November 2023 is a very busy month for Microsoft. The company launched Windows 11 version 23H2, held its annual Ignite conference, announced Copilot for Windows 10 (now available in the Release Preview Channel), and deprecated several apps and features.
Shortly after announcing the end of three services, one of which is as old as MS-DOS, Microsoft deprecated the Tips app. Now, another utility is about to get the axe: Microsoft has updated its Windows documentation again, detailing the end of the story for Steps Recorder (psr.exe).
Steps Recorder is an old utility from the Windows 7 era that lets you, as the name implies, record your steps while doing something in Windows. Although long abandoned, Steps Recorder is a handy tool for describing to your grandma how to perform specific actions in Windows, troubleshoot apps, or report bugs. Steps Recorder is simple and very effective, and you can launch it by pressing Win + R and typing psr.
There is no information on when Microsoft will remove Steps Recorder from the most recent Windows versions. However, it readily offers several alternatives, which, in typical Microsoft fashion, can barely replicate a fraction of Steps Recorder's capabilities. According to the updated Windows documentation, Microsoft wants you to replace Steps Recorder with the updated Snipping Tool, Xbox Game Bar, or Microsoft Clipchamp.
Steps Recorder (psr.exe)
Steps Recorder is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. For screen recording, we recommend the Snipping Tool, Xbox Game Bar, or Microsoft Clipchamp.
Interestingly, the documentation does not mention PowerToys and its Mouse Utilities you can use to showcase mouse clicks when screen recording. The updated Snipping Tool does allow you to show mouse clicks, so use PowerToys to mitigate that. Sadly, none of the suggested "alternatives" support logging and other advanced features in Steps Recorder.
As a reminder, feature deprecation means Microsoft is no longer actively developing a specific Windows part or application. Deprecated features may remain available for some time, but they no longer receive new capabilities, and Microsoft eventually removes them from its operating system. So long, Steps Recorder!