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Windows Game Bar spies

Eingetragen: 10.09.2023

Microsoft Windows 11 is known for numerous tracking services and privacy-related mechanics. This also includes the Xbox Game Bar which activates itself in the background in various games and contacts the Microsoft servers.

What is the Game Bar in Windows?

The Game Bar in Windows is an overlay tool that allows players to access various features while playing. These include capturing game scenes, taking screenshots, and displaying performance information such as CPU and GPU utilization.

It also offers the ability to record gameplay and stream on streaming platforms like Twitch. Users can customize the Game Bar and use keyboard shortcuts to quickly access its features.

Where are the Game Bar settings?

  1. Open Settings: Click the Windows icon in the taskbar to open the Start menu and select the gear icon (Settings) to open the Windows settings.
  2. Open Gaming Settings: Then select "Play" by clicking on the gamepad icon.
  3. The right panel opens various Xbox Game Bar settings, Records and Game Mode.

Game Bar Settings

In the three menus, users have the possibility to adapt the Game Bar functions for their own Bardarf or to deactivate functions.

This is exactly where the rabbit is buried, because deactivating equates to the concept that a service is exhibited.

This is suggested in the settings, but this is not the case, because in the background the Game Bar is secretly activated in the background of certain games and transmits to Microsoft various data such as the respective product IDs, an ImpressionID, a UniqueID of the client, language settings, time stamps and various version numbers.

Game Bar Traffic mit eindeutigen IDs

The ImpressionID is a uniquely identifiable value and allows advertisers or the Microsoft partner network to track and count ad impressions. It is also possible to track and perform A/B tests using this ID.

Where is the Game Bar service located?

 C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay_5.823.7272.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Involved connections

Disable Game Bar via Group Policy

Group policy settings
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Game Recording and Broadcasting
Enables or disables Windows Game Recording and BroadcastingDisabled
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Microsoft User Experience Virtualization\Windows Apps\Games

You can then update Group Policy from the Windows prompt with the following command

 gpupdate /force

or optionally restart your computer.


Once again, it turns out that Windows 11 is a huge telemetry and data collection tool.

The mentioned topic with the Game Bar is all the more annoying because Microsoft Corporation has subsequently implemented the behavior and users are left in the dark about it.

Since in addition to the IPv4, devices, software and settings of the users including unique IDs are passed on without consent, the service is not recommended and therefore to be blocked. Even if supposed comfort functions are lost.


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