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, a feature that was previously only available via third-party software.

How to record your screen in Windows 10

While Xbox Game Bar is technically available on all Windows 10 PCs, it won’t work on some devices. This includes having a specific type of graphics card, but it’s still worth trying if you’re not sure.

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’.

Windows 10 Game bar

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:

  1. Open the app or program that you’d like to screen record. The option won’t be available if you start on the desktop
  2. Launch the Game Bar via the Windows Key + G keyboard shortcut
  3. 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
    Windows 10 Game bar launched
  4. If this is your first time screen recording, you might have to accept some permissions before you begin
  5. You should see a window that looks like this while you’re recording.
    Windows 10 screen recording in progress

    Here, you can toggle the microphone on and off, or hit stop at any time
  6. Once a recording has completed, you’ll get a message saying ‘Game clip recorded’. Click it to see the file in File Explorer
  7. 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
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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:

  1. Open the same Captures menu as above, by heading to Settings > Gaming
  2. Under ‘Background recording’, ensure the toggle is turned on. Again, you may have to accept some permissions
    Windows 10 background recording
  3. Here, you can also choose how far into the past you want the device to record, anything from 30 seconds to 10 minutes
  4. 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’
    Windows 10 capture recent footage

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’d recommend OBS Studio. Designed for video recording, this free software is the most effective way we’ve found. Here’s what to do once you’ve downloaded the app and installed it:

  1. Open OBS Studio, select ‘Optimise just for recording, I will not be streaming’ and click ‘Next’
    Record screen and webcam 1
  2. 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’
  3. From the following summary screen, click ‘Apply Settings’
  4. You’ll now be on the home screen. Under ‘Sources’ at the bottom of the screen, click the + icon to add a source
  5. Choose ‘Display Capture’ and click ‘OK’ from the next screen
    Record screen and webcam 2
  6. Choose the relevant display and whether you’d like the cursor to display, before clicking ‘OK’ once more
  7. 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’
  8. Select the webcam you’d like to use and click ‘OK’
    Record screen and webcam 3
  9. You’ll now see your webcam over the screen you’ll be recording. Click and drag the edges of your webcam to resize
  10. 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
  11. Click the same button to stop recording at any time. All recordings are saved under the ‘Video’ folder in File Explorer by default
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Since the release of macOS Mojave in 2018, it’s also been relatively easy to screen record on Mac

Want to just capture stills? Check out seven ways to take a screenshot in Windows 10





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