Reddit user goes viral after putting AirTag inside a Steam Deck — "Just wanted to demo that it's still possible."

A Steam Deck with an Apple AirTag in it
(Image credit: U/thetax45)

The Steam Deck OLED is an expensive bit of tech, so one user has decided to make it trackable using an AirTag at the cost of a full set of functional buttons.

On Reddit, user thetax45 shared their home DIY project, taping an AirTag to the inside of their Steam Deck. In the post, they said: “Just wanted to demo that it's still possible to put an AirTag into the OLED model - I currently can't depress the L4 button, but I barely use it regardless, so I'm comfortable with the compromise.”

They then elaborated that they had to wrap the AirTag in electrical tape to ‘prevent shorting” and had to stack coins on the other side to balance out the weight difference. Not only has this cost them the use of their L4 button (which is the one on the back left of the device), but they will now have to open up their Steam Deck once a year to swap out the AirTag battery. 

Should you put an AirTag in your Steam Deck? 

No, you probably shouldn’t put an AirTag in your Steam Deck. Not only do you have to take it out and reconfigure once a year or so, but you lose access to a full button, and don’t know what damage that could do long-term to the device.

For a car or some very expensive device, an AirTag may help you to get it back if stolen, but the Steam Deck is likely cheap enough not to warrant law enforcement looking into your case any more than a knock on the door. If the person who stole your Steam Deck is an iPhone user, they will receive a notification of the AirTag, which might make them put the device down, but the same logic applies to a hidden compartment in your case (Like those found in the best AirTag wallets) or a lock on the zips. 

Until users can figure out how to sneak an AirTag into devices without impairing their use, it’s probably not worth the effort. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • Annie_M
    I am behind the times (which is somewhat unsettling)! I had to "google" what a steam deck was!!!

  • Just_Me_D
    Annie_M said:
    I am behind the times (which is somewhat unsettling)! I had to "google" what a steam deck was!!!


    Don’t be embarrassed. I did not know what it was either. I had heard of it, but I never took the time to find out exactly what it was.
  • lexx
    There is quite a number of videos out there where they show you how to strip down an airtag so it's very thin and because the item it's been installed to has an integrated battery you don't need the cr2032 battery just wire it to the built in battery assuming it isn't any higher then 5v, if it is find a 3-5v power rail on the steam deck and use that (tag only work when on but you know where it is when they are playing it)

    the airtag can run upto 5v or as low 2v but recommend 3v minimum so your not getting low battery warnings in find my app (witch can be useful if you have it connected to a 10 year ER14505 battery so you get a year or 2 warning before the battery runs out) just make sure it has a fast blow fuse extremely low 0.1A as tag pulls basically no power at all (just in case there is a fault you don't want the wire to be the fuse or burn out motherboard power circuitry)

    Look for 10 year airtag on YouTube (you can even stop the phone alerts that start after 4-12 hours on other people's phones if your phone isn't nearby)

    And if you want to still use the cr2032 battery you could wire it up to one of them as well