Skip to main content

Steam Deck SSD Replacement

What you need

Video Overview

  1. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Prepare your Steam Deck for disassembly: step 1, image 1 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Prepare your Steam Deck for disassembly: step 1, image 2 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Prepare your Steam Deck for disassembly: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • Turn on your Steam Deck and allow the battery to discharge below 25% before starting your repairs, as a charged lithium-ion polymer battery can be dangerous if accidentally punctured.

    • As an extra precaution, Valve recommends putting your Steam Deck into battery storage mode within the BIOS before starting any internal repairs. Read how to do that here.

    • Power down your Steam Deck and unplug any cables.

    • If you have a microSD card installed, make sure to remove it before opening the Steam Deck. If you attempt to remove the back cover with it still installed, it could snap right in half.

    • During your repair, it can be helpful at times to lay the Steam Deck face-down into its case to protect the thumbsticks and prevent wobble.

  2. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the back cover screws: step 2, image 1 of 1
    Tool used on this step:
    FixMat
    $36.95
    Buy
    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the eight screws securing the back cover:

    • Four coarse thread 9.5 mm-long screws

    • Four fine thread 5.8 mm-long screws

    • Despite the standards, Phillips screwdrivers can vary in size and shape—two drivers labeled as the same size may fit differently in the same screw. Use the size that fits the snuggest into the screw head.

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your Steam Deck.

  3. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Unclip the back cover: step 3, image 1 of 2 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Unclip the back cover: step 3, image 2 of 2
    • Insert an opening pick into the thin gap between the back cover and the front shell, along the edge of the right grip.

    • If you're having trouble inserting your pick at the grip seam, try starting at either the top or bottom long edges first, then slide the pick towards the grip.

    • Pry up on the back cover to release it from the locking clips.

  4. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 4, image 1 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 4, image 2 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Once the clips are disconnected from one edge, the rest disconnect easily.

    • Grip the back cover at the opening you just created and pull it up and away from the device to unclip the long edges.

    • Remove the back cover.

  5. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Uncover the hidden shield screw: step 5, image 1 of 2 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Uncover the hidden shield screw: step 5, image 2 of 2
    Tool used on this step:
    Tweezers
    $4.99
    Buy
    • If you have a refreshed Steam Deck version with the black motherboard cover, skip this step.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the piece of foil tape covering the hidden screw on the board shield.

    • If possible, try not to rip or tear this tape so it can be reused. If necessary, you can fashion a replacement by cutting a piece of aluminum foil tape to fit.

  6. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the shield screws: step 6, image 1 of 2 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the shield screws: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the three screws securing the board shield:

    • One 3.4 mm screw

    • Two 3.7 mm screws

    • Only the two 3.7 mm screws along the left edge are present in refreshed Steam Decks.

  7. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the shield: step 7, image 1 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the shield: step 7, image 2 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the shield: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Remove the board shield.

    • Depending on the age of your Steam Deck, this shield may stick to the thermal pads underneath.

    • During reassembly, ensure that the fan cable lays on the side of the board shield and isn't pinched underneath.

  8. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 8, image 1 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 8, image 2 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • Grip the battery cable by its pull tab and pull it directly away from the motherboard to disconnect it.

    • Alternatively, use the flat end of a spudger or a clean fingernail to gently push the connector out of its socket, then disconnect it completely by hand.

  9. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD screw: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Use a Phillips driver to remove the 3.4 mm screw securing the SSD.

  10. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD: step 10, image 1 of 2 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • With the SSD screw removed, the SSD will pop up at a shallow angle.

    • Grip the end of the SSD and pull it away from its M.2 board connector to remove it.

    • During reassembly, insert the SSD at a shallow angle into its board connector, and secure it back into its horizontal position with the SSD screw.

  11. Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD shielding: step 11, image 1 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD shielding: step 11, image 2 of 3 Steam Deck SSD Replacement, Remove the SSD shielding: step 11, image 3 of 3
    • The SSD is wrapped in ESD shielding that will need to be transferred to the replacement SSD. Alternatively, replacement shielding can be found here.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the shielding off of the SSD.

