The ability to capture our digital experiences is becoming increasingly important and the tools available to do so are getting better and better. […]
Whether you need to put together some lessons for a software or are working on recording a highlight reel to show off to your Discord community, you’re wondering how to record your screen to video, and it’s never been so easy. 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 gives you access to screen capture and recording tools and Xbox social tools without leaving or closing your games or applications with a tab. 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.
Xbox Game Bar with highlighted Record Button (c) Kevin Casper / IDG
If it is already set up, you can access the overlay at any time by holding down the Windows key and then pressing the letter G. (If you have manually disabled the Xbox Game Bar in the past, you may need to reactivate it under Start > Settings > Games > Xbox Game Bar > “Enable Xbox Game Bar”…) Your screen should get a gray overlay with a small menu bar that includes a few icon buttons to access audio controls, screen recordings, resource monitors, and Xbox Social Tools. We’re here for the record button.
How to record your screen in Windows 10
When you click on the record button, another window will appear labeled “Record”. In the recording window there are four main buttons:
- Take a screenshot
- Record the last 30 seconds
- Start recording
- Turn microphone on / off while recording
The capture window of the Xbox Game Bar (c) Kevin Casper / IDG
In addition, there is a pin button that allows you to pin the capture window to your desktop so that the capture window remains visible and accessible when you close the overlay. The capture window also shows you which application it is currently focused on for recording, and provides a link to view all of your captures taken from the Xbox Game Bar.
When you click the “Start Recording” button, the screen recording will start immediately, as you might expect. An additional window with the recording controls appears, which contains a time tracker, a stop button and another microphone control button. When you finish recording, you can click the “Stop” button, and the recording will be saved. You can then access the recording via the “View all recordings” option in the recording window, or you can find the mp4 file at C:Benutzer< Your username>VideosRecordings.
The “Record last 30 seconds” button allows the Xbox Game Bar to save the last 30 seconds of the current application, which is especially useful if you have done something very cool in a video game or have encountered an error in an application that you need to pick up again. However, this button can be dimmed if you are in some applications.
The Xbox Game Bar is primarily designed for gaming. So if it doesn’t detect a video game application right now, it won’t actively record in the background so you can save it for 30 seconds. However, if you click on the “Record last 30 seconds” button, you will receive a small pop-up message explaining this to you, as well as a checkbox that allows you to allow the Xbox Game Bar to record in the background for the 30 seconds.
Audio Options (c) Kevin Casper / IDG
Adding Your Voice with a Microphone
The “Turn microphone on/off” button is quite simple-it records the sound through your default microphone, which is set up in the Windows sound device settings, which you can quickly access and change by clicking the “Audio” button on the main Xbox gamebar.
Similar to the Xbox Game Bar overlay, there are keyboard shortcuts for all these screen capture actions!
- Start/Stop recording: Win + Alt + R
- Turn microphone on / off while recording: Win + Alt + M
- Record the last 30 seconds: Win + Alt + G
- Take a screenshot: Win + Alt + Screen print
Caveats and alternatives
Although the Xbox Game Bar option is available for every Windows 10 device, it may not be the ideal application for you. It is not able to record the Windows File Explorer. In addition, it can only record one application at a time. So, if you need to record several windows, you may need another option.
Your graphics card’s drivers and software may include some recording options for you, either through the recording and streaming options in the AMD Radeon software or Nvidia ShadowPlay through GeForce Experience.
Alternatively, many online streaming software tools can also 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 also write to a file to take screen shots, even if there is a certain learning curve.
The ability to capture our digital experiences is becoming increasingly important and the tools available to do so are getting better and better. Whether for work or play, your Windows 10 PC is ready to assist you with some of your screen shots.
* Kevin Casper is a tech expert who is well versed in public speaking, duct tape, and the role of an orc in every game he plays.