[SOLVED] NVIDIA ShadowPlay Not Recording

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Edited by Ben Jacklin

GeForce Experience is a solid video-recording system, but like many others, it won’t activate from time to time. Follow this guide if ShadowPlay is not recording.



Open settings and turn on IN-GAME OVERLAY

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GeForce Experience is not recording: How to solve the issue

Configure your desktop capture settings

To record your game, GeForce must be able to validate that the game is running in full-screen mode. If it can’t, then the recording won’t process. 

When this happens, it’s usually because the desktop capture feature is off. If NVIDIA ShadowPlay is not recording your game, follow these steps:

  1. Start GeForce Experience and click the Settings icon.

  2. Look under the General menu settings, find IN-GAME OVERLAY, and turn it on.

  3. Launch your game and use your hotkeys to begin recording.

Check your system requirements

To run the GeForce Experience application correctly, your system must meet the minimum requirements. If GeForce Experience is not recording, it’s good practice to check and see if your system is up to speed and compatible. 

The good news is that you don’t have to do anything special or even leave the application to check things out. Just click the General tab, and on the right you’ll see a checklist for everything required to run – see the My Rig and Features drop-down lists.

Here are the system requirements listed by NVIDIA for recording with GeForce Experience:

  • OS – Windows 10 or 11

  • RAM – 2 GB

  • Disk space – 1 GB

  • CPU – Intel Pentium G Series, Core i3, i5, i7, or higher; AMD FX, Ryzen 3, 5, 7

  • GPU – TITAN RTX, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 SUPER, 2080, 2070 SUPER, 2070, 2060 SUPER, 2060, GeForce GTX class GPUs: 1660 Ti, 1660 SUPER, 1660, 1650 Ti, 1650 SUPER, 1650, 1080 Ti, 1080, 1070 Ti, 1070, 1060, 1050 Ti, 1050, TITAN X, TITAN Black, TITAN Z, 900, 700, and 900M, GeForce MX100, MX200, MX300, GeForce 900M, 800M

Update your display and graphics drivers

If ShadowPlay is not working with Windows 10 or 11, then you may have out-of-date or corrupted drivers. Fortunately, GeForce Experience consistently updates a package of essential drivers called Game Ready Drivers you can download from their site or within the application.

Also, the application notifies you when new drivers become available. But it’s up to you to install the drivers. 

You can also click the Check for Updates button within the Preferences screen and install the drivers from there. This will tell you if you have the latest version of GeForce Experience too.

Check the compatibility of your game

If NVIDIA ShadowPlay is not recording game content, then it’s a good idea to check the compatibility of your game. DirectX 9, 10, 11, and 12-based games have compatibility with GeForce Experience. It can also support OpenGL games in desktop mode.

NVIDIA also has a site with an ongoing list of their video-recording compatible games.

Close or uninstall third-party software

If GeForce Experience recording is not working, third-party audio software could be to blame. Audio software to enhance recordings is commonplace now, but it could interfere with the recording capabilities of GeForce Experience.

Unfortunately, you may need to disable or uninstall these types of programs. To do this, open Control Panel. Then click Programs, Programs and Features, and Uninstall a program. Find the audio software from the list and follow the instructions.

If ShadowPlay isn’t recording or not streaming, know that running additional recording and streaming applications can also interfere with GeForce Experience. Disable, close or uninstall them as well.

When complete, restart your computer and try to record again.

Check and see if NVIDIA is running

If GeForce Experience is not opening or ShadowPlay won’t start recording, then it could be time to check the status of NVIDIA. It’s a straightforward process. 

Just launch the Run application in Windows. Type services.msc and click OK. Then scroll down the list and find NVIDIA. From there, check to see that the Startup type is set to Automatic and that Status is Running. Right-click on NVIDIA and click Start if it’s not. 

Once you have everything running again, you should be good to record.

Check your default directory

If ShadowPlay is not saving videos, or they’re not showing up in your destination folder, you could have an issue with your default directory. This usually happens when there isn’t enough disk space or there’s a corrupted recording path.

