Fix: Discord Overlay Not Showing

Discord is an app that provides amazing communication features and services. One of these features is the Discord overlay feature that lets users communicate with their Discord friends while playing a full-screen game. But some users are experiencing an issue where their overlay isn’t showing up during the game. For some, this problem is only for a specific game whereas others are experiencing the overlay not showing an issue for every game. This problem is causing a lot of trouble because it’s preventing users from properly communicating and talking to their friends during their gaming sessions.

Discord Overlay

What causes Discord overlay to not show up?

The list of things that can cause this issue is quite long.

  • Game Overlay Option: The most common and the basic thing that causes this issue is the Overlay option itself. A lot of people aren’t familiar with the settings and usually, it’s the settings that aren’t configured properly. You have to turn on the overlay option for specific games and you might have to add the game to the Discord game list as well. A lot of people forget that they might have to manually turn on the overlay or that their game might not be added to the Discord game list.
  • Antivirus: Antivirus applications are also known to cause some issues with the Discord overlay. Antiviruses might flag the Discord or its overlay feature as suspicious and they might be blocking it.
  • Scaled Display: If you have a scaled Windows display then that might be hiding the Discord overlay as well.
  • Overlay Location: Since the Discord overlay can be moved around, a lot of people accidentally move it out of the screen. This usually happens when you scale the display as well. For example, if you put the overlay at the edge of the screen and you scaled the display later on then you won’t be able to see the overlay despite it is working properly.
  • Hardware Acceleration: Hardware acceleration is the use of computer hardware to perform some functions more efficiently than is possible in software running on a more general-purpose CPU. This feature, if turned on, can cause some problems with the Discord overlay feature as well.

Note

Before you dive deep into the methods given below, it’s worth doing a reboot of the system and/or Discord app. Sometimes it’s a glitch that goes away after a reboot. So, restart the Discord app and check if it fixes the issue or not. If it doesn’t then reboot the whole system and check if that fixes the problem.

Method 1: Turn on Game Overlay

The very first thing that you should do is turn on the overlay option for your game. Even if you are sure that you turned this option on, it’s worth giving a look since there are a couple of things that need to be checked in the overlay and game settings. Follow the steps given below to make sure everything is set up properly to rule out any settings issue.

  1. Open Discord
  2. Click on the User Settings (gear icon). This should be on the right side of your avatar.
Discord User Setting Selection
  1. Select Overlay from the left pane
  2. Turn on Enable in-game overlay. It should be on the top of the right pane
Enabling Discord Overlay Feature For Gaming
  1. Select Game Activity from the left pane
  2. Make sure the overlay is turned on for the specific game you are playing. The game should be in a green box in the right pane if the overlay is turned on. You should also be able to see the status “Overlay: On” in front of the game you are playing right now. Note: If the overlay isn’t turned on for your game then click the monitor button in front of your game and this should turn on the overlay.
Enabling Discord Overlay Feature For The Running Game
  1. If you don’t see your game in the game list then you can add your game as well. Click on Add it! Link from the right pane and select your game’s name from the drop-down menu. Click Add game. Now repeat the steps 6 to turn on Overlay for your newly added game.
Selecting The Game For The Discord Game List
Adding The Game To The Discord Game List

Check if this fixes the issue for you.

Method 2: Turn off Hardware Acceleration

Since hardware acceleration can be the culprit behind this issue, disabling this option is the logical thing to do. So, follow the steps given below to turn off the hardware acceleration for the Discord app.

  1. Open Discord
  2. Click on the User Settings (gear icon). This should be on the right side of your avatar.
Discord User Setting Selection
  1. Select Appearance from the left pane
  2. Scroll down in the right pane and you should be able to see the Hardware Acceleration It should be under the Advanced section
  3. Toggle off Hardware Acceleration
Disabling Discord Hardware Acceleration
  1. You will most likely see a confirmation box. Click Okay. This will reboot the Discord app

That’s it. The issue should be fixed once the Discord app restarts.

Method 3: Rescale the Display

Some users found out that their display was scaled to 105% (or some other percentage) and the only thing they had to do was change the display back to 100%. So, this might be the case for you and the only reason you couldn’t see the overlay was because of a scaled display. All you have to do is scale the display back to the original 100% and everything should work fine.

  1. Hold Windows key and press I
  2. Click System
Selecting System From Windows Settings
  1. Select 100% (Recommended) from the drop-down menu under the Scale and Layout section
Selecting 100% Recommended Option To Bring Back The Windows Display Scale Back To 100%

Once the scaling is done, run the game again. The overlay should be showing up now.

