How to take a screenshot on the Steam Deck and share it forward

How to take a screenshot on the Steam Deck and share it forward

If you can’t show off your finest games and moments then did they even happen? The Steam Deck has a huge library of games to play and Steam has supported screenshots for pretty much forever. But there’s no obvious method for how to take a screenshot on the Steam Deck.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, because it is. It’s one of a number of features that are hidden behind a combination of button presses in lieu of a dedicated button such as that on the Xbox Series X|S controller or the Nintendo Switch. Sharing those screenshots though is a bit of a process.

Here’s how you take a screenshot on the Steam Deck and share it forward.

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How to take a screenshot on the Steam Deck

In Steam on the desktop, you simply have to hit the F12 key by default to take a screenshot of your game. The Steam Deck obviously doesn’t have a keyboard, but don’t worry, the feature has been remapped to a different keypress.

Steam Deck screenshot prompt

To take a screenshot on the Steam Deck simply press the Steam + R1 buttons at the same time. That’s it. If successful, you’ll get a notification pop up in the bottom right-hand corner telling you a screenshot was taken. To see the image, you can simply tap on this notification, or at a later date through the media menu. Access this by pressing the Steam button and selecting Media from the sidebar.

How to share screenshots from the Steam Deck

Steam Deck media library

If you’re taking screenshots, then there’s a good chance you’re going to want to share them somewhere other than your Steam Deck. Unfortunately, this is where the whole process falls down a little right now. Steam’s screenshot system is definitely built for the desktop, and even then, it’s pretty bad.

All screenshots will be saved to your Steam Deck locally, but to share them you first need to upload them to your Steam account and make them public. Hopefully, Steam Deck gets a more elegant solution in the future, but to make this as painless as possible it’s best to use a PC as well as the Deck. And for some reason you can share a QR code for people to scan from your Steam Deck, or you know, screenshot that and follow the same process detailed below. It’s pretty odd.

How to upload screenshots to Steam

Steam Deck screenshot upload

By default, your screenshots won’t upload to your Steam account and they will be marked as private so you can’t share them. So let’s fix that.

1. Open up Media on the Steam Deck by pressing the Steam button and selecting it from the sidebar.
2. Select your screenshot and press the Options button (the one with three lines on).
3. Select Upload.

Right now you have to do each image individually, so it’s a good idea to try and remember to do it regularly. Hopefully, a future update will provide a way to bulk select images.

How to make screenshots public

Steam Deck screenshot visibility

The second stage of being able to share your screenshots is to make them public.

1. Open up Media on the Steam Deck by pressing the Steam button and selecting it from the sidebar.
2. Navigate to the Private tab.
3. Select your screenshot and press the Options button.
4. Select Change visibility > Make Public

Again, you have to do each individually right now, but once public, you can actually share them on social media or save them to another PC.

How to share screenshots from Steam on the desktop

Sharing screenshots from Steam Deck

This part is best done in the Steam desktop app either on another PC or from the desktop view on the Steam Deck since the client is the same. You’ll be able to open up your images from the URL applied to them to save to local storage, or use that same URL to share from your Steam account to social media. Once you’re in the desktop client, follow these steps.

1. Click on your profile along the top and select Activity.
2. Select screenshots from the sidebar.
3. Click the screenshot you want to share.
4. Click the cog on the right-hand side and choose Share.

You can now one-click share to your Steam activity feed or to social media by copying the URL. This will send people to your Steam profile to see your screenshots. To get the image, click on it to open in another window, right-click, copy the URL and open this in a browser. You’ll just have the raw image to save to your local machine.

    Valve's first portable gaming PC, the Steam Deck is one of the hottest devices of 2022 with a huge library of games to play on it

So, it’s a pretty convoluted process, but right now it’s what we’ve got. If you’re going to need images regularly, using an external capture card might be a less tiresome process. But hopefully, Valve will make it easier in the future. There are no alternative cloud services integrated either other than Steam, nor any direct social media sharing.

About author

Richard Devine
Richard Devine

Editor at XDA, I've been covering tech for over a decade from mobile to gaming and everything in between. Direct enquiries to [email protected]

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