Built-in screen recording on Windows 10 is fairly good for capturing various on-screen activities. You can record your gameplay, online meetings, presentations, and webinars. You can create tutorials, code reviews, lectures for online courses, and many other videos.

Before diving into the recording steps and configurations, let’s see what the built-in screen recorder on Windows 10 offers. We’ll also cover its benefits, drawbacks, and an excellent alternative.

In this article

The Built-in Screen Recorder in Windows 10: Xbox Game Bar

built-in windows 10 screen recorder

Xbox Game Bar is the built-in screen recorder for Windows 10 and 11. It lets you take screenshots and video captures while playing Xbox or PC games. Activating it from your game controller makes capturing essential moments a breeze. You can also chat with friends on an Xbox console or your PC.

However, don’t let the name fool you. This built-in screen recorder in Windows 10 goes above and beyond Xbox. You can record your screen when not playing games and take screenshots anytime.

The best part about Xbox Game Bar is the Game Mode. It optimizes your gaming experience, directing more CPU and GPU resources to your game while stopping unnecessary background processes. It may consume more power, but your gaming performance improves. You can enjoy a higher frame rate, better responsiveness, more consistency, and smoother gameplay.

The Game Mode also prevents Windows from installing drivers and other updates or reminding you to restart your PC. It prioritizes gaming, helping you enjoy your favorite games without hiccups.

Are you ready to record with the built-in Windows 10 screen recorder? Let’s dig into the steps.

How to Record With Xbox Game Bar

Here’s how to record your screen with Xbox Game Bar:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Gaming > Xbox Game Bar and toggle the On switch. You can also tick the checkbox below to enable your controller to activate the Game Bar.

enable xbox game bar

Step 2: Open a game, app, or browser window you want to record.

Step 3: Search for the Xbox Game Bar app in your Windows taskbar and hit Enter.

open xbox game bar

Step 4: Click “Yes, this is a game,” even if you want to record something else.

open the game bar

Step 5: Click the Speaker icon in the Home Bar to open the Audio widget.

open the audio widget

Step 6: Choose the audio output sources to record in the Mix tab and adjust their volume.

audio output sources

Step 7: Switch to the Voice tab to set audio input sources (if you want to record your microphone). You can also change Xbox party chat settings.

audio input sources

Step 8: Set your audio output and input sources in Xbox party chat settings and adjust the volume. You can also enable push-to-talk and noise suppression.

xbox party chat audio settings

Step 9: Click the Mouse icon in the Home Bar to enable click-through (if you want to record mouse clicks).

enable click-through

Step 10: Click the Screen icon in the Home Bar to open the Capture widget.

open the capture widget

Step 11: Hit the Record button to capture your screen. You can also turn your microphone on or off.

start recording with the game bar

Step 12: The Game Bar will disappear while recording, leaving only the Capture Status timer. Click the Stop icon anytime to finish recording.

stop recording with the game bar

Step 13: Reopen the Game Bar (or click the notification) and click Show all captures.

show all captures

Step 14: The Game Bar’s Gallery will open, letting you play, share, or view your recordings in File Explorer.

xbox game bar gallery

How to Record With Xbox Game Bar With Keyboard Shortcuts

Xbox Game Bar supports several keyboard shortcuts for faster access and recording. They’re ideal when capturing your gameplay because you can’t exit your game in critical moments to launch the app and start recording.

The best part? You won’t miss unexpected gaming moments even if you don’t record on time. If you enable background recording, you can capture previous screen activity (the last 15 seconds to 30 minutes) with a single keyboard shortcut.

Here’s how to record your screen with Xbox Game Bar’s keyboard shortcuts:

Step 1: Press the Windows + G keys to activate the Game Bar.

xbox game bar shortcut

Step 2: Start recording using the Windows + Alt + R key combination. The Game Bar will capture audio by default when recording a game.

recording shortcut

Step 3: Turn your microphone on or off with the Windows + Alt + M shortcut.

microphone shortcut

Step 4: Stop recording using the Windows + Alt + R shortcut. You can also hide the Capture Status timer while recording using the Windows + Alt + T combination, although it won’t be visible in your video.

a shortcut for finishing recording

Step 5: If background recording is active, hit the Windows + Alt + G keys to record the previous 15 seconds (up to 30 minutes) of gameplay. The default is 30 seconds, but we’ll show you how to change the length shortly.

record the last screen activity

How to Configure the Built-in Screen Recorder in Windows 10

Now that you know how to use the built-in Windows 10 screen recorder, it’s time to configure it to suit your needs. Here’s how to change the default settings and make the most of the Game Bar:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Gaming > Captures, choose where to save game clips and screenshots, and set your Background Recording preferences. You can record the last 15 or 30 seconds or 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Additionally, set the maximum length for regular recordings (30 minutes or 1, 2, or 4 hours).

background recording settings

Step 2: Recording game audio is active by default, so enable the microphone (optional) to record your voice whenever you capture gameplay. Then, set the desired audio quality (96 Kbps, 128 Kbps, 160 Kbps, or 192 Kbps.

