Windows 11 gets controller bar feature for Xbox games on PCs

The new Xbox controller bar brings quick access to games by pressing the Xbox button on the controller for Windows 11 users.

Xbox controller bar for Windows 11
Xbox controller bar for Windows 11 (Source: Microsoft)
  • Microsoft adds quick access to games with the press of a button for PC gamers.
  • The feature is called controller bar and it works with the Xbox button.
  • The controller bar shows recently played and installed games.

Microsoft reveals a preview of the new “controller bar” as part of the Xbox Game Bar experience to quickly access recently played games and launch new games.

The new controller bar opens when you connect an Xbox controller to your Windows 11 computer running the latest preview in the Dev and Beta Channels. You can also invoke the controller bar when you are not in the game by pressing the Xbox button on the controller. The Windows key + G keyboard shortcut will also bring up the bar.

When the controller bar is open, you will have access to your recently played games, and installed games will launch with the press of a button.

If you are in a game, the Xbox button still takes you directly to the Xbox Game Bar and the gaming widgets like before.

The recent games section includes up to three game titles you have played on your computer.

The controller bar is now available as a preview, which means that you will need to be running the latest preview of Windows 11, and you will need to sign in to the Windows Gaming preview with the Xbox Insider Hub app to get the updated version of the Xbox Game Bar app.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].