Valve Steam Deck LCD – Windows 11 Setup Guide

Hey everyone and welcome back to Joey’s Retro Handhelds. I’m Joey and today we’re going to be setting up Windows on the Steam Deck.

This is going to be a two part or three part series, we’ll see. This first video will be the install of Windows, and the one click script that sets us all up, and then the plan is for the second video to be around the Playnite frontend, so we can turn this into an actual gaming console and about adding emulators, settings and tweaks. So yeah, very comprehensive here. And long, very long. 

On screen is what all of that will look like when we’re done – I’m using the default Playnite theme, but there’s so many themes to choose from that you can use. Like a PS5, XBOX or even Switch one. As you can see, we’ll also have a menu to change anything you want in game, TDP, brightness, refresh rate, even to use desktop controls instead of controller mapping. Games recognize the Steam Deck as an Xbox 360 controller and sleep mode just works because it always has in Windows if you set it up correctly. We’ll get into all of this, don’t worry. 

Before we get started, a few things to mention. I’m going to show the full nuclear option of completely removing SteamOS and replacing it with Windows. If you prefer to dual boot instead, I’ll include a link to a great guide by Bald Sealion, who is basically the Windows on Deck ambassador. I’ll also include a link to his written guide in my description. I found it a bit hard to follow personally, and some steps missing, so thought a video would be better for most people. If you do follow his video, it ends with Windows loading up, so you can just jump back to my video and continue on to get all setup. Always check back to his written guide, the Discord or the WindowsOnDeck Subreddit for any new updates – all links in the description.

As far as preparation goes, you’re going to need a USB drive for Windows. I have a USB-C drive that is also a USB-A drive personally – I’ll include a link in the description if you want the same, but really, any connectable USB drive will work. Just please, make sure it’s a reputable one, not some USB drive you found at a restaurant.

If you want to prepare ahead of time, go ahead and download the Windows 11 setup utility from the Microsoft website, and we’re going to create a USB drive for it. You can see my steps on screen to do so. 

This entire guide will be from factory reset status, so safe to say anyone can pick this up from where I am. The very first thing we want to do is actually load into SteamOS, so pick your language, your timezone and sign into your Wi-Fi and Steam account.

Once you’re in, push the Steam button and head to system, and do the software updates. If it says up to date, you’re good to go. This is basically so we can update the BIOS to the most recent available, which is F7A0110 at the time of this recording.

Now let’s power off, and then hold volume up and push the power button to load into the BIOS. You should see a screen like mine and we want to head to Setup Utility then Advanced on the left and we’re going to change UMA Frame buffer Size to 4G. This change benefits Windows quite a bit, but some games might need you to change this to 2G. Should be good with 4G as a standard. Push the window button looking thing on the controller and exit saving changes. It’ll likely boot you right back into SteamOS, just power off. 

Now, from a powered off state, insert your USB drive and then let’s get back into the BIOS with volume up and push the power button. This time head to Boot Manager, scroll down to your USB device and select it to load in. Now, things are going to go portrait mode for a while, so just bear with it. If you’ve ever installed Windows before, it’s all the same here. Push next and then install now. You don’t really need a product key, but if you have one, feel free to input it now. I’m going to install Windows 11 Pro. Accept the terms and we’re going to select custom install. Now you’re going to see the full partition list and remember, this guide is going to completely remove SteamOS, so if you’re not comfortable with that, head to the other video and do a dualboot setup. For everyone else, go ahead and start deleting each partition. Select and delete until there’s just unallocated space left. Then click next and Windows is going to do its thing. 

Check on your loved ones. Carlos is thriving. 

After what feels like hours, we should be at the Windows setup. So select your country, then your keyboard layout, and sign into your Wifi. After a bit, name your device and don’t fat finger it like I did. Oops. Choose setup for personal use, and then sign in at the bottom and I’m going to pause here for a second. I did not want to sign into my Microsoft account for this and wanted to use a local account, but I could not find the option. I ended up signing in with the Microsoft account and converting it to local after, which was a hassle. If you really want local, do some googling at this point to see if it’s possible, I did see one article say that if you put your email address as “” and click next, then any password, and next again, it’ll say something went wrong and you can do a local account. Your mileage may vary, if nothing works, just do the Microsoft account. Setup a PIN and then your choice on the next settings to agree or not. I chose not. Whole bunch of skipping and declining after. Finally, let it do its thing and we’re into Windows 11, congratulations.

