How to Make Screencasts With the Windows 10 Xbox Game Bar

Record gameplay and create video tutorials on Windows 10

Female sound engineers watching a band playing

Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images

Sometimes the only way to explain something is to show how it's done. For those times, recording a screencast can be very helpful. The built-in Xbox app for Windows 10 has a tool called the Game Bar that can be used to capture what's happening on your screen at any time.

Instructions in this article apply exclusively to Window 10.

What Is a Screencast?

A screencast is a recorded video of your Windows desktop. They are often used to create instructional videos for how to carry out a set of actions inside a program. If you wanted to teach someone how to convert a document in Microsoft Word from DOCX to DOC, for example, you could record a screencast of you going through the steps.

The Xbox Game Bar allows you to do just that. Although Game Bar is designed to record gameplay for PC games, it can be used for recording other apps as well. Recordings can then be shared to platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Xbox Live.

Unfortunately, there are some limitations. The Game Bar can't capture your entire desktop; the Windows taskbar is omitted. It will only work inside a single program at a time, and there may be programs for which the record feature doesn't work at all.

Older versions of Windows do not provide a way to record screencasts, so you must rely on third-party hardware or software.

How to Record a Screencast on Windows 10

To record your screen with the Windows 10 Game Bar:

  1. Type game bar settings in the Windows search box and select Game bar settings.

    Type game bar settings in the Windows search box and select Game bar settings.
  2. Make sure the toggle switch under Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcasts using Game bar is set to On.

    You can set keyboard shortcuts for recording video and taking screenshots on this screen.

    Make sure the toggle switch under Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcasts using Game bar is set to On.
  3. Type xbox in the Windows search box and select Xbox Console Companion.

    Type xbox in the Windows search box and select Xbox Console Companion.
  4. After the Xbox app launches, press Windows key + G to bring up the Game Bar.

    The Xbox Console Companion app must remain open and maximized to record your screen with the Game Bar.

    The Xbox Console Companion app must remain open to record using the Game Bar.
  5. Select Record (the white circle) under Broadcast & Capture in the top-left corner to begin recording your screen.

    If you do not see the Broadcast & Capture window, select the Web cam icon at the top of the screen next to the clock.

    Select Record (the white circle) under Broadcast & Capture in the top-left corner to begin recording your screen.
  6. A red dot will appear in the top-right of the screen along with a timer and two other icons. Select the Stop recording icon (the white square) to end recording. Select the microphone icon to enable/disable sound recording.

    The Game Bar will record sounds coming from your computer (such as music), but it will not record external sounds such as your voice.

    A red dot will appear in the top-right of the screen along with a timer and two other icons.
  7. To view your recordings, press Windows key + G to bring up the Game Bar and select Show all captures under Broadcast & Capture.

Select Open file location under a video to view the folder containing the file.

To view your recordings, press Windows key + G to bring up the Game Bar and select Show all captures under Broadcast & Capture.

How to Make Adjustments to Your Video

You can access and edit your screencasts from the Xbox Console Companion app. Select the Captures tab on the left side (it looks like a film cell with a game controller in front of it) to see all your recorded clips. Each video will automatically be titled with the name of the file you recorded, the program name, and the date and time.

You can access and edit your screencasts from the Xbox Console Companion app.

Select the video you want to use and it will expand within the Xbox app so that you can play it. Select Trim if there are bits you'd like to edit out. You can also delete, rename, or upload the video to Xbox Live. To view the file location, select Open folder.

Game Bar screen recordings are saved to This PC > Videos > Captures by default. To access your screencasts without opening the Game Bar or Xbox app, press Windows Key +on your keyboard to open Windows 10's File Explorer, then select Videos in left panel and double-click the Captures folder.

Game Bar screen recording are saved to This PC > Videos > Captures by default.

Videos recorded with the Game Bar can be quite large. If you want greater control over file size, download a screencast program with more advanced features.