How to disable your Steam overlay in the app, to fix games that can’t run with it turned on

It's easy to disable the Steam overlay.

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It’s easy to disable the Steam overlay.
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g0d4ather/Shutterstock

  • You can disable the Steam overlay through the Settings or Preferences menu, depending on whether you’re using a PC or Mac, respectively.
  • The Steam overlay allows you to surf the web and message friends while in-game, but can also cause performance issues with some games.
  • Disabling the Steam overlay will allow games that have those performance issues to run more smoothly.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Steam overlay is a feature that lets you check your achievements, message your friends, open an internet browser, and more – all while you’re playing a game. All you need to do to open it is press Shift + Tab while playing.

However, if your computer isn’t very powerful, opening the Steam overlay during a game can cause heavy lag. Some users have also reported issues playing certain games while the overlay is enabled.

Fortunately, you can disable the Steam overlay directly from your Steam app. This will make it so pressing Shift + Tab won’t do anything.

However, you can’t disable it only for specific games. If you want to disable the Steam overlay, you’ll have to turn it off completely.

Here’s how to do so on both Mac and PC.

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How to disable the Steam overlay

Make sure that Steam is open and that you’re logged in.

1. In the top-right corner of the screen, click “Steam.” Once the drop-down menu appears, select “Settings” if you’re using a PC, or “Preferences…” if you’re on a Mac.

2. Once the Settings page opens, click on the “In-Game” tab in the left sidebar.

3. Uncheck the box that reads “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.”

To disable the Steam overlay, make sure the box is unchecked.

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To disable the Steam overlay, make sure the box is unchecked.
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William Antonelli/Business Insider

4. Click “OK” to confirm the changes.

You now shouldn’t be able to open the overlay while in-game.

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