What you need to know
- The Xbox companion app for Windows is being killed off on August 28th, 2023.
- The Xbox companion app is separate from the modern Xbox app, which houses PC Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
- Annoyingly, the Xbox companion app has functionality exclusive to it, which has yet to be replicated in the new Xbox app.
- Read on for details.
RIP Xbox companion app, we hardly knew ye. Well, kinda.
Although not entirely unexpected, the Xbox Console Companion App for Windows is heading to the big Recycle Bin in the sky. Even now, you can no longer access it from the Microsoft Store, and recent updates to Windows have removed it by default from the OS. This is, of course, not to be confused with the modern Xbox app for Windows, which includes PC Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming access, among other features.
Microsoft started ushering users from the Xbox Console Companion App for Windows to the new Xbox app as early as 2019, so it's not exactly come as a shock. Opening the Xbox Console Companion App on Windows would already give you a warning to move over to the new app, which has been getting steadily better in recent months. Initial versions of the new Xbox app for Windows were sluggish, crashy, and missing crucial PC gaming features like file access for mods. Microsoft has improved the experience over time, improving stability and speed while adding new features. Irritatingly, though, the death of the Xbox Console Companion app has killed off users' ability to access Xbox Game DVR cloud clips on PC.
(FYI) Starting August 28th, 2023, the Xbox Console Companion app on Windows will no longer be supported. You can still stay connected with Xbox games, services, and communities with the Xbox app for Windows.https://t.co/NkLiLp8Jgd pic.twitter.com/kf91pMVKE3July 29, 2023
We asked you guys to share your biggest annoyances with Xbox a couple of years ago, and one of the top areas of concern you suggested to us was the Xbox Game DVR. Recording clips and taking screenshots from Xbox has become increasingly poor in recent years, with glitchy recordings, removed features like editing, and direct Twitter sharing. While you can upload your Xbox Game DVR console clips to OneDrive for quick access on PC, the process is laborious and requires a bunch of extra steps.
Websites like GameDVR.com do allow you to access your Xbox DVR cloud storage for download on a PC, but it's just odd that Microsoft doesn't add the functionality to the regular Xbox app or the Xbox Game Bar app on Windows 10 and 11. It's especially confusing since the Xbox app on Android and iOS does let you access your cloud clips, too.
One of my criticisms of the Xbox app in recent times has shifted from performance, which is actually pretty adequate now, and focused more on features. The fact you can view Xbox friends' clips shared from the console but cannot yourself share clips from your PC remains an oddity, creating an inconsistent experience. I suspect Microsoft does it to prevent abuse of its systems, but why even bother having social features at all if you're not planning to let people be social on them?
It's also entirely possible that the sunset date of the Xbox console companion app for Windows will coincide with an update to the Xbox app to bring across some of the lost functionality, but there's no official indication of that at the moment. We'll just have to wait and see.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!