XDA Basics: How to record your screen in Windows 11

Screen recording has become fairly standard functionality on a lot of operating systems. Android and iOS both let you do it natively, but Windows still doesn’t make it as easy. With Windows 11 coming up and already available in preview, we hope for that to change. However, it hasn’t happened yet but thankfully, you can download a variety of apps to help you with this. In this guide, we’ll show you how to record your screen in Windows 11.

While Windows 11 doesn’t offer a way to record your entire screen, you can record specific apps individually out of the box. That’s thanks to the Xbox game bar, and we’re going to start there. If you do want to record your whole screen though, we’ll help with that, too.

Recording apps and games with Xbox game bar in Windows 11

If you just want to record a number of steps in a specific app or show off something you did in a game, that functionality is built right into the Xbox game bar. Despite its name, it’s a lot more than a bar, and you can bring it up at any time by pressing the Windows key + G. Here’s how to record your apps and games with this method.

Recording gameplay automatically

In some games, it’s hard to know when you’re going to pull off a cool move or run into a memorable moment. Because of that, the Xbox game bar also gives you the option to record gameplay automatically, so you can save the last 30 seconds at any time. You’ll have to enable this though, and here’s how.

Change your recording settings

If you want to tweak some of the recording settings for the Xbox game bar, you can do it in the Windows 11 Settings app. These settings include the video recording quality, duration, and more. Here’s how it works:

Record any part of your screen in Windows 11

If you don’t want to record a specific app or game, but instead you want to record the whole screen in Windows 11, you’re going to need a third-party app. There are lots of options out there for this kind of thing, so choosing one can be difficult.

A personal favorite of mine is Screenbits, but that’s a paid app unless you find it on sale. We’re going with ShareX, which is a popular free tool for screen captures and recording. This is a very advanced program with a lot of options, so we’re going to stick to the very basics to record your screen.

Change ShareX screen recording settings (and add audio recording)

If you want to change settings like the frame rate of the video recording or if you want to record audio along with the video, you’ll need to head into the app’s settings. Here’s what you need to do:

These are the essential steps for recording your screen in Windows 11. With tools like ShareX, there’s a lot more you can do, but we’ll leave that up to you if you want to dive deeper into all the capabilities it offers. We mostly chose it for this guide because it’s a free tool that isn’t loaded with advertisements and restrictions forcing you to pay up. It’s surprisingly hard to find a fully-featured screen recorder that fits that bill. Hopefully, Microsoft will eventually add a proper screen recording tool to the OS itself.

Windows 11 will start showing up on laptops this holiday season, so there’s still time for Microsoft to add features like that. If you’re looking for a laptop to upgrade to in order to prepare, we have a roundup of the best 15-inch laptops you can buy right now. Those will also support Windows 11.

About author

João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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