If you’ve just upgraded to Windows 11 only to find that the Xbox Game bar shortcut no longer works, you’re not the only one. A lot of new Windows 11 users are booting their new OS for the first time only to find out that the Xbox GameBar functionality is no longer appearing when summoned (via shortcut or via startup icon).
As it turns out, there’s a chance that the upgrading process to Windows 11 ends up disabling this functionality. If you face this issue, you won’t be able to launch the Xbox Game Bar via the shortcut or quick startup icon unless you take the time to re-enable this feature under Windows 11.
Update: If you previously disabled the Xbox Game bar on your old Windows version via Registry Editor, the change will carry over to the new operating system version.
After investigating this issue, it turns out that there are several underlying scenarios that will produce this type of issue on Windows 11:
- Game Bar is disabled from Windows Settings – It doesn’t matter if you had the Xbox Game Bar functionality enabled prior to upgrading to Windows 11. There are a lot of users reporting that this feature might auto-deactivate during the upgrading process. In this case, you can fix the issue easily by toggling the Xbox game Bar toggle on from the Settings app.
- Corrupted Xbox Game Bar Component – Another possibility that will prevent the Xbox Game Bar from starting even though you specifically ensured that it’s enabled is due to some kind of dependency corruption. Fortunately, Microsoft offers a few mitigation strategies for this kind of issue – You can either repair or reset the entire Xbox Game Bar component to fix the issue in this case.
- Corrupted IeFrame Dynamic Link Library – As some affected users have discovered, this issue can also occur due to a DLL dependency (ieframe.dll) that the Xbox Game Bar uses on Windows 11. In this particular scenario, you can fix the issue by using SFC (System File Checker) to repair or replace it.
- Xbox game Bar is disabled via Registry – As it turns out, you can expect to see this behavior occurring if you had this component disabled by a hard-coded Registry value. The enforcement (carried by a DWORD value) will be carried over once you upgrade to Windows 11.
- Bad Windows 11 Update (KB5004300) – Another possible culprit that will cause this weird behavior with the Xbox Game bar is a partially incompatible update that ends up messing with the broadcasting component. In this case, you should be able to get the issue fixed by rolling back the update and letting WU (Windows Update) replace it with the hot-fixed version.
- Xbox Game Bar is disabled via Gpedit – If you’re using Windows 11 PRO or you’re PC is part of an organization that’s structured locally, it’s also possible that the Xbox Game Bar functionality is forced to remain disabled by a Local Group Policy. In this case, if you have the permissions, you can re-enable it by using the Local Group Policy Editor.
Now that you’ve been briefed about every potential scenario that might render the Xbox Game Bar non-usable on Windows 11, let’s take a look at a few verified fixes that other affected users have successfully deployed to fix this problem.
Enable the Xbox Game Bar on Windows 11
When troubleshooting this particular issue, the ideal way to start is to take a trip to the Settings menu of Windows 11 and check if the Xbox Game Bar is enabled.
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for this functionality to auto-disable during the upgrading process. If you’re currently unable to use the Xbox Game Bar because the entire component is disabled under Windows 11, a trip to Settings > Gaming should allow you to get it up and running in no time.
Follow the instructions below for step-by-step instructions on enabling the Xbox Game Bar functionality on Windows 11:
- Press Windows key + I to open up the Settings menu of Windows 11.
- Once you’re inside the Settings menu, click on the Gaming tab from the vertical menu on the left.
Note: If this menu is not visible by default, click on the three-dot icon (action button) in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Next, from the Gaming tab, click on Xbox Game Bar to access all the related settings.
- Once you’re inside the Xbox Game Bar menu, enable the toggle associated with Open Xbox Game Bar using this button on a controller.
- Once you’ve done this, reboot your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
- After Windows 11 boots back up, press Windows key + G to open up the Xbox Game Bar.
Note: Additionally, you can open up the Xbox Game bar by pressing the Windows key button and searching for ‘Xbox Game Bar’ inside the list of apps.
If you already ensured that the Xbox Game Bar is enabled and you still can’t start it, move down to the next method below.
Repairing or Resetting the Xbox Game Bar Component
If the method above didn’t fix the issue in your case, you should start considering that you might be dealing with some kind of corruption that is affecting the Xbox Game Bar component.
According to user reports, this is a common side effect when upgrading to Windows 11 from older Windows versions.
Fortunately, Microsoft offers 2 mitigation options for this kind of issue. You can use the Settings app to repair the entire component or reset the Xbox Game Bar entirely if the first option fails.
Our recommendation is to start with a simple repair procedure and work your way to a reset in case the Xbox Game Bar functionality is still unusable.
To make matters easier for you, we’ve put together a series of steps (with screenshots) that will walk you through both procedures – repairing and resetting the Xbox Game Bar component.
Follow the instructions below:
- Press Windows key + I to open up the Settings screen on Windows 11.
- Once you’re inside the Settings menu, use the vertical menu on the left to access the Apps tab. If the vertical menu is hidden when you open the Settings window, click on the action icon at the top to make it appear.
- From the Apps menu, access the Apps & Features menu from the right-hand pane.
- Once you’re inside the Apps & Features menu, use the search function under App list to find the ‘Xbox Search Bar‘.
- After you locate the entry associated with Xbox Game Bar, click on the three-dot icon (action icon) associated with it and click on Advanced Options from the context menu that appeared.
- Once you’re inside the Advanced Menu of Xbox Game Bar, scroll down to the Reset tab and click on Repair.
- Wait until the operation is complete, then try launching the Xbox Game bar (Windows key + G) and see if the problem is now fixed.
