What to Do if Steam Deck Not Turning On?

March 19, 2023

Steam Deck is, in many ways, a unique console, providing amazing performance and autonomy in a portable version. Also, an important plus is the ability to support games straight from Steam without buying separate titles. Considering the cost and power, users often have pretty high expectations for the console, but there are frequent cases when they collapse on a trivial physical level – the console breaks. What to do if Steam Deck does not turn on, how to solve and even prevent the appearance of malfunctions, we tell in the article below.

Quick Solution

The console justifies it at a pretty price, but what good is it if it doesn’t work? Often users begin to panic in situations that do not belong to the category of critical and can be corrected on their own.

Steam Deck Won’t Turn On or Charge

Let’s start with the simplest thing. Charge the console. Even if it’s not charging, try it again, checking the power connection and the integrity of the wires beforehand. Sometimes the cause can be physical contamination of the ports or oxidation. Usually, you can see this by shining a flashlight into the ports.

The next step is to replace the charger, even if not the original one because now the goal is to check what is broken – the console or the charger.

Important: Pay attention to the characteristics of the charger and power cables. If they are low-powered, it may take longer to charge the console or not get power.

Get answers to popular questions on the official website.

How to Reset Your Steam Deck

Steam Deck Won’t Turn On or Charge

Let’s break down the different ways to reboot. First, it’s worth trying the usual option:

  1. Go to settings, “Software Update” section (or in the Steam tab), item “Shutdown” and the actual “Reboot” button. This is a harmless way, but sometimes it helps to restore the functionality of the console and fix the problem;
  2. If it does not help or the console does not respond to clicks, you need a forced reboot of Steam Deck. Nothing complicated and scary here: hold the power button for 3 seconds;
  3. The next step is to troubleshoot at the operating system level. Also, press the power button, but hold for 10 seconds.

Suppose the three methods described above do not help, and Steam Deck remains a brick, you should consider other options: malfunction of the power button, battery, or screen, and, if possible, contact the service center for a warranty.

Steam Deck Doesn’t Turn On or Freezes

Consider situations when the problems with the work began after the console hung.

Important: Please keep your system current, as Valve has already issued several important bug fixes for Steam Deck. You can keep up with news and updates here.

After Updating

Steam Deck not turning on after an update is a common issue for console owners. Unfortunately, sometimes updates “break” the system, but do not rush to panic: it fixes itself.

The first option is to reboot the system. The second is to restore the console to a working version. You need a flash drive of 8 GB, Rufus or BalenaEtcher utilities, and a PC. Note that different recovery options exist: from full reset to factory settings to reinstalling the operating system with the user data saved. You can read about the recovery types and the instructions on the official website.

After the Logo Appears

steam deck stuck on logo

The console may not boot after the logo: the boot hangs on it indefinitely, or “Installation check” appears. A black screen follows this, and no rebooting helps. The solution is simple: completely reinstall the OS removing all user data. You can first try the “careful” mode, which tries to save your progress and games, but the result is usually the same: a black screen and a freeze at the logo.

In Certain Games

Most likely, the game is poorly optimized for the console. There are two options: wait for optimization or reinstall Steam OS. Reinstalling is not guaranteed to improve performance but can fix compatibility issues.

Updating the Drive

When the console does not turn on after updating the SSD, the cause may be a couple of things:

  • Incorrect connection;
  • The system has not been reset and configured to create (restore) a disk image.

Replacement produces a lot of SO, even unofficial. You can also do it yourself:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the safety rules. Important: Discharge the battery to 25% or less – a charged battery can explode from puncturing or short-circuiting the contacts;
  2. Activate Battery Storage Mode. Turn off the console, and disconnect the power. Remove the microSD before opening the case;
  3. Remove the screws and remove the back panel;
  4. There is a hidden screw on the iron plate – remove the protection and unscrew it, then remove the plate;
  5. Disconnect the battery;
  6. Unscrew the screw on the SSD and disconnect the drive;
  7. Remove the shielding tape from the old drive and place it on the new drive. Reconnect the disk and assemble the console in reverse order.

Only M.2 2230 SSDs are suitable for the Stim console.

Discharging Too Fast

This is also found on perfectly serviceable consoles. The reason is to play performance games with maximum graphics settings, high FPS, and maximum brightness and sound levels. Lower the picture quality, turn on FSR in balance mode, and turn off unnecessary features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Important! Steam Deck in a portable version offers the maximum performance of the platform – playing with a constant connection to the dock is pointless, but the console’s power will not increase!

Physical Malfunctions

steam deck not turning on after update

Buttons

Also, ensure the console is the problem, not a physical button malfunction. The power button may malfunction, and there is no response to a press. In such cases, we recommend not disassembling the console yourself but contacting technical support and demanding repair under warranty.

If there is no warranty already and you are a little familiar with electronics, Reddit users have already told you how to fix a malfunction with a stuck and not working power button. And here, you can view how to replace the Steam button on your Valve console, but it requires some skill.

Screen

When the Steam Deck’s screen doesn’t turn on, the first thing to check is its integrity, but usually, bumps are accompanied by noticeable color distortions and cracks.

All models have the same display: an IPS-matrix LCD screen, but the 512GB model has chemically etched glass and is thus anti-reflective.

It’s hard to say exactly the cause: the cable, the display itself, or even software glitches. Connect a third-party monitor to the console – if the image is displayed, your problem is with the built-in screen. The malfunction is very popular and has been well-covered on Reddit. We advise reading this article too. In short: users never found a single correct solution to this bug (except RMA), but this can help: hold down the “…” button and volume down for 5 seconds – until the beep. After that, users had the screen turned on.

You should also try the following:

  1. Let the battery discharge completely, recharge and try again;
  2. Repeat the recovery algorithm from “After Update” above.

In other cases, you should go to the service center and wait for replacement or repair.

Useful Video

In this article, we examined a variety of causes hangs the console hanging on the logo, the lack of signal on the built-in screen, and even purely physical problems with the replacement of the power button and SSD. It is worth admitting – most of the malfunctions are only treated by complete reinstallation of the system or a referral to the service center. However, we first recommend checking three things: the latest updates, power cable, and physical serviceability of the buttons, screen, and sticks.

Egor Borisov

Egor Borisov

Creator and lead author on the SDB. I've been writing useful articles about technology and mobile devices since 2016. RPG fan. Owned Steam Deck since September 2022.

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