A Complete Guide On “How To Overcome Steam Overlay Not Working?” Issue

Steam is one of the largest and most popular digital platforms available for the gamers. Steam is much more than just a simple game digital distribution service. It offers a bag of useful features for the users which makes the gaming experience much more enjoyable than it was before. One of those amazing features is the Steam Overlay.

What is the Steam Overlay?

Steam Overlay lets the users access Steam while they are playing games. This amazing feature lets you invite your friends, send messages and check the online status of your friend during the gameplay. You can also invite them to play the game you are playing. One of the best things about this feature is, it lets you access Steam within any game instead of changing windows to do that.

Even though Steam Overlay able to win millions of gamers heart but it’s not completely bug-free. Many people experience a problem where their Steam Overlay stops working in the middle of gameplay, leave them unable to communicate with their friends and followers.

Steam Overlay not working is a complicated problem because this issue can arise for various hardware and software-related stuff. If you don’t know all the troubleshooting methods to fix Steam Overlay not working Windows 10 issue then you are at the right place. In this article, we have listed down a variety of effective solutions for you. So follow the rest of the article carefully

List of Things You Need to Check!

Instead of trying all the troubleshooting methods (which will consume lots of time), you can simply check few things in order to find the root cause of the problem in your device and use the appropriate method for it. So, before jumping to the troubleshooting method check the list below:

  • Check if Steam Overlay giving a problem for one particular game or for all the games.
  • Check if Overlay is enabled both in a general setting and in-game setting or not.
  • Made sure that the shortcut key to enable Steam Overlay is still set to shift+tab.
  • Third-party application such as MSI afterburner or fraps is well known for creating function conflict with the Steam and trigger the Steam Overlay not working issue.  
  • Check if steam.exe and gameoverlay.exe are added in the exclusion list of firewall or not.
  • Verify game cache to check if that’s the main reason for the problem.

Troubleshooting Methods for Steam Overlay Not Working Issue

Even though fixing the Steam Overlay not working Windows 10 is a little bit complicated problem for the gamers but the methods of fixing the issue are not too hard to use. With proper guidance and a little bit of knowledge on the computer, anyone can solve the issue without any help from third-party software. If you are unable to find the root cause of the error in your system then we will recommend you to try the below-mentioned methods in descending order and don’t skip any solution until your problem is solved.

Method #1: Disable and Re-enable Steam Overlay

If the Steam Overlay not working problem start occurring just after installing the Steam application or after a new update, then there is a slight possibility that you forget to enable the Steam Overlay which gives birth to this irritating problem. In order to use the function without any problem, you need to enable the Steam Overlay for both globally and for the individual game setting. If it is already enabled, then you need to disable the feature and then re-enable in order to fix the minor bugs in settings. If you don’t know how to enable the feature then follow the below guide carefully.


  • At first, turn on your device and then launch your Steam client.
  • Once the application opens, click on the Steam tab present in the top-left corner of the window.
  • Now from the drop-down menu click on Settings and then choose the In-game tab present in the left pane.
  • On the right side, you will see a checkbox label as Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game. Make sure it is checked, if it’s not then checked it right now. In the same section, you can also check if you are using the correct Overlay shortcut keys or not. You can change the Overlay shortcut keys if you want to otherwise leave it as it is.
  • If the problem is occurring for a particular game then click on the Library tab present at the top of the window. In the Library, all the games that are installed on your computer will be listed here.
  • Now, right-click on the game in which the overlay isn’t working and select the Properties option.
  • Once the Properties window opens click on the General tab and then look for the checkbox stating as Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game. When you find it make sure it is enabled by checking the box.
  • After completing all the above steps re-launch the Steam client and check if the overlay is working fine for all the games.

Method #2: Grant Administrator Access to Your Stream

If you are running the Steam client from a non-administrative account then it’s no surprise you are getting the error notification. Majority of the cases, users face the Steam Overlay not working problem when they forget to give the administrative access to the Stream after installing it. In most of the computer Steam automatically get the Administrative privileges when you install it. But, for some reason that does not happen with your Steam application, then follow the below guide to provide Steam the permission of an administrator:

  • At first, find the Steam directory from its default location (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam). If you installed Steam in another directory then browse to that directory and then locate the Steam.exe file.
  • Once you find it right-click on the file and then select Properties.
  • Now, from the Steam Properties window select the Compatibility tab from the top of the screen.
  • Next, look at the bottom section of the window and find the checkbox which is labeled as Run this program as an administrator. If it’s not already checked then check it right now and save the changes.
  • After saving the above changes exit the properties window and locate the file named GameOverlayUI.exe from the Steam directory.
  • Now, once again open its properties window and select the Compatibility tab in the same way you have done in the above section. Here, you have to find the “Run this program as an administrator” checkbox from the bottom of the table.
  • When you find it check the box, save the changes and exit from the current window
  • After completing all the above steps restart Steam and check the status of the issue.

