How to Resolve Issues with Steam Overlay Not Working

Steam Overlay serves as an indispensable feature for gamers, offering quick access to in-game chats, web browsing, and various other functionalities without having to exit the game. However, encountering issues where the Steam Overlay fails to function can be frustrating, disrupting the gaming experience and hindering seamless interaction with friends and community features.

Whether it’s a glitch in the system, conflicts with other software, or simply misconfigured settings, troubleshooting the Steam Overlay not working requires a systematic approach to pinpoint and resolve the underlying cause. In this guide, we’ll delve into the common reasons why the Steam Overlay might malfunction and provide step-by-step solutions to help you troubleshoot and fix the issue efficiently.

From basic troubleshooting steps to more advanced techniques, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to tackle Steam Overlay problems head-on, ensuring that you can enjoy uninterrupted gaming sessions with all the conveniences that Steam has to offer. Let’s dive in and explore how to resolve issues with Steam Overlay not working, empowering you to get back to gaming without any hindrances.

Fix Steam Overlay Not Working (2024)

Before we move ahead, what causes this issue with Steam? This issue can be caused due temporary bugs, issues with third-party apps, glitches, corrupted game or Steam files, and more. Follow the steps given below to fix Steam Overlay not working-

1. Enable Steam Overlay

To use the Steam Overlay feature, it must first be enabled to work while in the game. You can do this by following the steps given below-

  1. Open the Start Menu, and then open Steam from here. 
  2. Click on the Steam icon on the top left corner and then on Settings
  3. Click on In Game tab on the left pane. 
  4. Enable the toggle next to Enable the Steam Overlay While In-Game.Enable the Steam Overlay While In-Game
  5. After this, head to the Library tab on the top bar. 
  6. Right-click on the game you want to play and click Properties.Properties
  7. Inside the General tab, turn on Enable the Steam Overlay While In-Game toggle.Enable the Steam Overlay While In-Game
  8. Restart the Steam Client and play the game. 

2. Restart Steam Overlay

If the Steam Overlay is already enabled from within the Steam and game settings, then it’s probably some glitch with the Overlay feature. To fix the issue, you can restart the Overlay from the Task Manager

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combo to launch Task Manager
  2. Head to the Details tab on the left pane. 
  3. Right-click on the GameOverlayUI.exe process and then click on End Task.GameOverlayUI
See also  How to Download and Install Steam on Windows 11 PC

3. Run Steam as an Administrator

Missing permissions can also cause Steam Overlay to not open or work properly. To ensure all the permissions are given to Steam, you can run it as an administrator. Here are the steps to do so-

  1. Press the Windows key and type Steam
  2. Right-click on Steam and then on Run as Administrator
  3. In the UAC prompt, click on Yes

4. Fix Corrupted Game Files

Have you tried using this feature with any other game? If the overlay feature is throwing problems with a particular game, it can be due to corrupted game files. Verify the integrity of the game files to fix this issue. 

  1. On the Steam, head to the Library tab. 
  2. From the left pane, right-click on the game you are facing issues with and then click on Properties
  3. Click on the Installed Files tab and then on the Verify Integrity of Game Files button.Verify Integrity of Game Files steam

5. Clear Overlay Data of the Game

If fixing the corrupted game files didn’t help, then you can try clearing the overlay data of the game. To do so, follow the steps given below-

  1. First, launch the Steam client. 
  2. Click on the Library tab at the top. 
  3. Right-click on the game and then on Properties.Properties
  4. Look for the In-Game Overlay Data option and click on the Delete button next to it.Clear Overlay Data of the Game

6. Close Background Apps

Any other app running on your system apart from Steam can interrupt the Steam process and cause issues with Steam Overlay. You can try closing apps and processes running in the background to fix this issue. To do so, follow the steps given below-

  1. Press the Windows + X keys together, and then click Task Manager
  2. Under the Processes tab, select the app and click on End Task
  3. Do the same for all the non-essential processes and apps apart from Steam. 
See also  How to Reset Steam Achievements (2024)

7. Update Steam Client

If you are still facing the issue with Steam Overlay, then you can try installing the latest update and then check if you still face the issue. Here are the steps to update Steam-

  1. Launch Steam and open menu by clicking on Steam at the top left corner. 
  2. Next, click on the Check for Steam Client Updates button.Check for Steam Client Updates
  3. Once done, restart Steam Client and that should fix the issue. 

8. Disable Firewall

Firewall applications can interrupt the processes running on Steam. Disable the Firewall on your system to fix the issue. If you are not using any third-party firewall, then disable Windows Defender Firewall instead. 

  1. Click on the Start icon, type Windows Defender Firewall and press Enter
  2. On the left sidebar, click the Turn Windows Defender Firewall On or Off option. 
  3. Select Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall for both Private Network Settings and Public Network Settings.
  4. Save the changes by clicking on OK

We are temporarily disabling the firewall to see if it fixes the issue. If it does not, you can enable it again. 

9. Disable Third-Party Services

While playing the games on Steam, you can consider disabling the third-party services. This will fix the issue if it was caused by conflicting third-party services. 

  1. Open the Start Menu, and from here open System Configuration
  2. Click on the Services tab at the top. 
  3. Next, check the Hide All Microsoft Services option. 
  4. Disable the services by clicking on Disable All services. 
  5. Restart your PC to boot it without any third-party service and see if that fixes the issue. 

10. Delete the GameOverlayUI File

Steam folder stores the GameOverlayUI file, which handles all the Overlay features on the Steam. If anything goes wrong with the file then that can cause the Steam Overlay to not work properly. To fix it, you can delete the file through the steps given below-

  1. Press the Windows + E key combo and head to the following path-
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
  2. Here, look for the file that goes by the name GameOverlayUI.exe; select it and press the Delete key to delete it. 
  3. Close the File Explorer and launch Steam. 
See also  20 Best Multiplayer Games on Steam

11. Reinstall Steam

Lastly, if nothing solves the issue, reinstall the Steam app on your PC. But before you continue, know that it will delete all the games and game files from Steam. 

  1. Open the Windows 11 Settings
  2. Click on the Apps tab and then on Installed Apps
  3. From the list, click on three dots next to Steam and then click on Uninstall.uninstall steam
  4. Click on Uninstall again to confirm deleting the game. 
  5. Restart your PC once that game has been uninstalled. 
  6. Head to the Steam website on your browser and click on Install Steam to download the setup. 
  7. Install the client from the setup and log into your account. 

Bottom Line

If you are someone who uses the Steam Overlay feature quite a lot, then it can be stressful to not have it working properly. Not to stress about it; you can follow the steps given in the article above to fix Steam Overlay not working. 


In conclusion, resolving issues with Steam Overlay not working is essential for gamers who rely on its convenient features during gameplay. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively diagnose and address the root causes of Steam Overlay malfunction, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience.

Remember to start with the basics, such as verifying the integrity of game files, updating Steam and graphics drivers, and checking for conflicting software. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, don’t hesitate to explore more advanced solutions like adjusting overlay settings, disabling conflicting applications, or reinstalling Steam altogether.

Additionally, staying informed about updates and patches from Steam and game developers can also help preemptively address potential compatibility issues with the Steam Overlay.

By applying the methods discussed in this guide and staying proactive in maintaining your gaming environment, you can overcome Steam Overlay challenges and unlock its full potential for enhancing your gaming experience.

With persistence and the right approach, you’ll be able to enjoy seamless access to Steam Overlay features, connecting with friends, accessing community content, and multitasking without interruptions. Now, armed with this knowledge, go forth and conquer the virtual realms with confidence and convenience. Happy gaming!

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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