How to use the windows 10 game bar

Screen activity can be captured in a video without the use of any special or expensive software. The built-in screen capture application in Windows 10 is the Game Bar.

For quick access to gaming features, Windows 10 includes a “Game bar” that can be accessed by pressing Windows key + G. The bar has five buttons (which can be dragged around the screen using the small panel to the right of the bar):

  • Xbox app shortcut
  • Generate recording of the previous 30 seconds, à la Xbox One’s “Xbox, a record that” — but only if background recording is enabled (hotkey: Win + Alt + G)
  • Take a screenshot (hotkey: Win + Alt + PrtScn)
  • Start/stop recording (hotkey: Win + Alt + R)
  • Game DVR settings

Activate the Game Bar

If you work for a company that has an IT department, it’s possible that the Windows 10 Game Bar on your workstation has been disabled. It’s also possible that your IT department would prefer it to stay that way, so check with them before reactivating it.

Thankfully, the Windows 10 Game Bar isn’t hidden deep within the settings menu. After that, select the Settings icon from the Start menu. You’ll find a Gaming category in the Windows Settings list; click it to get to the screen shown below.

To activate the Windows 10 Game Bar, turn the first toggle button to the “on” position. Table A lists the default keyboard shortcuts. You can change the defaults if you want, but most people find that the default settings and reliance on the Windows Key work well.

Using Game Bar to Capture your Game Highlights

The Game bar’s primary use case is recording gameplay footage, and it works exactly as advertised: press Win + G to bring up the bar, then Win + Alt + R to start recording and the same command to stop. You can use the Win + Alt + G command to spit out a clip of the last 30 seconds of gameplay if background recording is enabled.

In tests with three different games, however, we were unable to get the Game bar to appear when the game was being played in fullscreen mode. We could only use the Game bar if it was visible, and it only appeared when we were playing in windowed mode.

We had no issues at that point. A small red box appears in the top right corner of the screen when you start a recording to indicate that you’re recording and to display the elapsed time. (With Win + Alt + T, you can hide or show the timer.) When you finish recording, Windows spits out an MP4 file within a second or two.

You can also use the Win + Alt + Print Screen command to take a screenshot. The name of the game and a timestamp are included in the filenames of both videos and screenshots saved to your computer. They also appear in the Xbox app’s Game DVR section, where you can share them with your Xbox Live friends.


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