Does disabling the Steam Overlay affect achievements?

One of the best things about games is the feeling of accomplishment of earning achievements while completing games. This is why Steam users who want to disable the Steam Overlay will want to know if they will stop receiving achievements by turning this feature off.

The answer to this is no; disabling the Steam Overlay doesn’t stop you from getting achievements. The only effect it has on achievements is it won’t show them as you earn them, but they will appear on your profile. This would stop most people from disabling the Steam Overlay.

How to disable the Steam Overlay

  • First, open the app
  • Once the app opens, find your game library
  • Find the game that you want to use without the Steam Overlay
  • Right-click the game to show a list of options
  • Find the option called “Properties” and click it
  • Look for the option to disable the Steam Overlay.
  • Finally, start the game you want, and it won’t have the Steam Overlay function.

Content list

What is the function of Steam Overlay

Steam Overlay is a significant feature that lets your game communicate with the Steam servers and friends. There are many benefits to using this feature that involve social aspects, such as communicating with friends and sending game invites. If the Steam Overlay is disabled, you won’t be able to invite friends or receive invites, and this is important because some games require the Steam Overlay for matchmaking invites. You access the Steam Overlay by entering the hotkey “Shift + Tab,” this is the default hotkey, but it can be changed to whatever you want.

List of Steam Overlay features

  • Friend list – This lets you see which of your friends are online and what they are doing.
  • Achievements – This lets you see your progress on specific games and what you need to do for certain achievements.
  • Community hub – This option lets you see what people are talking about and doing in specific communities.
  • Discussions – The discussions tab allows you to join community discussions of your interests.
  • Screenshots – This lets you take screenshots of Steam games you play at any time.
  • Web browser – This function opens a new web browser while you are on the game that lets you access the internet.

The Steam Overlay can only function and be activated by Steam games. This means that this feature doesn’t work on games from other sources.

Does disabling the Steam Overlay affect achievements?

Steam users may want to know if disabling the Steam Overlay affects achievements. Disabling the Steam Overlay has little effect on achievements compared to other features such as the friend’s list and invitations not working. The only effect that disabling the Steam Overlay will have is that it will stop showing you notifications when you get them. This means that the only way to see if you are getting achievements is to check your profile.

The benefits of the Steam Overlay

There are many benefits to keeping the Steam Overlay feature instead of disabling it because you would lose out on many features that would benefit you. Most of these features are social options that allow Steam users to communicate.

Steam Overlay features

  • You can see if your friends are online by looking at your friend list.
  • The achievement tab lets you see the progress you are making on achievements.
  • The community hub section is used to view communities for different games.
  • The discussions section lets you have discussions with other users.
  • You can take screenshots with F12 and view a library of screenshots you have taken.
  • Steam Overlay lets you open a new web browser while playing the game.

If you decide to disable the Steam Overlay, it can help with device performance issues. This choice is helpful for users who have experienced FPS drops or slow speeds, so disabling the Steam Overlay would probably help boost your FPS.

The downsides of the Steam Overlay

Some people report that using the Steam Overlay can cause problems with their game performance; this is most likely to occur to users with low-end PCs and is the main reason you would want to disable this feature. Other users may want to disable this if they get a consistently low frame rate while playing a game.

How to disable the Overlay for one game

I will show how you can disable the Steam Overlay by showing the process in a step-by-step guide. This guide will show how to do this for one game at a time; however, read on to the following guide if you want to do this for all your games.

  • Start by opening the Steam app.
  • Go to your “library” to find a game.
  • Right-click on the game you want to disable the Steam Overlay and press “Properties.”
  • This will open some options, toggle “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.”

Toggling the Steam Overlay for this game will stop it from appearing when you use the Overlay keybind. Doing this means you will stop seeing your friend list and the notifications of new achievements.

This will disable the Steam Overlay for the game you have chosen. This means that every feature we talked about won’t be visible; you also won’t see when your friends come online or earn new achievements.

How to disable the Overlay for all games

Disabling the Steam Overlay can be done for several reasons, but people mainly do it to help with performance issues. If you like disabling the Overlay for one game, you can disable it for all games. Disabling the Steam Overlay for everything is found in a different location to the previous method and can only be undone by re-enabling the option.

  • Re-open Steam.
  • The next step is to open the “Settings” menu. To do this, go to “Steam” in the top left. On a Mac, this will say “Preferences,” but on Windows, this will say “Settings.”



  • After reaching the settings, go to “In-Game.”
  • The “In-Game” settings page will cover things you can see in-game, such as the Steam Overlay. The option to disable the Steam overlay is “Enable Steam Overlay while in-game,” toggling this will stop this function from working for any game. This means that you will never receive notifications again until you turn it back on.
  • After making your changes, press “OK” to save it.

What can be changed in these settings

The In-Game section of the Steam settings covers several options that can affect what you can use while playing games. Most of these choices can only take effect while the Steam Overlay is enabled, so you would have to think about using it to change these settings.

In-game options

  • Steam Overlay shortcut keys
  • In-game FPS counter
  • Screenshot shortcut keys

If you decide to re-enable the Steam Overlay, you can keep using the screenshot function; this lets you take screenshots at any point on a Steam game. There is the option to change the hotkey from the default choice “Shift + Tab” on the settings page. After making any changes, press “OK” to save.

Thank you for reading through this guide. I have covered everything that relates to disabling the Steam Overlay and if it affects achievements. The answer is no, and you should only disable it if you think it will help with performance.

Recent Posts