If you're dealing with the Steam Overlay not working problem, make sure the Steam Overlay function is enabled first. After that, you can try to restart Steam and Windows, run it as an admin, or update Windows and Steam to the latest versions. These are just some of the fixes you can try.
I've been gaming with the Steam client for a long time and I've seen my fair share of bugs and problems. When my friend was dealing with his Steam Overlay not working, he came to me for help. Fortunately, this is a problem I've dealt with many times before, so I was able to help him fix it and get back to playing games in no time.
If you're frustrated by the Steam Overlay not working issue and you've been looking for a way to fix it, this is the best place to be. Let's dive right into everything that you need to know.
If you're dealing with your Steam Overlay not working when you try to open it, you don't need to fret.
There are many easy things you can try out to fix Steam Overlay problems. This part of the article will show you several that you can try to get it working like normal again.
The first thing that I recommend that you do when dealing with this Steam Overlay issue is to restart your computer.
This should only take about a minute, and you'll be surprised that it might solve the problem entirely.
Restarting your PC is straightforward:
You might not know this, but there's a setting that lets you enable Steam Overlay, and this can be done for each of your installed games.
To turn on the Steam Overlay in the Steam launcher, follow the steps below:
While you're on that screen, you can also check to make sure that you're using the correct overlay shortcut keys to open it. You'll find that you have the ability to change the overlay shortcut from the default Shift + Tab to something else.
You might not want the overlay in each game of yours, so enabling Steam Overlay is possible on a per-game basis.
To get this done, do the following:
In some cases, you might find that some features in Steam don't work properly unless you open Steam with administrator access.
There's an easy way to make sure that Steam opens with administrative privileges all the time.
Restarting Steam every once in a while can help fix a lot of the software problems that the program faces. A restart can help refresh Steam files, which can be an easy solution.
Restarting Steam takes a few seconds. Just click the "Steam" option in the title bar and press "Exit".
Once the app has closed, launch it on your computer again, and that's it.
Your Steam Overlay feature may not be working because of a bug in the Steam application.
Fortunately, when this happens, updating Steam to the latest version can usually help fix this.
Although it usually handles updating automatically, you can update Steam manually, which only takes a few simple steps.
If you find that the Steam Overlay feature doesn't work in a particular game but works with all the others, it might be due to some corrupted game files.
There's a feature that allows you to verify integrity of game files, which can help you tell if this is the problem.
You can use this option by following the process below:
This will look through all the files in the Steam directory for the game to make sure that everything is present and nothing is corrupted.
Sometimes, the Steam Overlay can be open as a process, but a glitch prevents it from working properly.
When this happens, you won't be able to use this feature properly until you've closed it. This will allow it to open again and work normally.
Fortunately, you can kill the process behind this overlay, using Task Manager.
Follow the steps below to get this done:
Now that you've closed the process for the Steam Overlay, attempt to open it again in the game. You can do this by pressing the Shift + Tab buttons with the game open.
Hopefully, this should fix the problem with the overlay not working.
Under normal circumstances, once you have installed Steam, it shouldn't have any issues running on your computer and communicating with the internet.
However, sometimes things don't work as smoothly, and your antivirus ends up inadvertently blocking the normal functioning of Steam. The overlay is one way this might manifest.
However, you can add the Steam library folders as an exception to your anti-virus software to prevent it from blocking any files contained in the Steam directory.
How you do this depends on the antivirus you use. However, since Windows Defender comes by default with the Windows operating system, I'll show you how to add the whole Steam folder as an exception to that.
Just like that, you've added the Steam folder as an exception to Windows Defender.
If you use another anti-virus, you can do a quick online search to check how to add an exception to it.
If nothing else has worked so far, it might be time to finally re-install Steam.
Reinstalling apps is not much of a hassle for most people, but for Steam users, it can be particularly annoying since you can potentially lose all your games.
However, if you know what you're doing, all your games can be saved. I'll show you exactly how to do this.
To reinstall Steam, follow the steps below:
That's all you've got to do. Now you've been able to completely reinstall Steam and have all your files present.
Finally, if nothing else has worked, one last way to try and make the Steam Overlay work is to update your Windows OS.
This can work if a Windows system file is corrupted and a newer version has a fix for it.
The good thing is that updating Windows is easy. Just follow these steps to get this done:
The Steam Overlay is a cool feature that the Steam app provides to enhance your gaming experience.
This gives you access to many useful features without even needing to leave the game. Instead, this overlay pops over the game you're currently playing, and you can close it once you're done and get right back to gaming.
Some of the features that the Steam Overlay has include the following:
With all these useful features, it's natural that when the Steam Overlay stops working, it can be a major inconvenience for you.
When you can't access Steam Overlay, it can get in the way of you playing your games to the fullest. This feature lets you chat, send invitations, take screenshots, and even has a built-in web browser that you can use to check for important info quickly.
The good thing is that there are many fixes you can try out. For instance, you can update Steam or Windows, re-enable Steam Overlay, repair library files for the game that has issues, and in some cases, all you need to do is restart your computer.
Did this article help you get your Steam Overlay to work like normal again? If so, take a look at our related articles to learn more.