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How to Upgrade Steam Deck SSD [Easiest Way]

Do you want to upgrade Steam Deck SSD? This article provides a full tutorial for you, and whether you want to upgrade a 2TB/1TB/64GB for your Steam Deck, this tutorial works.

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Updated by Sherly on Apr 09, 2024

Complex Level: Simple, Beginners

Duration: Around half an hour

Applies to: Upgrade 1TB, 2TB, 64GB Steam Deck SSDs

Goal: Update Steam Deck SSD Without Reinstalling OS

Upgrading your Steam Deck SSD might seem like a scary concept, but it doesn't have to panic you or even be time-consuming. On this page, you can get a detailed tutorial on how to upgrade Steam Deck SSD:

  1. What You Need to Update Steam Deck SSD
  2. Stage 1: Remove the Original SSD
  3. Stage 2. Clone the Steam Deck Without Losing One Thing
  4. Stage 3. Put the New SSD into Steam Deck

What You Need to Update Steam Deck SSD

Is your Steam Deck SSD drive filling up too quickly? Well, here's how to upgrade your Steam Deck SSD so you can store even more games and have better gaming experiences. Three stages are required to update the SSD for your Steam Deck. First, let's learn what you need to do so:

Preparation: 

  • 👌A Steam Deck having a 25% charge or less remaining
  • 👌A 2230 form factor NVMe SSD
  • 👌A pair of tweezers and a plectrum
  • 👌A PH1 or PH0 screwdriver
  • 👌A Windows PC
  • 👌A reliable cloning utility (EaseUS Partition Master)

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Cloning the used sectors is a quicker and easier way compared to reimaging, which may take a few hours. Hence, in this tutorial, we use EaseUS Partition Master to clone the SteamOS and other game data to the new SSD. It is recommended that you download this tool in advance to your Windows PC. Besides, you can also add storage to your Steamd Deck in other ways; click the link below to try.

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How to Add Storage to Steam Deck [2023 Full Guide]

You can expand Steam Deck storage with a micro SD card, USB drive, or larger SSD drive. Below we will introduce how to operate in detail from simple to complex.

format sd card on steam deck

Well, after getting everything prepared, it is time to go to Stage 1. 

Stage 1: Remove the Original SSD

Due to the danger of accidentally puncturing a Li-Ion battery, it is recommended that you discharge your Steam Deck battery below 25% before opening it. We also recommend putting your Steam Deck in battery storage mode before attempting any modding. Well, let's start.

Step 1. Remove the back cover screws, unclip the back cover, and remove it.

take off screws

Step 2. Uncover the hidden shield screw and remove the shield.

Step 3. Disconnect the battery.

Step 4. Remove the SSD screw, and then remove the SSD.

Step 5. Remove the SSD shielding and take out the original SSD.

take off shields

Further Reading: Install Windows on Steam Deck

Stage 2. Clone the Steam Deck Without Losing One Thing

At this step, you need to put both the original SSD and the new SSD into a Windows PC and then clone and transfer all the game data from the old SSD to the new SSD. But note if your new SSD has never been used, and under this circumstance, you may get an "SSD not initialized" error, and the new SSD needs to be initialized before proceeding with data. EaseUS Partition Master allows you to initialize a new SSD and clone the used sectors on the old SSD to the newly initialized SSD.

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Guide 1. Initialize the New SSD

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master and got to Partition Manager.

Step 2. Right-click the target disk - HDD or SSD and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT". Click "Execute Task" and "Apply" to save the changes.

0:00-0:18 Initialize to MBR; 0:19-0:44 Initialize to GPT;

Now, your new SSD is usable, so it is time to clone the game data and the SteamOS to the new SSD. By the way, EaseUS Partition Master can also do a lot to manage your Steam Deck:

Now, let's continue to use this tool to clone the old SSD to the new SSD.

Guide 2. Clone the Steam Deck SSD to the New One

It is time-saving to clone the original SSD of the Steam Deck to the new SSD since EaseUS Partition Master can clone the only used sectors. Now, let's see how to use this tool.

