Windows drivers for Steam Deck console now available
The Steam Deck is the new handheld gaming PC from Valve, which ships with a customized operating system based on Linux. Even though most people will likely stick with the default SteamOS, especially since it can run some Windows games with the Proton compatibility layer, Valve also promised that you would be able to install Windows on the Steam Deck. Now that the console is starting to ship to buyers, Valve has published help articles and driver downloads for setting up Windows.
Valve said in a community news post on Thursday, “Like any other PC, you can install other applications and OSes if you’d like. For those interested in installing Windows, you’ll need a few additional drivers to have the best experience.” There’s a new dedicated help page for Windows on the Steam Deck, which includes driver downloads for Wi-Fi, graphics, Bluetooth, and audio. Besides that, the process is similar to installing Windows on any PC: make a bootable installation USB drive, plug it into the Steam Deck, power down the console, then hold down the power and volume down buttons to open the boot menu.
There are a few catches to Windows on the Steam Deck right now. Windows 11 doesn’t officially work yet, because Valve is still working on a BIOS update that enables the Steam Deck’s TPM module. Wi-Fi also isn’t available until you install the driver, so if you need an internet connection during the initial setup process, you’ll have to use an Ethernet USB adapter. Finally, you can’t dual-boot SteamOS and Windows right now — the SteamOS installer doesn’t support dual-boot partitioning yet.
Valve is also making it clear that you won’t get the same technical support with a Windows installation as you would with SteamOS. The company said, “We are providing these resources as-is and are unfortunately unable to offer ‘Windows on Deck’ support.”