How to Disable the Steam Overlay & Change Shortcut Key


One of the most useful features that comes with the Steam client has to be its in-game overlay. The overlay allows you to chat with friends, browse the web, look through game guides and more, all whilst inside of a game.

It’s great, you don’t have to alt tab or exit the game to surf the web. However some players may want to turn it off, or just change the actual shortcut key used to access the menu.

By default, the Steam Overlay can be accessed by holding SHIFT and pressing TAB on your keyboard. The Overlay is also affected by skins. For example, using the Metro skin changes the design to be more sleek and modern.

Below, we have a quick guide for disabling the overlay as well as changing the default shortcut. This guide is for the default Steam skin, and works as of 2018 with the new chat update.

Disable Steam Overlay

To start, open up the Steam client. In the top left corner of the screen, press the ‘Steam’ button. Near the bottom of the drop down menu, choose Settings.

open the client settings in steam
Open the Steam client settings in the top corner of the client

The following interface will pop up. Here, you can change pretty much all settings in your Steam client. As we want to disable the Steam overlay, head to the In-Game tab on the left hand side.

One of the first check boxes that you can see is “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game”. Uncheck this to disable it.

disable the steam overlay by unticking this box
To disable Steam overlay, check “Enable the Steam Overlay”

Meanwhile, you can also change the overlay shortcut key just below the check boxes. You can change it to anything you want, just click the box and press the keys on your keyboard you want it to be set to.

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Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!