How to use the Windows 10 Game Bar to record training videos

A training video can be the best communication method in a business setting. You can capture a recording using the Game Bar, but there are quirks to overcome first.

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Depending on the situation, it is sometimes just better to show someone how to do something than to tell them. A short training video that shows the exact procedure to follow down to the individual mouse click can be more effective than a two-hour seminar explaining the same procedure in detail.

With this basic principle in mind, a previous TechRepublic article showed you how to activate the Microsoft Windows 10 Game Bar so you can record your own training videos; however, that tutorial did not explain how the Game Bar works in practice. The procedure for recording a video is not complicated, but a successful session requires the resolution of a few quirks.

This tutorial shows you how to use the Windows 10 Game Bar to record and create simple videos, including training videos.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to record training videos with the Windows 10 Game Bar

The first thing to remember about the Windows 10 Game Bar is that it is designed to work with games. While that may seem obvious, the subtle result is that the application will often fail to automatically recognize productivity software as something that can be recorded. We will have to manually inform the Game Bar of that pro-record status.

The other quirk about the Windows 10 Game Bar is that all recordings automatically go to a library folder with the name Captures--this is not optional or changeable. You may move the location of the Captures folder, but no matter where you move it, that is where your captured videos will reside—there is no other option.

The default location for Captures is:
C:\Users\YourUserName\Videos\Captures

Figure A shows you the basic Windows 10 Game Bar overlay that is displayed when you press the keyboard shortcut combination of Windows Key + G. To remove the overlay, click the mouse cursor on an open area that is not part of the Game Bar.

Figure A

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Figure A

On the left side of the overlay is the Xbox social interaction section, which you can ignore or turn off by clicking the People icon located on the main toolbar (top of screen). On the right side of the overlay from the bottom up is the CPU Performance screen, the Audio Settings screen, and then the Broadcast & Capture control screen.

The CPU Performance screen will let you know what effect your video capture recording is having on your computer. On some less-powerful PCs, the capture process may actually be more than it can handle effectively.

Use the Audio Settings screen to specify which speaker system to use for recording purposes and to adjust its volume. You also have the opportunity to change settings for system sounds and other audio sources. Under most circumstances, the default system settings will do.

The Broadcast & Capture control screen is where you will spend most of your time. Following the icons from left to right, you can take a screenshot, record the last 30 seconds (if it is activated), start or stop a recording, turn a microphone on or off, and start or stop a broadcast.

As you can see in Figure B, the Windows 10 Game Bar will not work in certain situations—this is another quirk. To start a recording, you have to be running an application, and you have to inform the Game Bar that the application is approved.

Figure B

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Figure B

Figure C, on the other hand, shows how the Game Bar behaves when you ask it to capture and record from an application it does not recognize. In this case, it is the Paint app.

Figure C

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Figure C

Clicking the checkbox on the overlay will add Paint to the list of recordable applications, and the next time you ask the Windows 10 Game Bar to start recording, it will do so without protest. This general procedure will work the same for other applications. Each new application will have to be added to the approved list manually the first time, and then it will be automatic from that point forward.

Note: Captured recordings are saved in the standard MP4 format and can be accessed by most media players and video editing and production applications.

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