What Is Windows' Steps Recorder (PSR)?

The Built-in Windows Screenshot Tool

Steps Recorder is a combination keylogger, screen capture, and annotation tool for Windows. It's used to quickly and easily document actions made on a computer for troubleshooting purposes.

Below is everything you need to know about Steps Recorder—what it's used for, which versions of Windows it's compatible with, how to open the program, and how to use it to record your steps.

Steps Recorder in Windows 10

Steps Recorder is sometimes referred to as Problem Steps Recorder or PSR.

Steps Recorder is only available in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1), Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008.

What Is Steps Recorder Used For?

Steps Recorder is a troubleshooting and assistance tool used to record actions taken by a user on a computer. Once recorded, the information can be sent to whatever person or group is assisting in the troubleshooting.

Without Steps Recorder, a user would have to explain in detail each step they're taking to replicate the issue they're having. The best way to do this would be to manually write out what they're doing and take screenshots of every single window they see.

However, with this tool, all of this is done automatically while the user is on their computer, which means they don't have to worry about anything but starting and stopping Steps Recorder and then sending the result.

PSR is a program that must be manually started and stopped by you. It doesn't run in the background and doesn't collect or send information to anyone automatically.

How to Access Steps Recorder

Steps Recorder is available from the Start menu in Windows 11/10 and the Apps Screen in Windows 8. You can also start Steps Recorder with the command shown below.

In Windows 7, Problem Steps Recorder, the tool's official name in that version of Windows, isn't available as a shortcut in the Start menu. It can be accessed most easily by executing the following command from the Start menu or Run dialog box:


How to Use Steps Recorder

See How to Use Steps Recorder for detailed instructions, or you can read a quick overview of how PSR works below:

Steps Recorder records lots of information very useful to someone troubleshooting a problem, including every mouse click and keyboard action.

It creates a screenshot of each action, describes each action in plain English, notes the exact date and time the action took place, and even allows the recorder to add comments at any time during the recording.

The names, locations, and versions of all programs accessed during the recording are also included.

Once a PSR recording is complete, you can send the created file to the individual or group helping to solve whatever problem is occurring.

The recording is in the MHTML format, which is viewable in Edge. To open the file, first, open the browser, and then use the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut to open the recording.

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