The first thing we’re going to do is fix this portrait mode display. So right click on the desktop, which should be left trigger, or push and hold on the screen with your finger and head to Display settings. Change display orientation to Landscape and now we can breathe again. 

For everything going forward, it’s your choice if you want to do it on the actual Steam Deck, or hooked up to a monitor with keyboard and mouse or with remote desktop. Whatever makes your life easier. Oh, and make sure you plug in your Steam Deck to keep it charged. 

The first thing we’re going to do now is use the one click install script that is basically going to setup your Steam Deck for you. I’ll explain what it actually installs during the install to save time. Go ahead and go to the link in the description for Celeste’s Automated Install, and transfer it to the Steam Deck somehow. You can reformat your USB drive since we don’t need it for Windows 11 anymore, or download the file directly on the Steam Deck via a browser, or whatever you want to do. This is important. Extract the zip and go into the folder, right click the StartScript file and click Run as Administrator, then click yes to the prompt. You have to run this as administrator. This will take some time, so let me explain what this does. First, it’s going to adjust your display scaling to 100% and just improve it a bit, then it’s going to download and install all the Valve drivers and other drivers the community has found. It’ll then go ahead and install the VC++ redistributable packages, DirectX and Net 6.0 files that most games need and require, cuts down on Steam install time for games. Next, it’s going to go ahead and install drivers for the Steam Deck controller itself to be recognized as an Xbox 360 controller, RivaTuner so that you can get an onscreen display to show up with framerates, battery life and more and it’s also going to adjust the equalizer settings of your audio to make it sound better.

Now, the big one it installs is Steam Deck Tools. We’ll talk about this program later on, but it’s the lifeblood of the Steam Deck for Windows. It connects everything together, controller configurations, fan settings, other controls and displays. It’s meant to replicate SteamOS’ slideout menu where you can change TDP, resolution etc. 

Lastly, it’s going to do some Windows OS tweaks such as disabling hibernation so sleep mode works, setting the fan speed to let it idle, fixing the internal clock and disabling GameDVR, which is useless. Don’t worry, this all sounds like a lot, but you don’t even need to interact with it – it’s the beauty of the script. I’ll show you the stuff that matters.

Now, you’re going to see a popup for the AMD APU driver install. Click install and then when it’s finished, make sure you click Finish. Do not click restart. Click finish. 

Go checked on your loved ones for a bit again.

The next popup you’re going to get has to do with the equalizer for Audio. So make sure you select Speakers on this first tab, and then under the Capture Devices tab, select the microphone. Then click ok twice. 

Feel free to say yes or not to error reporting. I suggest yes to get automatic updates.

The script will complete, and you might get a popup like I did about updating Steam Deck Tools. Go ahead and update it if so. 

Once done, clock out the command prompt windows since I couldn’t find the Any key and restart your device. 

Once you’re back, just sign into the device with however you set it up and if you get a popup about a new version of Rivatuner being available, just say no. 

Okay, we’re almost there. Let’s do some tweaks.

The first thing we’re going to do is make it so the Edge browser doesn’t run in the background, so head to Microsoft Edge and you might have to set it up if you haven’t opened it yet. Once you do, go to the three dots, then settings, then systems and performance and disable continue running apps when Edge is closed. 

Now let’s go ahead and get the keyboard working to automatically popup for text fields. Alternatively, you can do the button combination of the Steam button + X. I’ll go over hotkeys later on. Right click on the Windows icon and go to settings, then Time and Language. Now the touch keyboard section, and click show the touch keyboard when there’s no keyboard attached. Your keyboard touch work now if you touch a text field.

