I finally finished this awesome game called Photoshop, let me send you a video

It used to be that if you needed to create a recording of a program on the PC, you had to get Expressions Encoder or some other capture program. But the feature is now built into Windows 10, assuming you're willing to do some pretending.

Windows 10 brings the Xbox Game DVR feature to the PC. The Game DVR feature lets you record yourself playing a video game, so you can share the recording with your friends.

Suppose you have some program that you want to record, say for a bug report or for an instructional video. Just pretend it's a game:

  • Put focus on the program you want to record.
  • Press Win+G to open the Game Bar. If it asks whether you want to open the Game Bar, say, "Yes, this is a game."
  • Press the red circle to start recording, or press Win+Alt+R.
  • Do the thing you want to record.
  • Open the Game Bar and press the red square to stop recording. Or use the hotkey Win+Alt+R.
  • Optional: Open the Game Bar, click the gear icon, and uncheck "Remember this app as a game."

The recording is placed in your Videos\Captures folder.

You can configure the capture settings from the Xbox app.

Comments (35)
  1. DWalker says:

    That’s really cool! I suppose Microsoft developed the Game Bar and the recorder was just a feature of that utility…. Can be useful.

  2. 12BitSlab says:

    I could see how that would be very useful for making training videos of how to use software — either commercial or in-house built stuff.

  3. Zarat says:

    Not working for me, it says there is nothing to record and tells me to start playing and try again.

    Does that mean it needs something special installed to be able to record, or does it mean it can only record some applications and not everything?

    1. kbr says:

      The same for me.

      1. sh_code says:

        let me guess (not working for me either) – we’re all running dual-GPU laptops?

        1. Zarat says:

          no, plain old desktop system

    2. Tulah says:

      Likely related to features and especially requirements of the software. If software you aim to record isn’t using graphics acceleration of any kind it’s likely not recognized as game. Also you’ll need hardware that supports hardware encoding.

      Personally I’d use OBS or OBS Studio to record those necessary videos as it can work wit software encoding and doesn’t require a game.

  4. xcomcmdr says:

    Found it a few weeks ago.

    Way better than everything else I tried. No lag. No █████ quality or sound. Just perfect.

    And insanely useful to record movies on TV replay sites that won’t let you download the video of the broadcast even if it is illegal under French law (one can record whatever is/was put on TV).

  5. Didn’t Windows 7 have a screen recorder (problem steps recorder?) that did something similar?

    1. The Problem Steps Recorder recorded screen shots, not videos.

    2. cheong00 says:

      I think Twitch also support local recording.

  6. BZ says:

    Didn’t Windows 3.1 (or was it 3.11) have a “recorder” utility? Though that was intended to be for macros of sorts to rerun rather than to send to others

    1. That was a macro recorder, not a video recorder. Also, Windows 95 had a “Sound Recorder”, but that was for recording sound, not video.

  7. Colin Fraizer says:

    The boss fight against Masking and Compositing was epic!

  8. BaTycoon says:

    Alright that’s it. I’m going to go purchase a new computer for Windows 10. Continue creating cross compatibility and you may have a daily user out of me yet.

  9. Kai Schätzl says:

    What do you do if there is no Win-Key?

      1. Dan F says:

        @David Totzke pass me a wet wipe, I appear to have spat coffee on my monitor. Well played sir, well played.

    1. Tim! says:

      a) Find the key that acts as the Win key but isn’t branded as such. When pressed by itself it opens the start menu.
      b) Map a key you don’t use to act as the Win key (http://superuser.com/questions/333445/simulating-the-windows-key-on-an-old-keyboard)
      c) Replae your keyboard with one manufactured during this century

      1. Tongo says:

        You can pry my Model M (made in 1989) from my cold dead hands!

        1. Jonathan Wilson says:

          http://www.pckeyboard.com/ will sell you a Model M with a Windows key (they bought all the model M tooling and patents and everything else)
          Same springs, same keys, same annoy-the-coworkers loudness etc.

        2. Rick C says:

          Your coworkers will probably help, if it means getting rid of that horrible, horrible noise! (join the 21st Century, with a keyboard using something like Cherry MX Browns).

      2. Kai Schätzl says:

        I found out that CMD acts as the Win key. It works for instance with CMD+R. But pressing CMD+G doesn’t do anything. So, this isn’t keyboard related. Is this really the only method to launch this “Games Bar”, Raymond? (Input language is set to German, but CMD+S launches Cortana.)

        1. xcomcmdr says:

          Sometimes I have to press Win + G more than once before the “Is this a game ?” popup appears.
          But maybe I’m too impatient.

  10. It is sad that this is designed specifically for games. Of course, you can use it for other applications, but it does bother me. It simply feels wrong to use a “game recorder” to record something that isn’t a game. (Yes, I am a semantics nerd.)

    Anyway, no WMC means no Windows 10 “upgrade” for me…

    1. Alois Kraus says:

      Doing screenshots for every mouse click and after 500ms again is enough for me to document what a user did so. Yes enabling ETW Traces at the same time helps also a lot. For that ETWController was written. It works also on Windows 7. See https://etwcontroler.codeplex.com/

      1. Rick C says:

        As it turns out, the video recording is useful for demonstrating things that can’t be shown via screenshots: for example, something that pops up and disappears too fast to let you read what it says.

        1. Alois Kraus says:

          Yes for some things having a video is great. It would be even better if every captured frame emits an ETW event and document that. That would help a lot to correlate video and ETW events. Is there an API to capture Videos programatically? Normally I want the complete desktop because some applications drive the UI from several processes which have several top level windows.

  11. Joshua says:

    Incidentally it will let me use Win-G on the a consolehost window; I don’t have compatible hardware so I have no idea if you can record console windows this way.

  12. Dave says:

    Doesn’t work for me, either. Says, “There is nothing to record. Play some more and try again.”

    Wonder what the key for determining if you are playing a game is…

  13. Ray Koopa says:

    “This PC can’t record clips” =(

  14. John Townsend says:

    Works very well – nice one, Microsoft! Great for short clips of “how to” training videos.

  15. T. Scott says:

    I was trying to record a level on the online coding game, Lightbot to share as a tutorial. I’m using Windows 10 and Internet Explorer. Would not record. Bummer. Does it have to be a task outside the browser?

  16. Wesley says:

    I was wondering if the title is in any way a reference to the bit from the Gumball cartoon where one of the characters was reviewing the game that came with the computer called “Calculator”.

    [Actually, it was a reference to this bit. -Raymond]

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