How to Restart Steam from your Steam Link (So You Don’t Have to Get Up)
The Steamlink is a wonderful device. I have one hooked up to my TV, and it’s almost like having my gaming PC hooked up to it without using up all the space that hardware requires. There are downsides, however, and one of those downsides is that, if Steam needs to restart (because it’s not working correctly for whatever reason), it’s not possible by default to close Steam without breaking the connection between the Steam Link and your computer. The need to go to your computer in order to restart Steam sometimes ruins the convenience of having the thing in the first place.
Here’s what I did to get around it on Windows. First, you’ll want to download this file (source code here, made with AutoHotkey). Extract the file to “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup” in order to make it launch with your computer, otherwise you’ll have to manually start it each time you boot up your computer. And that should be all you need.
What that program does is it checks to see if Steam is running once each second. If it detects Steam, it won’t do anything, but if it doesn’t detect that Steam is running, it will launch it. So all you need to do to restart Steam is close it, which you can do from your Steam Link by exiting Big Picture mode, right-clicking on Steam in your taskbar, and selecting “Exit Steam.” Then just wait for Steam to relaunch!
So far, I’ve found a dramatic improvement in my ability to use the Steam Link for computing when I have this program running. If you’re having troubles with Steam and the Steam Link communicating with each other, I highly recommend giving it a try! One thing, though, you probably should close this program before entering any VAC-enabled games. It probably won’t get you banned since it’s not interacting with any games in any way (just checking the system to see if Steam’s running), but Autohotkey has been used to create cheat bots in the past, so I can’t guarantee anything. With most VAC protected games, though, it’s usually competitive enough you won’t want to play on the Steam Link anyway, though, so it shouldn’t be a huge issue. Also, this program expects Steam to be installed in the default location on 64-bit versions of Windows, so it won’t work if you’ve installed it in a location other than “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe”.