How To Take a Screenshot on Steam Deck

How to Screenshot on Steam Deck (Guide)

When playing Steam Deck games such as Elden Ring or Hi-Fi Rush, you may often want to take a screenshot on your handheld console. I mean, who doesn’t want to document and savor their success in the game and brag about it to their friends? Luckily, Steam Deck makes it easy to take screenshots, letting you save your favorite gameplay moments or high-adrenaline actions with the click of a button combination. And in this guide, we will show you how to take a screenshot on Steam Deck and easily share it with your friends. That said, fire up your Steam Deck and keep reading.

Capturing screenshots on Steam Deck (2023)

In this article, we’ll explain how you can take screenshots both in-game and in desktop mode on your Steam Deck. Next, we’ll show you the steps to download and share those screenshots with friends and other Steam Deck users.

How to Take Screenshots on Steam Deck

Take a screenshot in-game

If you want to capture your favorite moments in a game, Steam Deck makes it extremely easy for you to do so. To take screenshots while playing a game, follow the steps below:

1. First of all, press the Steam button on the left side of the screen. Then locate and press the R1 button on the Steam Deck. Press these two buttons simultaneously to instantly take a picture of the game and save it to the screenshot library as a private image.

2. The steam bridge displays a “Screenshot taken” pop-up notification in the lower right corner of the screen, confirming that you have captured a screenshot.

screenshot taken on the steam deck

The same method applies if you want to take a screenshot anywhere in SteamOS. Press the Steam button with R1, and the system will immediately capture a screenshot. Later in this article, we will teach you how to upload and share screenshots with friends.

Take a screenshot in desktop mode

While taking screenshots in SteamOS or in-game is easy, the same is not true for desktop mode. You need to use a third-party app called “Spectacle”, which comes pre-installed on Steam Deck. Follow the steps below on how to use it.

  • First, boot into desktop mode on Steam Deck using the guide linked here. Next, click the “Application Launcher” (Steam Deck) button on the taskbar to display the menu.
app menu
  • Here, hover your mouse cursor over the “Utilities” category using the right trackpad. In the right pane, you will find “Show“, which is an open-source screenshot app that comes pre-installed on Steam Deck and allows users to take screenshots in desktop mode. Click to open the app. Follow this guide if you don’t know how left or right click on Steam Deck.
  • Like any other screen capturing app, Spectacle lets you capture the entire screen, an active window, a particular region, and more. You can also assign shortcuts to buttons from the “Configure” option here, which makes it easier for you to take screenshots on Steam Deck.

Capture high resolution screenshots on Steam Deck

By default, Steam does not capture high resolution screenshots and they are slightly compressed. This is probably done to save space on the handheld as it comes with limited storage. To ensure your Steam Deck takes lossless screenshots, follow the steps below:

  • Go to desktop mode and open the Steam app using the icon on the desktop.
  • Once open, click on the “Steam” option in the upper left corner and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. This will bring up the settings window.
To smoke
  • Go to “In-game” settings on the left sidebar. Here, activate the “Save an uncompressed copy” checkmark for screenshots taken.
  • Steam will now take high resolution screenshots on your console. Spectacle, on the other hand, lets you adjust the screenshot quality under the “Configure” option. Adjust the slider to the desired compression percentage.

Where are the screenshots on Steam Deck

A user may want to find the screenshot they took in SteamOS or in-game without sharing it publicly. There are two ways to locate any screenshots you capture on the Steam Deck, and we’ll explore both of them here:

The easiest way to find and share your Steam Deck screenshots is, of course, SteamOS. Just head to the media section and follow our instructions:

  • First press the “Steam” button to enter the menu. Here navigate to the “Media library.
media library of the steam bridge
  • You will be find all screenshots taken on the handheld here. You can choose to show public, private, or all screenshots here.
steam deck screenshots
  • Screenshots captured on the Steam Deck are private by default, but you can adjust the privacy settings and share the image on Steam. Simply select an image using the A button and press the “option” button on the Steam Deck.
press the option button
  • In the “Upload Screenshot” pop-up menu that appears, select the appropriate privacy settings and click “Confirm” to upload the image to Steam and access the image from your desktop (as explained below).
upload screenshot

Alternatively, you can head to desktop mode on Steam Deck to find all screenshots. We’ll show you not only how to access it through the Steam app, but also file exploration. Follow the steps below:

  • Open Steam and click on the “View” option on the top menu bar. Here, select the “Screenshot” option.
Steam display settings
  • The Screenshots window allows you to view all existing screenshots captured on your Steam Deck. It also ranks them accordingly. If you want to know where the screenshots are located on your system, select the game from the drop-down menu and click on the option “Show on disk” basically.
Screenshot location for Steam menu
  • This opens Dolphin File Explorer and shows the actual location where Steam saves screenshots locally. From there, you can easily share the screenshots. We also mentioned the path to the screenshots folder on Steam Deck here:

Home > .local > share > Steam > user data > [Your Steam ID] >760 > remote > [GAME ID] > screenshots

computer location

In the case of Spectacle, the software saves screenshots in the Pictures folder by default. Therefore, head to “Pictures” in Dolphin File Explorer to find desktop mode screenshots.

How to Share Steam Deck Screenshots on PC

Currently, Steam Deck does not offer any built-in option for users to transfer files from the console to their PC. While local game transfer was introduced recently and is currently in beta, sharing screenshots requires additional work from the user. There are two easy ways to share screenshots through your Steam Deck:

Method #1: Share via email

Almost all of the screenshots included in this article were shared via email. Although the process may seem tedious, it is convenient because Steam Deck is a Linux PC. To share screenshots, follow these steps:

  • Open your browser of choice on Steam Deck and connect to an email service using your username and password. We use Gmail in this tutorial.
Firefox opens G-Mail to send screenshots from Steam Deck
  • Then compose an email and attach all necessary screenshots from the Dolphin File Explorer on your Steam Deck. Once you are done, press the “Send” button. Now go to your PC and download the received images.
Attach an image

Method #2: Share with Warpinator

The second method to send images from Steam Deck to OC is the most convenient. Warpinator is a local file transfer software that allows users to transfer files over the local network. For this method, follow these steps:

  • First of all, download Warpinator on your Steam Deck. To do this, open Discover (app store) via the taskbar and search for Warpinator. In the search results, tap the “Install” button.
  • Now head to your desktop and download Warpinator. If you are a Windows user, click this link to download the software. Once installed, open the software.

Note: Make sure your Steam Deck and your desktop computer are connected to the same network to successfully transfer these screenshots. Since Warpinator is local file transfer software, this method will not work if the two systems are not on the same network.

  • If both devices are on the same network, the app will show them both and allow you to establish a connection. Connect your PC to the Steam Deck.
  • Steam-Deck-Warpinator-Connect
  • Windows-Warpinator-connect
  • Once logged in, click on the “Send filesoption to browse screenshots on your Steam Deck and send them to the target PC. On the desktop PC, accept incoming files.
  • Steam-Deck-Warpinator-Transfer-Files
  • Windows-Warpinator-accept-files
  • You have now successfully transferred screenshots from Steam Deck to your system. To view screenshots, go to Documents and open the Warpinator folder.

Take and share screenshots on Steam Deck

That’s about all you need to know about how to take a screenshot on Steam Deck. Capturing a screenshot on Steam Deck is simple and straightforward. Desktop mode requires you to go through a few steps, though. We’ve also included where screenshots are saved on Steam Deck, as well as two different ways to share them with yourself, friends, and other Steam users. So what games are you playing right now and do you plan to capture any cool in-game moments? Let us know in the comments below.