How to start an Xbox Live party on a Windows 10 PC using the Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar New Stuff
Xbox Game Bar New Stuff (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox Game Bar is a nifty new addition to Windows 10, allowing you to instantly access various functions and features right from hitting Windows Key + G.

Using it is relatively straight forward once you get used to it, but at first, it might seem a bit odd. Here's how you can quickly start a cross-platform voice chat Xbox Party with friends on Xbox Live using the Xbox Game Bar.

Get the Xbox Game Bar and sign-in

  1. Hit Windows Key + G to bring up the Xbox Game Bar
  2. If you don't have it, you can download it from the Microsoft Store here (opens in new tab).
  3. Select the Xbox Social widget at the top; the icon looks like two people on the right side. 👫
  4. On first use, you may be prompted to sign-in with a Microsoft Account. Use the same one you've used previously on Xbox or any other Windows 10 device.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Adding friends to Xbox Live

  1. Adding friends to Xbox Live for chatting and messaging is done via the Xbox Social Widget, which you open by selecting the far-right icon that looks like two people.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Simply enter the Gamertag of the friend you want to add into the search bar.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Right click, then select follow.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Hit the X in the search box. Now when you search for that user, they should be in your friends list. You can right click to view their profile, send messages, and invite them to parties.

Invite friends into an Xbox party using the Xbox Game Bar

  1. Making parties revolves around the Xbox Social widget, pictured here.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Simply right click on the friend you want to add to a voice chat, and select Invite to Party.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. The Xbox Chat widget will load up, and start connecting you and your friend.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. The bar across the top of the chat lets you control the privacy, mic mute, and on-screen overlay widget. You can also hit the padlock to make the party private and invite-only, or hit the door icon to leave.

Message friends using the Xbox Game Bar

  1. You send messages using the Xbox Social widget pictured here.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Simply right-click on the friend you want to send a message to, and select Open Chat.
  2. It will open up the Xbox Chat widget as seen here, allowing you to send messages, hitting Enter on your keyboard to send.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for 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!

11 Comments
  • Thanks
  • Presumably as DJCBS's name was in the photo, it was a "whine about Nokia selling to Microsoft" party? :/
  • Awesome. Been using it for a while now and love it. Can't wait enough for it on Windows 10 mobile.
  • Yeah, phone to pc to xbox...three platform all talking at the same time! Awesome!
  • I joined a party a few weeks ago on my phone, the team was really confused when I told them I was driving down the highway.
  • Thanks for the tutorial. I'll be using this a lot.
  • I am waiting for Fable Legends. Should be a fun party ! ;)
  • Can you do this with friends on 360?
  • Not yet, but it's planned
  • It would be great if they could align the Windows 10 Mobile Xbox app to work with voice chat and voice messages. Being able to chat with my buddies in an XBL Party while on my phone's Bluetooth could be very convenient.
  • i hope they update this app with a push to talk mute. i have used it a few times. but this missing feature is annoying.