Fix: Windows 10 Game bar not opening

By: Matthew Adams
7 minute read

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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.

Game bar not opening, how to fix it?

Even though Game bar is a useful feature, many users reported that Game bar isn’t opening on their PC. However, this isn’t the only problem with Game bar, and speaking of issues, here are some other problems that users reported:

  • Game DVR not working Windows 10 – This is just a variation of the original issue, but if you encounter it, you should be able to solve it with the solutions from this article.
  • Can’t enable Game bar – Users reported that they can’t enable Game bar on their PC. However, you can fix the issue by changing the Game bar settings.
  • Windows Game bar nothing to record – Sometimes you might get a message saying There’s nothing to record. We covered this issue in great detail in one of our older articles, so be sure to check it out for more solutions.
  • Game bar something went wrong – This is a common problem that can occur with Game bar. If you encounter this issue, be sure to turn Game bar off, wait for a few seconds and then turn it back on again.
  • Game bar not opening up on Steam, appearing – If you have issues with Game bar and Steam, you might want to try changing Game bar’s configuration. If that doesn’t work, you should try reinstalling Xbox app.
  • Windows 10 Game bar not working in fullscreen – Many users reported problems with the Game bar in fullscreen. As a workaround, try running fullscreen games in windowed mode and check if that helps.

Solution 1 – 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.

  1. Open the Xbox app by clicking its Start menu tile. Or you can enter ‘Xbox’ into the Cortana search box instead.
    Can't enable Game bar
  2. Next, sign it to the Xbox app. Note that a Microsoft Account is required to sign in to the Xbox app.
  3. 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.
    Windows Game bar nothing to record
  4. Now you can select Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR option. If that option is off, click it to switch it back on.
  5. Close the Xbox app and restart Windows.
  6. Press the Win key + G again to open the Game bar.

Solution 2 – Edit the Registry

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

  1. Next, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameDVR.
  2. Then right-click the AppCaptureEnabled DWORD and select Modify.
  3. If the DWORD’s value is 0, enter 1 in the Value data text box.
  4. Now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\System\GameConfigStore in the registry.
    Windows 10 Game bar not working in fullscreen
  5. Right-click the GameDVR_Enabled DWORD and select Modify from the context menu to open the window below.
    Game bar not opening up on Steam
  6. Enter 1 in the Value data text box if its current value is 0.
  7. Restart Windows and press the Game bar hotkey.

Solution 3 – 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.


Solution 4 – 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.

  1. First, open the Xbox app again.
  2. Click the Settings button at the bottom left of the app window and select Game DVR.
  3. 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?
  4. If somebody has altered the Game bar hotkey, you can delete the customized key from the Your shortcut text box.
  5. 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.
  6. Click Save to save new settings.

Solution 5 – 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.

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

Solution 6 – Reinstall the Xbox app

Game bar is a feature closely related to the Xbox app, and if you have any issues with Game bar, you might be able to fix them simply by reinstalling the Xbox app. Reinstalling a core Windows application is a slightly advanced process that involves PowerShell, but you should be able to reinstall Xbox app without issues by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter powershell. Right-click Windows PowerShell from the list of results and choose Run as administrator.
    Windows 10 Game bar not working in fullscreen
  2. When PowerShell starts, run the following command: Xbox app: Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage
    Game DVR not working Windows 10

After running this command, the Xbox app will be removed from your PC. Now you just need to open Microsoft Store app and download Xbox app again. Once you download it, the problem with Game bar should be completely resolved.


Solution 7 – Turn Game bar off and on

According to users, if the Game bar isn’t opening on your PC, you might be able to fix the problem simply by turning Game bar off and on. This is just a temporary workaround, but it might help you with this issue. To perform this solution, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Gaming section.
    Game bar something went wrong
  3. Locate Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar option and disable it. Now wait for a few moments and turn it back on again.
    Game bar not opening up on Steam

After doing that, the Game bar should start working again. Keep in mind that this is just a temporary workaround, and if you encounter issues with Game bar, you’ll need to repeat this solution again.


Solution 8 – Create a new user account

According to users, problems with Game bar can occur if your user profile is damaged or corrupted. However, you might be able to fix the problem simply by creating a new user account. To do that, you just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to the Accounts section.
    Game bar something went wrong
  2. From the menu on the left pick Family & other people. In the right pane choose Add someone else to this PC.
    Game bar not appearing
  3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Game DVR not working Windows 10
  4. Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Can't enable Game bar
  5. Enter the desired user name and click on Next.
    Windows Game bar nothing to record

After creating a new user account, switch to it and check if that solves your problem. If the problem doesn’t appear on the new account, you need to move all your personal files to the new account and use it instead of your old account.


Solution 9 – Use third-party solutions

If you can’t fix the problem with Game bar, you might want to consider using a third-party software. Although Game bar comes preinstalled with Windows 10, it has certain limitations, and if you can’t get it to work properly, you might want to try some other Windows 10 screen recording software.

If you’re looking for a different application that can record your screen and your gameplay sessions, we strongly recommend trying Icecream Screen Recorder. This tool is incredibly simple to use, and it offers certain features that Game bar lacks, so feel free to try it out.

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.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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