Steam Deck keyboard not showing - how to fix the issue

Steam deck buttons close up - Steam Deck keyboard not showing
Credit: Valve

The Steam Deck keyboard not showing problem has been an issue for some people trying to use Steam Deck desktop mode. We've already written a guide on how to get keyboard in desktop mode; but what do you do when you've followed those steps, and are still drawing a blank?

Well, we're glad you asked. Otherwise, this article would be redundant, and we'd have little alternative but to watch the news and lapse into an existential crisis as we see the world burn.

Instead, we'll answer your question. Here's how to fix the Steam Deck keyboard not showing.

How to fix the keyboard not showing issue on Steam Deck

It's important to state from the outset that the on-screen keyboard is available in Desktop Mode, but only if Steam is running. As we said here, this means that if you are offline, or the servers aren't working, then the keyboard won't be available.

With that in mind here's what you need to do:

  • Start by making sure your internet connection is working properly. Test another device, restart your router, and minimise any other bandwidth-heavy applications. If you are out and about or relying on a mobile hotspot, make sure you haven't used up all your data.
  • Assuming your internet connection is working, it's worth checking what's going on with the Steam servers. As we said above, if the servers are down, then so is the keyboard. You can go here for status updates. If the servers are down (which is relatively unusual) then you'll just have to wait for them to come back online before trying again, or use a physical keyboard and plug it into your Steam Deck.
  • If you know your internet connection is working, and the servers are online, check for any pending updates, in case this issue is being caused by a software glitch. In rare cases where this might apply, a software patch may have a fix for the problem.
  • Open up System Monitor, find the Steam app, right-click and select Send Signal > KILL. Relaunch Steam, and see if you can now use the keyboard.
  • Try switching from Desktop Mode to Game Mode, and back again.
  • Another alternative is to use Discover to find an alternative keyboard that doesn't require an internet connection, and see if this remedies your issue.

If none of these fixes resolves the issue for you, then we'd suggest contacting Steam support for further help and advice.

Woman playing Hollow Knight on Steam Deck - Steam deck keyboard not showing
click to enlarge
Credit: Valve

What is the Steam Deck keyboard not showing error?

As you probably already know, the keyboard not showing is an issue when the on-screen keyboard on your Steam Deck won't display. This can happen for a few reasons.

First of all, the keyboard only works while your Steam Deck is in Desktop Mode. So make sure you have it in the correct mode.

It also requires your Steam Deck to be connected to the Steam servers. So if you are offline, or the servers are down, then the keyboard won't work.

Whatever the reason for your keyboard-related woes, the solutions we've listed are your best bet for getting your keyboard back.

That's everything you need to know about the Steam Deck keyboard issue.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Gaming and How To page.