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How to screen record on Windows 10 desktop and laptop - 3 easy ways

The built-in Xbox Game Bar can record screen of the game and app on computer, and there are many of other tools available. Here's how to make Windows screen record.

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 2, 2023 6:43 AM

Summary: You can screen record Windows 10r with built-in Xbox Gamebar for gameplay or other applications. To begin your screen recording, you'll want to use Windows Key + Alt + R shortcuts, or press Windows Key + G to launch Game Bar and then record your Windows 10 screen.

If you're aiming for professional recordings with more flexibility, you may want to use a third-party app like Screen Recorder. It does a reliable job and is fairly easy to use.

How to record a Windows 10 screen

You're able to do screen recording with audio on Windows 10 machine using built-in gamebar or third-party apps.

While taking a screenshot on a modern computer or phone is pretty simple and easy, there will come a time when you'll want to know how to screen record in a Windows 10 computer—whether you're sharing fantastic gameplay on the social media, or you want to making an application tutorial for your YouTube channel. Also see: How to record YouTube video on Mac.

Quick Answer - Xbox Game Bar

The Windows 10 has always made it easy to perform screen recording tasks. It comes with a free built-in screen recorder tool—a part of the Xbox Game Bar—that allows screen recording game clips, screenshot as well capturing non-gaming app activity in Windows 10 PC.

Unfortunately, the fact remains that its  Windows 10 screen recording capability is yet somewhat rudimentary. The Game Bar can't record activity in the whole Windows screen, and it's limited to support screen recording of one application at a time.

This post will cover how to use the Xbox Game bar recording feature to screen record on Windows 10 while you're playing a game or running a desktop app. 

Table of Contents

Record screen in Windows 10 via Xbox Game Bar

On Windows 10 laptop and desktop, it allows screen recording Windows game activity with the Game bar tool that comes installed by default, and get video in MP4 format in Gallery section (or Videos/Captures folder). Don't let the name fool you, the Xbox Game Bar tool can also record activities from other regular apps, not just the games you're playing on the PC.

However, Windows Xbox screen recording utility only capture from a single application at a time. If you want to record the screen of Windows 10 U, you will want to use the screen recorders outlined later in this article.

How to screen record in Windows 10 PC with Game Bar:

1. Open the app  or window you're going to record screen. You can't switch to another window or app when recording with this Xbox Game Bar, so you will need to have the target window or app open for recording in advance. Note, the Game Bar cannot record the Windows desktop or File Explorer.

2. Press the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Alt + R to begin recording screen activity. Or, click the Windows Key + G on your keyboard to open Xbox Game Bar, select the Capture from several Game Bar widgets, and then press the Start Recording button. For those who want to record a full-screen PC game, it allows starting by pressing Windows Key + Alt + G.

3. Perform whatever screen actions you want to record.

4. It will start screen recording immediately, and capture everything on your screen. A small floating bar should appear in the upper-right corner of the screen, indicating the amount of time recorded.

You will see a small float bar appearing on the screen to signal that you're now recording.

While recording, the Xbox floating bar also comes with Mic option on the right side to capture audio from your microphone. By default, this records the sounds from your mic, but you can turn it off if you want to disable the audio recording.

5. When you've finished recording, press the Windows Key + Alt + R again. You can also go to the floating bar and click the Record button (blue circle with a square in) again.

Once you ends screen recording, a notification lets you know that the game clip is recorded. By default, your screen recordings will be save to Gallery widget of the Xbox Game Bar as .mp4 files. If you want to view your recorded files, click on the notification and you'll be presented with Gallery widget to preview them. You will also access and play those videos your recorded in C:\Users\[username]\Videos\Captures on your PC.

Press Windows key + G to open Gamebar and video recordings from Gallery.

Settings for free screen recording with Xbox Game Bar

You can further tweaking of how the tool operates when you're screen recording in Windows 10.

Head to Start menu > Settings > Gaming > Capture, you'll be given a number of settings to control how you want to record screen—it doesn't matter you're capturing a gameplay or a desktop app. You may get more details here: Adjust capture settings on Windows.

Before recording a game or app, you have a lot of options to configure the Xbox gamebar.

How to save to a different folder: Choose where on your PC the app & game videos you recorded will be stored to.

Record in the background while I'm playing a game. Choose whether you want to make a background recording of a game. It allows monitoring the gameplay that runs on the computer and automatically recording up to 30 seconds of the last moments that just happened in the game. 

The "Recorded Audio" and "Recorded Video" fields are where you can control output of screen record.

Maximus recording length. The longest amount of time that can be used to screen record on a computer is 4 hours. 

Record audio when I record a game. Once it's enabled, you can record audio from microphone, or system sounds from Windows, or both entirely. 

Turn mic on by default I record. Use your microphone to record audio on Windows.

Audio quality: You can choose bitrates of your audio from 96 to 192. 

Record game audio only. Enabling it will mute any other sound coming through the microphone, Windows system, or apps, and only capture game audio.

Video frame rate. By default, Game Bar records screen at 30 frames per second (fps), but you can switch between 30 and 60 fps.

