How to turn off the GeForce Experience in-game overlay (Alt + Z)

Do you have an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card? Do you see a “Press Alt + Z to use GeForce Experience in-game overlay” message each time you launch a game? Are you acquainted with GeForce Experience? Would you like to disable this “Press Alt + Z” message? If you answered yes to any of the above, you're in the right place. Find the answers to these questions and more in this tutorial:

What does the GeForce Experience overlay do? What does Alt+Z do?

Like AMD with its Radeon Software In-Game Overlay (ALT+R), NVIDIA also has its own GeForce Experience in-game overlay. If you have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX or RTX graphics card, when you install the GeForce Game Ready Driver with its default settings, you also get the GeForce Experience app. This app does many things, but its most visible feature is the message you get each time you start a game or a full-screen app that the GeForce driver incorrectly detects as a game. This message, shown on the top right corner of the screen, is: “Press Alt + Z to use GeForce Experience in-game overlay.”

Press Alt + Z to use GeForce Experience in-game overlay

If you press the Alt + Z keys on your keyboard, you see the in-game overlay shown below, with options for taking screenshots, recording an instant replay of your in-game action, recording your gaming session, or broadcasting it live to Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube. You can also use the app to monitor the performance of your graphics card and its technical parameters while playing.

The GeForce Experience in-game overlay

Outside this in-game overlay, the GeForce Experience app also works as a dashboard for your installed games. You can optimize their settings and launch them whenever you feel like playing. The app also helps you download the latest GeForce Game Ready Driver for your specific NVIDIA graphics card, redeem game codes from NVIDIA, and access and configure your NVIDIA account.

The GeForce Experience app

How to disable the NVIDIA in-game overlay in GeForce Experience

There are several ways to turn off NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience in-game overlay, and I will provide instructions for each of them, starting with the most drastic.

Turn off NVIDIA’s in-game overlay by uninstalling GeForce Experience

If you don’t need the features offered by NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience, you can turn it off completely by uninstalling it. The NVIDIA Graphics Driver installed on your computer is all you need to play games, and you can use the Xbox Game Bar instead when you need access to in-game screenshot/video recording tools.

The first step is to open the Control Panel. Then, under Programs, click the “Uninstall a program” link.

In the Control Panel, click Uninstall a program

In the Programs and Features window, look for the NVIDIA GeForce Experience app, select it by clicking on its name, and then press the Uninstall/Change button.

Choose NVIDIA GeForce Experience and Uninstall it

Click or tap Yes when you see the UAC prompt asking for permission to allow this app to make changes to your device. Then, click or tap Uninstall and follow the instructions shown by NVIDIA Uninstaller.

Follow the instructions shown by NVIDIA Uninstaller

After you finish the uninstall process, you won’t see the “Press Alt + Z to use GeForce Experience in-game overlay” message any longer. The GeForce Experience app and all its features are now removed from your Windows computer.

Disable NVIDIA’s in-game overlay from GeForce Experience

If you want to keep GeForce Experience, but you only want to disable the in-game overlay, then follow these steps: right-click the NVIDIA logo in the system tray, and choose NVIDIA GeForce Experience in the subsequent menu.

Right-click the NVIDIA logo and choose NVIDIA GeForce Experience

An alternative is to use Search. In Windows 11, click or tap the Search icon, type “geforce experience,” and access the search result with the same name. In Windows 10, do the same, but use the Search box on the taskbar instead.

Search for GeForce Experience

TIP: Here’s how to use Search in Windows 11 and tips on how to search in Windows 10.

Now you see the GeForce Experience app, which displays the games you have installed. Click or tap the Settings icon on the top-right.

In the GeForce Experience app, go to Settings

In the General list of settings, scroll down to the IN-GAME OVERLAY section, and click or tap on its switch to disable it.

Turn Off the switch for IN-GAME OVERLAY

Once this switch is set to Off, the in-game overlay is completely disabled. This means two things:

  • You’ll never see the “Press Alt + Z to use GeForce Experience in-game overlay” message when playing games.
  • The in-game overlay won't be shown if you press Alt + Z on your keyboard.

Turn off the Alt + Z notification from GeForce Experience in-game overlay

You may want to keep the GeForce Experience app and NVIDIA’s in-game overlay, but disable the Alt + Z notification you see every time you start a game. You can do that too, by following these instructions:

Press Alt + Z on your keyboard, whether in a game or on your desktop. In the GeForce Experience in-game overlay, click the Settings button on the right.

Press Alt + Z and go to Settings

Scroll down the list of GeForce Experience settings and access Notifications.

In the GeForce Experience settings, go to Notifications

In the General notifications section, click the switch for “Open/close in-game overlay.” This action sets its switch to Off, disabling the notification message. Click Back and then Done, or press Alt + Z on your keyboard to close the GeForce Experience in-game overlay.

Turn Off the switch for Open/close in-game overlay

The Alt + Z message will no longer be shown when you start a game. However, pressing these keys does activate the GeForce Experience in-game overlay, and you can still access its features and tools.

Did you choose to remove the GeForce Experience, disable the in-game overlay, or turn off the Alt + Z notification?

Now you know what the GeForce Experience app is, what the Alt + Z keyboard shortcut does when using an NVIDIA graphics card, and how you can use the in-game overlay. You also know how to remove any of them. Before closing this browser tab, I’m curious about which path you chose. Did you go the hard way, uninstalling the GeForce Experience? Did you turn off the GeForce Experience in-game overlay or just its “Press Alt + Z” notification? Comment using the options below and let me know.

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