Fix: Game Bar Not Opening on Windows 10

Several users are reportedly unable to open the Game Bar. The issue is mostly reported to occur on Windows 10. Affected users report that there’s no error or anything – the Game Bar is simply nowhere to be seen and the process associated with it is not present inside Task Manager.

Windows Game Bar

What is causing the ‘Game Bar Not Opening’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that they used to get the issue resolved. Based on our investigations, there are several common scenarios that will trigger this particular error message:

  • The Game Bar feature is disabled from the Settings menu – One of the most common reasons for this error is because the game bar service is disabled from the Settings menu. This can either happen due to manual user intervention or due to 3rd party application interference. In this case, the solution is to re-enable the Game Bar from the Settings menu.
  • The Game Bar feature is disabled from the Registry – A previous modification might mean that a registry key is preventing the Game Bar feature from running. In this case, you can resolve the issue swiftly by modifying the registry and allowing the service behind the Game Bar to start.
  • Media Feature pack is missing from the Windows installation – The issue can also occur on N and KN versions of Windows 10 because Game Bar is using some dependencies that will get installed with the Windows Media Feature pack. In this case, the solution is to install the missing Media Feature pack.
  • System file corruption is causing the Game Bar to malfunction – In some cases, the issue might actually be caused by system file corruption. The Game Bar feature will no longer work if files, processes or dependencies used by it’s service become corrupted. In this particular case, the issue should be resolved by a repair install or a reset.

Note: Keep in mind that if you are encountering this issue while running a game in full-screen mode, chances are the Game Bar is actually running. Keep in mind that the Game Bar is configured to not appear (the graphical interface) while the game is running in full screen. However, you can still use its hotkeys (e.g. Press Alt + R to start and stop recordings). You should notice a little flash when the recording starts and when it completes.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve this particular issue, this article will provide you with a selection of troubleshooting strategies. Down below, you’ll find a selection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.

To be as efficient as possible, we encourage you to follow the methods in a chronological order as they are ordered by efficiency and severity. You should eventually stumble upon a fix that resolves the issue in your particular scenario.

Method 1: Enabling the Game Bar from the Settings menu

Before you try anything else, it’s important to make sure that you have the Game bar feature enabled from the Settings menu. Several users struggling to resolve the same issue have reported that the issue was resolved after they allowed the feature to Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run command. Then, type “ms-settings:gaming-gamebar” and press Enter to open the Game Bar tab of the Settings app.
    Opening the Game Bar tab via Run box
  2. Inside the Game bar tab, simply enable the toggle associated with Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.
    Enabling the Game Bar from the Settings menu
  3. Start the Game Bar and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Installing the Media Feature Pack for N and KN version of Windows 10

With some particular Windows 10 versions, the Media Feature pack isn’t preinstalled and it will not installed via a Windows update. This also means that some of the features the Game Bar will not work as expected.

If you’re encountering this issue on an N or KN version of Windows 10, chances are you will be able to resolve the issue by installing the missing Media Feature Pack. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Visit this link (here), select your language and click the Download button to download the Media Feature Pack.
    Installing the Media Feature Pack
  2. Select the appropriate installation package according to your bit version. If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows 10, download the first one. If not, go for the second one. Then, Hit Next to initiate the download.
    Downloading the appropriate Media Feature installer
  3. Once the installation is complete, open the installation executable and follow the on-screen instructions to install the Media Feature Pack.
    Installing the Windows Media Feature Pack
  4. Restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still encountering the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Enabling the Game Bar via Registry Editor

It is possible that the Game Bar functionality of Windows 10 is disabled via a registry value. You might have done this modification yourself in the past or a 3rd party app might have done it for you. If this particular scenario is applicable to your current situation, you will most likely manage to resolve the issue by using the Registry Editor to navigate to the GAMEDVR key and making sure that the AppCaptureEnabled Dword is enabled.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “regedit” and press Enter to open the Registry Editor. If prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click on Yes to grant Administrative privileges.
    Typing Regedit in Run to Open Registry Editor
  2. Inside the Registry Editor, use the right-hand menu to navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameDVR

    Note: You can speed up the process considerably by pasting the address inside the address bar at the top and pressing Enter.

  3. With the GameDVR key selected, move over to the right-hand pane and double-click on AppCaptureEnabled.
    Accessing the AppCaptureEnabled DWORD value

    Note: If the AppCaptureEnabled value is not present inside the GameDVR key,  create one from scratch by right-clicking on an empty space and choosing  New > DWORD (32) bit Value. Then, simply name the newly created value to AppCaptureEnabled.

    Creating a new Dword value called AppCaptureEnabled
  4. Double-click on the AppCaptureEnabled Dword and change the box associated with Value Data to 1 to turn the Game Bar on again.
    Typing Regedit in Run to Open Registry Editor
  5. Close the Registry Editor, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the same error message, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Performing a repair install or Reset PC

Several users that have tried all sorts of fixes have reported that they finally managed to get the issue resolved by resetting their PC or performing a repair install. Both of these methods will allow you to resolve the issue while letting you keep your personal files and applications.

If you decide to go with a PC reset, follow the instructions in this article (here). But keep in mind that you’ll need to select the Keep my files option if you want to preserve your personal files, settings, and applications.

Resetting PC with Keep my files options

If you decide to go for a repair install, follow the instructions provided inside this article (here). But keep in mind that this procedure will likely require you to have the installation media of your Windows version. This procedure will reset all Windows components and default Windows apps without affecting any of your files or applications.

Regardless of the repair option that you used, the issue should be resolved now that the Windows components have been reinitiated. Verify whether this is true by opening the Game bar once again. The Game Bar should be opening normally now.

Game Bar functioning normally
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Game Bar Not Opening on Windows 10

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