Video quality. You can record video in standard or high quality.

Capture mouse cursor in recordings. This will highlight your mouse cursor during a app or game screen recording, which can be super useful when you want your viewers to follow you and better understand what you're doing.

How to screen record in Windows 10 using AppGeeker Screen Recorder software

If you're looking for a full-featured Windows 10 screen recorder for capturing anything from computer, including the multiple app activities Windows desktop as well as File Explorer that Windows Xbox Game Bar lacks, you can't miss Appgeeker Screen Recorder.

The program has a great reputation as a solid recording tool which can do everything from the most popular video and audio recording to screen recording for webcam, screenshot and phone. It features a truly pleasing interface that makes your capture tasks a breeze.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

As you might expect, Appgeeker Screen Recorder offers a wealth of options to enhance your recording experience — you can choose record a full screen, or just a port the window; enable/disable webcam, system sound as well microphone voice for your recording; show mouse cursor, output in different formats; trim, crop, compress, merge, and convert your recorded videos, and more. It is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Follow these steps to record screen in Windows 10

Step 1: Launch the program

Open this Screen Recorder software on your Windows 10 laptop or desktop.

We're going to recording the screen on the computer, so here select "Video Recorder."

Step 2: Configure screen recording settings

In this step, you'll want to control how you want to record your screen. You can click the Full button to select the entire screen to record, or select Custom and select the area you just want to record on the screen. You can then use Webcam to make a picture-in picture video, and capture sound from system or microphone — it's all up to you.

This Windows 10 screen recorder for Windows 10 also comes with a range of customization settings, covering recording, output, sound, camera, mouse, hotkeys. You can use them to make adjustments if desired.

Step 3: Record your screen in Windows 10

Double check that all settings are how you want, then click the orange "Rec" button on the right of the program window to begin capturing the screen activity on the computer.

Step 4: Save the recorded video

Click the "Stop" button (the red square) to stop screen recording on your Windows 10 computer. A new window will open, giving you a handy video trimmer tool to trim and cut video you captured to the perfect length before saving to your local hard drive. It outputs the recorded videos in MP4 format (H.264+AAC) by default.

You can find your recordings by clicking the "Recording history" located on the lower left corner of the program window.

That's it! If you're new to screen recording on Windows, Appgeeker Screen Recorder is good place to start thanks to its easy to navigate interface with all of the necessary features. No matter you're a gamer, Youtuber, vlogger, or streamer, for work or business, you will record anything that's happening in an easy way.

Also see: How to recover emptied Recycle Bin in Windows 10

Screen recording Windows 10 screen via OBS

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a completely free and open-source program for video recording and live streaming. If you're looking for an alternative to Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 to record the entire Windows screen, capture File Explorer, and multiple windows for your running apps, OBS is an option to go. It works well in Windows 10 and newer Windows 11.

To use OBS to record a screen for free, run it on your Windows 10 computer after it's downloaded and installed. 

Under Source section at the bottom, Click + icon to add your sources for video. By default, OBS does not capture any video of your screen.

To record everything on a screen, select "Display Capture" from the list.

There are a lot of other sources you can capture from. Select "Game Capture" if you want to capture a game, select "Window Capture" for non-game applications on the Windows, and "Video Capture Device" is mainly for a webcam or card record.

After that, you will want to change the file name and then click OK.

Go ahead and select your display if you have more than one monitor, followed by OK.

Change the sound volume for your recording. At the bottom of the window, you can drag the volume bar's slider to the left and right to adjust its volume level. 

By default, OBS will record audio from both your default audio input device and applications running on the computer. If you're only interested in the video of your screen but not the audio, you can mute all the sliders.

Once you're satisfied, simply click the "Start Recording" button in Controls section located in the lower right of the window. Let OBS do its screen recording on your Windows 10.

When you are done, tap the blue "Stop Recording" button.

That's how you do Windows 10 screen recording free using OBS Studio. You can find your recording file in Video folder on your hard drive.

Related article: How to screen record on Windows 11.


Does Windows 10 come with a free screen recorder?

Yes. The Xbox Game Bar comes pre-installed and is free to use for screen recording on Windows 10 and Windows 10 machines. With Game Bar, you can capture your screen while playing a PC game or activity from other apps. If it's not available, you can install it from Microsoft Store.

Where can I find the Windows 10 screen recorder?

You can access the Windows 10 screen recorder —Xbox Gamebar— by using Windows key + G, then opening Capture widget from there to start your work; or directly start your recording using Windows key + Alt + R.

How can I capture my screen on Windows 10 without software?

PC users can take integrated free screen recording feature in Xbox Game Bar that comes preinstalled in Windows 10 and Windows 11. With it, you can create recordings of up to 4 hours at a time, including sound from your microphone.

Where do recordings captured by Xbox Gamebar save in Windows 10?

Screen activities recorded with the built-in Game Bar are stored by default to the This PC > Videos > Captures folder. You can also go into the Gallery widget of Xbox app to find your recorded files.

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