[SOLVED] NVIDIA ShadowPlay Not Recording

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Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

NVIDIA ShadowPlay 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.

Method

Description

Desktop capture settings

Open settings and turn on IN-GAME OVERLAY

System requirements

Click the General tab. Review checklist on the right.

View all methods

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If ShadowPlay is not working with Windows 10 or 11, then you may have out-of-date or corrupted drivers.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.

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.

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.

Summary

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?

Yes, AMD can run ShadowPlay and also has a similar overlay device for video capture and screenshots. You can use it to get snapshots of non-gaming programs and of the desktop itself. To run it on ReLive, you’ll use the same Alt + Z hotkey you use for ShadowPlay, or you can change the hotkeys within the interface.

Can ShadowPlay reduce my FPS?

There’s a lot of mixed information regarding this topic. Many reviewers have tested various NVIDIA cards and saw 100 percent FPS retention when recording with ShadowPlay. Others have said it reduces FPS.

Ultimately, it’s up to the capabilities of your system. It most likely won’t affect it much or at all, but you’ll need to test your own card and system to be sure.

Will uninstalling NVIDIA GeForce Experience negatively affect my system?

No, you don’t have to use the GeForce Experience application. Your system will run games with the same quality even without it installed.

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