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Steps Recorder or Problem Step Recorder

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Article No :: KB00024


About - Steps Recorder or Problem Step Recorder


A big problem for computer technicians is trying to reproduce the error that the client is encountering. If we don’t know exactly what they did to cause it, it is hard to track down the problem. Microsoft Windows has an interesting Windows feature called “Problem Steps Recorder in Windows 7/8.1 or Steps Recorder in Windows 10/11”.

Step Recorder application can be used to automatically capture the steps performed by a user on a computer, including a text description of where they clicked and a picture of the screen during each click. This capture is then automatically saved to a file that can be used by a support professional to help the user troubleshoot the issue or understand what steps were taken by the user.


The best part is it provides detailed metadata that is textually recorded by Problem Steps Recorder/Step Recorder.

Few examples:

1. User left click on "Items View (list)" in "Libraries"

2. User keyboard input in "Libraries" [... Alt]

3. User left click on "Tools (menu item)" in "Libraries"

4. User left click on "View (page tab)" in "Folder Options"

5. User left click on "Hide empty drives in the Computer folder (check box)" in "Folder Options"

6. User left click on "Hide extensions for known file types (check box)" in "Folder Options"

7. User left click on "OK (push button)" in "Folder Options"


The application then creates a ZIP file containing a compiled MHTML file. It will display the screenshots as SEPARATE images, and NOT as a video. This file is an XML page documenting each step of the user’s actions, complete with a screenshot with the item highlighted. You can view the report as is by using Internet Explorer, or as a slideshow. If you need to, you can even dig into the raw XML to expose greater detail, like the X&Y coordinates of the mouse.

Users then send this recorded file to a technical expert for further detailed analysis of the problem.


Notes:

# Steps Recorder doesn’t record passwords except for function and shortcut keys.

# Some applications which use fullscreen might not be captured accurately.



How to use the Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) or Steps Recorder


To run Problem Steps Recorder/Steps Recorder, type psr.exe in the Start button’s search area or in the RUN window:



To start the captures, simply press the “Start Record” button


During the recording, when adding a comment, click on the “Add Comment” button:

To stop the recording click on the “Stop Record” button:

Review the record of the steps you followed to make sure it shows what you want it to show. Select Save, name the .zip file, choose where to save it, and then select Save.

Now you can attach and send this .zip file to the technical expert to help you troubleshoot the problem on your PC. It can be viewed in any web browser.


Additional Settings

In Steps Recorder, select the down arrow next to the Help button, and then select Settings.

You can change the following:

  • Output location: If you don't want to be prompted for a location and file name every time, you can set a default location and file name.

  • Enable screen capture: Select No if you don't want to capture screenshots. For example, the screen might reveal personal information that you don't want to share, but the app will still record a text description of your steps.

  • Number of recent screen captures to store: By default, this value stores 25 screens. If you need to capture more than that, you will need to increase it.

Note: Any settings you adjust here are temporary - they go back to the defaults when you close and reopen the program.



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