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How to record a screen on Windows 10

How to record a screen on Windows 10
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Sharing what you see on your PC is easy once you know how to record a screen on Windows 10. Sometimes you need more than a screenshot, and that’s where Windows 10’s handy screen recording feature comes in. Perhaps you need to create a video tutorial, or maybe you want to record a video presentation, it's rather easy either way.

Previously, capturing your screen required expensive equipment or a third-party app, but Windows 10 built the functionality right into the system. This way anyone can capture videos in minutes and share them with whoever you like.

You're going to be using the Xbox Game Bar tool, and don't worry if you're not a gamer. While this tool can seem a little finicky, it’s actually a pretty straightforward process as we’ll explain below. 

The one catch is that you can't use these features to record Windows Desktop or File Explorer. We're looking for a suitable alternative for that in the meantime.

Just follow the clearly laid out instructions in this guide and you won’t have any issues when it comes to recording your screen on Windows 10. 

1. Open the app you want to record 

How to record a screen on Windows 10 - open app

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Open whatever app or program you want to record on your screen. It’s worth noting that the recording tool won’t work on everything. Programs such as File Manager or your device’s desktop won’t allow recording, but most other apps will, including most video games as well. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re recording a video of Google Chrome.  

2. Press Windows + G to open Xbox Game Bar 

How to record a screen on Windows 10 - open Xbox Game Bar

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Win + G is keyboard shortcut instantly opens the Xbox Game Bar tool. If you'd rather type it out, open the Start menu and type "Xbox Game Bar."

3. Click Record 

How to record your screen on Windows 10 - press record

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Press the Record button in the top left of the Xbox Game Bar — it’s the one that looks like a white circle. Alternatively use the keyboard shortcut Windows + Alt + R. This will start the recording process. It's worth noting that sound is also recorded as well, so don’t leave a video or music playing in the background unless required.  

4. Uncheck the mic button (optional)

how to record your screen on windows 10 - uncheck mic

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If your device has a built-in microphone or is connected to one, you can also capture mic audio. This is useful for adding voice-over to your recording, perfect for creating tutorials or a video lecture. 

To record your mic audio, just make sure to uncheck the mic icon which is located next to the recording button as well as on the “capture status” bar that will appear once you start recording. 

Mic audio is muted by default, so make sure you don’t forget to switch it on if required. 

5. Click Stop to finish recording 

how to record your screen on windows 10 - press stop record

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once you’ve recorded everything you need, just hit the blue stop button on the “capture status” bar and your recording will end. The stop button can also be found on the capture tab as well. 

If the interface has disappeared, just press Windows + G to bring the Xbox Game Bar back up. 

6. Find your recording in File Manager 

how to record your screen on windows 10 - locate in file manager

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once you’ve created your recording, locating the file is super simple. Each recording you make will be automatically stored by Windows in a file labeled “Captures” which can be found in the Videos section of your File Manager. From here you can rename the files, move them to a different location or send them to someone via email or services like DropBox. 

More Windows 10 tips

How to find your Windows 10 product key | How to encrypt files on Windows 10 | How to install Windows 10 | How to turn on Bluetooth for Windows 10 | How to screenshot on Windows 10 | How to boot into Windows 10 safe mode | How to split the screen on Windows 10 | How to update drivers on Windows 10 | Mapping a network drive in Windows 10 | How to update Windows 10 | How to change the password on Windows 10 | How to factory reset on Windows 10 | How to speed up Windows 10 | How to reinstall Windows 10 | How to rotate the screen in Windows 10

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.