June 2020


This is the final package for the Game Bar 20.06 release. Please note that this version of the SDK is not backwards compatible with older Game Bar builds, customers will need to update their Game Bar version to the final 20.06 release when it becomes available (tentatively 6/15). Includes the following fixes from the prerelease version:

  • Includes fixes for various issues encountered when attempting to resize your widget through the API. These could result in your widget being resized incorrectly, or unexpectedly.

  • Fixes potential threading issues that could result in exceptions being thrown as a result of calling the following API from your UI thread:

    • XboxGameBarWidget.TryResizeWindowAsync
    • XboxGameBarWebAuthenticationBroker::AuthenticateAsync
    • XboxGameBarForegroundWorker::ExecuteAsync

May 2020


Note that this version of the SDK has new features which make it incompatible with previous versions of Game Bar. If you intend to use these features and publish your widget prior to the corresponding Game Bar release, users will be informed that the widget is not compatible. Be sure to install the preview version of Game Bar to test these prerelease features.

  • Updated Home Bar: The Home Bar (that's the main bar at the top of the screen) has been updated to support any number of widgets. Previously, the size of the home bar would scale horizontally with respect to the number of widgets opened, regardless of size constraints. This worked well for housing the 1st party widgets that Game Bar ships with, but not so well for supporting the additional widgets developers are filling our store with. The bar now scales up until it can't fit any more widgets on screen, then allows the user to horizontally scroll through the open widgets.

  • Game Bar supports click-through when pinned: Users can now choose whether they want their widgets to be interactable when pinned. The Home Bar now supports a new button which can be used to toggle the click-through state for all pinned widgets. Currently this is all or nothing - that is, we do not support this setting on a per widget basis. Widget developers can use the XboxGameBarWidget:PinnedChanged and XboxGameBarWidget:ClickThroughEnabled properties and events to determine what state they're in, and adjust their layout to match. Check out supporting click-through for more detail.

  • Transparent widgets: Users can now define transparency settings for pinned widgets for both the click through and non-click through states. Learn how to make your widget transparent.

Samples for these features are available in the prerelease branch on our GitHub site.

April 2020


  • Resolves an issue when using the XboxGameBarWidget size properties. The sizes were not being properly passed to Game Bar, resulting in indeterminate behavior.


  • Xbox Game Bar 20.04 release! Thanks to all of our partners that contributed to the first release of the Game Bar SDK.
  • From this point forward newer builds of Game Bar will maintain compatibility with this version of the SDK.
  • Widgets installed on Windows 10 versions 1903 or 1909 prior to updating to the required version will not function correctly with Game Bar. When a user attempts to launch the widget Game Bar will detect this condition and will attempt to seamlessly reinstall the application; Game Bar will then attempt to launch the widget correctly. The should be a seamless experience for users who will only see a progress indicator while the widget loads.
  • Focus on text controls should behave even more consistently.
  • Various fixes to improve quality in the widget load/unload cases. Multiple leaks and race conditions were identified and fixed.
  • Additional hardening and reliability improvements to the Game Bar and widget IPC.
  • The SDK samples were updated to include more guidance for proper cleanup. Please be sure to review and update your own project.
  • Multiple bug fixes to improve quality in edge cases.

March 2020


  • We continue to improve the quality of the NuGet package and Game Bar.
  • Multiple fixes related to focus handling between Game Bar and widgets.
  • Focus on text controls should behave more consistently.
  • There are now error states for when widgets fail to load, or close unexpectedly.
  • Widgets should no longer flash when being opened.


  • API complete. From this point forward we don't plan to change the public API. In the future as we add features we will continue to maintain backwards compatibility. However, this is not the final package, we're still bug fixing and may make internal changes that cause breaking changes between our client library and Game Bar. Next week we intend to release a shippable version of the NuGet package.
  • Version number changes (again!). We missed an important detail when we updated the versioning last week. You'll notice that this week we've moved to major revision 5. Per SemVer a major revision change should indicate a breaking change, in this case it doesn't. More importantly we needed more variants of the minor version so that we can continue to add non-breaking change features in the future and respect the intent of SemVer. This is reflected in the change to Game Bar's product version.
Package Format Example
NuGet [major].[minor].[year][month].[day][build number].0 5.1.2003.17001.0
Game Bar [major].[minor][year].[month][day].0 5.120.0317.0
  • We continue to fix issues. As we are now feature complete the team will be heavily focused on bug fixing for the next few weeks, you can expect many bug fixes in the coming weeks.


  • BREAKING CHANGE - In order to make our naming more consistent we have removed the terms "UI Extension" and "Overlay" from many places. We now refer to them as "Widgets." For most existing projects this will require you to search and replace keywords in order for your application and widgets to work properly. See Overlays are Widgets for more information.
  • BREAKING CHANGE - A minor change has been made to the light theme icon filename to alleviate build warnings inherent to Visual Studio. See Light Theme Icon Filename.
  • Windows 1903 & 1909 are now supported for widget development. See Windows 10 supported versions for more information on how to get the required patch.
  • ARM support has been removed from the NuGet package in favor of ARM64. ARM will not be supported by this SDK at this time.
  • Game Bar build version now matches the NuGet package version. The following SemVer format is used:
Package Format Example
NuGet [major].[minor].[year][month].[day][build number].0 4.1.2003.11001.0
Game Bar [major].[minor][year][month].[day][build number].0 4.12003.11001.0

February 2020


  • Overlays can now be shown by default after the first install of a widget application. See ActivateAfterInstall.
  • You can now add a settings button to the title bar of your widget, use it to open your own settings overlay. See SettingsSupported.
  • Various changes have been made to the XboxGameBarWidget. Many new properties and events were added, as well as renaming some methods and properties for consistency.
  • Extensions now support custom icons
  • General bug fixes


  • Includes new API for app activation, overlay activation, and schema for app communication. See XboxGameBarWidgetControl.
  • General bug fixes

September 2019

First release of alpha SDK, basic functionality