How to record a computer screen

In the digital age, when you have lots of great things going on your computer screen, you might probably want to record it and share it with a friend or a partner. A lot of people these days wish to know how to record a computer screen for different purposes. If you didn’t know it yet, there are actually many software programs available on your PC that you can use to record. There is also an option to download free or get paid software to do the same with more customization features that professionals would adore.

When you want to record a computer screen, make sure to be clear of your purpose. If you are recording a video stream for educational purposes, it’s entirely different compared to how gamers would want to capture great moments as they are playing. Some requirements, such as online tutorials and casting gameplay footage would require live streaming as you are capturing it, which also comes under this category.

Let’s start with a popular, free computer screen recording software.

See also: How to send text messages from your computer

How to record a computer screen

OBS Studio (Free to download)

OBS Studio is free to download and will allow you to record your screen. The best part is that it won’t force you to buy it with watermarks. You can actually record your entire screen and there is no limit on the total timeline allowing you to capture hours of footage if required. Another surprising factor is that you can even live stream your content such as live tutorial videos, online classes or anything similar at 60 FPS making it the best you could get without spending a dime.

OBS Studio is fully compatible with Twitch, Xbox Mixer and YouTube allowing you to become a streamer without making any huge investment. Users also have the freedom to edit the audio using a built-in mixer, record multiple screens and edit them on the fly with a complex set of features available in this open source app.

How to Record Using OBS Studio?

  1. Download OBS Studio from the official website
  2. During installation, you can choose to optimize settings only for recording if you don’t plan to stream your content
  3. Use the default settings to set it up quickly
  4. Locate the source panel inside OBS and choose which screen you would like to record
  5. You can record a single browser window as your source, a YouTube video or a game that is live
  6. Choose between Display Capture to capture the entire screen or Game Capture

Click on ‘Start Recording’ and everything you do on your display will fully be recorded if you haven’t specified a particular window as the source. Game Capture begins recording when you launch a full-screen app which is supposed to be the game you are going to play.

OBS Studio

FlashBack Express (Free)

FlashBack Express is an excellent software for screen recording. The main difference between OBS Studio and Express is that, the latter is user-friendly, easy to understand and has less customization features that most users will be happy with. The software does provide you with the freedom to record the entire desktop or specific areas on your computer.

You can use the feature to add footage being captured by your webcam and use a microphone to add audio commentary while creating a tutorial video. It doesn’t end there, because everything that you capture can be saved as a video file without any annoying watermarks. It is necessary for budding YouTubers and gamers to be able to upload their footage online without copyright issues.

The level of privacy provided by the software is reliable as it lets you hide passwords automatically, capture keystrokes and even schedule your PC to start recording automatically even when you are not there. The software is developed by Blueberry software and is free to download. There is also a Pro version of FlashBack that you can purchase to get even more options.

How to record a computer screen with FlashBack Express?

  1. Download the free version of FlashBack Express from the official link
  2. Find the option that reads Record your screen
  3. Choose to record the entire display or drag your mouse pointer over a specific area
  4. Select if you want to record a microphone or not
  5. Start recording by clicking on the Red Record button

FlashBack Express 5 player

Snagit (Paid)

Snagit is a paid software, but if you are a professional, running a startup or a marketing executive working in a branded firm, you might want to pay the $50, as this software is very useful for most purposes. The tool is mainly used to capture your display and record everything you do on your screen.

Users have the freedom to select a specific area on their screen, record the entire computer screen or record from Webcam inputs. The idea behind Snagit is that it even allows you to easily create your own screenshots to be used in PowerPoint presentations or in your slides, maybe to explain an error to the IT department.

The same software tool can be used to create images, slides or just capture something to explain it better over email. With multiple purposes, it’s not surprising that this has become a popular choice among professionals in most companies and the investment you make can be used by different people in your team. If you are a startup, you obviously need to get it to make quick videos to add to your presentations or showcase your product in a better way to clients.

How to record your computer screen using Snagit?

  1. Purchase Snagit and install it on your PC
  2. Click on the Capture window
  3. Choose the entire screen, capture the cursor area or specify a region which will be recorded
  4. Click on the Red Record button and your recording will begin
  5. You can also click on the Microphone icon to record audio along with the visual or the system audio


QuickTime Player for MacOS Users (Free)

If you are using the MacOS that is older than Mojave, you can always use QuickTime Player to instantly record your display along with audio and share it with other people. Compared to many powerful video recording tools available in free and paid versions, the QuickTime is not one of the best, but it gets the job done without hassles.

How to record a computer screen on Mac with QuickTime?

  1. QuickTime is installed by default on Mac
  2. Open the app
  3. Click on File and select the option “New Screen Recording”
  4. Select if you need your Mac sound to appear in the video or not
  5. Click the Red Start Recording button

Once the recording is over, tap to stop the recording. You can now click on File and then Save it to your desired location.

QuickTime Player MAc OS

Xbox App with Game DVR for Windows 10 PCs

With the latest update, Microsoft has introduced the option named Game DVR. Using the option, you can record your games and your display through the Xbox App. It is compatible with the latest Windows 10 updates and it is easy to use as it is already embedded in your operating system.

There are some caveats though, as it may not have complex features like other dedicated apps, it can record only for 2 hours at a stretch and will not record the entire display but rather a specific app or a window. The feature is made for game recording which you can later stream on twitch, but it also works on all apps including Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Browser windows and other programs.

How to record a computer screen on Windows 10 with the Xbox app?

  1. Open the Xbox app
  2. Select the box that says yes, it’s a game (It’s not entirely the truth, but never mind!)
  3. Keep your app or any window open
  4. Hold Windows Key and Press G to open the game bar
  5. Click on the record button to start recording and you can toggle the microphone button on or off to record audio

The Xbox app will record only the particular window that is open on your display and excludes everything else. It will also avoid tracking your mouse movements. Now, open the Xbox Game DVR app, find your latest clip and trim it until it suits your requirement. It is very limited but is a great way to get the work done in a matter of minutes without downloading or installing another software on Windows 10 computers.

Xbox App windows 10

Final Thoughts

The most popular software programs, both free and paid, are covered in here. If you want to know how to record a computer screen with minimal fuss or have a large list of customization options, this guide got you covered. You can know more about its features in their official website and through YouTube tutorials, but recording your screen has never been this easy as all of them work seamlessly as soon as you finish the installation. Create a presentation, tutorial guide or gameplay video to bring your ideas to life.

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