How to add additional storage on the Steam Deck and Dock

Running out of storage space for your games on your Steam Deck? We have provided you step by step guide to increase storage space on your game console in no time.

valve steam surface He was one of the The best portable game consoles since its inception. It features a powerful ability to handle AAA titles without any effort. However, our only gripe is whether Valve threw in more storage space.

Even though Valve is running out of space, we can help you easily upgrade your console. Stop raiding your toolbox, where you can simply slip in micro sd card. You can too Add an external drive If you still need an alternative solution.

But beware: the combination of Linux and Proton can present unwanted challenges. We give you all the details about upgrading your Steam Deck storage below.

Here’s how to properly format your external drive for use with Steam Deck

The first thing you will notice is whether you are using it official dock, or a third-party option, is that nothing will appear within the game mode storage options. This is because the drive you just brought in needs to be formatted for Linux.

Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to sacrifice the drive in favor of SteamOS, and hook it up to Linux until you reformat it again. There are programs like Ext2Read To see these items on Windows and macOS, you’ll need to use mac fuse To see the files, but unless you want to do more work, just get a drive selected for your Steam Deck.

We’re not sure if this will work on JSAUX M.2 Dock’s Internal Drive, but should work with any external USB drive.

Set your Steam Deck password and enter desktop mode

First of all, if you’ve never switched to desktop mode, or have been asked to set a password while in desktop mode, we must do so.

To get to desktop mode, tap steam button (use your mouse to press the default Steam button in the corner or the guide button on your console if you’re connected to a dock) and then the power button. That should give you the option to head into desktop mode.

From here, go to the taskbar and search for Konsole. This will bring up a terminal where we can set the password for the first time.

Obviously, if you’ve already done this, Skip this step.

If you don’t have a keyboard connected, we recommend that you do so, but if that isn’t an option, press Steam+X to bring up the virtual keyboard.

In the terminal, type: passwd You will be asked to change the password.

Partition your external drive Steam Deck: KDE Partition Manager

Where sections

After you’re done, go back to the taskbar search and search for KDE Partition Manager. This is where you will format your drive to the correct format.

If you have a large drive and still want to access it on other operating systems, you’ll be able to partition it here. For example, if you choose a 1 TB drive and you still want to save half of it for Windows, right-click the partition and choose Resize/Move from the context menu. Then type in the amount of space you want the Windows side to be. Think of it like making two or more engines out of one.

Once you have clicked on your password in the partition manager, click Partition after selecting your chosen drive. From this drop-down menu, click on Unmount. You can now make changes.

If the drive is already in use elsewhere and is still being formatted for other systems, right-click and press Delete on the partition. This will set up KDE to treat it as a new drive when we hit apply.

Any changes won’t take effect until you hit Apply, so if you decide to undo, just press Undo or close KDE before continuing.

Set to ext4

On the empty partition, right-click and press New. This will bring up another menu and we want to choose Ext4.

Ext4 is basically the required drive format. As in Windows, with FAT32, or mac With Extended Journal, this is the way to get SteamOS to recognize it as a place to install games once we’re back in gaming mode.

If you have no intention of using game mode to play the games you have installed here, exFAT will take care of everything. This can be for those who want Simulate or play games from this drive between Windows and SteamOS.

However, not using ext4 will mean that game mode will not find and handle the drive properly.

Name the drive and press OK. Once you’ve double-checked that everything is correct, hit Apply in the top-right corner. This will start the process of formatting and preparing the drive for SteamOS.

If you want to use your external drive with Steam Deck, here’s the proper way to format it.:

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Mount the drive and change owner permissions

On the taskbar, you will see a small USB icon. Click this, and install the drive using the pop-up button. We can now go a little further.

A stumbling block that can occur when formatting a drive on Linux is that the permissions change. Even if we wanted to set it as the place to install games, there would be no way for the operating system to change it.

To change this, go back to the station and watch closely, as changing the following incorrectly can lead to instability issues.


In the terminal, type:

sudo chawn deck /run/modes/deck/[drive name]

Sudo is effectively a key for administrators on Linux, allowing us to bypass any layers of security and make required changes. It will still ask for the password, so type in the password you set.

Once you hit the enter button, the permissions and ownership will change to “Group”. Now we can get a little closer to the finish line.

steam folder

Now, open Steam, and at the top, tap on Steam, then Settings. In the Downloads section, choose Steam Library Folders, and if all goes right when you hit the plus sign to add a new drive, the new drive should be listed.

This will create your Steam library folder, and we only have one small step left.

The main problem with external drives and the Steam Deck is that they are not mounted automatically. In our testing of the Steam Deck Dock, we found that even putting the system to sleep for too long could cause the drive to disconnect, forcing it to go into desktop mode to get it back up again.

How to automatically mount an external drive on Steam Deck and Linux

To avoid having to mount the drive each time, we can edit the configuration file for the Steam Deck to recognize it on mount, regardless of where we’re loading.

Back in the terminal, type the following:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

This will bring up the terminal text editor and the required configuration file that we need to modify. You can right-click and paste most of this, but we recommend using your keyboard for this.


There will be a list of drivers and instructions for them. We’ll also need the drive’s UUID, so head over behind In KDE Partition Manager, choose the new partition, right-click, and enter properties. Copy and paste your UUID or record and return to the terminal.

Press the down arrow to get to the bottom of the list, and type the following:

UUID=[insert your UUID here] /play/modes/deck/[drive name] The default settings are ext4, nofail 0 0

How to mount external drive on steam surface automatically

If you don’t include this in your changes, the Steam Deck will be used It will not boot without the drive connected. These additional instructions will allow you to run Steam Deck as normal when you exit.

It’s also important to make sure all capital letters, dashes, and anything else are correct, otherwise playback will fail. We called our system “eggs,” but Linux adds a capital letter. Double check how Linux formats it in your file manager and type it in exactly the same way.

Restart your console and in game mode, go to Settings and Storage options. You can set it as your priority drive, but there’s no way to choose where to install it unless you go into desktop mode and then back into game mode.

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Do not remove the drive while it is in operation

Removing the drive and plugging it back in or removing the Steam Deck from its dock means you’ll need to plug it back in before restarting. For whatever reason, although auto-installing a drive is easy, auto-installing while the system is running is difficult.

Be sure to check out our guides on how to play Epic, Gog, Amazon, And Xbox Game Pass games on Steam Surface.

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