Solved – Nvidia GeForce Overlay (Alt + Z) Not Working on Windows


Is Alt + Z combo not bringing up the NVIDIA overlay on your PC? There’s nothing to worry about, as it can be easily fixed by applying the solutions given below.

NVIDIA GeForce Experience is quite popular among gamers for its exciting features like in-game overlay. With the help of this feature, one can keep track of the performance, take snapshots, replay instantly, and do a lot more. However, many users have recently complained about NVIDIA GeForce Atl + Z setting not working. If you are familiar with the problem and looking for ways to fix it, you are at the right place. 

Here, we will discuss 12 ways to fix GeForce Overlay not working / Alt + Z  not working in the game. 

What Causes NVIDIA Alt + Z to Not Work on PC

Usually, using the Alt +  Z key combination, you can open Nvidia Overlay. However, if it is not working, there is something wrong with the app. Below we list down some of the common reasons for the problem: 

  • Missing or corrupt device drivers.
  • Third-party apps are interfering with the NVIDIA GeForce overlay feature.
  • Issues with Visual C++ Redistributable package.
  • Missing Media Feature Pack.
  • Misconfigured Steam capture settings.
  • Interference caused by Spotify’s overlay feature. 
  • Lack of Admin privileges. 

What is GeForce Experience in-game overlay?

GeForce Experience in-game overlay
It is a feature that allows enabling and accessing GPU-accelerated video recording, screenshots, broadcasting, and cooperative gameplay capabilities.

It is a feature that allows enabling and accessing GPU-accelerated video recording, screenshots, broadcasting, and cooperative gameplay capabilities.

Therefore when it is not working on Windows 11/10 system, you might face issues with gaming. Below we explain different ways to fix the NVIDIA GeForce overlay function not working.

Top Ways to Fix NVIDIA Alt + Z Not Working on Windows

There is no need for you to try all the fixes. You can stop when you find the solution that works for you.

Fix 1: Enable GeForce in-game overlay.

Before we learn the technical ways to troubleshoot the problem, let us try some basic fixes. The first one is checking whether the in-game overlay is enabled or not. To do so, follow these steps: 

  1. Launch GeForce Experience.
  2. Click the gear icon and open Settings.
  3. Select GENERAL from the left pane and enable IN-GAME OVERLAY if it is already enabled > disable it first and then re-enable it.

  4. Now try to run the game, and see if the overlay feature works. If not, move to the next method. 

Fix 2: Restart your PC

Another basic fix to troubleshoot the GeForce overlay not working issue is to restart the PC. Doing so refreshes the operating system and removes any corrupt temporary data that is causing cause the problem. So, don’t miss this step. If this doesn’t help, we will move to technical troubleshooting.

Fix 3: Update graphics driver.

When the graphics drivers are outdated, corrupt, or missing, the chances of you facing Alt + Z not working on GeForce increase. To fix this issue, the graphics drivers should always be updated. 

You can update them by visiting the NVIDIA official website > searching for the model number > downloading the driver update, then installing it by following on-screen instructions. 

This may sound easy for those who can find the model number and manually install the driver. However, for those who do not have the technical knowledge or time to go through all this, updating drivers manually is not easy. What if I tell you there is an automatic way to update drivers? 

I know you will be excited. By using Advanced Driver Updater, you can update the drivers automatically. The tool finds outdated drivers, shows compatible updates, and gives you the control to update them. Also, it allows scheduling driver updates and adds incompatible drivers to Exclusion List. What’s more, it takes a backup of drivers before updating them, and the paid version comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

To use it, follow the steps below:

  1. Download, install, and run Advanced Driver Updater.
  2. Click the Start Scan Now button to scan the PC for outdated drivers.adu scan start
  3. Review the list and click the Update Driver link next to it to update the graphics driver. If you are redirected to the purchase page, click the Update All button.
    Advanced Driver Updater_update driver

    Note : Please note that only paid users can update all outdated drivers at once. Free users can update one driver at a time. Hence, you must switch to the paid version with a 60-day money-back guarantee and technical support to update all drivers.

  4. Restart the PC after updating the drivers, and then try to use the overlay feature. It should work.  

Fix 4: Disable media keys and hardware acceleration ( For Spotify users)

If you are a Spotify user and use the in-game overlay feature of NVIDIA, GeForce Experience gets affected. Hence, we suggest disabling the Spotify app’s hardware acceleration and media keys option to fix the issue.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Spotify.
  2. Click the menu bar and select the Edit entry.
  3. Choose Preferences.
  4. Next, scroll down to the Display Options section.
  5. Look for the Show desktop overlay when using media keys option and disable it.
  6. Next, scroll down further and click Show Advanced Settings.
  7. Scroll down to the Compatibility section to disable Enable hardware acceleration option.

Now relaunch the GeForce Experience client, and the overlay feature should no longer be grayed out.

Fix 5: Install all Windows updates

To fix bugs and minor issues, Windows keeps releasing updates. Some gamers reported that updating Windows fixed the Alt + Z keys not working issue. Hence, if you haven’t updated Windows in a while, do so by following the steps below: 

  1. Press Windows + I to open Windows settings. 
  2. Click Update & Security.Update & Security
  3. Next, click Check for updates and wait for Windows to look for updates.Click on Check for updates
  4. If any update is available, you will get an option to Download and install. Click on it and wait for the updates to install. 
  5. Restart the PC to apply changes. 

