How to screen record in Windows 10 and Windows 11

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Comments (2)(Image credit: Future)

A video is worth a million words, if a picture is worth a thousand pictures. Screen recording in Windows can be used to demonstrate how to use an application or show off your gaming skills.

Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with screen recording as part of the Xbox Game Bar tool. It is very easy to use, even if your activity is not in a gaming app. If you need to capture more than one app at a time, Game Bar has some limitations. You may also want to consider using OBS to screen record.

We’ll show how to capture your screen in Windows 10 and Windows 11 using the OBS and Xbox Game Bar. For a still image only, please see our article about how to take screenshots in Windows 11.

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Take a screenshot of your Windows screen with Xbox Game Bar

The Xbox Game Bar is available in Windows 11 and Windows 10. It offers a variety of features that will enhance your gaming experience. These include quick access to Xbox chat, and an overview of your CPU and GPU activity. Its most important feature, regardless of whether you’re gaming or not, is its ability screen record MP4 videos.

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The Xbox Game Bar cannot screen record the Windows desktop and File Explorer. This is the only drawback. If you wish to demonstrate how to use multiple programs, such as programming a website in code editor, and then viewing it in browser, you will need multiple videos. You can’t show them how to use the Start menu or any other feature of Windows 11/10. You should use OBS to record these activities. We’ll demonstrate how to screen-record with OBS later in this article.

  1. To record , click into the app.
  2. To start screen recording, hit the Windows Key + Alt +R You will see a small recording widget that shows how long you have been recording, usually in the corner of your screen. The keyboard shortcut to the capture widget is also possible.

 

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  1. Take whatever action you like and record audio with your microphone. If you don’t wish to record any sound, you can mute your microphone.
  2. To stop screen recording, hit the Windows Key + Alt + Reset. You can also hit “Stop” on the widget. You’ll see an alert saying “Game clip recorded.” Clicking on this will take you to the Gallery section of Gamebar App where you can view the video you have captured. The MP4 file that you have recorded can be found under the Videos/Captures folder.

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Configuring Xbox Gamebar Screen Recording

The default settings will probably be fine for most people. However, you have a few options.

  1. Navigate to Settings->Gaming->Captures.

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  1. You can change any of these settings. These settings are called “game” but they should be applied to all apps that you use to record whether or not it is a game.
  • Record what occurred (Win 11), / Background recording (Win 10): This creates a buffer of automatically recorded content for 30 seconds (or more if you adjust the settings). If you’re playing a game and have just scored an incredible kill, you can press Windows key + G to launch the game bar. This will save 30 seconds of screen recording time, even if you were not actively screen recording. This setting’s name may be different in Windows 11 and 10, but it is still the same.

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  • Maximum recording length: The time that the screen recording will stop after. This should be left at the default of two hours.
  • Record audio while recording a video game:By default this records sounds from your microphone, but does not record background sounds from Windows and other apps. You have the option to disable audio recording completely or allow it to record system sounds and adjust the balance.

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  • Video framerate:defaults at 30 fps. However, you can set it to 60.
  • Video quality – Choose standard or high.
  • Capture the mouse cursor while recording a video game: I recommend that you leave this disabled, especially if you’re recording an app that isn’t a game.

OBS Studio allows you to record the entire screen

Windows 10’s and Windows 11’s built in Xbox Gamebar screen recorders are limited to one app. They will not display the Windows desktop, File Explorer, or any other files. A third-party app is required to capture your entire desktop, including all windows. There are many options, but we prefer OBS Studio.

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OBS Studio is a popular game streaming tool because it’s both free and can broadcast games to Twitch or other sites. OBS Studio can be used to capture the whole screen in Windows 11 and save it to an MP4 file. You don’t have to stream what you do.

  1. Download, install, and launch OBS Studio . If you aren’t yet prompted to do so, OBS Studio will ask you if you would like it optimized for streaming or for recording. If you do not plan to stream, select “Optimize only for recording.”

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  1. To add a source, click the Plus icon in Sources.

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  1. Select Display Capture.

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  1. On the dialog box that appears, click Ok. If you wish, you can name the source something other than Display Capture.

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  1. Select a display and Click OK. This will allow you to use OBS on more than one monitor and record the activity on another screen. You can only have one monitor.

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  1. Click on the Start Recording button at the lower right corner.

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  1. Reduce OBS screen recording using the same monitor as OBS.
  2. When you’re done, click Stop Recording in OBS

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Your screen recording videos will default be stored in the Windows 11 or 10) Videos folder. By default, they are saved in the.mkv format. You can however change the output format to MP4 and MOV by accessing the Settings->Output menu within OBS.

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