Method 4: Move the Overlay

In some cases, the only issue is the location of the overlay. Since you can move the overlay around, it might have been the case that you accidentally moved the overlay off the screen. If you have tried everything and nothing has worked then the most likely cause is that everything is working but you just can’t see the overlay because of its location. So, the only solution here is to relocate the overlay by following the steps given below

  1. Close the game and open Discord
  2. Press and Hold CTRL, SHIFT, and I keys (CTRL + SHIFT + I) while you are in the Discord. This should open a javascript console on the right side.
  3. Click on the >> arrow icon in the top right corner of the javascript console.
  4. Select Application from the newly created list
Opening JavaScript Console Of Discord And Selecting Application Option
  1. Double click Local Storage from the newly created left panel (or click the arrow beside the Local Storage)
  2. You should be able to see a newly created entry under the Local Storage. This new entry should be called https:\\discordapp.com. Click it
Selecting Local Storage Option From Discord JavaScript Console
  1. Right-click on OverlayStore (or OverlayStoreV2). It’s in the middle of the Keys column.
  2. Select Delete
Deleting OverlayV2 From Keys Column
  1. Now reboot the Discord.

Launch game. The overlay should be back to its default position and you’ll be able to move it again.

Method 5: Update Discord

Discord gets updates on a pretty regular basis so it might just be the update that introduced this bug in the application. This should be the case if you started experiencing the issue after the update. If the methods mentioned above didn’t solve the issue then, unfortunately, there isn’t anything that you can do.

You can also try updating Discord yourself.

Method 6: Run as Administrator

In some cases, Discord might be missing some important system permissions to read and write on the root directory of the computer. This can sometimes prevent the overlay from working correctly and in this step, we will be granting these privileges to Discord to make sure that it is not the issue. For that:

  1. Right-click on the Discord executable which should be present in the Discord installation folder or on your Desktop and select the “Properties” option.
  2. In the Discord Properties, click on the “Compatibility” tab and then make sure to press the “Run this Program as an Administrator” button.
    Run this program as an administrator
  3. Click on the “Apply” button to save your changes and then on the “OK” button to close out of the window.
  4. Try running Discord again and check to see if the issue still persists.

Method 7: Allowing Through Antiviruses

If you are using very strict configurations on a third-party security program or even if you are using the standard Windows Firewall and Defender, you might be getting this error due to these programs blocking Discord from running in the background and using the system resources. Therefore, in this step, we will be adding an exception in both the Windows Defender and Firewall for discord. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to launch the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “Control Panel” and press “Enter” to launch the classical control panel interface.
    Running the Control Panel
  3. Click on the “View by:” button, select “Large Icons” and then click on the Windows Defender Firewall option.
  4. Select the “Allow an app or feature through the Firewall” button on the left pane and then click on the “Change Settings” button and accept the prompt.
    Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall
    Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall
  5. From here, make sure that you check both the “Public” and the “Private” options for Discord and its related applications/drivers.
  6. Save your changes and exit out of the window.
  7. After that, press “Windows” + “I” to launch the settings and click on the “Update and Security” option.
  8. From the left pane, click on the “Windows Security” button and then click on the “Virus and Threat Protection” button.
    Clicking on “Virus and Threat Protection”
  9. Select the “Manage Settings” button under the Virus and Threat Protection Settings heading.
  10. Scroll down and click on the “Add or Remove Exclusions” button in the next window.
  11. Click on the “Add an Exclusion” option and select “Folder’ from the File type.
    Add an Exclusion for a Folder in Windows Defender
  12. Make sure to specify the Discord installation folder and exit out of this window after saving your changes
  13. Check and see if doing so has fixed the issue with Discord Overlay.

Also, make sure to examine your third-party antivirus and ensure that Discord isn’t being blocked by them. Discord can often get falsely flagged from these applications which can prevent it from working properly.

Method 8: Reinstall Discord

Sometimes the installation of the application can get damaged due to system or storage failures and it can really hurt the integrity of some of Discord’s Functions. Therefore, in this step, to ensure that isn’t the case, we will be reinstalling Discord after removing it completely from our computers. In order to do that:

  1. Press “Win” + “R” buttons on your keyboard simultaneously to open the Run command window.
  2. Type control and press “Enter” to enter the Control Panel tab.
  3. Scroll to the option “View by > category” and then select “Uninstall a program”.
    Navigating to Uninstall a Program
  4. A pop-up window would appear on your screen consisting of a list of programs. Choose and right-click on Discord and then press the “Uninstall” option on the screen.
    Right Click BlueStacks and Select Uninstall
  5. Follow through with the on-screen instructions to completely remove Discord from your computer.
  6. Restart the PC after the uninstallation is finished.
  7. Download the latest version of Discord from their website.
  8. After downloading Discord, click on the executable to run it on your computer and follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your computer.
  9. Check to see if doing so has fixed the issue for your computer.