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Step 1. Select the source disk.

  • Click the "Clone" from the left menu. Select the "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk"  and click "Next".
  • Choose the source disk and click "Next".

Step 2. Select the target disk.

  • Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.
  • Read Warning message and confirm "Yes" button.

Step 3. View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Step 4. Click "Start" to start the disk cloning process.

As a Steam Deck user, you may also like to know the following topics:

Now, it is time to put the new SSD with cloned data back into the Steam Deck.

Stage 3. Put the New SSD into Steam Deck

In this part, we need to insert the new SSD into the Steam Deck and make it normally work as the old SSD. Here is how:

Step 1. Place the foil shielding that we just took off from the old SSD onto the new SSD.

Step 2. Insert the new SSD and screw it into the slot.

Step 3. Reconnect the battery; grab the fabric strip and carefully push the connector back into the battery port. Once connected, the power light will flash white for a second, and then you'll know you've done it correctly.

Step 4. Reconnect the shielding; slide the shield back into place. You'll need to line it up with the screw holes underneath. Once everything is in place, double-check that the fan wires are above the shield.

Step 5. Reconnect and screw in the back plate. Grab the backplate and place it on top of the Steam Deck. Then screw in it.

You can check the video from Loaded0 on Youtube to get the detailed guide:

Everything is done. Now, you can turn on your Steam Deck and see if the operating system can boot properly on the new SSD.

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If you find that your Steam Deck won't start, don't panic. Most likely, something wasn't put back in place properly. To fix this, disassemble the Steam Deck again and remove the battery connector and SSD. These two components are likely to be the cause of any issues. Steam Deck will not start to avoid damage to the device if these two components are not in place.

By taking them out and reinserting them firmly, you can make sure they are plugged in properly, which should fix any boot issues.

Conclusion

We also recommend following the guide again from scratch when taking apart the Steam Deck to make sure you're doing everything in the correct order. This tutorial allows you to upgrade the Steam Deck SSD without downloading Rufus and without creating any bootable images. Cloning a Steam Deck SSD saves you from the hassle of re-downloads, settings switching, and navigating the maze of Linux-based SteamOS. EaseUS Partition Master can initialize the brand-new SSD and help clone the SteamOS and other game data from the old SSD to the new SSD.

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Update Steam Deck SSD FAQs

You don't need to be nervous when you follow the tutorial above. Here, we list some other questions related to updating the SSD for the Steam Deck. Check them below if you need help:

1. Can you update your Steam Deck SSD?

Yes, it is easy to update the Steam Deck SSD. Take out the old SSD, clone the old SSD to the new SSD, and put the new SSD back. By the way, if you only have a few games on your deck and are not using a metered internet connection, it might be wiser to reimage your Steam Deck with the latest SteamOS. Instead, you'll need to clone the Steam Deck SSD to avoid the hassle of re-downloading, settings switching, and, frankly, navigating the maze of Linux-based SteamOS.

2. What are the best Steam Deck SSDs?

You need to take compatibility, budget, and safety into account when choosing an ideal SSD for your Steam Deck. For budget and security, the Sabrent 2230 NVMe drive is the best Steam Deck SSD you can get right now. Besides, XPC Technologies 2TB, WD SN740 2TB, WD SN530 1TB, and Toshiba BG4 256GB are all nice choices.

3. How do I add SSD to 64GB Steam Deck?

Whatever the SSD capacity is, the tutorial is the same.

Step 1. Prepare your Steam Deck and remove the back cover screws.

Step 2. Remove the back cover and uncover the hidden shield screw.

Step 3. Remove the shield screws and the shield. Then, disconnect the battery and take out the old SSD.

Step 4. Prepare your 64GB SSD: Make sure it is initialized and then clone the data from the old SSD to the new SSD.

Step 5. Put the new SSD into the Steam Deck and put everything back.

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About the Author

Updated by Sherly

Sherly joined EaseUS in 2022 and she has always loved writing articles and enjoys the fun they bring. She receives professional training here, focusing on product performance and other relative knowledge. She has written over 200 articles to help people overcome computing issues.

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