How to Record Games (And Other Apps) Using Game Bar in Windows 10

If you’re an enthusiastic gamer, you’ve probably had the desire to record and show off your gameplay. For a long time the only way you could record games was through third-party software such as Fraps. Recently, we’ve also seen Nvidia step forward with Shadowplay to help players record their game footage. Now Microsoft has made their move; if you use Windows 10, you may be surprised to learn that it comes with its own game recording tool. It’s not immediately obvious as to how you can record games with Windows 10, but once you learn how it’s done, it’s very easy to remember and use when you want to record some footage.

Turning On Game Bar

In order to enable this feature, first make sure that the official Xbox app is installed and ready to run on your Windows 10 machine. Once done, make sure the Game Bar is enabled by following these steps.

First, open the Xbox app. If you don’t own an Xbox gamertag, you may need to create one in order to log in and get to the options. On the Settings page, click the tab for “Game DVR” and then “Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR.”


When this is enabled, some options appear that allow you to tweak the Game Bar, such as hotkeys that are associated with it. You can modify these hotkeys if you want something more convenient for you; however, this article will assume the default hotkeys the app comes with, so be sure to remember if you modify any!

If you want, you can also enable “Background recording.” This will allow you to record and save events that have happened in the past – more on that a little later.


Using Game Bar’s Features

Now that Game Bar is turned on, boot up a game you’d like to record. The nice aspect of Game Bar is that it works mostly on an overlay basis instead of needing to be tweaked in a separate window. This means you can bring it up in the middle of your game without having to Alt-TAB into different software.

Once your game has launched, you can bring up the Game Bar by holding down the Windows key and pressing G.


From here, you can select if you want to record game footage or if you’d like to take a screenshot. Click the option you’d like to do, and Game Bar will perform that action for you. If you want to record gameplay, a small red bar will appear top-right to show how long you’ve been recording. To stop, simply click the Stop button on this bar, and it will save your video for you.


If you already know what you want to do, you can circumvent having to bring up the Game Bar altogether. To start a recording, press “Win + Alt + R.” For a screenshot, press “Win + Alt + PrtScn.” If you enabled background recording as above, then you also have the ability to tell Game Bar to “Record That.” What Record That does is take the last thirty seconds of footage and save it as a recording. This is very useful if you made an excellent play and want to capture the moment after it has happened. You can activate Record That with “Win + Alt + G” as long as background recording has been enabled.

Not Just for Gamers

Here’s an interesting feature of the Game Bar: When you try to activate it in a different app, you may find you’re unable to bring up the Game Bar. However, if you boot up a game, enable it within that game, then shut down the game and boot a different app, you can activate Game Bar. It won’t work straight away; Game Bar first needs you to tell it that the app it’s about to record is a game. It’s okay if it’s not actually a game as long, as you click the box for “Yes, this is a game,” Game Bar will be active for that app.


Now you can use Game Bar just like you would in a regular game but in any software you like.

After Recording

Once you’ve recorded or taken screenshots of your game (or software), you may want to take the video footage and uploaded it to a video sharing site such as YouTube. However, it may be a little confusing as to where these recordings and screenshots are actually being saved.

Never fear. If you want to access the files you’ve created, just go to “Users,” your personal account folder, “Videos” (yes, even for screenshots!), and then “Captures.” You’ll find all your media here ready to be played, edited, and uploaded for the Internet to see.


Going On Record

With Let’s Plays becoming a large chunk of the online media market, it’s getting easier and easier to record and save your gaming footage. Now, if you’re using Windows 10, you can get everything set up within the OS itself, even if you have no interest in video gaming whatsoever.

Do you have a favourite screen-recording app? If so, which is it? Can you see yourself eventually using Game Bar instead? Let us know below.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox