Steam Overlay Not Working: How To Fix The Steam Overlay Not Working Issue

Steam logo - Steam overlay not working
Credit: Valve

Steam logo - Steam overlay not working
Credit: Valve

The Steam overlay not working issue is fairly self-explanatory. The Steam overlay, of course, is part of the Steam user interface. Normally, it allows users to access the friends list, chat functions, web browser and in-game DLC purchasing.

But if it stops working, players can't do any of this. But why has it stopped working? And what can you do to fix it? Here are our best suggestions.

How To Fix The Steam Overlay Not Working Issue

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what's caused the Steam overlay to stop working. As a result, there is no specific fix that is guaranteed to work in all circumstances. But there are a range of solutions that can work some of the time. So work your way through these, and hopefully one of them will do the job for you.

Read More: Steam Controller Not Working: How To Fix Steam Not Detecting Controller Issue

Check For Updates

Check for any pending updates. Go to Steam, click on Steam in the top-left corner of the app, then click on Check for Steam Client Updates. It's also worth checking for any updates to your PC.

Grant Administrator Access

Give the Steam client administrator access. To do this:

  • Right-click on the Steam client desktop shortcut, and select Properties.
  • Select Compatibility.
  • Check the box marked Run this program as an administrator.
  • Save the changes.
  • You can repeat this process with the file named GameOverlayUI.exe.

Enable/Disable Steam Overlay

It's worth checking that the overlay has actually been enabled in the first place. You'll need to go to different places within Steam to check this:

  • Start by clicking on Steam in the top-left corner of the Steam client.
  • Go to Settings, followed by the In-Game option on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Make sure the checkbox next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game is ticked.

Once you've done that, do this:

  • At the top of the window, you should see a tab called Library. Click on it.
  • Right-click on whichever game the overlay isn't working for. Select Properties.
  • Make sure the checkbox next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game is ticked.

Once you've done this, close Steam, start it up again and see if the issue is resolved.

Alternatively, if you already have the overlay enabled, try disabling it by unchecking the box. Then relaunch Steam, and re-enable it.

Disable gameoverlayui.exe

It is possible that this could cause the Steam overlay to stop working. Disabling it will allow you to identify whether or not this is the case.

  • Press Windows+R and type taskmgr to open the task manager.
  • Click on processes and look for gameoverlayui.exe. Disable this.
  • Relaunch Steam and see whether this resolves your issue.

Check Your Antivirus and Firewall

This is a fix we encounter a lot. Sometimes, an overzealous security program can block certain functions within Steam, and other software.

Make sure that the Steam client is listed as a "safe" program, so that it doesn't get blocked. Alternatively, you can temporarily disable your firewall and/or antivirus, to see whether this then allows the overlay to work.

Try Reinstalling The Steam Client

If you've tried everything else we've already suggested, then it may be time to consider more extreme measures. Deleting then reinstalling the Steam client might help resolve the issue. Just make sure you know your login credentials before doing this.

  • Go to Apps on your computer.
  • Look for Steam.
  • Click on it, and select Uninstall. A pop-up will appear. Select Uninstall again.
  • Once Steam has been deleted, go back to the Steam download page, and reinstall the app.

What Causes The Steam Overlay Error?

As we mentioned earlier, it isn't entirely clear on each individual case as to what the underlying cause might be. But there are a number of potential reasons for this, ranging from overzealous antivirus programs, to malfunctioning software.

Read More: Steam slow download speed: How to fix slow download and make Steam download faster

Work your way through the options we've listed. If you find yourself still struggling after you've tried them all, then we'd recommend contacting the Steam Support team for additional advice. You can submit a support ticket, and they'll get back to you with any further recommendations.

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