How to Use Windows 10 Game Bar

Record gameplay on a PC in a snap

Game Bar is a program included with Windows 10 that takes screenshots and records and broadcasts video games. It's also where you enable Game Mode to apply settings that make your gaming experience faster, smoother, and more reliable. There's an Xbox link that opens the Xbox app when you click it, and you can play games through this app. Game Bar is sometimes referred to as an Xbox game DVR.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

Enable and Configure Game Bar

Game Bar must be enabled for a game (or any app) before you can use the features available on it.

To enable Game Bar, open any game from inside the Xbox app or from the list of apps available from the Start menu. If you are prompted to enable Game Bar, do so. Otherwise, press Windows+G.

How to Configure Game Bar

Windows 10 Game Bar offers options to personalize it to suit your needs. You'll find these options on three tabs: General, Broadcast, and Audio.

The General tab offers the most options, including one to enable Game Mode for the active app. With this option selected, the system allocates extra resources (such as memory and CPU power) for smoother play.

It also contains an option to enable Background Recording. With this feature, you can use the Record That feature in Game Bar to capture the last 30 seconds of play, which is a great solution for recording an unexpected or impressive gaming moment.

The Capture tab lets you enable or disable your microphone or camera while streaming. The Audio tab controls the audio quality and lets you opt to use the microphone (or not), and more.

  1. Hover the mouse cursor over each of the entries to see the name of the icons.

    The top section of Game Bar
  2. Select Settings.

    The Settings button in Game Bar
  3. Read each entry under the General tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.

    The General tab in Game Bar settings
  4. Read each entry under the Capturing tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.

    The Capturing tab and options in Game Bar settings
  5. Read each entry in the Audio box on the left side of the screen. Enable or disable each feature as desired.

    The Audio window in Game Bar
  6. Click outside Game Bar to hide it.

How to Use the DVR Record Feature

A popular option is the DVR feature, which records your gameplay. This feature works in a similar manner as a traditional television DVR, except this a live game DVR. You might also hear it referred to as an Xbox game DVR.

To record a game using the Record feature:

  1. Open a game.

  2. Use the key combination Windows+G to open Game Bar and select Start Recording in the Capture box in the upper-left corner.

    The Start Recording button in Game Bar
  3. While playing the game, Game Bar disappears. A smaller bar appears with a few options, including:

    • Stop recording: Click the square icon once to stop the recording.
    • Enable/disable the microphone: Click the microphone to enable and disable.

    Press Windows+G to access Game Bar.

    The control box for Game Bar
  4. Locate the recordings by clicking Show all captures in Game Bar.

    You can also find recordings in the Videos > Captures folder.

    The Show all captures command

How to Broadcast, Take Screenshots, and More

Just as there is an icon for recording the screen, there are icons for taking screenshots and broadcasting. Screenshots you take are available from the Xbox app and the Videos > Captures folder. Broadcasting is a little more complex. If you want to explore it, click the Broadcast icon, and follow the prompts to configure settings and start your livestream.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can use various shortcuts while playing a game to record clips and screenshots:

  • Windows+G: Open Game Bar.
  • Windows+Alt+G: Record the last 30 seconds (you can change the amount of time recorded in Game Bar > Settings).
  • Windows+Alt+R: Start and stop recording.
  • Windows+Alt+Print Screen: Take a screenshot of your game.
  • Add your own shortcuts: To do so, open the Xbox app and select the menu to expand it, then select Game DVR > Keyboard shortcuts.

Think Outside the Xbox

Although the name Game Bar (and pseudonyms like Xbox game DVR, game DVR, and so on) implies that Game Bar is only for recording and broadcasting computer games, it isn't. You can also use Game Bar to:

  • Capture content from a web browser.
  • Record anything you do on the screen (for example, show someone how to edit a photo).
  • Provide an example of a problem you have with a particular software or a problem with your computer.