I've had multiple times that shift tab isn't working. This time, the game had to load for a long time, so after five minutes of staring at a spriggan, I decided to use shift-tab to spend my time looking at the steam thing. I never had been able to actually click anything, but this time my cursor didn't appear at all. I started randomly clicking and moving my mouse and the spriggan in the background moved happily along. My cursor was still in the loading screen, but I was at the steam thing. After trying googling and trying everything I knew, I turned it off. Not gonna do that again, but why can't I use the steam community?

  • I don't know the exact reasons behind it, but Skyrim doesn't like the Steam overlay or being alt-tabbed. There are some tweaks that you can make to make alt-tabbing much less crash-prone, but I can't actually remember what they are...
    – JonK
    Oct 8, 2016 at 10:29
  • Does this answer your question? gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/35400/… Oct 8, 2016 at 14:19
  • @amaranth Shift-tab opens the steam overlay, but it's about as buggy and unstable as alt-tab is
    – JonK
    Oct 8, 2016 at 14:34
  • @JonK Huh, I’ve never heard of it. Now I don’t know if that link will help or not. Oct 8, 2016 at 14:36
  • @amaranth The steam overlay doesn't minimise the game or go to the windows desktop, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a fix for one won't fix the other. I have the alt-tabbing issue resolved on my installation of Skyrim but I almost never shift-tab so I couldn't say if that's also more stable after the alt-tab fix...
    – JonK
    Oct 8, 2016 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


This is a bug that, at least for me, has always occurred at all loading screens for Skyrim, even with One Tweak. Shift-tab appears to open the Steam Overlay, however it only loads the image of the overlay and doesn't completely initialise, So Shift-tab won't shut it, and holding in the mouse and moving it rotates the model (if any) at the loading screen.

This problem corrects itself as soon as the loading is complete; the overlay completely loads, allowing me to navigate and click on things, and Shift-Tab to shut it. The focus changes completely, and the game pauses in the background, which it normally does when the overlay is opened.

As far as I know, there is no fix for this, and it shouldn't matter in the long run as it only lasts as long as the loading screen is active. Speaking of that loading screen, minimal loading times are best achieved by minimal activity on the rest of the computer, so at least load your save file initially with little background activity and wait a bit if you have just booted up your device. Probably an obvious fix, but just a reminder in case.


For starters I'd suggest using this mod: OneTweak that solves most issues with Alt (and presumable also Shift) Tabbing from the game.

In case you don't know how to install mods:

  1. Install Script Extender (ether via Steam or download installer)
  2. Register yourself at Nexus Mods
  3. Install Nexus Mod Manager, after installation scan for Skyrim
  4. Go to the OneTweak page and click "Install (NMM)", browser will prompt you for opening the link with external program and NMM for created username and password.
  5. Enable the downloaded mod and start the game from SKSE shortcut created on your desktop (or directly from Nexus Mod Manager)

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