Steam Overlay not running?

Ever since Steam updated a little while back I've been having a lot of trouble with the overlay. Simply put it just doesn't boot up half the time I start a game. This can only be fixed by restarting steam. According to the Steam forums I'm far from the only person with this problem but no one has any idea how to fix it.

Is anyone else having issues? One possibly cause mentioned was that closing tabs in firefox or running firefox in general might cause problems.

Well, as a negative data point, I don't think I'm having any trouble, and I run Firefox.

Have you updated your video drivers recently at all?

My drivers are current, in fact I updated them specifically because I found an old thread on the Steam forums that said that was the fix. Apparently this has happened before several times. The drivers didn't change anything this time.

After a couple days of testing it's pretty clear Firefox has something to do with it. If I open and close Firefox while Steam is running the overlay consistently no longer functions until I restart Steam. I can't imagine why but that's how it works on my end.

It's a fairly recent change, it only started doing this a couple Steam/Firefox patches ago.

I've had that problem once or twice now and I don't even have Firefox installed.

Well, presumably, you'll have changed something that triggered the bug. It could also be a Steam update, but you can't directly do anything about those.

When did the problem start? What was the most recent software that you had installed at the time? Did you change any drivers immediately before the problem? Do you think one of the perpetual Firefox updates happened at about that time? Have you added any programs that use DirectInput for anything? I think that's how Steam watches for shift-tabs, and it's been detached somehow from the input queue, it wouldn't pop up.

Oh, one thing you could try would be using a different key to trigger the Steam overlay. Might be interesting to see if anything changed.

Now that you mention it I did change the overlay key to keypad + a while ago. I had to do this because shift-tab is a command in Planetside 2. But I also tried changing it to the Home key instead and that didn't help much.

It's probably just a glitch with steam or firefox. I can try reading the overlay logs to see if they have anything in them. Problem is if this doesn't happen very often then the Steam people won't know much about it and the problem won't be fixed for a while.