When I am playing a game or attempting a purchase, the Steam Community Overlay will not open.
Many games require the Steam Overlay in order for certain features to work correctly. These feature can include wallet purchasing, adding friends, party management, or even matchmaking.
If the overlay is not working or disabled, these features will have issues as well (you can test the functionality of the overlay by using shift+tab in-game).
The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that you have the Steam Community in-game overlay enabled in Steam's settings. To check, go to:
Additionally, each Steam game has the option to remove the In-Game Overlay. Please check your individual games as outlined:
The default shortcut to open the Steam Community while in game is Shift + Tab. You can change the shortcut in by clicking Steam > Settings > In-Game.
Certain background applications, usually firewalls and certain Anti-Virus applications, have been known to cause issues with the Steam Overlay. In most cases, disabling these programs before launching Steam will allow the overlay to work properly.
If you are running other background programs while using Steam and you are experiencing this problem, we recommend following our guide on disabling background applications to troubleshoot the issue.