Screen recording allows you to capture both video and audio of screen activity for use in tutorials, demonstrations, online classes, or more – such as tutorials. While third-party screen recorder programs exist that enable this capability, Windows 10 and 11 both include built-in options to help take care of business without additional downloads being necessary.
Table of Contents
- Windows 10 and 11 have screen recording capabilities through the Xbox Game Bar and Snipping Tool. Game Bar records gameplay but works for any on-screen activity.
- Snipping Tool requires Windows 11 and records selected areas. Both save MP4 videos to edit or share.
Overview of Recording Options in Windows
Windows provides a couple of straightforward screen recording options:
Xbox Game Bar – Available in Windows 10 and 11, Game Bar is designed for gameplay recording but captures any on-screen activity. It records full screens, mic, and system audio, and saves MP4s.
Snipping Tool – New in Windows 11, Snipping Tool can record selected screen areas to MP4. It offers mic and system audio options and basic editing features.
Third-party software offers more customization for video quality, file formats, and webcam capture compared to Windows tools; however, for basic screen recording, these are sufficient without extra downloads required.
How to Record Your Screen with Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 and 11
Here is how to set up and use Xbox Game Bar to record your screen in Windows 10 or 11:
Step 1: Enable Game Bar Settings
Go to Settings > Gaming > Captures to enable Game Bar settings:
Set save location for recordings (default is Videos > Captures).
Enable background recording if desired.
Adjust max recording length (up to 4 hours).
Enable mic and system audio.
Set audio quality, mic volume, and PC volume.
Set frame rate to 30fps and video quality to standard or high.
Step 2: Launch the Game Bar
To start recording, launch Game Bar with Windows Key + G. The Game Bar toolbar and capture pane will appear.
Step 3: Start and Stop Recording
Click the Record button to start capturing. Perform your on-screen activity, then click Stop when done. A notification will confirm the recording.
Step 4: View the Recording
Press Windows Key + G again to return to the Game Bar. The new recording will appear in the gallery for playback.
Step 5: Record with Keyboard Shortcuts
For quick recording, use Windows Key + Alt + R to start and stop without opening the Game Bar. Use Windows Key + Alt +G to save the last 30 seconds.
Step 6: Access the MP4 Files
Recordings are saved as MP4s in Videos > Captures. Open them directly to play or edit.
Step 7: Customize Game Bar
Use Game Bar settings to customize shortcuts, themes, and other options.
How to Record Your Screen in Windows 11 with Snipping Tool
The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 provides another screen recording option:
Step 1: Check Your Windows 11 Version
Snipping Tool recording requires Windows 11 build 22621.1344 or higher. Check-in Settings > System > About. Update if needed.
Step 2: Open the Snipping Tool
Open the Snipping Tool and select New from the toolbar.
Step 3: Select Recording Area
Click and drag to select the area of your screen to record.
Step 4: Start and Stop Recording
Click Start to begin recording. When finished, click Stop.
Step 5: Save the Recording
The MP4 recording will play back automatically. Click Save to download.
Step 6: Configure Audio Settings
Enable mic and system audio by default in Snipping Tool's settings. Mute as needed while recording.
Tips for Recording Your Screen in Windows
Follow these tips for the best results when recording your screen with Game Bar or Snipping Tool:
Structure what you want to demonstrate before recording. Have any needed windows/apps open?
Use keyboard shortcuts to start/stop recording for a smoother capture.
Adjust audio volumes in Game Bar settings for the ideal mic and system audio mix.
Try different video quality settings if the standard is blurry. High takes more disk space.
For the Snipping Tool, check your Windows 11 version first. Update if needed to enable recording.
Use Snipping Tool's new settings to configure the mic and system audio as defaults.
Edit recordings afterward with video software to cut clips, add effects/transitions, import to YouTube, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions About Screen Recording in Windows
How do I start a screen recording?
In Windows 10 and 11, press Windows Key + G to open the Xbox Game Bar, then click the Record button. For Snipping Tool in Windows 11, open the app, select an area, and click Start.
What is the keyboard shortcut to record my screen?
Windows Key + Alt + R starts and stops recording with Xbox Game Bar without opening the interface. Windows Key + Alt + G records the last 30 seconds.
Where are screen recordings saved?
By default, Xbox Game Bar saves recordings to Videos > Captures as MP4 files. Snipping Tool saves to your chosen location as MP4.
Can I record system audio and microphone audio?
Yes, enable both under Game Bar's settings for full audio capture. Snipping Tool also lets you set the mic and system audio as defaults.
How can I edit my screen recordings?
The MP4 format allows easy editing. Import the videos into free software like OpenShot or paid tools like Adobe Premiere to trim, splice, and enhance the videos.
What is the best screen recorder for Windows 11?
For a built-in option, Snipping Tool only works on Windows 11 while Game Bar works on Windows 10 and 11. Both provide basic recording functionality. For advanced features, consider a third-party tool.
What video format do built-in Windows recorders use?
Game Bar and Snipping Tool save recordings as MP4 video files, the most common sharing and editing format. Other software may support additional formats like MOV, AVI, MKV, and more.
Can I record a specific app window instead of my full screen?
Currently, Game Bar and Snipping Tool only provide full-screen recording. To record a single app window, a third-party recorder with that feature is needed.
Recording your screen activity is easy with the built-in Xbox Game Bar and Snipping Tool in Windows. Game Bar works across Windows 10 and 11 to capture your full screen, while Snipping Tool offers area select recording on Windows 11. With just a few clicks, you can record on-screen actions, system audio, and microphone audio for tutorials, demos, lessons, and more. The resulting MP4 files can then be edited using Windows' own Photos app or third-party video software for professional productions. So next time you need to capture what's happening on your Windows desktop, fire up Game Bar or Snipping Tool to record your screen with ease.