SOLVED! “Gaming Features Aren’t Available For The Windows Desktop”

Recording is one of the features of Xbox Game Bar that many PC gamers use from time to time. In most of the cases, recording via Xbox Game Bar for is a straightforward affair that involves little work. Still, it’s not uncommon for issues to either disrupt the recording or prevent the process from starting. Read to the end if you cannot use Xbox Game Bar to record and keep seeing “gaming features aren’t available for the Windows desktop”.

What Must Be Done

Enable Game Bar

Game Bar is one of the essential components for recording gameplay footage, chatting on the Xbox Live, and taking screenshots. Disabling this feature might be the reason why you see “gaming features aren’t available for the Windows desktop” error.

  • Step 1: Click on Start and select Settings. On the settings window, choose Game Bar.
  • Step 2: Hit Record Game Clips, Screenshots, and Broadcast to turn the option on. Then exit.

Repair Xbox Game Bar

If you keep experiencing errors when recording your game footage on your desktop, try repairing the Xbox Game Bar. Here is how:

  • Step 1: Navigate to Settings, then hit Apps and Features
  • Step 2: Locate Xbox Game Bar on the Apps & features list and click it.
  • Step 3: Click Advanced options. Repair button should appear so hit it. If the Repair button does not appear, select Reset.

Update Xbox Game Bar 

Your version of Xbox Game Bar app may have been too old to work as expected. Thus, it’s a good idea to update your Xbox game app then see how things turn out.

  • Step 1: Open Microsoft Store and select the three-dot icon.
  • Step 2: Pick Download and Updates
  • Step 3: Click Get Updates

Uninstall And Reinstall Xbox Game Bar

This is another resolution you can undertake to tackle issues with Game Bar. It is the next best option if updating the Xbox game fails to bring positive changes.

  •  Step 1: Press Windows + X then choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  • Step 2: Copy and paste the following command and hit Enter.

get-appxpackage *Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay* | remove-appxpackage

  • Step 3: Navigate to Microsoft Store and download the app again. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the command below:

Get-AppXPackage *Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay* -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

  • Step 4: Restart your computer

Turn On Game DVR

Game DVR is also essential for recording your game in the background. Go through the steps below to enable the feature and eliminate errors.

  • Step 1: Press the Win + I keys to open the Settings then hit Gaming.
  • Step 2: Find the Captures option just below the Game Bar on the Settings window.
  • Step 3: Turn on Record in the background while I’m playing a game

Turn On Game Mode

Turning on the Game mode is another excellent practice for optimizing the best gaming performance. Below is how you can turn it on.

  • Step 1: Click on Start and select Settings then hit Gaming.
  • Step 2: Select the Game Mode tab on the Settings window.
  • Step 3: Turn on Record game clips, screenshots and broadcast using Game Bar.

Update Windows

If there are pending Windows updates, you will likely encounter problems while using certain apps. It is worth ensuring that you have the latest updates, especially build-related updates. Below is how you can check for these updates.

  • Step 1: Click on Start and select Settings.
  • Step 2: Find Update & Security on the Settings window and select it.
  • Step 3: Hit the Windows Update then click Check for Updates.
  • Step 4: If you find any Windows Update, select Download and install now.

Add Windows Media Pack

Adding the Windows Media Pack usually fulfills the requirements prescribed for Game Bar to work optimally. Performing this task might eliminate errors and give you access to the recording feature and other privileges. Below is how you can add the Windows Media Pack.

  • Step 1: Open your Browser and Windows Media Pack. Open Microsoft’s official page for the Windows Media Pack. You can also click this link to get to the page.
  • Step 2: Find and Download N and KN variants.
  • Step 3: Choose Installation variants suitable for your PC (32-bit, 64-bit)
  • Step 4: Hit Next and select Downloader Installer.

Causes Of The Error

When you get errors like “gaming features aren’t available for the Windows desktop”, you are likely to be limited in various ways. Knowing the reasons for the error is the beginning of finding the solution. Below are some causes that could be why you see the error mentioned.

  • Disabled Game Bar, game DVR, and game mode settings.
  • Pending Windows update
  • Outdated Xbox Game Bar app
  • Other issues with the Xbox Game Bar

Should I Disable The Game DVR?

Game DVR is vital for recording video as you play your game to get footage of an epic moment in the game. If you believe Game DVR  is taking up your system resources, you can disable this feature without disabling your Game Bar. Here is how.

  • Step 1: Right-click the Start.
  • Step 2: Click Settings, then Gaming.
  • Step 3: Click Captures. After that, select the switch under Record in the background while I’m playing a game to turn it Off.

How Can I Include Computer Sounds In The Recording?

System audio is essential for the best-recorded videos by your Xbox Game Bar. To include the sounds:

  • Step 1: First, ensure the Xbox Game Bar is enabled, then press Windows + G to show the Game Bar controls.
  • Step 2: Press the Tab key till you see the Settings button, then press Enter.
  • Step 3: Press the Down arrow button on your keyboard till you hear: “Capturing
  • Step 4: Press the Tab key till you hear: “All radio button, selected” or “Not selected”. If you heard not selected, press the Spacebar to select it.
  • Step 5: Press Windows + G to hide the Game Bar controls.


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