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How to record your screen in Windows 10

Whether you need to put together some lessons for a piece of software or you’re working on capturing a highlight reel to show off your Discord community, you’re wondering how to video record your screen and do this has never been easier . The Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10 is here to help.

What is the Xbox Game Bar?

The Xbox Game Bar is primarily a gaming overlay that allows you to access screen recording and recording tools as well as Xbox social tools without having to tab or close your games or applications. It’s usually included in most Windows 10 installations, but if you haven’t set it up on your computer, you can find it in the Microsoft App Store.

gamebarcapturehighlight Kevin Casper / IDG

Xbox Game Bar with Capture button highlighted

If it’s already set up, you can access the overlay at any time by holding the Windows key and then pressing the letter G. (If you’ve manually disabled the Xbox Game Bar in the past, you may need to reactivate it on deze Start > Settings > Gaming > Xbox Game Bar > check “Enable Xbox Game Bar…”) Your screen should have a gray overlay with a small menu bar with a few icon buttons to access audio controls, screen recording, resource monitors, and Xbox social tools. We’re here for the record button.

How to record your screen in Windows 10

Clicking that record button will bring up another window labeled “Recording.” In the Capture window, there are four main buttons:

  • Take screenshot
  • Recording last 30 seconds
  • Start recording
  • Turn microphone on/off while recording
capturewindow Kevin Casper / IDG

The Capture window of the Xbox Game Bar.

In addition, there is a Pin button that allows you to pin the Capture window to your desktop so that when you close the Overlay, the Capture window remains visible and accessible. The Capture window also tells you which application it’s currently targeting to record, and provides a link to show all your recordings made by the Xbox Game Bar.

Click on the Start recording button will immediately start recording the screen, as you would expect. An additional window of record buttons will appear, with a time tracker, stop button and another microphone control button. When you’re done recording, click the Stop button and the image is saved. You can then access the recording from the “Show all captures” option in the Capture window, or you can find the mp4 file under C:UsersVideosCaptures

The Recording last 30 seconds button allows the Xbox Game Bar to save the previous 30 seconds of whatever you’re doing in your currently focused application, which is great if you’re doing something super cool in a video game or if you run into a bug in an application that you need to go back and crochet. However, this button may be dimmed when you are in some applications. The Xbox Game Bar is built primarily for gaming, so if it doesn’t currently detect a video game application, it won’t actively record in the background to save those 30 seconds. If you are on the . click Recording last 30 seconds button, however, you’ll get a little pop-up message explaining this to you, along with a checkbox to let the Xbox Game Bar recording do its background recording for the 30-second recording.

audiosettings Kevin Casper / IDG

Audio options.

Add your voice with a microphone

The Switch microphone on/off button is fairly simple – it will record sound through your default microphone set in your Windows sound device settings, which you can quickly access and change by clicking the “Audio” button on the main Xbox game bar.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Like the Xbox Game Bar overlay, there are keyboard shortcuts for all these screen recording actions!

  • Start/stop recording Op: Win + Alt + R
  • Turn the microphone on/off while recording: Win + Alt + M
  • Record the last 30 seconds: Win + Alt + G
  • Take a screenshot: Win + Alt + Print Screen

Warnings and Alternatives

While the Xbox Game Bar option is available for any Windows 10 device, it may not be the ideal application for you. It cannot record the Windows Explorer. Plus, it can only record in one application at a time, so if you need to capture multiple windows, you may need another option.

The drivers and software behind your graphics card may provide some recording options for you, either through the recording and streaming options in AMD Radeon Software, or Nvidia ShadowPlay through GeForce Experience.

Alternatively, many online streaming software tools can be an option for screen recording. The free, open-source OBS Studio toolset is a very popular application for people who stream content on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. Instead of streaming online, it can instead write to a file to capture screen shots as well, although there can be a bit of a learning curve.

Being able to capture our digital experience is becoming increasingly important and the tools available to do so are only getting better. Whether for work or play, your Windows 10 PC is ready to help with some of your screen recording needs.

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