How to Enable the Steam Overlay


The Steam overlay is an in-game interface that makes it easy to access Steam community and game features while you’re playing a game. Common things the Steam overlay enables are making in-game purchases, using Steam chat directly in games, taking screenshots, trading items, and much more. And while some features require the Steam overlay to be enabled, it isn’t turned on by default, so you’ll need to activate it yourself. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Enable the Steam Overlay

  1. Launch Steam on your computer and navigate to the home screen, and then click “Steam” in the menu along the top of the screen to open a drop-down menu.
  2. Click “Settings” in the drop-down menu. The Settings window opens.
  3. Click to select “In-Game” in the menu on the left side of the window. In Game options are shown on the right side of the window.
  4. Find the Steam Overlay section at the top of the window, and then click to place a check mark next to “Enable the Steam Overlay while in game.” The Steam Overlay is now enabled, and you’ll need to click “OK” to save your changes. Additionally, find the Overlay Shortcut Keys field in this section. This will show you the default shortcut keys you’ll need to use to turn the Steam Overlay on while in games. If you want to use a different shortcut key combination to activate the Steam Overlay, you’ll need to click inside of this field and then enter the new keys you want to use. Again, if you make any changes you’ll need to click “OK” to save them.

Going forward you can press your Steam Overlay shortcut keys to turn on the Steam Overlay in Steam games.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links I may receive a small commission. This helps support my content, and enables me to continue creating content like this. Thank you for the support!