One of the most high-profile features released in Windows 10's May 2019 update was the Xbox Game Bar. Designed to create a more immersive PC gaming experience, it makes various tools available to all users via a quick keyboard shortcut.
Among these is the ability to record your screen, which works well across all Windows 10 apps. However, you'll still need third-party software if you want to capture your screen at the same time.
How to record your screen in Windows 10
The Xbox Game Bar is technically available on all Windows 10 PCs, but won't work on some devices. This includes those with a specific type of graphics card, but it's still worth trying if you're not sure.
It's also important to note that Game Bar won't be able to record in File Explorer or directly on the desktop. When using these apps, the option to record will be greyed out and you'll see a message saying 'Gaming features aren't available for the Windows desktop or File Explorer'.
Before you begin, it's important to check that Game Bar is enabled. Head to Settings > Gaming > Game bar and ensure the toggle is set to 'On'.
From here, you can also customise the keyboard shortcuts for various operations, but for the purpose of this tutorial, we'll be using the defaults:
- Open the app or program that you'd like to screen record. The option won't be available if you start on the desktop
- Launch the Game Bar via the Windows Key + G keyboard shortcut
- You'll now be presented with various options. From the 'Capture' menu in the top-left corner, look for the record option, indicated with a white spot within a grey circle. You can also go straight to this stage by hitting Win+Alt+R if you'd prefer
- If this is your first time screen recording, you might have to accept some permissions before you begin
- You should see a window that looks like this while you're recording.
Here, you can toggle the microphone on and off, or hit stop at any time
- Once a recording has completed, you'll get a message saying 'Game clip recorded'. Click it to see the file in File Explorer
- To change the default location where captures are saved, head to Settings > Gaming > Captures. Click 'Open Folder' and choose a different area of the File Explorer
There's also a handy feature that allows you to record your screen in the background. This is especially useful for an in-game highlight, but can also be an effective way of diagnosing issues with your device:
- Open the same Captures menu as above, by heading to Settings > Gaming
- Under 'Background recording', ensure the toggle is turned on. Again, you may have to accept some permissions
- Here, you can also choose how far into the past you want the device to record, anything from 30 seconds to 10 minutes
- Now, when you head into the Game Bar (Win+G), click the button to the left of record to capture recent footage. If it's greyed out, click it and tick the box next to 'Enable gaming features for this app to record gameplay'
How to record your screen and webcam simultaneously in Windows 10
That method works fine if you're looking to just record your voice and what's on your display, but what if you want to capture webcam footage at the same time. For that purpose, we recommend OBS Studio. Once you've downloaded the free software from the OBS website and installed it on your PC, here's what to do next:
- Open OBS Studio, select 'Optimise just for recording, I will not be streaming' and click 'Next'
- On the next screen, choose the resolution and FPS you'd like. If you're unsure what to choose, stick with the default options and click 'Next'
- From the following summary screen, click 'Apply Settings'
- You'll now be on the home screen. Under 'Sources' at the bottom of the screen, click the + icon to add a source
- Choose 'Display Capture' and click 'OK' from the next screen
- Choose the relevant display and whether you'd like the cursor to display, before clicking 'OK' once more
- You should now see a screen like below, showing a preview of the display you're capturing. Click the same + icon as before and choose 'Video Capture Device'
- Select the webcam you'd like to use and click 'OK'
- You'll now see your webcam over the screen you'll be recording. Click and drag the edges of your webcam to resize
- Once you're happy with this, click 'Start Recording' in the bottom right corner. There's no need to add a separate audio input device
- Click the same button to stop recording at any time. All recordings are saved under the 'Video' folder in File Explorer by default
Screen recording on Mac was introduced with macOS Mojave in 2018, but we still recommend OBS if you're looking to use webcam footage too.
Want to just capture stills? Check out seven ways to take a screenshot in Windows 10.