Windows 7 Problem Step Recorder Makes Solving Issues Simple

keyboard example

Even if you’re a computer pro, I guarantee that all of us from time to time need help for one reason or another.

Even if you’re a computer pro, I guarantee that all of us from time to time need help for one reason or another. Unfortunately, my sisters and mother need more computer help than the average person. Anyway, one thing about trying to help someone with a computer problem is it’s always easier if the individual you’re trying to help can tell you the exact details of their problem. Add screenshots to the mix and things typically go much smoother.

Fortunately for all of us IT family members, Microsoft has included a built-in tool for recording the exact step-by-step actions along with screenshots as the person with the issue walks through the problem. Let’s take a close look at how to use the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder!

How To Record Your Step-By-Step Problem Information In Windows 7

1. Click the Windows Start Menu Orb and then type in record steps, and click the Record Steps to reproduce a problem control panel link.

click the windows 7 start orb and search for record steps

2. Click Start Record.

in the windows 7 problem steps recorder press start record

Once you hit Record, it will record everything you do along with screenshots each time you Click a Windows menu. The recorder will also monitor the applications you use and record necessary data about the app, which will help your Tech Support assist you with your problem. For this test, go ahead and do whatever you want.

3. Once you’ve finished reproducing your problem or playing around, click Stop Record.

when you are done recording press stop record in the windows 7 problem steps recorder

4. You’ll be prompted to save the recorded file on your computer. Name the File, click Save.

save your newly recorded windows 7 file

The file will save in .zip format to conserve space and make it simpler to send to your Tech Support/Family member. Windows 7 provides native .zip support so you can open them or extract them without any additional tools. That’s all you have to do. The file is ready to send straight to your computer help expert.

the zip file will appear in your windows 7 folder that you saved it in

To upload the file and send it using the groovyPost community forum, read this post.  Our Groovy Tech Support forum is great for getting help quickly.  Alternatively, there are a lot of different ways to send files across the internet, but my favorite has to be email or

What Information is Included in Windows 7 Problem Recorder File?

Within the .zip file is an MHTML file that is titled Problem_2010#DATE_###  or something along those lines. This is the actual file your expert helper will be looking at.

the windows 7 problem steps file will be inside of the zip file

5. Included in the file are screenshots. When you were recording your problem, each time you clicked the mouse, Windows 7 took a snapshot of the screen and then highlighted the area you were working on. This is much easier than taking screenshots and adding highlights yourself.

the problem steps file will contain all of the screenshots from your recording, not a video

6. Along with the screenshots are some additional details. You’ll want to make sure before you send the file to your expert helper that it doesn’t contain any personal private information that you don’t want to share.

additional details and slideshows are available in the windows 7 problem steps recorder

7. The additional details don’t say a whole lot, but they do include:

  • Operating System Version Information
  • The number of steps involved in the problem
  • The programs each click took place in
  • Which keys were pressed during the problem recording
  • The time of the recording

Usually, this is enough information for your helper to be able to replicate your problem and give you a solution immediately.

view the additional details of the problem steps recorder file

If you feel that there still isn’t enough information in the file, you can leave comments during each step and they will be visible above each individual screenshot.

comments can be added to the problem steps

Now you know how to use the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder. Although I’m sure you will appreciate this groovy free Tool from Microsoft, I’m sure your computer help expert will be even more appreciative.

Have a computer help question and want a fast response? Post your saved zip file to the groovyPost community forum. The community is here to help.



  1. Vadim

    February 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Very cool.

  2. shaj

    February 24, 2010 at 4:30 am

    good article on steps recorder..what is the to lauch directly? i tried psr.exe; but no use?

    • grooveDexter

      February 24, 2010 at 7:01 am

      psr.exe should work, the file location is C:\Windows\System32\psr.exe

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