How to enable Desktop Mode on Steam Deck

Get your Deck up on the big screen

how to enable steam deck desktop mode

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The Valve Steam Deck is obviously meant to be a portable device, allowing you to game on the go with relative ease, removing any of the annoying tethers that a traditional desktop PC has. However, if you dont have a laptop or even a desktop PC at home, there may be times where you want to use the Steam Deck in this format and with Desktop Mode, you can do so pretty instantaneously.

Let’s break down what Steam Deck’s Desktop Mode entails and how to enable it.

What is Steam Deck Desktop Mode?

how to connect steam deck to monitor

Steam Deck’s Decktop Mode aims to release the shackles somewhat of the pre-installed Linux OS and allows you to use it in a more traditional PC fashion. In Desktop Mode, you can do a lot more than play games, you can install applications, test out some emulation, browse the web, and much more. You’ll also be able to insert a USB-C hub and HDMI cable and plug it right into a monitor to get your Deck up on the big screen, making it similar to that of a mini PC.

Now you know a bit about Desktop Mode, we’re going to be running you through all the steps for getting your Steam Deck into it so that you can utilize its more stationary functions if required.


How to enable Desktop Mode on Steam Deck

steam deck desktop mode

Getting Desktop Mode booted up on your Steam Deck is an extremely simple process but if you haven’t been shown, or have simply forgotten, we expect that you wouldn’t simply be able to stumble upon the option. Follow the below steps, however, and you’ll be in Steam Deck’s Desktop Mode in no time.


Hold down power button

Locate the power button on your Steam Deck and hold it down.


Choose Desktop Mode option

A menu should appear on your Steam Deck screen. Locate the Desktop Mode option and hit it. Your Steam Deck should now boot into Desktop Mode.

You can now use Desktop Mode in a handheld form factor or hook up a monitor, set it down, and utilize the Deck’s strengths on your desk rather than in your grasps.