An open source tool called OculusKiller makes Oculus Link load directly into SteamVR, disabling Oculus Dash.
The tool, available on GitHub, was developed by software engineer ItsKaitlyn03. You may recognise that name – earlier this month Kaitlyn found code referencing the ‘VR Air Bridge’ accessory for Quest 2 wireless PC VR (the manual for this leaked last week). You might also find the name OculusKiller familiar – there’s actually another tool by the same name on GitHub, though it’s used for a different reason; forcibly terminating Oculus services running on your PC.
From a technical perspective, Kaitlyn’s OculusKiller is an executable that replaces the Oculus Dash executable with a simple SteamVR loader. You still need the Oculus PC app open, but you no longer get the in-VR Oculus PC interface. If you use Oculus Link but solely purchase your VR content from Steam – ie. you don’t use Oculus Store content – it’s a way to make jumping into PC VR faster and more convenient.
Kaitlyn claims the lack of Oculus Dash will “boost performance by considerable amounts”, as it takes up “200 MB of memory + GPU, even when not in use”. There is one problem however – there’s no way to exit SteamVR from inside VR, since when it closes it will just be automatically launched again. You need to take the headset off and close the Oculus app on your PC, which will close SteamVR too.
Of course, if you’re using the wireless Air Link you could alternatively purchase Virtual Desktop, which itself bypasses the Oculus Dash UI and has a one-click Launch SteamVR button. OculusKiller seems more suited for those opting for a wired USB connection.
To install OculusKiller just follow the instructions on GitHub – rename your existing OculusDash.exe to something like OculusDash.exe.bak and paste in the replacement OculusDash.exe. To get Dash back, just delete the new file and rename the old one back to OculusDash.exe again.