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The (not so) secret video capture feature hiding in Windows 10

Video screen capture on Windows used to be a chore, often requiring third-party software filled with adware and spyware, with very little support for keyboard shortcuts, to further complicate what would be the otherwise simple task of recording a running desktop application like a game, or a software tutorial.

Hidden in plain sight, a great feature part of the new Game DVR built for the Xbox app, is becoming popular among Windows insiders, as it allows to use easy keyboard shortcuts to capture video of active desktop windows, in full quality.

Recording video of any desktop window is easy, simply select the desktop window to record, and press Win+G on the keyboard, to bring up the Game DVR control bar, featuring the basic controls allowing to take still screenshots, video capture, as well as access to settings and to the main Xbox universal app.

Windows 10

To start recording via keyboard shortcut, press Win+Alt+R, which will restrict the capture to the one application window, rather than the entire desktop.

Here is why it’s called DVR

The coolest feature part of this app is “background recording”, which can be set to target a specific window on the desktop, and continuously record the last 30 seconds of activity on that app. These recordings are temporarily stored, however, pressing Win+Alt+G will save the last 30 second snippet.

Xbox app recorded desktop video capture Windows 10

Gamers often make use of this feature during gameplay, in case something interesting happens that is worth sharing with their friends on Xbox Live, however, this feature can also be very useful when capturing running live video footage for editorial reasons.

While the SnippingTool already provides excellent still functionality, the Game DVR toolbar allows even greater flexibility by operating entirely via keyboard shortcuts. To take a still screenshot of an active window, simply press Alt+Win+Print, and the screenshot will be saved automatically in the same folder.

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