I'm running on an older machine so resources are limited; this is not a gaming rig. As such, I'm trying to maximize system resources by turning off unnecessary things.

Does the Steam overlay consume additional resources? I assume it must, but how much? Is there a process I can monitor in Task Manager to see RAM allocation? Is there a way to disable the Steam overlay entirely?

  • Yeah, there's a process in windows called gameoverlay or steamoverlaygui or something like that, should be pretty easy to monitor (and you can just close it from there, if you'd like).
    – Decency
    Aug 26, 2013 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


The separate process which handles the overlay is called GameOverlayUI.exe on Windows, and gameoverlayui on Mac. [Don't know yet for Linux.] If the overlay is disabled, or if the overlay does not recognize/support the game window, then the overlay process will not even be running.

The overlay can be disabled per-game or everywhere:

  • For an individual game, select the game in Steam and go to Properties → General → Enable Steam Community In-Game. This option is not available for shortcuts to “non-Steam games”.

  • For all of Steam, go to Settings (or Preferences on Mac) → In-Game → Enable Steam Community In-Game.

  • 1
    If you turn off the overlay does that actually not run the associated program or does it just not bind Shift+Tab (or whatever) to show/hide it?
    – Nick T
    Aug 26, 2013 at 22:27
  • @NickT Good question. I'll check that too. I expect it would, since for some “non-Steam games” the overlay can actually cause crashes.
    – Kevin Reid
    Aug 26, 2013 at 22:44

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