How to fix Discord overlay not working?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -

Question

Issue: How to fix Discord overlay not working?

Hi, I frequently use Discord while playing online games. I have recently got a new PC, and, once I've installed everything, I noticed that Discord overlay is not working. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks in advance.

Solved Answer

An overlay feature is very useful for gamers, as it allows voice and chat communication and screenshot sharing with friends without leaving the game. This feature is not exclusive to just Discord and is used by many other platforms, including Steam, GeForce Experience, Xbox app, and many others.

Discord is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)[1] application for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux platforms. First introduced in 2015, the app rapidly gained popularity as a convenient way to communicate online and quickly replaced older platforms such as Skype. Discord is extremely popular within the gaming community as it has plenty of features to support the activities in many ways – overlay is one of them.

Despite being one of the most popular communications apps, Discord does not avoid various technical issues that users might experience on a regular basis – No Route error, mic not working, or the app not opening are just some of them. It is also not a secret that the platform is often abused by threat actors to spread malware around and lure via phishing attempts.[2] Discord overlay not working is just another problem that players are eager to fix as soon as possible, as they are unable to communicate with their teammates and friends easily via the app otherwise.

Discord overlay not working can be a result of many different reasons. First and foremost, it might just not be enabled via the settings or might be hindered by overly aggressive antivirus software. Users reported that the issue might be related just to particular games, although, in most cases, players said that the problem affects all games [3], and they can't enable the overlay to work at all.

It is important to note that not all games support the overlay feature, especially those that were released a long time ago. Nonetheless, most modern games support Discord overlay – Call of Duty, Cyberpunk 2077, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Valorant, League of Legends, Counterstrike, and many others.

How to fix Discord overlay not working?

Below you will find several ways on how to fix Discord overlay not working issue. Since each configuration is different, we provide many solutions below, so follow each of them until you find the one that works for you. Before you start, you should try these quick fixes:

  • Restart Discord (task bar > right-click on app's icon > Quit Discord)
  • Reboot your PC (restarts can do wonders when trying to deal with various issues)
  • Launch Discord as administrator (right-click on app's shortcut and pick Run as administrator)
  • Update Discord (a green arrow at the top-right corner of the window can be clicked for that)

We also would highly recommend you perform a full system scan with ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 – it can fix various underlying system issues that could be the cause of many technical issues experienced on a computer. 

Fix 1. Enable overlay via Discord's settings

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You should first check whether the overlay setting on Discord is enabled at all – it might have been disabled accidentally.

  • Click on the User Settings (gear icon) next yo your profile picture
  • Find the App settings section on the left, and pick Overlay
  • On the right side of the window, ensure that Enable in-game overlay option is turned on.Enable Discord overlay

Fix 2. Temporarily disable your antivirus

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Some security applications are overly aggressive and might mark certain apps or their activities as suspicious, terminating them, or preventing them from being used altogether. Therefore, if you are using third-party security software, you should try temporarily disabling it and see if that helps you fix Discord overlay not working issue.

Keep in mind that having your computer unprotected by a security tool is not advisable, so if it was indeed the culprit of your problem, you should add the exception within the app (visit the official website for the directions on how to do that, as it varies from program to program) or install a different security software altogether.

Fix 3. Allow the app through Firewall

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Windows Firewall is another culprit that might not allow Discord to work properly. A firewall is a different security measure that is included with every Windows system. In blocks or allows data packets that are going in and out of the computer continuously. Thus, you should let the app through it to ensure that no communication features are hindered:

  • Type in Firewall in Windows search bar and select Windows Defender Firewall
  • Go to Allow an app of feature through Windows Defender Firewall
  • Click Change Settings at the top to allow edits
  • Scroll down to find Discord on the list and enable Private and Public, and then press OK to close the window.Allow Discord through Firewall

If you can't see Discord on the list, follow these steps:

  • At the bottom, pick Allow another app…
  • Under Path, select BrowseAdd Discord to Firewall list
  • Go to the following path:

    C:\\Users\\[username]\\AppData\\Local\\Discord\\app-0.0.xxx (where xxx is app version)

  • Select Discord.exe and press Open
  • Select Discord and press Add.Add Discord to Firewall list 2

Fix 4. Disable hardware acceleration

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Discord overlay not working might be caused by an enabled hardware acceleration feature that otherwise allows your GPU to be used for the app performance enhancements. Here's how to disable it:

  • Go to User Settings once again
  • Under App settings, select Appearance
  • On the lest side, scroll down until you find the Advanced section
  • In here, disable hardware acceleration by toggling the lever to the left – Discord will restart.Disable hardware acceleration

Fix 5. Adjust display scale

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You should ensure that your display is not exceeding 100%, otherwise, you might not be able to see an overlay when in-game.

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings
  • On the right side, scroll down until you see Scale and layout section
  • From the drop-down menu, pick 100% (Recommended) option.Pick correct display scale

Fix 6. Reinstall Discord

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If none of the fixes above helped, you can try to simply reinstall the app. Don't worry about data loss, as all your chats, friend lists, channels and other data will be automatically reinstated as soon as you log back into your account.

  • Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Select Programs > Uninstall a program
  • Find Discord on the list
  • Right-click and select Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructionsReinstall Discord
  • Go to the official Discord site and download the latest client from there.

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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