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 gaming and talking on Discord, 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 exact moment. Its especially useful when going on raids.

However, sometimes, the Discord overlay stops working without touching a single setting. Here are the possible fixes.

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Fix 1: Make Sure Discord Overlay Is Enabled

Before you start looking for advanced solutions and fixes, it’s better to resort to the most basic one, i.e. check if the Discord Overlay setting is enabled.

To check that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Discord and access User Settings.
    Discord User Settings
  2. In here, scroll the tabs on the left to the bottom and select Game Overlay (Under Activity Settings).
  3. Now, make sure that the Enable in-game overlay option is enabled.
    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 last screenshot, take note of the Toggle Overlay Lock shortcut (Shift + ` – default shortcut).

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

Fix 3: Add Game Support

A common reason why Discord’s overlay simply stops working might be because the game you are currently playing is not supported. So, the application doesn’t detect that you are actually playing anything.

Fortunately, there is a way you can manually add the video game to your Discord’s list of supported games.

Before you start following these steps, ensure that your video game is running.

  1. Open User Settings (see previous screenshots).
  2. And again, under Activity Settings openthe Activity Status tab.
  3. Here will be a list of all the games you have previously played. But, we don’t need those. What you will need is to press the Add it! button.
    Add it! button under Discord Activity Status
  4. Now select the appropriate window/game name and hit Add Game.

Discord will detect this particular game from now on and the overlay should activate. Note that you will need to do this for every game that isn’t detected automatically.

Fix 4: Disable Conflicting App Overlays

Windows 10 has trouble handling multiple overlays at the same time. Nowadays, there are tons of applications with such a feature, so it is possible that some may be in conflict with Discord.

Fix 4.1: Disable Nvidia Shadowplay Overlay

Nvidia Shadowplay’s overlay is probably the one most commonly found as it comes by default with Nvidia GPU drivers.

Note: AMD users check Fix 4.1.

Here is how you can disable this overlay:

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

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

Fix 4.2: Disable AMD Radeon Overlay

What we said about Nvidia’s overlay can be said about AMD’s, so let’s try deactivating it. Naturally, the process is a bit different.

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

AMD Radeon 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 in applications to speed up certain tasks with the help of the GPU (or other hardware) to alleviate stress from the CPU.

Discord has this option enabled by default and it is recommended to leave it that way. However, we need to fix the overlay-related 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

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

To cover all possibilities, 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. Again, look for Discord while in Programs and Feature, 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, follow the installations steps and start Discord again.

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

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