Windows 10 Tip: Take and Share Game Screenshots

Posted on March 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10 with 3 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Take and Share Game Screenshots

Windows 10 provides a handy feature called the Game bar that lets you take in-game screenshots and then share them with others in unique ways.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

The Game bar can’t be found in Start. Instead, you invoke this feature with a special keyboard shortcut: WINKEY + G. Or, if you have an Xbox controller connected to your PC, you can press the Xbox button on the controller instead.

Note: The Game bar can be opened from within any game. Actually, it can be used with any app, as well, though that’s obviously not its primary focus.

You can use the Game bar to take an in-game screenshot at any time: Just open Game bar and select the Screenshot (camera) icon. Or, type WIN + ALT + PRTSCN.

The resulting shot is saved in PNG format to the Captures folder in Videos by default. (Visit Settings > Gaming > Game DVR if you’d like to change that.) If you’d like to keep all of your game shots (and game clips) organized, this isn’t a bad way to go: Each screenshot (and clip) is given an easily identifiable file name that includes the name of the game and the date and time at which the shot was made.

Tip: You can use standard Windows keyboard shortcuts to take in-game screenshots too, but these types of screenshots will not be as organized. If you type WINKEY + PRTSCN, for example, a screenshot will be saved to Pictures > Screenshots with a less descriptive name. And you can also just type PRTSCN or ALT + PRTSCN to save a screenshot to the system clipboard.

Because screenshots are captured in PNG format, they are of high quality. They can be viewed in the Photos app or any other picture viewer app. And they can be edited with Paint or your picture editor of choice.

You can also share your screenshots (and game clips) with others on Xbox Live or some other popular social networking services using the Xbox app, which is also included in Window 10..

To see how this works, open the Xbox app and navigate to the Game DVR page. There are two main views, On this PC (which is the default) and On Xbox Live, which displays all of the shots and clips you’ve ever taken, including those from your Xbox consoles. (Screenshots are marked with a camera icon.)  You can also filter the view by date or game, and can display game clips, screenshots, or both (Everything).

Screenshots you’ve taken on your PC are not automatically saved to your Xbox Live profile as they are with the Xbox One console. Instead, you must upload them to Xbox Live first. Once you do that, you can share them with others.

To get started, select the screenshot you wish to upload. Before doing so, you can rename it using the Rename button.

When you’re ready to upload the item, select the Upload button. A notification will appear briefly in the lower-right of the screen when the upload is complete.

Now, select “On Xbox Live” at the top of the Game DVR page. A list of the shots (and game clips) you’ve saved to your Xbox Live profile (from both Windows 10 and Xbox One) appears.

Select the screenshot you’d like to share—most likely the one you just uploaded, but you can share any item you’d like—and the select the Share button. A pop-up menu with available choices will appear.

By default, this list will include four items associated with your Xbox Live account, but you may also see Facebook and Twitter options too.

Tip: If you would like to share items via Facebook or Twitter but don’t see them listed here, you will need to connect your Xbox Live account to these services first. You do so by opening Settings in the Xbox app and navigating to General > Linked Social Accounts.

Each of the Xbox-related items in this list is very specific, but some may also be unfamiliar. So here’s a quick rundown of the available choices:

Activity feed. Like social networks, Xbox Live provides an activity feed for every user, but in this case the activities it lists are the games and apps you’re using, plus the screenshots and clips you’ve shared. So you should choose Activity feed if you want the selected item to be shared with your friends on your feed. Friends can of course “Like” and comment on shared items, too, as is the case with social networks.

Club. Xbox Live Clubs are groups of players that are created and managed by individual gamers. For example, you may create a Club for your co-workers, close friends, or even just a group of gamers who play a certain game frequently. So when you choose this option, the item you’re sharing will be shared only with the members of the Club you choose.

Messages Like social networks, Xbox Live provides a messaging service by which you can communicate with your friends. So you can choose this option to share the selected item with one or more friends using the Xbox Live Messaging system.

Showcase. If you would like to highlight a particular shot or clip right at the top of your activity feed, choose the Showcase option. This way, anyone looking you up on Xbox Live will be sure to see your greatest victory.

Note: These files are not protected in any way and are yours to do with as you will. So you can also manually edit your shots and game clips and then upload them to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other services you use, using a web browser or an application of your choice. It’s up to you.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Windows 10 Tip: Take and Share Game Screenshots”

  1. ryanvalentin

    I love this feature except for the fact that it relies on the WINKEY. My keyboard has a toggle to disable the WINKEY so you don't accidentally minimize your game in the middle of a kill streak. That said, I haven't tried the new game mode in the Creator's update, so hopefully that addresses the minimizing issue.

  2. Donna Wayne

    Very nice tips, this is great. I usually take screenshots like this: but I never took screenshots in-game so far, and I will give it a try today. Thank you.