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How to download and install Chrome on Steam Deck

There's a reason gamers are gravitating towards the Steam Deck and its imitators.
By
February 21, 2024

While Valve is generally keen on people treating the Steam Deck like a Nintendo Switch that plays PC games, one of its advantages is that it’s not limited to games — if you know what you’re doing, you can turn it into a laptop replacement for work and web browsing. If you’d like to put Google Chrome on a Steam Deck, here’s how, using two different methods.

QUICK ANSWER

To install Chrome on a Steam Deck:

  • Hit the Steam button and select Library.
  • Use the R1 button to switch to the Non-Steam tab.
  • Select Add Chrome in the tutorial pop-up.
  • Select Chrome from the Non-Steam tab to launch it.

How to download and install Chrome on Steam Deck

The 2022 Chrome logo

Of the two options for installing Chrome, the first is preferable, and almost certainly what you’ll be using. We’re presenting the second mostly as a fallback or if it happens to be convenient. You’ll see what we mean in just a moment.

Using the Steam library

Recognizing that a lot of people are going to want a dedicated web browser, Valve uses Chrome as an example of adding non-Steam apps via Desktop Mode. But you don’t even have to switch to the Desktop view — the option is baked into the SteamOS Library tutorial.

Follow this process:

  • Hit the Steam button and select Library.
  • Use the R1 button to switch to the Non-Steam tab.
  • If you haven’t installed any non-Steam apps yet, you should see a pop-up explaining how they’re normally installed, and an offer to install Chrome.
  • Select Add Chrome.
  • Once it’s installed, simply select Chrome from the Non-Steam tab to launch it.

Using Desktop Mode

Typically, if an app isn’t hosted in the Steam Store, the only way to install and use it on a Steam Deck is by installing it via Desktop Mode. That’s always an option with Chrome, even if you skipped installing it during the Library tutorial or (for whatever reason) you never saw the pop-up in the first place.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Press the Steam button.
  • Select Power, then Switch to Desktop. Your Steam Deck will need to reboot.
  • In the desktop taskbar, select Discover. Its icon should look like a shopping bag.
  • Use the search bar to search for Chrome. Trigger the Steam + X button combo to bring up the onscreen keyboard.
  • Select Chrome’s Install option.
  • Once the browser is downloaded, open up the Steam desktop app.
  • Select the plus icon in the bottom-left, then Add a Non-Steam Game.
  • Find Chrome, tick its checkbox, then choose Add Selected Programs.
  • When you switch back to Gaming Mode, you’ll find Chrome under the Non-Steam tab in the Library.
  • Alternately, you can stay in Desktop Mode and launch Chrome via the Steam Deck icon in the taskbar. Select Internet, then Google Chrome.