How to Use Stream Deck Like An Expert – The Ultimate FAQ Guide

The Elgato StreamDeck is one of the most versatile - and good looking - productivity upgrades you can buy, and not just for streamers and gamers. Our in-depth guide will help you make the most of it!

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I‘ll go right out and say it: Stream Deck is the best productivity tool I have invested my money in. Ever. No, this isn’t a sponsored post (sadly 🤣), I am just amazed at the capabilities this.. thing offers. Not just for streamers. Actually, I don’t think most streamers even realize how far can Stream Deck go with automation!

I wanted to publish this guide once I’ve had all the streaming goodies & functions covered, but using Stream Deck day by day, I’m able to do even more advanced – and helpful – stuff with it, that I can’t wait to share it! So I’m really sorry to the streaming community, I’ll update this Stream Deck guide with all the streaming stuff ASAP! 😁

As mentioned this guide will get updated with more and more how-tos for creating Stream Deck shortcuts, workflows and automations! Fire away all your questions and needs in the comments, and let’s make this the ultimate reference FAQ for this amazing product!

How to Execute Programs & Files in Stream Deck

Probably the simplest and most used function in Stream Deck, is creating shortcuts to your most used software, games and files.

To do that, simply find the “System” category in the Actions List, and drag the “Open” action into an empty slot.

There, you can name your shortcut – and even choose to display that name on your Stream Deck – and choose the app or file you want to link in there.

Simply click the dots to open the file browser, and pick the application you need.

By default, Stream Deck will navigate you to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs which is the folder where most of your programs will have their launchers nested, so that’s quite helpful.

Another folder which you’ll find extremely helpful, is C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local (also look into its child folder C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Programs), since it similarly contains a lot of application launchers inside (swap USER with your actual Windows username. just go to C:\Users and find which one it is if you are unsure).

If you want to open Folders, Steam Games or Windows Store Apps, you have to take a different course of action, so simply check the relevant sections below.

How to Open Windows Explorer Folders with Stream Deck

As a new Stream Deck user, it’s not too apparent that the “System -> Open” action can be used to open folders as well, since it won’t let you do it through the browser picker.

It’s not going to work if you copy / paste the folder path in the “App / File” field either.

All you have to do, is simply drag the folder you need a shortcut for, in the “App / File” field, and that’s it! Your requested folder will open once you press the button.

How to Open Steam Games with Stream Deck

Simply navigating to steamapps/common/Game/game.exe, won’t work. The game “might” launch, but most probably you’ll notice that you are not “in-game” in your Steam profile.

This is because Steam launches its games in a “special” way, so that it can properly load all your Steam properties for the game, as well as load the Steam Overlay, sync with Steam Cloud, etc.

There are good news, and bad news!

The good news? It’s very easy to create the correct Steam Game shortcut. All you need to do is drag a “System -> Website” action into your preferred slot, then type in the URL steam://rungameid/XXXXXX

You will have to swap XXXXXX with the actual Steam App ID of the game you want to launch. To find this, simply navigate to the Steam Store page of the game, and look at the URL:

The bad news? You’ll have to put the right icons there yourself. 😥

How to Open Windows Store Apps With Stream Deck

This was kinda tricky to find out, since Windows Store apps are well hidden, and hardly accessible. Before you try to get access in the “WindowsApps” folder and waste your time, please follow this easy solution by solarbang:

  1. Press Windows Key + R.
  2. Type “Shell:AppsFolder” in the window that pops up (without the “”).
  3. A new explorer window will open, with all your installed applications. Simply find the one you need in the list.
  4. Right-click the Windows Store app you need to open with Stream Deck, and “Create Shortcut”.
  5. I advise you to move this shortcut in a dedicated folder inside your Stream Deck folder, to keep things tidy.
  6. Go to Stream Deck, and drag a new “System -> Open” action into your preferred slot, then simply drag the shortcut you created into the “App / File” field that shows up.
  7. Test your new shortcut!

How to Open Websites in Non-Default Browsers with Stream Deck

This one is essential for my workflow, since I have to switch between literally hundreds of digital accounts on a daily basis, and I have setup each different browser to support a different project / workflow.

Therefore I had to find a way to open some links in Opera or Firefox instead of Chrome, and this is what worked for me:

  1. Make sure you have the “Advanced Launcher” action installed (hit “More Actions…” in the bottom right corner of your Stream Deck).
  2. Create a new Advanced Launcher shortcut, and choose the browser you want to open the link with, as the Application field.
  3. Input the link you want to open in the Arguments field. You don’t need to use any extra symbols there, just the plain final URL.
  4. And here you go, your link will now open with the browser of your choice.

There is only one drawback – I still haven’t figured out how to also make the link open in a new tab, in case the browser is already open. If anyone knows the answer to this, please hit me up in the comments! ❤

How to Open An Incognito / Private Browser Window with Stream Deck

Another essential shortcut for me, since I like to use Google Search “unpersonalized”, is opening a new browser window in incognito mode.

  1. Make sure you have the “Advanced Launcher” action installed (hit “More Actions…” in the bottom right corner of your Stream Deck).
  2. Create a new Advanced Launcher shortcut, and choose the browser you want to open the link with, as the Application field.
  3. Type “-incognito” in the Arguments field (without the quotes “”).
  4. There you have it, by using your shortcut you will open a new incognito window, in a new browser window each time.

Launch A Complete Workspace With 1 Button, Using Plugins & Multi-Actions

Of course, “just launching” a program might not be enough for many use-cases. I mean ok, it’s cool, but where’s the extra power? We paid for it!

Don’t worry my friend, because hopefully there are a couple Action Lists you can Install, which will let you do far more with your program execution. 😁

Navigate to “More Actions…” and install the following plugins to your Stream Deck: Advanced Launcher & Windows Mover & Resizer.

Advanced Launcher, will not only let you pick the application you want to run, but you can also choose to Run as Administrator, Limit the number of running instances, Kill the existing instances – as well as the best one of all – set your unique arguments on the launcher!

Windows Mover & Resizer on the other hand, takes productivity to a WHOLE new level! The macro will apply to either your currently selected window, or a specific application you define, and it will let you choose the exact monitor, position & size you want the window to take on the click of your button! 😱 This. Is. Sick!

And what’s the last piece of this glorious puzzle? Stream Deck Multi Actions! Simply combine Advanced Launcher & Windows Mover into a Multi Action, where you first launch the application with the exact settings you need, then it gets automatically positioned in the exact coordinates and size you need!

Bringing us to the last huge step! Creating a HUGE multi action that will instantly launch a “Workspace” for you! Launch your game, audio output & input settings, stream starting soon scene, face camera, lights and whatever else you can dream of, in the press of a button! Oh yes, Stream Deck can get THAT good! 😁

Disclosure: We may sometimes use affiliate links to reputable retailers like Amazon.

Babalon, Mother of Abominations
Babalon, Mother of Abominations
16-hours / day in front of the screen entrepreneur, of which 6+ are spent on gaming. MMOs, CCGs, RPGs and many more, Steam-addict & achievement-w***e. Currently wasting life on BDO & Gacha Games.

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