The Xbox game bar is a utility feature that comes built-in with Windows 11. The primary focus of this feature is to enable you to record and share clips of video games like you can in the original Xbox. It is a very handy feature and can be used to record not just games but also other applications as well.
The Xbox game bar was first introduced with Windows 10 and since has seen many improvements to its usability and performance. With this feature, you can record screens, create clips, and even include your own voice-over or system audio if you wish to. The game bar also has other utilities such as tracking CPU or GPU performance, a social widget to communicate with your Xbox buddies, and more.
Note: If you are a content creator and you want to record your screen very frequently and professionally, consider using dedicated screen recording software like OBS or Open Broadcaster Software. The Xbox game bar is good for casual use cases. The feature lacks in major features present in other professional software and can sometimes be buggy.
Now, before we begin with the guide on how to use the game bar, let’s take a look at how you can modify the properties of your recordings using the Settings menu.
Setting up Capture Options in Xbox Game Bar
You can tweak the properties or your recordings by going into the Capture settings menu. First, launch Settings by searching for it in Windows Search or pressing Windows+i on your keyboard.
On the settings window, click on Gaming from the left panel and then click on ‘Captures’ from the right panel.
Now, in the Captures menu, you can do all sorts of modifications to your recordings. You can go directly to the folder where your recordings are stored by clicking on the ‘Open folder button’. You can set a maximum recording time using the ‘Max recording length’ dropdown menu.
You can choose if you want to record desktop audio using the ‘Capture audio when recording a game’ toggle. You can also set the fps limit for your recording using the ‘Video frame rate’ dropdown menu.
Remember to tweak these to your preferences before recording a clip.
Now that you know how you can change the properties of your recordings, let’s get to how you can record your games or any application using the Xbox Game Bar.
Recording Screen Using Xbox Game Bar
To record your screen using Xbox Game Bar, first launch the game or the application you wish to record. Once you are inside the game or on the application window, press Windows+g on your keyboard to bring up the Game Bar overlay.
You will see the overlay appear in the foreground. The overlay will consist of many widgets, each with its own functions.
Near the top-middle of your screen will be the core part of the overlay which is the ‘Game Bar’. From here you can add or remove any widget you want. You can also get to additional settings for your Xbox Game bar by clicking on the ‘cog’ icon.
To start recording your clip, you can click on the ‘Start recording’ button in the Capture widget or press Windows+ALT+ron on your keyboard.
Once the recording starts, another widget will appear called Capture status. This small widget will show a timer that represents how long you are recording and will remain on your screen after you close the Xbox Game Bar.
To stop recording, you can press Windows+ALT+rone again or click on the blue circle inside the Capture Status widget.
Once you have stopped recording you will receive a prompt saying ‘Game clip recorded’. The clip now has been saved in the default directory. The default directory for Xbox Game bar clips is the following.
This PC > Videos > Captures
Now you can record as many clips as you want and share them with your friends or on Social Media.
Changing Audio Inputs in Xbox Game Bar
If you want to add your commentary to the clip or want to include the audio of the game or the application you can do it from the Game Bar settings. to do this, click on the ‘cog’ icon from the Game Bar and then select ‘Capturing’ from the menu to get to audio settings.
Here, under the ‘AUDIO TO RECORD’ section, you can see 3 options. You can choose to record the game audio and your microphone, you can choose every active audio source or none at all.
Launching Xbox Game Bar Using a Keyboard Shortcut or Controller
By default, you are supposed to launch Xbox Game Bar by pressing Windows+g. But if you have an Xbox controller plugged in, you can use it to launch the Game Bar by pressing the ‘Home’ key on your controller. You can enable this feature from the Settings menu.
First, open up Settings by searching for it in Windows search or pressing Windows+i on your keyboard.
On the Settings Window, select ‘Gaming’ from the left panel and then select ‘Xbox Game Bar’
Now, turn on the toggle labeled as ‘Open Xbox Game Bar using this button as controller’.
You can now press the Xbox button on the controller to launch the Xbox Game Bar anytime on your PC.