How To Disable The Discord Overlay

The Discord overlay is an extra layer added to a game that provides easy access to Discord commands while in-game. It works the same as the Xbox Game Bar if you use Windows, which is essentially a graphical layer laid overtop your game that provides fast app access using keybinds. They can be useful but they can also get in the way. This tutorial will show you how to disable the Discord overlay


Graphical overlays can be useful but not always. If you’re marvelling at a game’s graphics, or playing something fast moving, you don’t want a Discord alert appearing on screen to distract you. Discord are aware of this potential so have included the ability to remove the overlay altogether. You can also set the overlay to show only on certain games which I will also show you how to configure.

Some games can be cluttered enough, WoW or World of Warships I’m looking at you. That’s especially true if you use third-party UI addons. The last thing you need is for another bunch of graphics on the screen trying to distract you from what’s going on. If you’re fortunate enough to have a dual monitor setup, you don’t need the overlay. If you like to be able to concentrate on the game itself, you don’t want the Discord overlay.

Disable the Discord overlay

The Discord overlay is enabled by default and will appear in a prescribed position on screen. This should be top left but you can change this which I’ll also show you in a minute. There is a simple toggle setting to disable the Discord overlay but you can also tweak it if you want to make it less distracting.

To disable the Discord overlay:

  1. Log into Discord as you normally would.
  2. Select User Settings from the gear icon at the bottom.
  3. Select Overlay from the left menu.
  4. Toggle ‘Enable in-game overlay’ to off.

This turns the overlay off entirely and you cannot add specific games as exceptions. This is the easiest way to do away with distractions and works perfectly well.

Tweak the Discord overlay

If you want a middle ground, to be less distracted but still use Discord, you can tone it down a little. On the same Overlay page you accessed above, you make changes to how it looks and how much screen real estate it takes up.

Avatar Size – Large or small can shrink or expand imagery within the overlay.

Display Names – Always, Only While Speaking or Never will show Discord usernames during notifications.

Display Users – Always or Only While Speaking either permanently shows server members or displays their username while talking.

You can also change the position of the overlay. By default, it is set to the top left corner of your screen. If that’s in the way of something in-game, you can adjust it from within the Overlay menu in Discord. Select another position within the screen indicator or select the block icon in the center to turn it off altogether.

Set the Discord overlay per game

I mentioned at the top that you can disable the Discord overlay and only have it display in certain games. I’ll show you how to do that here. You will need the overlay enabled for it to work so if you disabled it using these instructions, go back and toggle it to on again.

  1. Select User Settings from the gear icon at the bottom of Discord’s main screen.
  2. Select Overlay from the left menu.
  3. Toggle ‘Enable in-game overlay’ to on.
  4. Select the Game Activity menu from the left.
  5. Select a game and select the display icon to the right.
  6. Toggle the setting on or off depending on your needs.

If you only want the overlay for a specific game, toggle all other games to off and leave that game enabled. That way the Discord overlay will only appear in that one game and not appear in any others.

There are a bunch of other tweaks you can make if you want to use the Discord overlay but they are covered in much more detail over on the Discord website. As I have no experience using them, I’ll leave it to the experts to explain.

Depending on your setup, the Discord overlay is an excellent extra feature or a distraction. Whatever your computer setup, there is a way to integrate the game and Discord so it works the way you like it. Just one more reason to love Discord!