Microsoft uses Windows 11 update to announce it is killing off Steps Recorder screen recording app

Steps Recorder

Microsoft is slowly but surely trimming the fat away from Windows 11. Over the course of recent months, the company has either removed or announced the future removal of numerous app components, including the Tips and WordPad apps.

Now a new victim has been added to the list. With the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23590 to the Dev Channel, Microsoft has revealed that screen recording stalwart Steps Recorder is no longer being updated and is lined up for removal further down the line.

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The Steps Recorder app has been around since the early days of Windows, when it was known as Problems Steps Recorder (something referred to in the name of the executable -- PSR.exe). Originally designed to help users record and recreate issues they were experiencing with their computer, it was subsequently overshadowed by more powerful and versatile screen recorders, including the Game Bar and Snipping Tool.

Over the years, Steps Recorder has already taken something of a backseat. While it can be accessed via the Run command or by searching the Start menu, it is certainly not promoted in any way. But now Microsoft has revealed that it plans to kill it off completely. In the release notes for Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23590, the company says:

Steps Recorder will not receive further updates and is planned for removal in a future Windows release. Starting in this build, Steps Recorder (PSR.exe) will display a new banner notification to guide users towards alternative options. We encourage our users to explore other options in Windows 11 such as Snipping tool, Xbox Game bar or Microsoft Clipchamp.

Microsoft says that the removal is part of its "ongoing commitment to enhance and innovate the Windows experience" as it "streamline[s] [its] offerings and focuses on providing more advanced and integrated tools for [...] users.

 So, what does this mean going forward? In early 2024, Microsoft will release a Windows 11 update that introduces a warning banner in Steps Recorder. The company advises users:

To ensure a smooth transition, we are introducing a banner within PSR in this Windows update to create awareness and help the user migrate to other effective inbox tools available in Windows that serve similar or enhanced functions.

Microsoft has published this article that includes more information.

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