- If you’re still unable to open the Xbox Game bar, scroll down in the same Advanced Options menu and click on Reset to try the second mitigation method.
- Wait until the operation is complete, then try starting the Xbox Game Bar component once again and see if the problem is now fixed.
If the problem is still not fixed in your case, move down to the next potential fix below.
Repair the ieframe.dll File
As it turns out, another reason why you might see this type of behavior occurring on Windows 11 is due to a corrupted dependency that the Xbox Game Bar uses (ieframe.dll).
Note: Ieframe.dll is a Dynamic Link library dependency that is being used by some native Windows applications including Xbox Game Bar. A malware infection or an interrupted upgrade or update are the most common causes that will corrupt it.
Several users facing the same issue have confirmed that they managed to fix the issue and repaired the Xbox Game Bar component by running a focused SFC (System File Checker) scan from an elevated Command Prompt to verify and repair the ieframe.dll.
For complete instructions on how to repair the ieframe.dll file, follow the steps below:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the Run text box, type ‘cmd’, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt.
- Once you’re prompted by the User Account Control prompt, click Yes to grant admin access. \
- Inside the elevated Command Prompt, type the following commands in order and press Enter after each one to repair the ieframe.dll file and check the remaining dependencies required by Xbox Game Bar:
prompt sfc /scanfile=c:\windows\system32\ieframe.dll sfc /verifyfile=c:\windows\system32\ieframe.dll assoc sfc /scannow
- Once every command has been successfully run and processed, reboot your PC and see if the Xbox Game bar functionality is fixed once the next startup is complete.
If you’re still unable to launch the Xbox Game Bar using the shortcut or via the Windows Start bar, move down to the next method below.
Uninstalling Windows Update KB5004300
As it turns out, this weird behavior can also be caused by a bad Windows Update (KB5004300) that has the potential of conflicting with the broadcasting component of Xbox Game Bar and messing up its functionality.
This is only reported to occur with certain Dedicated Graphics Card drivers. Fortunately, Microsoft has already released a hot-fixed version of this update.
If you feel like this scenario could be applicable to your particular scenario, you should be able to fix the issue by rolling back this Windows Update (KB5004300) in order to force your operating system to install the revised version.
Follow the instructions below for a step-by-step guide on how to do this:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ inside the Run prompt and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features menu.
- Once you’re inside Programs and Features, click on View installed updates from the vertical menu in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Once you’re inside the Installed Updates screen, right-click on the KB5004300 update and choose Uninstall from the context menu.
- After the uninstallation is complete, restart your PC to let your OS install the revised update equivalent.
- Once your computer boots back up, press Windows key + G to see if the Xbox Game Bar functionality has been fixed.
If the problem is still not fixed, try the next method below.
Enable the Xbox Game Bar via Registry Editor
If the two methods above didn’t work in your particular case, it’s likely that the Xbox Game Bar component remains disabled because this behavior is hard-coded inside your Registry.
Keep in mind that if you previously disabled the Xbox Game Bar via Registry Editor on your previous Windows version, this change will be carried over when you upgrade to Windows 11.
Fortunately, you can resolve this issue by using Registry Editor to modify the GameDVR value in order to ensure that the Xbox Game Bar component remains enabled.
For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, follow the guide below:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the Run prompt that appeared on the screen, type ‘regedit’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up Registry Editor with admin access.
Note: If you’re prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes to grant admin access.
- Once you’re inside Registry Editor, use the left-hand pane to navigate to the following location:
Note: You can get to this location either by navigating to this location manually or by pasting the location directly into the nav bar at the top and pressing Enter.
- Once you’re in the correct location, move over to the right-hand pane and double-click on AppCaptureEnabled.
Note: If this key is missing, create one by right-clicking on an empty space and choosing NEW > Dword (32-bit) Value and name the newly created value to AppCaptureEnabled.
- Finally, double-click on AppCaptureEnabled and ensure that the Base is set to Hexadecimal and that the Value data is set to 1. Click Ok to save the changes.
- Once the modification has been operated, close the Registry Editor and reboot your PC in order to allow the changes to take effect.
- After your Windows 11 PC boots back up, press Windows key + G and see if your Xbox Game bar is now fully functional.
If the problem is still not fixed and you’re using Windows 11 PRO, move down to the final fix below.
Enable Xbox Game Bar via Local Group Policy Editor (if applicable)
In case you’re using Windows 11 PRO and you previously messed around with your local policies, it’s possible that the Xbox Game Bar functionality is forced to remain disabled by a Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy.
Note: If you’re part of a work or school organization, it’s also possible that your network administrator has enforced a policy that forces every PC part of this network to keep the Xbox Game Bar disabled.
If this scenario looks like it could be applicable, you will be able to enable Xbox Game bar by using the Local Group Policy Editor to modify the status of the Enables or disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy to Enabled.
To learn how to do so, follow the instructions below:
Important: the Local Group Policy Editor (the tool that we’re using below) won’t be available if you’re using Windows 11 Home. However, you can install it on your Windows 11 Home version by following this article.
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the Run prompt, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Local Group Policy Editor. At the User Account Control prompt, click Yes to grant admin access.
- Once you’re inside the Local Group Policy Editor, use the left-hand side menu to navigate to the following location:
Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components> Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting
- When you arrive at the correct location, move over to the right-hand pane and double click on Enables or disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting.
- Inside the Enables or disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy, switch the toggle to Enabled and hit Apply to save the changes.
- Once the status of the Enables or disables Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting policy has been adjusted, reboot your computer and see if the Xbox Game Bar is functional once the next startup is complete.