Fix: Discord Overlay Not Working

Is the Discord overlay not working for some reason? Don't worry, this guide shows you all the up-to-date fixes to bring back your Discord overlay.

When you’re gaming and chatting on Discord at the same time, having Discord’s overlay enabled is a must. It allows you to see exactly who is part of your voice channel and who is talking at that precise moment. It is especially useful when going on raids.

Unfortunately, the Discord overlay sometimes stops working without you touching a single setting.

This guide shows you all the working fixes.

Table of ContentsShow

Fix 1: Ensure Discord Overlay Is Enabled

Before you start looking for advanced solutions and fixes, it’s best to try the most basic one. In this case, you should check whether or not the Discord Overlay setting is enabled.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open Discord and access User Settings.
    Discord User Settings
  2. Scroll the tabs on the left to the bottom and select Game Overlay (Under Activity Settings).
  3. Ensure the Enable in-game overlay option is activated.
    Enable in game overlay in Discord Game Overlay

With this option enabled, test the overlay by starting a game. If it is still missing, continue to the next solution.

Fix 2: Toggle Overlay Lock

In the previous screenshot, take note of the Toggle Overlay Lock shortcut (Shift + ` – is the default shortcut).

You can use this shortcut to try and activate the overlay. Again, start any game and try using the default shortcut. This should resolve your issue.

Fix 3: Add Game Support

A common reason why Discord’s overlay simply stops working is that the game you are playing is not supported. As a result, the application is unable to detect that you are actually playing anything.

Fortunately, there is a way to manually add the game to your Discord list of supported games.

Before you follow these steps, ensure the video game is running.

  1. Open User Settings (see previous screenshots).
  2. Under Activity Settings open the Activity Status tab.
  3. You will see a list of all the games you have previously played. You can ignore those. Instead, you need to press the Add it! button.
    Add it! button under Discord Activity Status
  4. Select the appropriate window/game name and press Add Game.

From now on, Discord will detect this particular game and the overlay should activate when you start it. You will need to repeat this process for every game that isn’t detected automatically.

Fix 4: Disable Conflicting App Overlays

Windows 10 has trouble using multiple overlays at the same time. There are now many applications with such a feature, so it is possible that another overlay will conflict with Discord.

Fix 4.1: Disable NVIDIA Shadowplay Overlay

NVIDIA Shadowplay’s overlay is probably the most commonly found overlay as it is included by default with NVIDIA GPU drivers.

Note: AMD users check Fix 4.1.

This is how to disable this overlay:

  1. Open GeForce Experience (via the icon in the system tray or search for it in the start menu).
  2. Click Settings (the cogwheel in the top-right corner).
    GeForce Experience Settings
  3. Go into the General tab, find the In-Game Overlay setting and disable it.

With this disabled, return to Discord, re-enable Discord’s overlay, start your game and test it.

Fix 4.2: Disable AMD Radeon Overlay

What we said about NVIDIA’s overlay can also be applied to AMD’s, so let’s try deactivating it. Naturally, the process is slightly different.

  1. Either right-click your desktop and select Radeon Settings or use Alt + R to open the Radeon Overlay.
  2. Once the Radeon Settings window is open, click the cogwheel in the top-right corner to open advanced settings.
  3. Find the General tab.
  4. Here, scroll to the bottom to find In-Game Overlay (under Preferences) and disable it.

AMD Radeon’s overlay is now disabled. Start Discord, run your game, and test whether the overlay is working.

Fix 5: Disable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware Acceleration is used by many applications to speed up certain tasks with the help of the GPU (or other hardware) and reduce the stress on the CPU.

Discord has this option enabled by default and it is generally recommended to leave it that way. However, we are trying to fix the overlay issue, so let’s try disabling Hardware Acceleration.

  1. Open Discord and head back to User Settings.
  2. Scroll the tabs on the left and go into the Advanced Tab.
  3. Disable Hardware Acceleration.
    Hardware Acceleration under Advanced tab in Discord User Settings

Restart Discord and test the overlay again.

Fix 6: Reinstall Discord

A possible reason why you might be having trouble making Discord’s overlay work is that the application itself could be corrupted.

To ensure this isn’t the case, we recommend reinstalling Discord by following these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for Discord. Right-click the icon and select Uninstall.
  2. Look for Discord while in Programs and Features, select it and click Uninstall again.
    uninstalling Discord in Windows
  3. Now go to Discord’s official website and download the desktop app again.
  4. Start the setup, complete the installation steps and start Discord again.

After you successfully reinstall Discord, it’s time to test the overlay again.

If none of the solutions listed above are working for you, and the reinstallation did nothing, the issue might be something that you cannot fix. In that case, we recommend contacting Discord’s official support.

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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. Branko aims to use his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.