card. Start the troubleshooting guide by making sure that the battery is at a good level, followed by removing the SD card, putting it back, and restarting the Steam Deck.

How to install and format SD card on Steam Deck

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