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How To Fix Steam Deck SD Card Not Showing Up

The Steam Deck has gained significant popularity among gamers, providing a portable and versatile gaming experience. One of its notable features is the ability to expand storage using an SD card. However, some users may encounter issues where the SD card is not showing up or being detected by the system. In this article, we will explore common problems with SD cards on the Steam Deck and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve them.

Steam Deck SD Card Not Showing Up

Here are some possible reasons why your SD card is not showing up on your Steam Deck:

There are a few reasons why your Steam Deck SD card might not be showing up. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try:

  1. Restart your Steam Deck. This may fix the issue if it’s a temporary glitch.
  2. Remove and reinsert the SD card. Make sure it’s inserted all the way into the slot.
  3. Format the SD card. You can do this in the Steam Deck’s Settings menu.
  4. Try using a different SD card. If your current SD card is damaged, it may not be working properly.
  5. Contact Valve support. If you’ve tried all of the above and your SD card is still not showing up, you can contact Valve support for assistance.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Make sure you’re using a compatible SD card. The Steam Deck supports SD cards up to 2TB in size.
  • Format your SD card in FAT32 or exFAT. These are the two file systems that the Steam Deck supports.
  • Don’t remove the SD card while the Steam Deck is turned on. This can damage the card or the Steam Deck.

Understanding the Steam Deck and SD Cards

The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device developed by Valve Corporation. It allows users to play their favorite games on the go, offering a wide range of features and customization options. One such feature is the support for SD cards, which enables users to expand the available storage capacity of the device.

SD cards are small, portable storage devices commonly used to store files, including games, photos, videos, and documents. They come in different capacities and formats, such as SDHC and SDXC. These cards can be easily inserted into the designated slot on the Steam Deck, providing additional storage for games and media.

Common Issues with SD Cards on the Steam Deck

While using SD cards on the Steam Deck is generally straightforward, some users may encounter certain problems. Let’s explore two common issues related to SD cards on the Steam Deck and discuss how to troubleshoot them effectively.

1. SD Card Not Detected

One of the frustrating issues that users may face is when the Steam Deck fails to detect the inserted SD card. This can prevent users from accessing their stored files or installing games on the SD card. Several factors could contribute to this problem.

To resolve this issue, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Check Physical Connection Ensure that the SD card is properly inserted into the SD card slot on the Steam Deck. Sometimes, a loose connection can cause detection problems. Remove the SD card, gently clean the contacts, and reinsert it firmly into the slot.

Step 2: Formatting the SD Card If the SD card is not detected, it’s worth trying to format it. However, keep in mind that formatting erases all data on the card. To format the SD card, navigate to the Steam Deck’s settings, locate the Storage section, and choose the option to format the SD card.

Step 3: Updating Steam Deck Firmware Outdated firmware can sometimes cause compatibility issues with SD cards. Make sure your Steam Deck is running the latest firmware version. Check for system updates in the settings and apply any available updates.

Step 4: Checking Compatibility and Capacity

Not all SD cards are compatible with the Steam Deck, and some cards may have capacity limitations. Ensure that the SD card you are using is compatible with the Steam Deck and meets the required specifications. Refer to the Steam Deck’s documentation or the manufacturer’s website for information on recommended SD card types and capacities.

2. SD Card Not Showing Up in File Explorer

Another common issue is when the SD card is inserted, but it does not appear in the Steam Deck’s File Explorer or file management system. This can make it difficult to access files or transfer data to and from the SD card. Let’s explore some troubleshooting steps to resolve this problem.

Step 1: Trying a Different SD Card

Sometimes, the issue may lie with the SD card itself. Try inserting a different SD card into the Steam Deck to see if it gets recognized. If the new card works, it indicates that the previous SD card might be faulty or incompatible.

Step 2: Using an External Card Reader

If the SD card is not showing up in the Steam Deck, you can try using an external card reader. Connect the SD card to the card reader and then plug the card reader into one of the USB ports on the Steam Deck. This method bypasses the built-in SD card slot and allows you to access the SD card through the external card reader.

Step 3: Contacting Steam Support

If none of the troubleshooting steps mentioned above resolve the issue, it’s advisable to contact Steam Support for further assistance. They can provide specific guidance and help troubleshoot the SD card problem on your Steam Deck.

Tips for Optimizing SD Card Performance on the Steam Deck

To ensure the best performance and longevity of your SD card on the Steam Deck, here are some useful tips to consider:

  1. Use High-Quality SD Cards: Invest in reliable and reputable brands of SD cards known for their performance and durability. High-quality cards are less likely to encounter issues and offer better overall performance.
  2. Keep SD Cards Clean and Protected: Handle SD cards with care, avoiding contact with dirt, dust, and moisture. Keep them stored in protective cases when not in use.
  3. Avoid Frequent Insertions and Removals: While the Steam Deck supports hot-swapping SD cards, frequent insertions and removals can increase the wear and tear on both the SD card and the SD card slot. Minimize unnecessary insertions and removals to prolong their lifespan.


Expanding the storage capacity of your Steam Deck using an SD card is a convenient way to store more games and media. However, issues like SD cards not being detected or not showing up can be frustrating. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article and considering the tips for optimizing SD card performance, you can overcome these problems and make the most out of your Steam Deck’s storage capabilities.


Why is my SD card not showing up on the Steam Deck?

There could be several reasons for this issue, including a loose physical connection, formatting errors, outdated firmware, or compatibility problems. Follow the troubleshooting steps provided in this article to resolve the problem.

How do I format an SD card on the Steam Deck?

To format an SD card on the Steam Deck, navigate to the settings, locate the Storage section, and choose the option to format the SD card. Keep in mind that formatting erases all data on the card, so ensure you have a backup if necessary.

Can I use any SD card with the Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck has specific requirements for SD card compatibility. Refer to the Steam Deck’s documentation or the manufacturer’s website to ensure you are using an SD card that meets the recommended specifications. Not all SD cards may work properly with the device.

Should I remove my SD card from the Steam Deck frequently?

While the Steam Deck supports hot-swapping SD cards, it’s generally recommended to minimize frequent insertions and removals. Excessive handling can increase the risk of physical damage to both the SD card and the SD card slot. Only remove or insert the SD card when necessary.

What should I do if none of the troubleshooting steps work?

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article and the SD card issue still persists, it’s advisable to contact Steam Support. They can provide personalized assistance and help you resolve the problem effectively.

We hope this article has helped you understand and troubleshoot the issue of SD cards not showing up on the Steam Deck. By following the provided steps and considering the tips for optimizing SD card performance, you can enjoy a seamless gaming experience with expanded storage on your Steam Deck.


  • Areesha

    Areesha is a tech enthusiast and a freelance writer who loves to share her insights on the latest gadgets and innovations. She has been reviewing tech products for over five years, covering everything from smartphones, laptops, cameras, smartwatches, headphones, and more. She enjoys testing out new features, comparing different models, and giving honest feedback to her readers. Areesha’s reviews are always informative, engaging, and easy to understand. Whether you are looking for a new device, a gift idea, or just curious about the tech world, Areesha’s reviews will help you make the best decision. You can find her work on various websites and blogs, such as [TechCrunch], [CNET], [The Verge], and [Gizmodo]. You can also follow her on [Twitter] and [Instagram] to get the latest updates on her reviews and projects. Areesha is always open to suggestions and feedback from her audience, so feel free to contact her anytime. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

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