Ok... I'll be the first to admit I had no idea that Windows 10 had a screen recorder. Actually it's not Windows 10 but the Xbox application installed with the OS that provides it and yes it records audio and takes screenshots. It's actually a nice little tool at the right price... free. While it's not exactly loaded with features it's not plain vanilla either as there some configurable options and it saves the output in MP4 format.
From my experience it can take a few moments to start the first time you run it on a pc but then it starts quicker after that. You must have the application open that you wish to record then you invoke the Game Bar by pressing the Windows Button + G. Remember it takes a short time if you have never run it before and may seem like nothing happens. If indeed nothing does happen then make sure the application you wish to record is open as the Game Bar will open inside of that application.
There is a settings menu, static screenshot button or invoke the Game Bar from an Xbox controller option if one is available. The settings cover a variety of items from background recording, show timer, set length and you can create your own shortcuts if you wish. There are options to record game audio, record from microphone and a Show Microphone Recording Notifications toggle. It's not a bad little package.
Usage is straightforward as explained in Microsoft's support page but we'll cover it one more time. Open the application you wish to record. Make sure that application is highlighted and press the Windows button + G. Wait till the simple interface pops up. You may also find it disappears after a short time if no button is pressed. There are several shortcuts available as shown below in the text copied from Microsoft's support page.
The quality of the MP4 output is acceptable for using in other applications. In fact, the output was clean and clear and the audio sounded good. There was nothing about the captured video that was startlingly bad or even negative at all. The audio was strong and smooth. While Game Bar might not be a commercial contender it certainly is a good tool to use for general video and screen capture if you don't need all those bells and whistles.
I have to admit to a bit of application snobbery as I use Camtasia for my main tutorial captures but I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed with the Game Bar simplicity, usage and output. Plus, you can't beat the price... free. I sure we can find things to complain about but paying for it won't be one of them. So if you ever find yourself on a pc without your favorite capture software and it happens to be Windows 10 then you are in luck with the Xbox Game Bar.
How To Use the Windows 10 Screen Recorder
FROM THE WINDOWS SUPPORT PAGE:
Open the application you wish to record and use the commands below to record your screen with audio:
Windows logo key + G: Open Game bar
Windows logo key + Alt + G: Record the last 30 seconds (you can change the amount of time recorded in Game bar > Settings)
Windows logo key + Alt + R: Start/stop recording
Windows logo key + Alt + Print Screen: Take a screenshot of your game
Windows logo key + Alt + T: Show/hide recording timer
You also have the option to add your own shortcuts. To do that, open the Xbox app and go to Settings > Game DVR > Keyboard shortcuts.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.