Now try to run GeForce with the overlay feature.

Fix 6: Run GeForce Experience as an administrator

Sometimes when the program doesn’t have administrator access, you face issues. Therefore, grant administrator permissions to ensure GeForce Experience runs properly and has access to all the files. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Look for GeForce on your desktop. 
  2. Right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. Click the Compatibility tab and check the box next to Run this program as an administrator.Check box next to Run this program as an administrator
  4. Click Apply > Ok to save changes.
  5. Close the window and try to run GeForce. You should now be able to use the overlay feature. 

Fix 7: Enable experimental features

Several times it has been seen that enabling experimental features in GeForce Experience helps fix the issue. Once the feature is enabled, accessing features and updates that have not been released for everyone becomes easy. As the Alt + Z key combination is not working, you can try enabling the feature and see if it helps. 

  1. Run GeForce Experience, click the gear icon to open Settings.
  2. Click GENERAL and checkmark the box next to Enable experimental features. A GeForce Experience update may be required.”

    disable Enable hardware acceleration option
  3. Close the program, relaunch it, and see if the GeForce overlay works.

If not, let’s move to the next fix. 

Fix 8: Disable third-party services

Sometimes third-party programs and services also prevent GeForce Overlay from working. To ensure that is not the case, temporarily disable it. If this fixes the problem, you must enable the services individually to find the culprit. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R to bring up the Run box. 
  2. Type msconfig > click Enter key. This will open System Configuration window.msconfig command
  3. Click on Services tab > select the box next to Hide all Microsoft services.hide all microsoft
  4. Uncheck all the services leaving the NVIDIA services checked. Click Apply > Ok to save changes.
  5. Reboot the PC and then try GeForce to see if the overlay works. If it does, you must enable each service individually to find the one creating an issue. 

Fix 9: Repair Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package

The Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Packages are installed on the PC so that the program can work properly without conflicts. Therefore, when these redistributables are corrupt, you may face Alt + Z not working issues. To repair it, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. 
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press the Enter key.Type appwiz.cpl in control panel
  3. Look for Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable under Programs and Features. Right-click on it and select Change. (Repeat the same process for all the listed Visual C++ Redistributable packages. However, if you have packages from 2008 and earlier, you can skip them.)programs and features tab in control panel
  4. Click Repair in the pop-up window. Wait for the process to finish. 
  5. Close the window and then try to use the overlay feature. It should be working. 

Fix 10: Install a Media Feature Pack

If you are a Windows 10 N user, you must install a Media Feature Pack to fix the GeForce overlay not working issue. First, update the graphics driver using Advanced Driver Updater and the steps explained in Fix 3 to ensure this method works. Once that is done, follow these steps: 

  1. Visit the Microsoft Download page to get the Media Feature Pack.
  2. Go to Downloads, and select the edition of Windows 10 N from the drop-down menu. Click Confirm.
  3. Download the media feature per the edition of Windows you are using ( (32-bit or 64-bit).
  4. Once the package is downloaded, double-click on it to run it and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
  5. Reboot the PC after completing the process and check the Alt + Z should now be working. 

Fix 11: Disable NVFBC Capture on NVIDIA GPU in Steam (if applicable)

  1. Launch Steam client.
  2. Click the Steam button > select Settings.
  3. Select the In-Home Streaming tab.
  4. Now go to the Advanced Host Options section, and uncheck the box next to Use NVFBC capture on NVIDIA GPU.Disable NVFBC Capture on NVIDIA GPU in Steam
  5. Exit Steam and then try to run the GeForce Experience client to see if the issue is fixed. 

If not, move to the next fix.

Fix 12: Reinstall GeForce Experience

If nothing has worked so far, the only thing left to do is reinstall GeForce Experience. To do so:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and click OK.
  3. Look for GeForce Experience > right-click on it and select Uninstall/Change.
  4. Confirm the action. 
  5. Now visit GeForce Experience’s official website and download the program’s latest version.
  6. Double-click the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to install GeForce Experience.

Now check as the GeForce overlay should be working.

Frequently Asked Question

1. How do I open overlay in GeForce Experience?

To open the overlay in GeForce, press the “Alt+Z” key combination or use the Share icon to access the powerful capture and record features. Using the overlay feature, you can record gameplay at 60FPS at up to 4K for both full-screen and windowed modes.

2. Is GeForce good for recording?

Yes. If the PC you use has an NVIDIA card, you do not need to install any extra applications like most gamers. When you are playing a less CPU-intensive game, PC performance is unaffected. However, a GPU-bound encoder will affect performance.

GeForce Overlay Works Just Fine

So these 12 different ways to fix GeForce Alt + Z are not working on Windows. We hope you find the post helpful. However, if the problem persists, it can be due to NVIDIA Share.exe running on Integrated Graphics. To fix it, enable hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling, > select the app to set preference > set it into Desktop App > click browse, navigate to “C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVIDIA GeForce Experience\”. You will now be able to see NVIDIA Share.exe. Click it and set the graphic preference to High Performance. Restart the computer, and the NVIDIA overlay will work on the full-screen games.

This should solve the problem. If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment.

Recommended :

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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