I'd like to be able to, like with a PS3, pick up my controller and hit a button and have Steam Big Picture load up.

To complicate the situation, I already have steam running (to keep games up to date) so it really needs to just launch Big Picture mode, not another instance entirely. I also don't want to use the built in option to launch Steam in Big Picture mode as that will just suck up gpu power all day long for no reason.

Does such a software switch exist and if so how can I map it to a controller button. (I could maybe use some logitech direct input software to make the later happen but I'd still need a switch)

The only thing that comes to mind as being close to what would work is when I use in-home streaming it will autolaunch Big Picture on the source machine via software. Can that be tapped somehow just locally?

  • 1
    I'd probably try to do something clever with AutoHotKey, as it can read/respond to controller button presses and can do almost anything you want. I don't know enough about launching big picture mode to write a script without being in front of a machine to test it, though.
    – agent86
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 15:50
  • Ah ya that looks like it will do nicely. Now for the tricky part...
    – Enigma
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 16:00
  • 1
    Does the home button not work on PS3 controllers? I know the Xbox Home button launches big picture Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 20:49
  • I've got a logitech 710 gamepad and at least how I have things now the home button does not launch big picture but will open the steam overlay in game.
    – Enigma
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 21:08

5 Answers 5


This is so far the most elegant approach that also has many other additional features/capabilities:

enter image description here

Found at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/367670/

PS: I am not in any way affiliated with the developer - I just think it's awesome and use it personally.


Incomplete & untested solution:

Software switch (unverified):

This shortcut will open steam in big picture whether or not steam is already running:

C:\[Path To Steam]\Steam.exe -start steam://open/bigpicture (Source)

your inner Panda - 12 de Sep, 2012 a las 13:20

[Placeholder for script that maps a button to it (presumably using AutoHotKey)]


This is not a solution for me but might be to others:


Shell Application for Big Picture This is an application that I whipped up as I wanted to have a windows account called "Steam" that launched straight into "Big Picture" mode.

This has various advantages of using "other methods" that I have seen on here ... for instance by using my application it will automatically log out of the Steam Windows account when steam is closed.

You simply run the Steam Launcher... and it creates a steam Windows account for you automatically. Log into that account to finish setting it up....

... simply run this and follow the instructions

Download at: http://i00productions.org:80/downloader/?DownloadFile=446F776E6C6F6164732F537465616D204C61756E636865722E657865

You can click run it right from the web page and it will do the rest ... the file that you downloaded is not needed after it has been run so you can also delete it :)

i00 - Jan 7, 2013 @ 4:49am


Try double tapping the Steam Button (Overlay Button). Usually launches Big Pictures Mode when I'm on desktop.


Xbox Game Bar app, turn this checkbox on & off under the settings (Tiny little slider button at the top)

Then in steam just hit guide button (Make sure guide button is set to focus steam in Steam settings)


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