top of page
  • Writer's pictureMartin

Fix your SD Card and Download Issues

If you're experiencing slow download speeds on Steam Deck, then you'll want to keep reading. I'll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to fix the most common issues, so you should be able to download your games at a decent speed again!

The results of our poll recently showed over 40 percent of you are actually seeing this issue and one particular brand comes up quite often so the whole point of this is to see if you have SD card problems or whether there is things that you can fix.

We'll be looking at two different things here :

  1. If you are having issues when you move content from your SD card and it just never seems to happen

  2. You're seeing downloads start and stop when downloading

These are very different issues and one of these led to me breaking my SD card which if you follow us on Twitter or the community posts then you would have seen our post about it.

First off if you're not getting the rate out of your download speed that you think that you should be, regardless of your SD card then there is a couple of things that you will want to tweak.

First is to turn off the Wi-Fi power management:

  • Go into the system options and turn on developer mode

  • Once that's enabled scroll down to the bottom of the menu settings to the developer section

  • In the developer menu turn off something called Wi-Fi power management

  • Restart your Steam Deck

This will make your network connection much more stable and reliable on 5Ghz networks to make sure you get the most out of your download speed.

Second is there was somewhat of a bug with the bandwidth limiter (this may have been fixed now) even with that set to 0 (unlimited)

  • Go to Steam Deck Settings

  • Go into the downloads section

  • Change the limit bandwidth to around 1 million KBps

  • If you go over the limit it won't save it so make sure that you get this about right for your connection

100,000 KBS is a limit of around 12.5 Mbps so you want to make sure that that can max out your connection. I put this to 1,000,000 because I've got a 1Gbps so theoretically I should be able to get up to 122 Mbps download.

If these didn't make a difference then there may be an issue with your SD card, that issue is probably the fact that it has a write speed that is lying to you from what you bought.

If you can you will want to put your SD card into a PC and run a speed test, there are many tools to do this but the most common is CrystalDiskMark.

If all seems ok, then you will want to reformat your SD card, there was a bug in the earlier Steam OS versions that didn't format the card correctly, this has been fixed in Steam OS since 3.3.3, so you can use the game mode SD format tool to reformat.

If you prefer you can use the KDE tool in Steam OS Desktop mode instead, but be warned, that is how I bricked my Sandisk SD Card.

Lastly, be wary of fake SD cards on the market, there are too many, and be sure to check the comments and reviews on the SD Cards, many have people showing the CrystalDiskMark scores to verify if the speed is the actual speed, after replacing my problematic Sandisk Extreme SD card with the Samsung Evo I've had full speed downloads and no more issues.

You can pick up our recommended SD card below:

Samsung EVO SD CARD:

This article contains affiliate links, if a purchase is made, we may make a small commission


Links in this article may link to a partner site we are affiliated with, if a purchase is made through one of our links we may get a small commission, we do not get any commission from the Steam Store, we also utilize some AI tools such as Grammarly and Chat-GPT to aid article creation however all source content is our own.

bottom of page