Over time, games got bigger and bigger and storage management became an issue. Luckily, Steam Deck has made sure that users can easily check and track their storage. So, in this guide, we will tell you how to check storage space on Steam Deck. If you are running out of storage space on your Steam Deck, we have also added steps to analyze the same and free up storage space on the device. So let’s jump in!
Check Storage Space on Steam Deck (2023)
The Steam Deck is a wonderful portable PC capable of running games. However, since this is a PC, you can install several other applications, such as Google Chrome on Steam Deck, which may require additional space. As such, storage management becomes a necessity, and it’s easy to do.
When it comes to Steam Deck storage, Valve offers two options. The first is EMMC storage, which is a slower storage solution found in budget phones and most early laptops. This type of storage is exclusively available in the 64 GB variant. The second storage option is an NVMe SSD (Solid State Drive) in two sizes: 256 GB and 512 GB.
Additionally, to ensure that users can easily expand storage space, Valve includes a microSD slot for the Steam Deck (supports memory expansion up to 1TB). However, there are some class restrictions and users should check them before buying one.
How to Check Storage Space on Steam Deck
There may be a time when you need to check the system storage on your Steam Deck. Luckily, Valve simplifies the process, and you can check storage at your convenience. To check the storage space from game mode, follow the steps below:
- First, open the Steam menu by pressing the “To smoke” button.
- In the menu, scroll down and head to the “Settings” option.
- In the Settings menu, scroll down to find the “Storageoption. You will now see the internal drive and microSD card options on the right. You can navigate to the same and see how much storage space each game takes up on your Steam Deck.
The storage menu lets you browse the folder where files are stored, repair folders inside the drive, and move files from internal storage to external storage. You can also sort files by size, last played, and alphabetical order.
The other alternative to check storage is from the desktop, by browsing Dolphin File Explorer, which is Linux’s file explorer. To do this, switch to desktop mode via the Steam guide menu and click on the folder icon in the taskbar. We don’t recommend switching to desktop mode to check storage unless the person is familiar with navigating Linux desktops.
How to free up storage space on Steam Deck
There may be instances when your Steam Deck’s system storage is full and you need to empty it to make room for new games or apps. Sometimes it can be due to residual files. Other times it may be cache files that you have no use for. In such cases, you can free up storage space using two methods – via SteamOS or the Disk Usage Analyzer software. Let’s look at these two methods:
Uninstall games on your Steam Deck
If a user wants to uninstall games from their Steam Deck, which they will do at some point to save storage space, here’s how to do it.
- First, head to the Steam Deck library in game mode. Inside the library, navigate to the “installed” section using the R1 trigger.
- Navigate to the title you want to delete and press the “Menu(hamburger menu button with three horizontal lines) to display the options menu.
- In the options menu, scroll down to “Manage” and select “Uninstall” to remove a game and free up space on your Steam Deck.
Free Storage Using Disk Usage Analyzer
To download “Disk Usage Analyzer” on Steam Deck, you need to go to the App Store on the Linux desktop and then continue. All the steps for the same are listed below:
- Once installed, launch the app to see a full breakdown of storage space on your Deck. Keep in mind not to accidentally delete system files, as this could kill your handheld and cause a fresh install of SteamOS. To learn more about checking disk usage in Linux, see our in-depth article linked here.
How to expand internal storage on Steam Deck
There may be times when a Steam Deck user wants to expand the internal storage drives. After all, a standard 512GB microSD card can only hold so much. Not to mention that the 64GB model could definitely require an internal SSD upgrade, as most games have an average size of over 20 gigs. In such scenarios, users can perform the following actions:
- Purchase a Steam Deck docking station that allows for external storage expansion. We’ve suggested a few in our best docks article linked here.
- Replace the internal storage on the Steam Deck. Follow this official iFixit guide (tour) to swap Steam Deck internal storage with another SSD. Keep in mind that a Steam Deck only accepts 2230 NVMe SSDs. Also make sure to eject the microSD card before opening the device.
The advantage of Steam Deck is that it is essentially a Linux PC based on the AMD architecture. It therefore brings a certain level of customization expected of a PC in the form of a storage extension.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Steam Deck accept SSDs of other sizes?
Although the Steam Deck accepts SSD sizes larger than 2230, it is not recommended to do so. The only reason is that the components won’t have enough space to sit comfortably inside the device. Additionally, Valve engineers advise against it, as the machine has been fine-tuned to run a 2230 SSD. Anything above that could negatively affect the system’s battery capacity.
Check and free up system storage space on Steam Deck
In conclusion, you can check the storage space on your Steam Deck using two easy methods. SteamOS storage settings allow you to easily view storage occupied by ProtonDB, installed games, and other files on internal storage and microSD card. Desktop mode, on the other hand, lets you install a third-party app to see disk usage and free up storage space if needed. You can use the method that best suits your needs. Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments below and also share your experience with the Steam Deck.