The best fix for this problem is to use a hard drive other than the one you used to install the game. It’s also possible to create an additional directory, but be sure you’re logged in under an admin account. Otherwise, you might run into problems with permissions.

Turn your privacy controls on

A common reason why ShadowPlay won’t record a desktop is because of NVIDIA’s privacy settings. When the application doesn’t have the required permissions to record and share, it won’t record. 

To set things up correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings and select General.

  2. Turn on the Share switch.

Once that’s turned on, you should be able to record with ShadowPlay. Use your hotkeys to test things out.

Log out of Twitch

Gamers love Twitch, and it’s become so popular that even people in the mainstream know the brand. It’s the platform streamers use to present their skills – and blunders – to the world. But the streaming platform can also disrupt the screen recording processes within ShadowPlay. 

Obviously, disabling Twitch can fix the issue until you can get things resolved with the platform. To do this, launch ShadowPlay and click the My Rig tab. Then click ShadowPlay

First, check to see that ShadowPlay is operational and running. Then, change your mode to Manual and click Account. Sign out of your Twitch account. 

From there, you can run tests on your recording to see if Twitch is causing the issue.

Reinstall GeForce Experience

Sometimes it's just best to reinstall the latest version of the GeForce Experience application. This often resolves every recording issue or provides a fresh place to start your investigation if you’re still having problems.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click your Windows search bar and type Apps & Features. Then open it.

  2. Search for NVIDIA GeForce.

  3. Select NVIDIA GeForce Experience and click Uninstall. Then click it again to confirm.

  4. Go to the NVIDIA GeForce official website, click Download now and install the latest version of the application.

  5. Launch your game and try to record again using your hotkeys.

Use an alternative

If you’ve tried everything on this list, and NVIDIA ShadowPlay is not working, it may be time to try an alternative.


NVIDIA ShadowPlay

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It offers convenience with its recording scheduler. And during recording sessions, users can draw on the screen and add annotations to enhance viewer engagement and understanding. The keystroke highlighter is useful for tutorials and instructional videos.

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Gecata by Movavi offers a robust set of features optimized for gamers and streamers. And it’s easy to record your screen while livestreaming without distracting from gameplay.

The software allows for webcam recording and overlay, enabling you to place your webcam feed anywhere on the screen for a more interactive experience. It also captures in-game audio that provides a complete gaming experience for your audience. And the software’s Game Mode allows for automatic recording, freeing you from manual tweaking.

Make sure your game is supported

While NVIDIA ShadowPlay within GeForce Experience is a solid video recorder, not every game is compatible. It’s a good idea to check if your game will even work with the software before trying more complex solutions. Here’s how you can check:

  1. Open GeForce Experience. If your game is detectable, it will appear on the Home tab.
  2. Click the Settings Icon – it’s next to your user profile. 
  3. Click GAMES & APPS and select View supported games & applications.

You can also click the link to this list to access NVIDIA’s full list of supported games.

Check the full list of supported games

NVIDIA ShadowPlay not recording: How to solve issues with recording system audio

Restart Windows Audio Service

There are a lot of cases out there where ShadowPlay will record video but leaves out the gameplay audio. This is a Windows 10/11 issue where the audio service is disabled on the OS. 

To resolve the issue, restart the Windows Audio Service using these steps:

  1. Open the Run application by pressing Windows key + R.

  2. Type services.msc in the text box and tap OK. This will open your Services Manager.

  3. Scroll down the list and find Windows Audio and double-click it to edit the properties.

  4. Under the properties window, click Startup type to reveal a drop-down menu.

  5. Select Automatic.

  6. Now check to see that the service has started. If so, right-click on it and click Restart from the menu.

  7. Then click Apply and OK to save your changes.

  8. Repeat these steps under Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.

  9. Restart your PC.

Check the app volume

Another issue affecting sound may be that the volume on the ShadowPlay app is set too low. Here’s how to check if the settings for the program are set correctly:

