Gaming Features Aren’t Available For The Windows Desktop

After running the Game Bar on Windows, some users have reported that the record button is disabled. An error message reading “Gaming functions aren’t available for Windows desktop or file explorer” appears when impacted users click the button. This issue has been reproduced on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Method 1: Game Bar activation on Xbox

Make sure the Xbox Game Bar hasn’t been accidentally soft-disabled if it suddenly stops operating. Simply to the Windows Settings menu and locate the Xbox Game Bar area to restore it to its active state.

Gaming Features Aren't Available For The Windows Desktop

When you try to use a feature that is deactivated in the Settings menu, Microsoft doesn’t do a very good job of making it clear.

You can manually check this and, if necessary, activate the Xbox Bar feature by following the steps below.

  1. In Windows 10 or 11, you may access the Settings menu by pressing the Windows key in conjunction with the letter I.
  2. When you reach the Settings screen, select the Gaming submenu from the list on the left.
  3. Then, select Xbox Game Bar from the menu that appears on the screen’s right side.
  4. To activate the new settings, you must toggle the switch inside the Xbox Game bar settings to the On position and then restart your computer.
  5. You can test if the “Gaming features aren’t available for Windows desktop or file explorer” error has been resolved by repeating the steps that initially triggered it.

Follow the next procedure if the issue is not resolved.

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Method 2: Allow Windows to Save Video from Games (if applicable)

Verify that the policy labelled “Enables or disables Windows Game Recording, and Broadcasting” is set to “Disabled” if you have previously tinkered with the local or network-wide policies using the Gpedit.msc utility.

To make sure this policy is “Enabled” or “Not Configured,” open the Gpedit tool.

If you haven’t already attempted this solution and it applies to your situation, here’s what you should do:

  1. To access the Run dialogue, use the Windows key plus R.
  2. The Local Group Policy Editor can be accessed by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter after typing “gepedit.msc” into the input box.
  3. If prompted by User Account Control, select Yes to gain full administrative privileges.
  4. After entering the Local Group Policy Editor, go to the following area by selecting it from the left-hand vertical menu:

Computer Configuration > Windows Components > Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting 

5. To enable or disable the Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy, click the Enables or Disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting option.

6. When editing the Enables or Disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy, choose either “Enabled” or “Not Configured” from the drop-down menu, and then click “Apply” to apply your changes.

7. Please restart your computer to see if this resolves the issue.

If you are still having trouble with the Xbox Game Bar, please try the next solution.

Method 3: The Xbox Game Bar App Needs An Update.

Several “hotfixes,” or emergency software changes, have been released by Microsoft to increase the Xbox Game bar’s reliability.

To make sure you have the most recent version of the Xbox Game bar and can take advantage of the updated stability, head to the Microsoft Store and use the Get Updates bar to force an update to be applied to the Xbox Game bar.

In case you need detailed guidance, here it is:

  1. In order to bring up the Run dialogue box in Windows, press the Windows key plus R.
  2. To launch the Microsoft (Windows) Store as an administrator, click Ctrl + Shift + Enter inside the newly opened dialogue box and type “ms-windows-store:.”
  3. In the User Account Control, select Yes to enable elevated privileges (UAC).
  4. After entering the Microsoft Store, type “xbox game bar” into the top search bar and hit “Enter.”
  5. Check the Xbox Game Bar’s dedicated directory to see if an update is available for the Xbox Game Bar add-on.
  6. If an update is available, it can be installed by following the instructions displayed on the screen.
  7. After restarting your computer, check to see if the Xbox Game Bar is working properly.

If that doesn’t work, try the next strategy.

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Method 4: Xbox Game Bar Service & Reset

If none of the aforementioned steps helped, it’s possible the Xbox Game Bar component is broken. Users have reported this as a common problem after upgrading to Windows 11 from an earlier version of Windows.

Microsoft recommends two preventative measures for this kind of issue. If it doesn’t work, you can always utilise the Settings app to either reset the Xbox Game Bar or fix the entire component. If the Xbox Game Bar is still not working after a simple repair, try resetting it.

To help you out, we have assembled a set of instructions (with graphics) to walk you through fixing and resetting the Xbox Game Bar. Here are the measures:

  1. In Windows 11, you can quickly go to the Settings menu by pressing the Windows key in conjunction with the letter I.
  2. Once inside the Settings menu, use the left-hand vertical menu to access the Apps submenu. If the vertical menu isn’t already visible when you visit the Settings window, click the action icon at the top.
  3. From the Apps menu’s right sidebar, select Apps & Features.
  4. After selecting the Apps & Features menu, type “Xbox Search Bar” into the search bar located in the “App list.”
  5. After locating the Xbox Game Bar item, right-clicking on it to open the context menu will provide a selection under Advanced Options.
  6. Using the Advanced Menu on the Xbox Game Bar, choose Reset, and then repair.
  7. After the fix has been applied, you may see if it worked by opening the Xbox Game bar (Windows key + G).
  8. To try the second workaround if the Xbox Game bar still won’t launch, select Reset from the Advanced Options menu.
  9. After the process is complete, you may see if the problem is fixed by launching the Xbox Game Bar again.