Now, let’s go ahead and setup Autologon, so you don’t need to enter a password every time you restart the device. This is optional, if you want to use a password for security reasons, just skip this section. Check the description for the Autologon program, and get it onto your Steam Deck. Extract the zip. Open Autologon64, and agree. Now, you want to enter your username and password that you used to sign into the Steam Deck, so what you set up earlier then click enable. Should say successfully configured. Reboot now for it to take effect.

It should just load you directly into Windows, no signin needed. 

Now, we want the same thing for coming out of sleep mode, because right now it’ll ask for a password if so. Skip this if you want that password protection. Okay, now let’s get a command prompt up, so just type CMD into the search bar, and then right click command prompt and run as administrator. You really might want a keyboard for this next part, or just be a crazy person like me and do it all on the Deck. Write out the text that I’ve put on screen for the first line and then press enter. Then write out the next set of text that I’ve put on scree and enter again. Lastly, as a triple check to make sure hibernation is actually off, let’s go ahead and write out the next text and push enter. If you did it right, should look just like my screen. If not, you might have misspelled something.

Let’s reboot the Deck to apply the changes.

Okay, now let’s fix the time. Right click on the time in the bottom right and click adjust date and time. Scroll down and click sync now, and see if it automatically fixes it. If not, just select your timezone yourself. 

Another optional part here, but I find the user account control prompts to be very annoying, so let’s disable that. In the search bar, type in control panel and open it. Click User Accounts twice and then change user account control settings. Set to never notify and click yes in the popup. 

Now let’s go ahead and do some Windows updates, so right click the Windows icon, click settings and Windows update at the bottom. Download and install now and restart when it says to. 

When you’re back in, let’s setup custom resolutions. If you’re familiar with the Steam Deck side, you’ll know 40hz and 40fps is a great middleground for triple AAA games. We can do that on the Windows side too. Download the CRU utility and ciphrays file and get it on your deck. Extract the CRU zip. You’ll want to keep this one, so I’m going to put mine in the Program Files folder. Then, move the ciphrays file to inside that same folder. Open the CRU app. Click import, bottom left and select the ciphrays file. Next is important, click delete all for the middle list. So the middle delete all button that I click in the video. Click ok. Restart the Steam Deck.

So now let me give you an idea of exactly what we’ve setup and done. I’m going to boot up a game and show you. Don’t worry, I’m skipping ahead here to give you a tease, I’ll get you to this point. If you open a game and hold down the three dots button on the steam deck, you get this nice menu on the left that you can move through with the dpad and change settings. Brightness, volume, refresh rate, TDP, overclocking, different on screen displays or none and even changing between desktop and xbox 360 controls, which is important. By the way, these save per app as well, so it’ll remember your choices.

Now, something important to mention. Changing fan controls, and TDP cause issues with anti-cheat games, so a popup shows up to warn you. Let me clear. If you ignore this warning, and jump into an anti cheat game, you can get banned. It’s happened. So I’m going to leave a link to Steam Deck Tools github that explains more, as well as Bald Sealion’s guide, and you can make the decision on how to handle it. 

I don’t play anti-cheat games, so I’m going to just hide the warnings. If you’re curious what on screen display options there are, here’s what they look like on screen. You can always set OSD to no if you don’t want it on.

As promised, the last thing we’re going to talk about in this video is the hotkeys. I’ll leave a link to this in the description as well, but here’s all the hotkeys for Steam Deck Tools. Let me point out the ones that matter, in my opinion. Holding the three dots for the menu is the big one, can do a lot there. Steam + 3 dots and Steam + options are useful as well in case an app gets stuck. You can also use gestures, which for windows, it’s three fingers from the bottom sliding up. Nuclear option is Steam + B to ALT F4 it. Lastly, we talked about it before, but Steam + X to bring up keyboard. Those would be the popular options I use.

Okay, this video is long and I’m tired. But this isn’t the end, only the beginning. The next video is going to be a setup of Playnite as a frontend launcher and connecting Steam, Xbox etc. and we’ll launch a few games to show you what that looks like. After that, we’re going to do all the emulators you want and need, and their settings and connect them back to Playnite as well. 

The very last thing I want to mention. If you run into any issues during all of this, use the Windowsondeck subreddit, or the Discord in Bald Sealion’s guide to get help from the community.

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