The Stream Deck freezes up / stops responding
The by far most commonly occurring issue with Stream Decks is that they suddenly stop responding to key presses. The display may flicker or just stay as it is, but all of a sudden nothing happens when you press the keys.
The user will typically see that restarting SoundFlow temporarily resolves this issue.
The Underlying Problem – Power Delivery
99% of the time this kind of behavior happens, it's because the Stream Deck doesn't receive enough power.
Unfortunately, the Stream Deck devices are very power hungry, especially in short bursts that can occur randomly or when a button is pressed. If the device doesn't have enough power, it may sometimes do a quick restart without properly initializing leaving it in a bad state – causing it to be unresponsive. What you would see is for example that the device stops reacting to button presses but still keeps the last shown deck visible.
How to troubleshoot & fix the issue
To troubleshoot or fix this, make sure to add power to the hub you're using, use the Stream Deck with another hub, or connect it directly to the computer.
As a first step, it's always a good idea to connect the device directly to your computer, as the internal hub usually always has enough power, so if doing so removes the issue you can rule out any other potential reasons. However, in rare cases, even the internal USB bus can run out of power, so this is not a solution that works in all cases.
Restarting SoundFlow may help for a short while, because it re-initializes the connections through macOS, but the underlying issue will remain until sufficient power delivery is added to the device.
Note, that changes to USB devices, hubs, removal or addition of devices to your system, unrelated to the Stream Deck, may also cause this to happen – for example adding a new webcam to a hub may cause the Stream Deck to stop working reliably due to not having enough power available.
KVM systems and USB extenders
Using Stream Decks with a KVM system or other advanced hubs or USB extenders doesn't work particularly well, or at all (depending on your setup).
Since the Stream Deck uses custom HID messages, which many KVM systems don't understand, the traffic doesn't get passed on correctly which leads the Stream Decks to be inoperative.
This is also true for some USB extenders.
To get a sense of which extenders, hubs and KVM systems that work reliably with Stream Decks, we encourage you to ask on our SoundFlow User Group on Facebook to let the community chime in.
SoundFlow is not the company that produces Stream Decks – we merely integrate with them, purely on the software side. If you're having repeated trouble with your device, it's a good idea to contact Elgato instead for support.