How to record your screen for free on Windows 10

Dave W. Shanahan

Record your screen

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If you are using Windows 10 and are looking for free ways to record your screen, there are options available. There are three free ways to record your screen on Windows 10; using the Xbox Game Bar, using PowerPoint in Microsoft 365, and OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio.

How to record your screen with Xbox Game Bar

Windows 10 has a built-in screen recorder that you can use without installing anything extra. Of course, the Xbox Game Bar was originally intended to be used for gameplay recording only, but you can use it for screen recording in apps too. Here’s what you need to do to make sure the Xbox Game Bar is enabled on Windows 10.

1. Go to Settings (Windows key + I)
2. Go to Gaming
3. Go to Xbox Game Bar in the left pane
4. Make sure the Enable Xbox Game Bar is enabled

record your screen

As you will notice there are several shortcuts available for the Xbox Game Bar. You can change the shortcuts to your own shortcut if you like, but you do not need to memorize all of the keyboard shortcuts as you can use the Xbox Game Bar user interface to perform any of the shortcut tasks. Also, if you want to see where your screen captures will be saved or to change the location of where your screen captures are saved, you can go to Captures from the left pane as shown.


At the moment, there is no way to change the location of where your Xbox Game Bar captures are saved. The location shown is the default location of Xbox Game Bar Captures. You can use File Explorer to move the folder wherever you want, but captures will not save to any other folder.

1. Use the Windows Key + G to bring up the Xbox Game Bar.
2. Go to Capture
3. Press the Record button (red circle)

Once you get used to using Xbox Game Bar, you can jump right into recording your screen by using the record screen keyboard shortcut (Windows key + Alt + R) after you use the keyboard shortcut to bring up the Xbox Game Bar (Windows key + G).

It is important to point out that there are limitations when you record your screen with the Xbox Game Bar. For example, the Xbox Game Bar will only record apps or games installed to your PC. You won’t be able to record your screen when you are using File Explorer, your desktop, or any other Windows 10 system apps.

The Xbox Game Bar will also automatically stop recording if you minimize any game or app. If you are having trouble, there are plenty of Xbox Game Bar troubleshooting options available.

How to record your screen with Microsoft 365 and PowerPoint

Although this option is not exactly free, if you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, it is certainly a helpful option to have. You can record your screen using PowerPoint’s screen record option. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open PowerPoint
  2. Choose Blank Presentation
  3. Go to Insert
  4. Choose Screen Recording


Once you choose Screen Recording as shown in the guide above, PowerPoint will minimize and your desktop will appear and you will see a screen with menu options similar to the one below. If you don’t get prompted to select an area of your screen that you would like to record, you can choose Select an area from the option menu. Similarly, you can also choose to include audio and to record your pointer too.

record your screen

Once you have selected the options you want from the menu, click the Record button and PowerPoint will start a countdown from 3 giving you some time to prepare before the screen recording begins. Once you are finished recording, click the Stop button. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + Q to stop recording your screen at any time. Once your recording stops, PowerPoint will reopen. From here, you can right-click the media and click Save Media as. PowerPoint

Pick the folder where you want to save the screen recording on your computer. Once you find the folder you want to save your file, click OK.

How to record your screen with OBS Studio

If you are looking to use a separate tool to record your screen on Windows 10, look no further than OBS Studio. OBS Studio is open-source software and you can download OBS Studio for free on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux.

I won’t be going into much detail on how to use OBS Studio as there are a number of features available and so much customization that it really depends on what you plan to use it for. The best part of OBS Studio is that it is completely free and there are plenty of guides available in the OBS Studio Wiki to help get you started. Here’s what you need to do to record your screen using OBS Studio.

  1. Download and Install OBS Studio to your PC.
  2. Open OBS Studio.
  3. Go to Source and click the Plus (+) sign to add a Source
  4. Choose Display Capture to capture your whole desktop.
  5. Click Start Recording when ready to start recording.

Obs Studio

OBS Studio is a great free third-party tool for Windows 10. It provides a number a great customization tools and is a great streaming option for those that like to share content online. Check out the OBS Studio GitHub for more information.

What do you use to record your screen on Windows 10? Let us know in the comments!