Microsoft’s Xbox One allows you to easily capture a screenshot or record the last thirty seconds of gameplay as a video. You can also use the Game DVR app for more fine-grained recording options. All video clips are saved in 720p resolution at 30 frames per second.

There’s one catch: you can’t copy your captured screenshots or videos directly to a USB drive. The best way to get them to your computer is to upload them to OneDrive. But we’ll show you how to do that near the end of this guide.

How to Take a Screenshot

You can only take a screenshot in a game, not in the Xbox One’s dashboard interface. While in a game, double-tap the Xbox button at the center of your controller. The Snap menu will appear. Press the Y button on your controller to save a screenshot.

If you have a Kinect and have voice commands enabled, you can also just say “Xbox, take a screenshot.”

How to Record the Last 30 Seconds of Gameplay

Your Xbox One is always recording your gameplay in the background, but it won’t actually save that gameplay video unless you tell it to. To save the last 30 seconds of gameplay, double-tap the Xbox button at the center of your controller to open the Snap menu (just as you would with a screenshot). Tap the X button on the controller to save the video.

If you have a Kinect, you can also say “Xbox, record that.” As with screenshots, the video recording feature only works in games–not in the Xbox dashboard.

How to Use the Game DVR for More Recording Options

If you’d like to make a longer or shorter video, you’ll need to use the Game DVR app. While playing a game, double-tap the Xbox button on the center of your controller, select the “Snap an app” icon at the bottom of the sidebar, and select “Game DVR.”

If you have a Kinect, you can instead say “Xbox, snap Game DVR.”

Select “End clip now” and you can choose to save the last 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, or 5 minutes of gameplay to a clip.

You can also choose to start recording from here, but the clip you record can only be up to 5 minutes in length at the maximum. To do so, select “Start recording” from here and then select “Stop recording” when you’re done. If you have a Kinect, you can say “Xbox, select” and then “Start recording” to begin. Say “Xbox, select”and then “Stop recording” when you’re done.

To switch focus between snapped apps, double-tap the Xbox button on your controller and use the left stick or directional pad to select from the app icons at the bottom of your screen. if you have a Kinect, you can instead say “Xbox, switch.”

Any clips you record in Game DVR are temporary and will be automatically deleted after a period of time unless you choose to save them. To save them, select “View all captures,” select a clip, press the menu button on your controller, and then select “Save.”

How to Get Screenshots and Video Clips Off Your Xbox One

To work with screenshots or videos you’ve captured, open the Game DVR app. Head to My games & apps > Apps > Game DVR to launch it.

Select the screenshot or video clip you want to share or upload in the app, press the menu button, and select “Edit.” If you haven’t yet downloaded the free Upload Studio app from the Xbox Store, you’ll be prompted to automatically download it.

You can also choose to set a screenshot as the background image for your Xbox dashboard by selecting it, pressing the menu button, and choosing “Set as background” from here.

In the upload studio app, you’re free to edit your project all you like–but you don’t have to do anything if you just want to upload it to OneDrive. Select “Finish” when you’re done.

You’ll be given the option to upload your screenshot or video clip to OneDrive. You can then access it from the OneDrive feature in Windows 10 or the OneDrive desktop client, OneDrive website, or OneDrive mobile app on other platforms.

Yes, you do have to upload screenshots and video clips one by one–there’s no way to batch upload multiple screenshots at once.


It would be nice to see Microsoft improve this feature a bit, allowing easy transferring of screenshots and video clips to connected USB drives or at least batch uploading of multiple files at once to OneDrive. Microsoft may do so in future updates. In fact, the Xbox One didn’t even include a way to capture screenshots when it first shipped–that arrived in an update.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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