What is Steps Recorder (PSR)?

What is the Windows Steps Recorder and How Do You Use It?

Screenshot of Steps Recorder in Windows 10
Steps Recorder (Windows 10).

Steps Recorder is a combination keylogger, screen capture, and annotation tool for Windows. It's used to quickly and easily document actions made on a computer for troubleshooting purposes.

Below is everything you need to know about Steps Recorder - what it's used for, which versions of Windows it's compatible with, how to open the program, and how to use it record your steps.

Note: Steps Recorder is sometimes referred to as Problem Steps Recorder or PSR.

What is Steps Recorder Used For?

Steps Recorder is a troubleshooting and assistance tool used to record actions taken by a user on a computer. Once recorded, the information can be sent to whatever person or group is assisting in the troubleshooting.

Without Steps Recorder, a user would have to explain in detail each step they're taking to replicate the issue they're having. The best way to do this would be to manually write out what they're doing and take screenshots of every single window they see.

However, with Steps Recorder, all of this is done automatically while the user is on their computer, which means they don't have to worry about anything but starting and stopping Steps Recorder and then sending the result.

Important: Steps Recorder is a program that must be manually started and stopped by you. PSR does not run in the background and does not collect or send information to anyone automatically.

Steps Recorder Availability

Steps Recorder is only available in Windows 10, Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1), Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent Microsoft provided program available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, or other Microsoft operating systems prior to Windows 7.

How To Access Steps Recorder

Steps Recorder is available from the Start menu in Windows 10 and the Apps Screen in Windows 8. You can also start Steps Recorder in Windows 10 and Windows 8 with the command from below.

In Windows 7, Problem Steps Recorder, the tool's official name in that version of Windows, can be accessed most easily by executing the following command from the Start menu or Run dialog box:

psr

Steps Recorder is not available as a shortcut in the Start Menu in Windows 7.

How To Use Steps Recorder

See How To Use Steps Recorder for detailed instructions or you can read a quick overview of how PSR works below:

Steps Recorder records lots of information very useful to someone troubleshooting a problem including every mouse click and keyboard action.

PSR creates a screenshot of each action, describes each action in plain English, notes the exact date and time the action took place, and even allows the recorder to add comments at any time during the recording.

The names, locations, and versions of all programs accessed during the recording are also included.

Once a PSR recording is complete, you can send the created file to the individual or group helping to solve whatever problem is occurring.

Note: The recording made by PSR is in the MHTML format which is viewable in Internet Explorer 5 and later in any Windows operating system. To open the file, first, open Internet Explorer and then use the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut to open the recording.

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