Windows / Nvidia: How to reduce GPU usage for Instant Replay when idling on desktop (without disabling it for games)


The other day I was glancing at Task Manager and noticed something annoying...

For some odd reason, the GPU was busy at around 40% capacity while I wasn't really doing much on the desktop.

After a bit of sleuthing, it turns out the "Instant replay" feature is constantly recording and encoding in the background, which is a pretty cool feature for gaming but a waste of power for my day to day usage.

While the easy option is to turn off Instant Replay altogether, I still want it on while I play games.

Fortunately there is an easy way to achieve that, but unfortunately its not obvious how.

1. Turn off Instant Replay (and watch your GPU usage drop to 0%)

2. Turn off desktop recording by going to

  • Settings (Cog)
  • Scroll down to Privacy control
  • Untick "Desktop Capture"

3. Back out and "Done" until you see the main UI

4. Turn Instant Replay back on and enjoy the 0% usage while idling on desktop

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