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How to Disable Windows 10’s Game DVR (and Game Bar)

Windows 10’s Game DVR feature can slow your gaming performance by recording video in the background. If you don’t care about recording your gameplay, disable Game DVR for performance reasons.

This also disables the “Game Bar”, which often pops up when you start playing games. It’s only helpful if you want to take screenshots or record gameplay.

What Are Game DVR and the Game Bar?

The Game DVR feature in Windows 10 is part of the Xbox app, and it’s modelled on the similar feature on the Xbox One. Game DVR can automatically record video of your PC gameplay in the background with “background recording”, saving this video to a file when you choose. If you don’t choose to save it, Game DVR discards that video and continues recording in the background. This allows you to play games normally and then decide to save the last five minutes of gameplay to a file when something cool happens.

Unfortunately, Game DVR takes system resources. On a slower computer–or if you just want maximum graphical horsepower for your games–it can noticeably slow your in-game performance and lower your FPS. If you don’t care about recording your gameplay, you’ll want to disable this feature.

The Game Bar is the graphical interface that allows you to record gameplay, save clips, and take screenshots with the Game DVR feature. It doesn’t necessarily lower your system performance, but it can get in the way by popping up.

Even after disabling Game DVR and the Game Bar, normal in-game screenshot shortcuts and NVIDIA’s game recording feature, formerly known as ShadowPlay, will still function. Game DVR is just one of many options for recording gameplay and taking screenshots.

How to Disable Game DVR (and the Game Bar)

Unlike most Windows 10 features, which can be configured in the Settings app, the Game DVR and Game Bar features are buried in the Xbox app.

Launch the Xbox app from your Start menu. You’ll need sign in with a Microsoft account if you haven’t already.

Once you’re signed into the Xbox app, click the gear-shaped Settings button at the bottom-left corner of the app and then click “Game DVR”.

Disable the “Record game clips and take screenshots using Game DVR” option at the top of the screen. This will disable background recording, the Game Bar, and other Game DVR features.

Game DVR, including background recording and the Game Bar, will now remain disabled unless you return to the Xbox app and enable it.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He’s as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

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