6 Great Features in Windows 10’s New Game Bar

New overlay of the Windows 10 game bar version 1903

May 2019 update of Windows 10 offers a whole new gaming experience. It's not just about capturing videos anymore. It's now a stack of useful tools, including quick panels to adjust the volume of applications, view resource usage, and play Spotify music.

How to open the game bar

To open the gamebar, press Windows + G. It will appear as an overlay on the game you are playing. It will also appear on your desktop or any other application you use, but it is especially useful when you play a game. Press Windows + G again to close it.

Although Microsoft still calls it the "game bar", it's a misleading name at this point. It's an appropriate overlay with several panels now, not just a bar. If you see a smaller bar, you have not yet installed the Windows 10 update of May 2019.

When the game bar is visible, you can click on the "Home" icon on the top panel – it looks like a menu button – to choose which panels are visible in the overlay environment.

Menu of overlays of the game bar

If Windows + G does not do anything, make sure the gamebar is activated. Go to Settings> Games> Game Bar, make sure that the option "Save game snippets, screenshots and broadcast using the game bar" is enabled, and check that you have not changed the Win + G shortcut. If you set a custom shortcut, use it instead of Win + G.

Option to enable or disable the game bar in the settings

Adjust the volume of the application

Audio panel in the overlay of the Windows 10 game bar

This feature is useful even if you are not a player! You can press Windows + G anywhere in Windows (including during the game) and use the Audio panel to adjust the volume of all running applications.

Monitor system performance

Performance widget in the Windows 10 game bar

The gamebar also features a Performance panel that provides information about your current use of the processor, graphics processor, and RAM. You will see the current usage of resources and a graph of usage over the last 60 seconds. Just press Windows + G while playing a game to see this information – no Alt + Tabbing is needed.

Even if you are not playing a game, you can press Windows + G faster than opening the Task Manager.

Of course, this information is now in the task manager, as well. The Windows 10 Task Manager can now display Overall use of your system's graphics processor and use of individual processes by the graphics processor, as well.

RELATED: How to monitor the use of the graphics processor in Windows Task Manager

Make any sign still on top

Performance widget pinned to the desktop

For this panel or any other panel, you can click on the "Pin" icon so that the panel always appears above when you are using your system. If you pin the volume panel, it will always appear above your tasks, thus providing quick access to the application's volume settings.

You can also drag the title bars from the overlay to move the panels (or widgets, as Microsoft calls them) to your screen.

Play music from Spotify

Spotify integration in the Windows 10 gamebar overlay

The game bar now features Spotify integration. Click the menu button, then select "Spotify" to display it. You can sign in to your Spotify account and use the Spotify widget to play music and control playback. This should be more convenient than Alt + Tabbing for all games in full screen.

Remember when Gabe Newell m said Steam was working on the integration of Spotify in 2014? This has never happened for any reason, but it's also convenient – and it also works in games that do not support Steam overlay.

Capture game videos (or any application)

Broadcast and capture panel in the Windows 10 game bar

The Streaming and Capture Stream is always present. It was the original object of the game bar, offering a way to record your gameplay, capture screenshots and even stream it live worldwide via the Microsoft Mixer, formerly known as Beam. You can even automatically save it in the background and choose to save the last 30 seconds of play at any time, such as on a disc. Xbox One or Playstation 4.

Although this tool is game-oriented, it is also an excellent desktop screen recorder. Open the game bar, click the save button to save the application displayed on the screen, with the microphone input, which you can enable or disable from the panel. Then click the Stop button to get a clip in .mp4 format, saved in your C: Users NAME Videos Captures folder.

The game bar interface allows you to browse and view all the screenshots and game records you have captured. Just click on the "Show all captures" link here.

Chat on Xbox Live

Looking for Group Beta and Xbox Social panels in the game bar

The game bar was originally designed as an "Xbox" feature and is buried in the Xbox app. The Xbox brand continues: The new gamebar interface also features an "Xbox Social" widget. From there, you can chat with your Xbox friends just like on an Xbox console. There is also a "Group Search" panel that you can use to find friends to play with.

This will be especially useful for PC users who are also playing games on the Xbox One or Xbox 360. However, Microsoft is trying to create the Xbox ecosystem with services such as Xbox Game Pass for PCthis could be more useful in the future.

RELATED: Brand new in the May 2019 update of Windows 10, available now

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