How to record, take screenshots, or broadcast games in Windows 10 [via Game Bar]

Before Windows 10 was launched, Windows gamers are forced to install third party programs in their machine in order to record a gameplay or capture what’s on their screen. With Windows 10 though, they’re now at par with Xbox-gaming pals as the operating system already incorporates game recording functions similar to what an Xbox console can do. To know the scope of this new feature, read on.

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How to activate Game Bar in your Windows 10 PC

In order to start recording your game or capturing your computer’s screen, you must first launch the Game Bar. Windows 10 Game Bar feature is an integral part of the operating system but it needs to be set up for a game or app before it can be used. If you haven’t tried enabling it before, here’s how:

  1. Launch a game. Depending on your setup, games may be stored in the Xbox app or from the list of apps in your Start Menu.
  2. Once a prompt asking you to enable the Game Bar shows up, go ahead with it.
  3. If you missed the prompt for whatever reason, press Windows key + G.

Now the you’ve opened Windows 10 Game Bar, you should see three tabs:

  • General
  • Broadcast
  • Audio

The first tab, General, provides a number of options and the one that will allow you to activate Game Mode. This computing mode in Windows allocates relevant resources for gaming alone, pausing or stopping altogether tasks and processes that may slow the machine.  Broadcast tab allows you to capture the last portion of a game you’re on (the last 30 seconds only). This option, named Record That, is an easy way to record your game without needing to install a third party app or program. Under Broadcast tab, you also have the option to toggle the microphone or camera on or off. Lastly, Audio tab, as the name suggests, gives you options relating to all things audio such as microphone usage, changing audio settings and quality, to mention a few.

If you want to set your Game Bar up, here are the steps:

  1. To know the name of the icons, just hover the mouse cursor over each of them.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Read each entry under the General tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
  4. Read each entry under the Broadcast tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
  5. Read each entry under the Audio tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
  6. Click outside the Game Bar to hide it.

How to use DVR Record feature

Gamers love the new changes Windows 10 brings but they love it even more because of the DVR feature that allows one to record a gameplay. If you are familiar with how a normal TV DVR works, you’re getting the same exact functionality here.  Xbox gamers refer to it as Xbox game DVR.

While playing, access Game Bar by pressing Windows key + G buttons. If the game you’re playing supports Game Bar, you will then see a horizontal bar with a number of options. Let’s discuss each of them briefly.

  • Xbox button — This is an option for you to open the Xbox app.
  • Record That — Next to the Xbox button, Record That is the option that lets you quickly tell your machine to capture the last 30 seconds of your game. It’s a useful feature for those wanting to record clips of historic or great game plays. This option is turned off by default but you can turn it back on under Settings.
  • Screenshot — The next option after Record That is the screenshot option symbolized by a camera button. This feature lets you record what’s showing in your screen. Once the capture is done, the file is then stored under File Explorer>Videos>Captures folder.
  • Record — The red circle allows you to capture the game. Once you’ve started to capture a gameplay, a timer then shows you how long you’ve been recording. The recorded files are then stored under File Explorer>Videos>Captures folder. Every file has its own corresponding title and metadata.
  • Settings — This icon allows you to customize Game DVR settings. Some other settings are only accessible via the Xbox app however.
  • Move button — This allows you to relocate the Game Bar on the screen.

NOTE: If Game Bar appears to fail to launch, there are two possible reasons for it. Either the game is not supported by this feature, or your PC is in full-screen mode. To pull up Game Bar, you need to adjust the settings of your game first by opening it in Windowed mode. Then, once you’ve done that, press the Windows key + G buttons again to launch the Game Bar.

Game Bar feature may be primarily designed to work with games but it can also be used to do other things such as:

  • record whatever you’re doing in your screen (such as showing someone step-by-step instructions of something)
  • capture contents in your browser
  • ask support from a technician by showing them the error or problem that manifests in the screen.

How to play in full-screen mode and use Game Bar features

If you think the Game Bar is distracting or if you want to play your games in full-screen modes, you should still be able to record game plays or capture screenshots but in a different manner. Since Game Bar won’t pop up in full screen mode, Microsoft makes it accessible for users still with the help of shortcut keys.  If you think you can memorize a handful of combinations, this should be a better option for you to avoid being distracted. Below are the shortcut keys and how they work.

  1. Windows key + G — Open Game bar
  2. Windows key + Alt + G — Record the last 30 seconds (you can change the amount of time recorded in Game bar > Settings)
  3. Windows key + Alt + R — Start/stop recording
  4. Windows key + Alt + Print Screen — Take a screenshot of your game
  5. Windows key + Alt + T — Show/hide recording timer

If you want to create your own shortcuts that you can easily remember, you can do so under by opening the Xbox app and going under its settings. Look for Game DVR>Keyboard shortcuts and customize your own shortcut keys.


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