recorded audio settings

Step 3: Choose a frame rate of 30 FPS or 60 FPS for recordings and a standard or high video quality.

recorded video settings

Step 4: Launch the Xbox Game Bar (Windows + G) for additional configurations. Go to Settings > Capturing and choose which audio to record.

xbox game bar capturing settings

Step 5: Switch to the Accounts tab to connect your Xbox, Steam, Twitch, and other accounts.

xbox game bar accounts

Step 6: Enable Game Chat Transcription under Gaming Features for accessibility.

xbox game bar gaming features

Step 7: Go to Notifications and set your preferences. For instance, you can mute and hide them during gameplay to avoid recording the pop-ups.

xbox game bar notification settings

Step 8: Go to Shortcuts to change them if you don’t find the existing combinations convenient. Remember that the Game Bar lets you replace the Windows logo key with Ctrl or Shift only.

xbox game bar shortcut settings

Step 9: Finally, click the Widget icon in the Home Bar to mark specific widgets as favorites. That will keep them on top whenever you open the Game Bar.

favorite widgets in xbox game bar

Xbox Game Bar includes other settings like Personalization (e.g., to change the theme) and General (e.g., to show tips when launching games). However, those above are everything you need to record your screen on Windows 10.

The question is, are the built-in Windows 10 screen recorder’s features enough? Is the Game Bar your best option, or are there shortcomings that might push you toward alternatives? Let’s find out.

Pros and Cons of Using the Built-in Screen Recorder on Windows 10

built-in screen recorder in windows 10

Built-in screen recording on Windows 10 has benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a quick overview to help you make an informed decision.


  • A built-in Windows 10 app – You don’t need to download and install anything to record your screen.
  • Xbox compatibility – You can activate the Game Bar with your Xbox game controller when mirroring your Xbox screen to your PC.
  • User-friendly interface – The intuitive Home Bar gives one-click access to all the widgets and settings.
  • Performance monitoring – You can track your CPU, GPU, and RAM usage within the app, which is ideal when playing games.
  • Background recording – You can capture previous gameplay moments even if you don’t record on time.


  • No custom recording-area selection – You can choose which parts of the screen to record. Besides full-screen games, the Game Bar will capture the entire app or browser window.
  • No desktop or File Explorer recording – As the Game Bar will inform you, “Gaming features aren’t available for the Windows desktop or File Explorer.”
  • Limited maximum recording length – Although four hours may seem ample, other screen recorders support more, making them better for extended videos.
  • Occasional glitches – The Xbox Game Bar sometimes refuses to open during gameplay, making you miss precious moments.

Xbox Game Bar may be a native Windows 10 app with many advantages, but its drawbacks can be a deal-breaker. Here’s a fantastic alternative to consider.

An Alternative to Consider: Wondershare DemoCreator

Wondershare DemoCreator is an all-encompassing recorder and editor for Windows 7 through 11 and macOS Catalina and newer. It lets you create a video presentation and virtual avatar recording (exclusive features) and capture your screen, camera, or both.

Additionally, it supports never-before-seen integrated game recording, delivering 4K and 8K videos at an impressive 120 FPS. It doesn’t matter if your monitor has a lower resolution; you’ll enjoy high-definition videos with zero latency. Moreover, you can record them for up to 24 hours for uninterrupted gameplay without lag.

Regardless of the recording mode, DemoCreator captures crisp sound and separates audio, video, and camera tracks for seamless editing. Unlike the Xbox Game Bar, it lets you select a recording area and add on-screen annotations and effects. You can even schedule your recordings.

As for editing, DemoCreator features AI-powered tools, making auto-captions, subtitles, transitions, effects, and noise removal (among other perks) a breeze.

Here’s how to record your screen with Wondershare DemoCreator:

Step 1: Download and install DemoCreator for Windows.

Free Download
Free Download
Security Verified

Step 2: Launch the software, click the Profile icon, and create or log into your account.

create or log into your account

Step 3: Open the Video Recorder.

democreator startup panel

Step 4: Choose a recording mode.

recording modes

Step 5: Select a game or an area to record (depending on the mode) and enable your camera, microphone, and system audio (depending on your preferences).

recording settings

Step 6: Specify the windows to record (optional) and hit the red REC button or F9. You can pause and resume anytime with the F9 key and switch to full-screen recording with Shift + F.

recording windows

Step 7: Open the Screen Drawing Tool using the Ctrl + Shift + D shortcut to add text, spotlight effects, shapes, stickers, and other on-screen annotations.

screen drawing tool

Step 8: Click the Stop button or hit F10 to finish recording.

stop recording


The built-in screen recorder on Windows 10 may be a native app with intuitive features, but its limitations leave much to be desired. You can make higher-quality captures with advanced tools like Wondershare DemoCreator. Try it for free to see how it can transform your recordings with cutting-edge AI.

Oliva Eve
Oliva Eve May 23, 24
Share article: