Getting started with the Xbox Game Bar SDK

The following steps will help you get started with everything from creating a new Game Bar widget to publishing it in the Microsoft Store.

Getting Started

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Game Bar widget before proceeding. For more info, see the overview.


  • Game Bar requires a supported version of Windows 10 to support widgets. Check out the Windows 10 support to ensure you have the correct version.
  • Once Windows is updated to the correct version ensure you have the correct tools. Visual Studio is the recommended editor.
  • Ensure that you have the correct version of Game Bar installed, you can use the public version or join our preview program to see the latest features.
  • You can now start a new project or modify an existing one. Check out our samples for examples of what a working widget looks like.

Modify your project

Testing and deployment

Advanced Topics

Communicating with apps

You may have an existing app that already works with Windows. If it's not a UWP XAML app and you want to take advantage of the SDK you will need to create a new app for your overlay, and that overlay can communicate with your existing application. Checkout Communicating with Desktop App (Win32), NT Service, or Driver

Customizing your widget's icons

By default Game Bar will use the default application icon for your UWP to display your widget in both the Home Bar and Home Menu. In order to better differentiate your widgets from others we recommend providing icons that uniquely represent each of your widgets. See Using icons to show your widget in Game Bar for more information.

Creating a settings widget

Game Bar provides a consistent user experience for opening a settings widget for your application. A button can be placed in the title bar for any widget, which Game Bar will observe and notify the widget when it is pressed. See Creating a settings widget for more information on how to configure your widget to use settings and observe and respond to the Game Bar notification that it has been pressed.