Here’s How to Easily Record Videos on Windows 10 and 11 Without Any New Apps

Here’s How to Easily Record Videos on Windows 10 and 11 Without Any New Apps

Ever needed to record something on Windows but though “dang, I need an app for that”?

Well, guess what: the app for that is inbuilt. You don’t need to install a third-party app to screen record on Windows 10 or 11 anymore, and you haven’t had to for some time.

Here’s how to record your screen in Windows with an inbuilt app.

How to screen record on Windows 10/11 without downloading an app

Microsoft buried screen recording functionality within the Xbox Game Bar app, intended mostly for, you know, gaming. It’s not a gaming-only feature, though, and is definitely handy outside of videogames.

You can screen record on Windows using the app outside of games quite easily.

  1. Begin by pressing Windows key + G, the shortcut for Xbox Game Bar. You can also find this in the start menu or by searching for “Xbox Game Bar” (not to be confused with “Xbox Accessories”, “Xbox Console Companion” or the “Xbox” app. These are all separate apps). Keep in mind that some older versions of Windows 10 may not include Xbox Game Bar (you’ll likely need to update)
  2. Navigate to the “Capture” button. It’s a box with a circle in it, with an underscored line. Once you click this, the capture menu will open
  3. With the window you want to capture open, click the “record” button (it’s a button with a circle in it). Shortly after you click this, the recording will begin. The shortcut is Windows key + Alt + R
  4. Footage will be captured until you pause the recording, which you can do by pressing the “stop” button (characterised by a square) or by pressing the Windows key + Alt + R again
  5. You can access your captured footage at any time by clicking “See my captures”, or by navigating to the folder it saves to (it’ll tell you where they’re being saved to in the Xbox Game Bar menu).

Some things to keep in mind

This is a very neat feature, but not everything is straightforward. There are some things you should remember.

The feature can only capture a single open window, meaning monitor capture (as in, capturing everything on a display and being able to move between apps while the app records) isn’t possible. You’ll need another app for that.

Additionally, the screen recorder may actually be causing problems for you, if it’s set to record constantly in the background (it was set to this on my computer for a long time, causing lag when playing Forza Horizon 5). This footage is deleted if not used, so don’t worry about it clogging up your hard drive, but it will consume system resources while enabled.

You can disable this by opening the Windows Game Bar, opening the settings (characterised by a cog), navigating to “Capturing” and by deselecting “Record in the background while I’m playing a game”. While Windows Game Bar is open, it will identify the primary windows as a game, meaning if you’re using an application like, for example, Google Chrome, it will register Google Chrome as a game.

Within the settings, you can also change the audio that the app captures. You can choose between “none” (no audio), “all” (every sound the system produces, including notifications) and “game” (the selected app plus your microphone).

Also, try to clean out your recordings regularly (the maximum resolution is 1080p). The space they take up isn’t generous.

It’s that simple. Happy snapping.

This article has been updated since it was originally published.

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