Fix: Windows 10 Game bar not opening

By: Matthew Adams
4 minute read

Xbox is one of Windows 10’s default apps. This app integrates the Xbox with Windows, and it includes a handy Game bar that you can take snapshots and record video with. To open the Game bar in the shot directly below, you would usually press the Win key + G with a window selected. If that hotkey isn’t opening the Game bar, these are a few potential fixes.

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Check the Game bar’s Settings

It might be the case that the Game bar Record game clips and screenshots setting is switched off. Then the Game bar isn’t going to open when you press its hotkey. So you can check that option as follows.

  • Open the Xbox app by clicking its Start menu tile. Or you can enter ‘Xbox’ into the Cortana search box instead.
  • Next, sign it to the Xbox app. Note that a Microsoft Account is required to sign in to the Xbox app.
  • At the bottom left corner of the Xbox app, there’s a Settings button gear icon on the sidebar. Click the Settings button and select Game DVR.
  • Now you can select a Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR option. If that option is off, click it to switch it back on.
  • Close the Xbox app and restart Windows.
  • Press the Win key + G again to open the Game bar.

Edit the Registry

You can also switch the Game bar on via registry. First, open the registry by pressing the Win key + R and entering ‘regedit’ into Run.

  • Next, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameDVR.
  • Then right-click the AppCaptureEnabled DWORD and select Modify.
  • If the DWORD’s value is 0, enter 1 in the Value data text box.
  • Now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\System\GameConfigStore in the registry.

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  • Right-click the GameDVR_Enabled DWORD and select Modify from context menu to open the window below.

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  • Enter 1 in the Value data text box if its current value is 0.
  • Restart Windows and press the Game bar hotkey.

Don’t Run the Games in Full-Screen Mode

Is it the case that the Game bar isn’t opening when you’re running a game in full screen? The Game bar doesn’t open in full-screen modes because most games don’t recognize the Win key + G hotkey. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the Game bar’s options in full-screen mode, but the overlay UI isn’t going to open. You can still record a game with the Win + Alt + R hotkey or take a snapshot by pressing Win + Alt + Prt. Run the game in a window mode and then press Win key + G to open the Game bar UI.

Check the Xbox app’s Hotkey Settings

Check the Game bar hotkeys haven’t been reconfigured in any way. The Xbox app enables users to customize the hotkeys, so somebody might have tinkered with the keyboard shortcut settings. You can check the Game bar hotkeys as follows.

  • First, open the Xbox app again.
  • Click the Settings button at the bottom left of the app window and select Game DVR.
  • If the Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR option is switched on, you can check the Game bar hotkeys under Keyboard shortcuts. Is the Game bar hotkey there Win + G or something else?
  • If somebody has altered the Game bar hotkey, you can delete the customized key from the Your shortcut text box.
  • Alternatively, try pressing the customized hotkey, or enter your own alternative shortcut, to open the Game bar. However, note that some games may block customized hotkeys.
  • Click Save to save new settings.

Install the Windows Media Feature Pack

There are Windows 10 N and KN versions that don’t include all the media technologies and apps in more standard editions. So if your platform is a Windows 10 N edition that might be why the Game bar isn’t opening for you. There are a number of apps that need Windows Media files not included in Windows 10 KN or N. However, you can install the media-related technologies otherwise lacking in Windows 10 N with the Windows Media Feature Pack.

  • Open this Windows Media Feature Pack page.
  • Scroll down and click Download the Media Feature Pack update package now to save the installer.
  • Open the folder you saved the Windows Media Feature Pack to and run through its installer to add it to Windows.

Re-install the Xbox app

Finally, reinstalling the Xbox app might also do the trick if the Game bar still isn’t opening. This is recommended if you can’t open the Xbox app at all. This is how you can re-install Windows 10’s default apps with 10AppsManager.

  • Press the Download File button on this page to save the 10AppsManager Zip.
  • Open the Zip folder in File Explorer and press the Extract all button to decompress the folder.
  • Open 10AppsManager in the shot below from its extracted folder.

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  • Next, press the Xbox button on the window to delete the app.
  • Press the Reinstall button to open the window below. That provides further details for how to re-install the app with Powershell.

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Those suggestions will certainly get the Game bar opening again. Then you can take game snapshots and record video with this great gaming tool once more.

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