    • If the shielding feels stuck, use a pair of tweezers to peel off and remove it instead. Take care to keep it in the best condition possible if you want to reuse it.

    • Only the SSD remains.

    • The Steam Deck uses a single-sided M.2 2230.

    • To recover, repair, or re-image your SSD, follow Valve's Steam Deck recovery instructions.

    • Note: The Steam Deck's buttons, thumbsticks, and touchpads may not register inputs at first after re-imaging the SSD. Use the touchscreen to follow initial SteamOS setup, allowing the device to download updates. Functionality should return once the Steam Deck restarts.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

To recover, repair, or re-image your Steam Deck's SSD with SteamOS, follow Valve's Steam Deck recovery instructions.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Steam Deck answers community for help.

270 other people completed this guide.

Carsten Frauenheim

Member since: 03/10/20

115,505 Reputation

339 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Staff

136 Members

17,444 Guides authored

57 Comments

idk why valve couldn't have just made the m.2 slot a 2230/2242/2260 & 2280 m.2 NVMe SSDs support??/ they could have done it! im hoping someone out there can make a new back shell that includes the nvme. m2 adapter riser cable extender that moves the nvme ssd to the back case somewhere else with more room and to also not only allow for better cooling of the SSD but also allows us to use any size m.2 nvme SSDs like 2230 up to 2280 m.2 size ssds as i have tons of gen3 x4 2280 nvme ssd lying around from all my AMD ryzen machines from my 1800X X370 all way up to X570 and 5700X / 5800X & 5800X3D etc..

adamnfs2 - Reply

I think it has to do with power draw... The Steam Deck isn't designed to cope with a incredibly fast (and power hungry) 2280 drive. I learned this the hard way on my laptop. I changed the drive myself to a 5500MB/s one and I could tell that not only did the SSD run hotter but also the components surrounding the SSD, it completely changed the thermal characteristics of the device. I added this drive to my desktop computer instead and bought a low powered one for the laptop. By having a 2230 drive on the Steam Deck, Valve forces users to choose drives that are typically designed for small and low powered devices.

Dennis -

lol thats a massive first world problem. we dont all have "tons" of m2 drives, ya know a reletively new tech, laying around

sk8r2211 -

and possibly even a m.2 door/cover to allow easier m.2 ssd removal W/O having to disassemble our steam deck! if the battery needs unplugged then a battery "KILLSWITCH" or "BATTERY DISCONNECT" Switch be also added to the decks after market backplate/cover to allow the steam decks battery to be disconnected from the unit with a toggle of a switch? allows for safter disassembly and m.2 SSD replacement with out having to repeatedly disassemble the steam deck....(SSD nand flash memory can fail) if i had the tools and capabilities to do this myself i would/ but i still dont even have my steam deck yet (Q3 July -Sept. 2022 ;( my friend just got his (ordered on same day) so WTF is mine valve!?????

adamnfs2 - Reply

It's already incredibly impressive that the Deck does what it does, at its price point, with its form factor. It'd be even bigger with any other physical features like that.

The unit isn't necessarily designed with modularity in mind, at least not first and foremost. People aren't "supposed" to be replacing these according to Valve; if that were the case then the internals would have to be shifted around quite a bit to ensure that people wouldn't be able to break stuff when they swap drives/etc. Although this is a very easy repair, people will inevitably mess it up. Valve doesn't want to have to replace everyone's devices if they destroy the internals on their own volition.

The fact that the SSD replacement process is this easy, and it doesn't instantly void your warranty, is amazing. Very few companies have this type of policy with hardware of this nature. A handheld device with fully upgrade-able storage to this extent has been neigh unheard of until now.

ralkia -

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 399

Past 7 Days: 2,793

Past 30 Days: 13,663

All Time: 744,792