  1. Right-click the Speaker icon on the taskbar and select Open Sound settings.

  2. Scroll down the pop-up window and click App volume and device preferences.

  3. Locate the NVIDIA Container app and set its volume to 100.

Set the right default playback device

The sound capturing can also be affected if the playback device you’re using while recording isn’t set as the default choice in the system. Here’s how you can fix this issue:

  1. Right-click the Speaker icon on the taskbar and select Open Volume mixer.

  2. In the window that opens, locate System Sounds and click the icon.

  3. Open the Playback tab and locate the output device you’re currently using. Select it and click Set Default.

  4. Click the Apply button.

Combine the two audio tracks

NVIDIA ShadowPlay has two ways of recording system and microphone sound: in two separate tracks or a single track. Making two different tracks is better for those who create Let’s Plays: it’s easier to montage the final video. However, in some PCs this may cause sound issues on the final recording. So, to fix the issue, open the GeForce Experience overlay, get to the audio settings, and then click Create a single track.

Enable NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device

Another reason why you may have issues with audio capturing is that the NVIDIA audio capturing device is disabled in your PCs system. Here’s how you enable it back:

  1. In the Search box, find Device Manager and launch it.

  2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers list.

  3. Right-click NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) and make sure it’s enabled.

Check for audio-altering programs

Some apps that affect your sound may also cause ShadowPlay to not record your audio. Here are the three programs most likely to cause the issue:

  • Razer Kraken

  • Nahimic

  • Xonar

If you have any of those issues, try uninstalling the software and see if the issue gets fixed.

NVIDIA not recording microphone: How to solve this problem

Check if your computer detects your microphone

Start by plugging your device in and out. Also, if your microphone has a physical on/off button, make sure it’s switched to on. If, after trying this, the issue still remains, it is worth checking the system’s settings.

  1. Right-click the Speaker icon on the taskbar and select Open Sound settings.

  2. In the Input section, check if the right device is selected. If it’s not, open the drop-down list and select the correct one. If you cannot find it, continue further down this list.

  3. Click Manage sound devices. Locate the device you want to use, click on it, and make sure it’s enabled.

Turn on the microphone sound in GeForce Experience

If there’s no system issues with the microphone sound and NVIDIA ShadowPlay is the only app that’s not capturing it, the issue may be that the sound is turned off in the app itself. Open the GeForce Experience overlay, click the Microphone icon, and switch it to Always On.

NVIDIA ShadowPlay Highlights not recording: How to fix it

NVIDIA ShadowPlay Highlights is a useful feature that lets you capture the few last minutes of your gameplay and save it as a separate video. The majority of issues you may face when recording a highlight is already covered above. However, there are some problems that are specific to the Highlights feature. Here’s how to solve some of them:

Enable the GeForce Experience overlay

If you’re used to just pressing the Highlights hotkey, you may forget to check if the GeForce Experience overlay is actually running. To do so, click Show hidden icons on the Taskbar. If the interface is running, you should be able to find the NVIDIA Settings icon there. If you cannot see it, click the Search bar, enter “GeForce Experience”, and launch the app.

Turn on the Highlights feature

NVIDIA ShadowPlay lets you turn the Highlights feature off and on. The reason for this is that having Highlights on at all times may slow the computer down, since it would have to preserve the last few minutes of your gameplay at any given time. To switch the Highlights on, open the GeForce Experience interface, click the Instant Replay icon, and select Turn on from the drop-down list. When you’re done playing the game, you can turn it off in a similar way.


As stated, NVIDIA ShadowPlay is an excellent way to record your games, but it can have recording issues. If you run into a problem, review our list and test out the methods. Hopefully, you should be able to resolve your issue.

Frequently asked questions

Does AMD have ShadowPlay?

Can ShadowPlay reduce my FPS?

Will uninstalling NVIDIA GeForce Experience negatively affect my system?

Is GeForce Experience always recording?

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