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March 6, 2023

How to record your screen on Windows 11

Screen recording can be an incredibly useful tool. If you’re a video creator, have plans to become one, or share gaming or demonstrational content, this could be something you use all the time. While taking a screenshot on Windows 11 couldn’t be easier, knowing how to record your screen on a desktop or laptop isn’t as obvious. Follow these steps to learn how to screen record on Windows 11.

How to screen record

Recording your screen in Windows 11 allows you to capture anything that’s taking place on the screen, just like you’d record something with a camera. You can record a process or just something funny you’d like to share with others or save for later. Thankfully, Windows 11 has a built-in application for recording your screen, but there are other methods as well.

Record any portion of your screen (or the whole screen) with Screen Recorder in Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool comes as part of Windows 11 and is also available via the Microsoft Store. Snipping Tool already allows you to take an image from your screen, but now it also allows you to select a portion of your screen and start video recording:

  • To open Snipping Tool, simply search for it in the Start menu search box.
  • In the top toolbar, press the Record button, then press New.
  • Click to drag and drop a rectangle indicating the portion of the screen you would like to record.
  • Press Start and you will see a 3-second countdown begin for your recording.
  • After you finish, press Stop. Your recording can then be copied into memory, shared via the Share dialog, or Saved (by default, it will be saved in the Videos folder).

This is the easiest way to record your screen. However, there are some limitations currently that you should know about:

  • Audio recording is not yet supported, nor is a “Spot Light” feature. However, you can edit the video in a program like Microsoft’s Clipchamp app
  • The only supported format currently is MP4. 
  • There is no keyboard shortcut to jump directly into Recording like there is for Snipping (CTRL+Shift+S)

Record in a snap with Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar is built right into Windows 11 as a native application, but it is also available as an add-on. The Game Bar has several features specifically related to gaming, like access to game-specific widgets and the ability to chat with friends while playing Xbox games. It also has a widget for capturing and recording your screen:

  • To open the Xbox Game Bar, press Windows+G or search for it directly in the Start menu search box.
  • Select the Camera icon to open a window for capturing your screen. From here, you can choose to record your screen as a video or a screenshot.
  • If you’re taking a video, you might want to disable your microphone beforehand. Do this by clicking the Microphone icon and making sure it looks like it’s crossed through with a line before you proceed.
  • When you’re ready to begin recording, click Record (the button with the solid white circle).
  • When you’re finished, click Stop (the button with the solid white square located in the same place where the Record button used to be).
  • To review your recording, select Show all captures at the bottom of the window.

Use an app or extension

Microsoft Store has a wealth of Windows 11 apps that allow you to stream movies, edit photos, play games, and more. Even though Snipping Tool and the Xbox Game Bar are already built in, you may prefer to use a different app to screen record. Thankfully, there are many, many free and paid options available. To start with a free option, you might try the Screen Recorder for Windows app or the Screen Recorder extension in Microsoft Edge.

Recording your screen on Windows 11 isn’t a tricky process once you know the basics. Whether you’re using a native application or downloading a different one you might prefer, Snipping Tool allows you to pick the exact area of your screen you want to record, while with other choices you’ll end up with a recording of your whole screen. And if you’re looking to edit these recordings, you’re in luck. Microsoft’s Clipchamp app can help you create the content of your dreams.

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