Getting Started with the Xbox Game Bar

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2021)

Windows 10 has a feature that is often overlooked by many, perhaps because of the feature's name, or it could be some other unknown reason entirely. This feature, Xbox Game Bar, is a handy tool that can step up your screen-capture game. The addition of the "Xbox" in the name may cause one to dismiss the feature, especially if they are not a gamer. The Xbox Game Bar was indeed intended to tie into the Xbox ecosystem, allowing you to find and connect with teammates, chatting, and sharing content. The truth is, this relatively new Windows 10 addition, can be used outside of the Xbox ecosystem, can help you out in different ways.

Before you get started with the Xbox Game Bar it might be a good idea to get familiar with some of the settings; I will cover using the Xbox Game Bar in another article. When we open the settings for Xbox Game Bar we will have four settings areas—Xbox Game Bar, Captures, Game Mode, and Xbox Networking. This article looks at these four areas and what they mean.

Xbox Game Bar

To open the settings for Xbox Game Bar, press theÊWindowsÊkey and type (without quotes) "Capture Settings" and pressÊEnter. This opens the Gaming section of the Settings window, focused on the Xbox Game Bar section. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Xbox Game Bar portion of the Gaming section of the Settings window.

To begin using Xbox Game Bar you need to turn it on by clicking the "On" toggle. Below the toggle you will see the option for creating your own keyboard shortcuts. It is recommended that you keep the standard shortcut, as changing them may remove the shortcut from being used for another process. The main keyboard shortcut to remember is the Win+G combination; this launches the Xbox Game Bar at any time.

After you have set the settings you desire for the Xbox Game Bar section, you may want to look at the other settings while you have the Settings window open.

Captures

Click on the Captures option at the left side of the Settings window. This replaces the right portion of the Settings window with the Captures settings options. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Captures portion of the Gaming section of the Settings window.

This section allows you to specify various aspects pertaining to how Xbox Game Bar will handle captures. Since Xbox Game Bar allows you to capture video and audio, you will see options for these. Some of these options include settings for Background Recording, Audio, and Video. (These settings will be covered in another article.)

Game Mode

The next section down is the Game Mode section, found by clicking on "Game Mode" at the left side of the Settings window. This opens the Game Mode section in the right portion of the Settings window. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Game Mode portion of the Gaming section of the Settings window.

The main setting in the Game Mode section is to turn "Game Mode" on or off. By default, Game Mode is turned on. When Game Mode is enabled ("On"), Windows postpone driver installs or restart notifications. It also optimizes your machine for more stable and consistent frame rates, important if you were playing graphic-heavy games.

Xbox Networking

The final section is the Xbox Networking section. You can view this section by clicking the last option in the area at the left side of the Settings window. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. Xbox Networking portion of the Gaming section of the Settings window.

This provides more of a status related to your connection with the Xbox servers. This information is important to understanding the health of your connection to the servers if you are connecting for gaming purposes.

With an understanding of the Xbox Game Bar settings you will be able to begin using this feature for either gaming or non-gaming needs.

 This tip (9980) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

MORE FROM ERIC

Quickly Finding Your IP Address

IP addresses identify your device on IP-governed networks. If you need to find your IP address quickly, you can use the ...

Discover More

Keeping Track Of Your Timeline

Sometimes you need to go back and revisit an activity you were doing from a couple of days ago. With the new Timeline ...

Discover More

Quick Photo Printing

Windows 10 allows for quick and easy printing of your photos at standard photo sizes. You can start printing your photos ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Customizing Quick Actions

Action Center provides quick access to notifications and quick actions. Quick actions provide a fast way to perform tasks ...

Discover More

Modifying the General Startup Process

Having problems getting Windows to start properly? You can try to track down what is causing the problem by using the ...

Discover More

Using Command Prompt (CMD) to Change Your Computer Name

Computers have names that are used to identify them. Using Command Prompt (CMD) you can change your computer's name.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.