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How to Record Screen Activity in Windows: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve ever needed to record screen activity on your Windows PC, whether it’s for a tutorial, demonstration, or online class, you’re in luck. Windows offers built-in tools that make this task a breeze. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to record your screen on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 using the Xbox Game Bar and the Snipping Tool.


Screen recording can be incredibly useful for a variety of purposes, including creating presentations, crafting how-to videos, or producing content for platforms like YouTube. We’ll explore two methods:

  1. Using the Xbox Game Bar (available in Windows 10 and 11)
  2. Leveraging the Snipping Tool (specific to Windows 11)

Recording with Xbox Game Bar

Step 1: Accessing Settings

First, open your computer’s settings. In both Windows 10 and 11, navigate to Settings > Gaming > Captures. While the layout may differ slightly between the two operating systems, the settings are consistent.

Step 2: Configure Recording Options

  • By default, your screen recordings are saved in your user folder under Videos\Captures, but you can change the location.
  • Decide whether to record in the background or during gameplay, depending on your needs.
  • Set the duration for background recording, anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.

Step 3: Customize Audio Settings

  • Enable audio recording for both game and general audio.
  • Adjust the quality of the audio, microphone recording volume, and PC volume settings.

Step 4: Fine-tune Video Settings

  • Opt for a frame rate of 30fps (or 60fps for higher quality).
  • Choose video quality (standard or high).
  • Optionally, disable capturing the mouse cursor.

Step 5: Mastering Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn and utilize keyboard shortcuts for quick access to Xbox Game Bar functions, such as starting/stopping recording or capturing the last 30 seconds of screen activity.

Using Xbox Game Bar

Step 1: Setting Up Your Activity

Before you start recording, ensure the activity you want to capture is ready. When you’re set, press Windows key+G to activate the Game Bar.

Step 2: Initiating Recording

In the Game Bar interface, tap the Record button in the Capture pane, then perform the screen activity you wish to capture.

Step 3: Stopping and Viewing Your Recording

After completing the recorded activity, press the stop button on the small panel. A message will notify you of the successful recording. You can then access your recordings in the Gallery window.

Step 4: Recording without Launching Game Bar

Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+Alt+R to begin recording without launching Game Bar. Your new recording will appear in the Gallery window for playback.

Step 5: Working with Recorded Videos

Locate your recorded videos in c:\users[username]\Videos\Captures. They are saved as MP4 files, ready to be edited or played using video editing software.

Step 6: Tweaking Game Bar Settings

Press Windows key+G and click on the Settings icon in the Game Bar’s top toolbar to adjust shortcut keys, interface themes, transparency, and audio recording settings.

Recording with Snipping Tool (Windows 11)

Step 1: Check Your OS Version

Ensure you’re running Windows 11 build 22621.1344 or higher. If not, update your operating system to meet this requirement.

Step 2: Set Up Your Screen Recording

  • Launch the Snipping Tool.
  • Select the area you want to record.
  • Click Start on the Snipping Tool toolbar to initiate recording.

Step 3: Recording Your Activity

Record the screen activity you wish to capture. You can pause and resume recording as needed using the toolbar buttons.

Step 4: Share or Save Your Recording

Once finished, the recording will automatically play in a Snipping Tool preview window. You can share it with others or save it as an MP4 video file.

Step 5: Configure Audio Settings

With the latest Snipping Tool update, you can customize your audio settings. Access these settings through the ellipsis icon, allowing you to control microphone and system audio recording during screen capture.


Recording screen activity in Windows is a valuable skill for various purposes, from education to content creation. By following these simple steps, you can master the built-in tools on Windows 10 and 11 to create engaging and informative screen recordings.


  1. Can I use Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 and 11?
    • Yes, Xbox Game Bar is available in both Windows 10 and 11 for screen recording.
  2. How do I change the default location for saved recordings?
    • You can customize the storage location for your recordings within the settings.
  3. What is the ideal frame rate for screen recording?
    • 30fps is sufficient for most recordings, but you can opt for 60fps for higher quality.
  4. Can I edit my recorded videos with the built-in Windows tools?
    • You can open your MP4 files in a video editor to edit and enhance them.
  5. Is the Snipping Tool available in Windows 10?
    • The Snipping Tool is specific to Windows 11 and is not available in Windows 10.

With these built-in Windows tools, you’ll be able to create captivating screen recordings for a wide range of purposes without the need for third-party software. Happy recording!


Technology has always been a passion of mine. I love learning about the latest gadgets and gizmos and how they can make our lives easier. I have been writing about technology for over 10 years and have seen the industry change and evolve over that time. I enjoy writing about the latest trends and how technology can be used to improve our lives.

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