This reinstallation step should fix your “Discord overlay not showing” error now.

Method 9: Disable Background Applications

In some situations, certain background programs can interfere and disrupt some functions of the Discord applications which can prevent its Overlay from showing as well. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling these background applications from running on our computer and then check if it works properly. For that:

  1. Press “Windows’ + “R” to launch the run prompt and type in “MSConfig” in the bar.
    MSConfig
  2. Press “Enter” to execute the command and launch the MSConfig window.
  3. From here select the Startup tab and click on each application that is set up to start at launch and click on “Disable” one by one.
  4. Now click on the Services tab and check the box named ‘Hide all Microsoft services”.
    Clicking on the “Services” tab and Un-checking the “hide all Microsoft Services” option
  5. Simply hit the “Disable All” button to prevent all services and applications from running at startup.
  6. Hit OK and restart your computer.
  7. After restarting, check to see if the issue exists. If it doesn’t, in the same manner, start enabling one or two services at a time and check which ones make the issue come back.
  8. You can disable the troublesome application/service permanently to get rid of this issue.

Method 10: Use a VPN

You can also try to resolve this particular discord error by configuring a VPN connection on your PC because a lot of voice connection problems can be overcome simply by using a VPN on your device. But remember that Discord is designed to only work with VPN solutions that have UDP (User Datagram Protocol). A recommended VPN service to fulfill this purpose could be Nord VPN. Since it encrypts your internet traffic while keeping your identity safe and also allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time. Follow these steps to establish a VPN connection on your PC:

  1. First, head on over to the Nord VPN website.
  2. Follow all the stepwise instructions on this web page to create your Nord VPN account. Also, select your specific plan.
  3. Navigate to the Nord VPN download page on your PC and click to install it.
  4. Finally set up Nord VPN on your PC and enter to provide your Nord VPN account and password details. This would lead you to a sign-in option.
  5. Now press Quick Connect and you will be connected to a recommended server available for you worldwide. If you want to proceed the other way round by selecting a specific VPN server of your choice in any country, then proceed to the left panel in the Nord VPN window and select that specific server. You can also do this by hitting on the country pin over the map.
    Clicking on the “Quick Connect” option

After configuring the VPN, check to see if the Discord Overlay starts showing properly.

Method 11: Use Overlay Hotkey

Usually, a hotkey is might not have been assigned for enabling the overlay at the start. But if it has been, be sure that it isn’t overlapping with any other Hotkey that you might’ve configured on Discord. If this happens then try to activate a new hotkey as it might be helpful in overcoming this error. You can enable a new hotkey by following these steps:

  1. Open the Discord app and locate the User Settings in it.
  2. Find an icon of Overlay in the left pane located under the App settings and click on it.
    Opening the Overlay menu in Discord
  3. Here you will locate an option of current hotkey besides the “Enable-in-game-overlay” option.
  4. Reconfigure your new hotkey here and use it afterward to call upon Discord overlay when you reopen your game again.
  5. Check to see if doing so has fixed the Overlay not showing issue on Discord.

Method 12: Restart Discord Completely

It is possible that Discord isn’t being started properly on your computer due to which the Discord Overlay issue is being triggered. Therefore, in this step, we will first be disabling it completely on our computer and then restart and check if that fixes the issue. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to launch the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “taskmgr” and press “Enter” to launch the Task Manager.
    Running the Task Manager
  3. In the task manager, click on the “Processes” tab and the list of the active processes will be shown.
  4. In this list, click on the “Discord” process and then select the “End Task” button on the Task Manager.
    End Task in Task Manager
  5. Make sure to thoroughly scan the list and disable all instances of the Discord application.
  6. Check to see if doing so fixes the issue on your computer.

Method 13: Disable other Versions

If you are trying to run the normal and PTB version of discord at the same time you might often get the overlay error. Double-check your settings and make sure that you are not running both of these versions simultaneously. Edit the settings to run only a single version of Discord at one time and then check to see if doing so fixes this issue with Discord.

Method 14: Contact Discord Support

If you are done implementing all of the above fixes then the last option that we are left with is to try to get help from the Discord Support team directly. You can visit their website and scroll down to the Support Section to get a detailed insight into the whole process. You will be able to get detailed contact information by having a thorough review of their help pages. For quick feedback regarding your issue you can also state the exact problem in the search box and they will get back to you as soon as possible. For obtaining a quick response you can contact Discord via their twitter account by writing your problem and tweeting it to them.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Discord Overlay Not Showing

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