How to Format SD Card on Steam Deck? [Steam Deck Format SD Card]

Learn how to format SD card on Steam Deck and recover lost data with 4DDiG Data Recovery.

5 mins read

Updated on 2024-04-17 15:10:44 to SD Card

The Steam Deck is an innovative gaming device designed to deliver a full-fledged gaming experience, allowing users to enjoy their favorite Steam games anywhere. One of the Steam Deck's noteworthy features is its expandable storage options, which enable users to insert an SD card to enhance their game library and media storage capacity. However, if you've recently purchased a Steam Deck and are wondering how to format SD card on Steam Deck, you've come to the perfect place. This article will walk you through the process to format SD card for Steam Deck, ensuring that your device identifies it and that you can install and run games and media from the card flawlessly. Let’s get started and learn to format SD card Steam Deck!

how to format sd card on steam deck

Part 1: What is the Appropriate Steam Deck SD Card Format?

Before you explore how to format SD card for Steam Deck, it's crucial to understand your SD card's appropriate format. The Steam Deck supports the EXT4 file system, the recommended SD card format. This file system is ideal for larger capacity storage devices like SD cards because it supports large files and provides compatibility with Windows and Linux operating systems, which is essential for the Steam Deck.

Here's why EXT4 is suitable to format SD card for Steam Deck:

  • Large File Support: Many modern games, especially those on the Steam platform, come with large game files and updates. The EXT4 file system can handle larger files, ensuring you can store and run these games from your SD card without issues.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: The Steam Deck runs on a customized version of SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system. The EXT4 format is natively supported on Windows and Linux, making it the perfect choice for seamless data transfer between your Steam Deck and other devices.
  • Ease of Use: Steam Deck SD card format to EXT4 file system is a straightforward process, and we will guide you through the steps shortly.

Now that you know why exFAT is the appropriate format for your Steam Deck's SD card, let's move on to the step-by-step guide on how to format your SD card to exFAT for optimal performance with our Steam Deck.

Part 2: How to Format SD Card on Steam Deck?

Since EXT4 is the ideal Steam Deck SD card format, you can't usually format your SD cards to EXT4 on Windows. But you can format your SD cards directly on Steam Deck using EXT4. It is a fundamental and straightforward procedure that you can carry out by following these steps:

  • To begin the Steam Deck SD card format process, connect your SD card to the slot at the bottom. Now, under the left touchpad, press the "Steam" button. It'll bring up the Steam menu on your Steam Deck.
  • Select "Settings" from the Steam menu by pressing A. On the following menu, select "System" and press A to open it.

  • Look for the "Format SD Card" option within the System menu. Select it by hitting A, and the formatting procedure will begin after you confirm your selection.

    Format SD Card
  • The format SD card Steam Deck procedure will take a few minutes, depending on the size of your card and the data. After formatting, you can download and play games in Steam Deck using the SD card.

In short, your SD card is now formatted to the appropriate EXT4 file system and is ready to use with your Steam Deck. You can install games, store media, and enjoy an extended content library on your portable gaming device. It's a simple but essential step to maximize the potential of your Steam Deck and enhance your gaming experience on the go.

Part 3: Steam Deck Can't Format SD Card? How to Fix?

Formatting an SD card for use with your Steam Deck is a straightforward process, and it ensures your device recognizes the card and allows you to store and run games. The “Steam Deck can't format SD card” issue may sometimes trouble you. But we have a rigorous method that can fix this error.

Switch to Desktop Mode

If you see the "Steam Deck not formatting SD card" error in SteamOS, you can resolve it by switching to Desktop Mode. Follow the procedures below to accomplish this.

  • Check that the SD card is connected correctly to your Steam Deck. Then, to access the main menu, press the STEAM button.
  • Then, go to Power > Switch to Desktop.

    Switch to Desktop
  • After your Steam Deck enters Desktop Mode, navigate to the System menu and select KDE Partition Manager.
  • Unmount the target SD card by right-clicking it.
  • Then, right-click the SD card again and select Delete > Apply to delete any partitions.
  • Select the SD card and then select New Partition Table.
  • Select MS-Dos and then tap Create New Partition Table in the prompted window.

    Create a New Partition Table
  • Hit the Apply button in the upper-left corner. Then, on the warning page, you may need to press Apply Pending Operations to execute this operation.
  • When the Steam Deck SD card format process is finished, hit OK. Return to SteamOS mode and try to format the SD card again to see if the operation completes without issues.

Remember, you must troubleshoot the issue systematically, starting with the most straightforward solutions and progressing to more complex ones if necessary. In most cases, one of the above steps should help you format the SD card and get it working with your Steam Deck.

Helpful Tip: How to Recover Data from a Formatted SD Card?

You may be worried when you accidentally format SD card Steam Deck, resulting in data loss. In such cases, data recovery software can be a lifesaver. One highly recommended tool for SD card data recovery is 4DDiG Data Recovery. This software offers a range of features and can be an excellent choice for recovering lost files.

Here are the key features of 4DDiG data recovery software:

  • User-Friendly Interface: 4DDiG Data Recovery has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for beginners and experienced users to navigate and recover their data.
  • Wide File Format Support: This software supports the recovery of many file formats, including photos, videos, documents, and more. It can handle various data types, making it versatile for different recovery needs.
  • Multiple Recovery Modes: 4DDiG offers several recovery modes, including Deleted Files Recovery, Formatted Disk Recovery, and more. This allows you to choose the most suitable mode for your specific situation.
  • Preview Function: Before recovering your files, you can preview them within the software, helping you verify that you're restoring the correct data.
  • Selective Recovery: You can selectively recover specific files, which is useful when you only need certain items from the formatted SD card.
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems, so that you can use it on various devices.
  • Fast and Safe: The software is designed to quickly and efficiently recover your data without causing further damage to your files or storage devices.

Follow the below steps that can help how to use 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery to recover data from SD card:

  • Firstly, you must download and install Tenorshare 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery. Connect your external hard drive (SD Card) to your PC where you lost data, then choose the external hard disk to start scanning.


    Secure Download


    Secure Download

    steam deck format sd card
  • After that, 4DDiG automatically examines the external hard drive for missing data. The Tree View has categories such as Deleted Files, Existing Files, Lost Location, RAW Files, and Tag Files. You may also use File View to look at file types, including Photo, Video, Document, Audio, Email, and others. You can also search for target files or use Filter to refine your search.

    how to format sd card for steam deck on pc
  • Once you have located the target files, you can preview and recover them securely. In case of disk overwriting and permanent data loss, please don't save them on the same partition you lost.

    how to format sd card on steam deck


We have explored how to format SD card for Steam Deck, so your device can efficiently store and run games and movies. We've discussed the most suitable format, EXT4, since it supports large files and is compatible with Windows and Linux.

However, we realize that formatting errors can result in data loss. This is where data recovery software such as 4DDiG Data Recovery comes in. It makes data recovery easier, whether you need to recover images, videos, documents, or other forms of data. Therefore, whether you want Steam Deck SD card format or to recover lost data, having the right tools and knowledge can ensure a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

(Click to rate this post)

You rated 4.5 ( participated)