Method #3: Launch the Game from Main Game Folder

Many user’s reviews claim that there are some bugs present in the current version of Steam which disables the Steam Overlay when you launch the game using the Steam launcher. If you are facing the same situation then you can open and play the game directly from its installation folder. If you don’t know how to do that, then follow the below steps:

  • At first, open your Steam directory depending on where you installed it. By default, it is installed at the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam location. So if you didn’t change location during the installation of Steam, then go to the default location.
  • Now, from the Steam directory, you need to open the folder name as Steamapps and then click on the common folder. Here you will find separate folders of all the games installed on your PC.
  • Next, select the game in which Steam Overlay isn’t working and then click on the game folder present in it. In this game folder, you have to find the bin and open it
  • Once you open the bin, you will see two more folders in it, the first one is win32 and the second one is win64. Open win32 if your computer has a 32-bit configuration. If you are using a 64-bit configuration then open the win64 folder.
  • If you follow the guide carefully then the path of the address will look like this,

Steam > steamapps > common > {Name of the Game} > game > bin > win32/win64

  • In the win32 or win64 folder, you will find the main launcher of that particular game. Right-click on it and then, select the Run as administrator option to launch the game.

Method #4: Verify Local Game Files and Library File

It is completely wrong to assume that Steam Overlay not working problem always arises for the wrong system setting or for the bug problem of the Steam application. Sometimes, this problem can also occur when there is a problem in your Steam-powered game. If you are also facing the same problem in your game file, then you can use the Game integrity checker, a built-in tool to fix the issue. If you don’t know how to use the Game integrity checker, then follow the undermentioned steps carefully:


  • At first, turn your device on and then open your Steam client.  
  • Once the application opens, click on the Library tab located at the top of the screen.
  • In the library tab,  all of your installed games will be listed. Now select the game in which Steam Overlay is not working and then right-click on it to select Properties.
  • Next, select the Local Files tab and then click on the option which says Verify Integrity of Game Files. Once you press the option, your built-in tool will automatically start verifying all the files present in that game folder. If the tool finds any missing/corrupted files in the folder, it will download those files and then replace it.
  • When the automatic repair process is finished go back to the home page of your Steam client, press the Steam tab present on the top-left side of the display and then click on the Setting option.
  • After that open the Downloads tab present at the left side of the interface and then select the checkbox which is labeled as Steam Library Folders.
  • Here all of your Steam content information will be listed. Now right-click on it and select the Repair Library Files option. After completing the repair process restart your Steam client and then open the game in which you are getting the issue.

Method #5: Disable or Delete gameoverlayui.exe  

Gameoverlayui.exe is a non-essential program for the Windows OS. According to the user review the Steam Overlay not working can be easily fixed if you disable or delete this program. Even though there is no solid proof about the effectiveness of this method but you can use it if none of the other fixes work for you. You can find the program in the subfolder of C:\Program Files. For your information, it is also not a Windows system file so you don’t have to worry about it causing any unexpected errors for disabling or deleting it:

  • At first, open the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows key + R key. After that type taskmgr in the empty box and hit the Enter button to launch the task manager.
  • When the Task Manager window opens click on the Processes tab and then, start scrolling down until you find the gameoverlayiu.exe.
  • Once you find it click on the program and select the Disable option. After that restart Steam and check if Steam Overlay is working.

If you want to delete the program instead of disabling it then you can also do that by opening your Steam directory from its default location C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam. From there look for the GameOverlayUI.exe file and delete it.

If this method does not work for you, then you can easily restore the file from Recycle bin and re-enable the program. That’s why we will recommend not to click on the Permanent delete option until you find the program main culprit behind the problem

Method #6: Refresh Steam File

If the problem is still present in your computer then you have no other choice except to refresh the Steam files. In order to refresh the Steam files, you need to delete some of the configuration folders from the Steam directory. But don’t worry, those files will get renewed when you restart the computer and launch the Steam client again. But, you have to keep in mind that any interruption during the process will corrupt the files. If that happens, you will have no other choice except to download the entire content once again. So, make sure you don’t get any interruptions during the process.

To refresh the Steam directory navigate to its default location and look for the Steamapps folder. In the steamapps folder, you have to look for the game file which is giving the problem to you and then delete it. If you are getting Steam Overlay not working windows 10 issue in all the games then skip this step and delete all the other files in the steam directory except the following files and folder and then restart your computer

Userdata(folder), Steam.exe(Application), Steamapps(folder).

When your device boot up, launch the Steam client with administrative privileges. Now your Steam will automatically start updating itself and download the missing file. Once the update is complete, hopefully, your problem with the Steam Overlay will be solved.  

Wrapping Up

We hope our methods are able to help you to get rid of the Steam Overlay not working issue from your device. By following all the methods carefully you can fix any root problem of the Steam Overlay issue. But somehow, if our methods didn’t quite work out in your case, then we will highly recommend contacting an expert for better guidance.

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa