How to record your computer screen for free
Do you want to show friends how to do a certain procedure on your computer? Are you interested in recording everything that happens on the screen so you can review it later, stream it or upload it to the Internet?
In this guide, we will see some free programs for different operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux) that you can use to record the computer screen. You will be able to record the desktop and everything that happens on the screen to create guides or to show gameplay videos.
How to record the PC screen
Here is a roundup of useful programs to use on Windows, Mac or Linux.
VLC – Media player
One of the simplest ways to perform a “screen capture” and record video is to use the free VLC program, available for all operating systems:
Open source software needs few presentations: VLC is able to display videos created with any codec and is used by millions of people as a multimedia player.
Among its many features, it also offers the possibility to record everything that happens on the screen and save it in a video file. To record video on the screen, start VLC and go to the menu Media> Open capture device (or on Mac, File> Open capture device).
It will open a new window; Now click on the drop-down menu at the top right ( Acquisition Mode ) and select Desktop while in Options, at the desired frame rate for the acquisition, select 50 f / s.
Now just press down on Play to show the entire desktop inside VLC (be careful because at the moment, no recording is started). Leaving VLC in the foreground will create the “infinite mirror” effect; when you are ready to capture and record the screen remember to minimize the VLC itself.
To record the screen, all you have to do is enable the Advanced Controls in View and click on the Rec button at the bottom of the new commands to record everything on your computer screen in a video file. After registration, you will have all the video recordings of the screen in one location on disk.
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Open Broadcaster Software – OBS Studio
The OBS program is very popular among Twitch streamer and is a free and completely open source software available on Windows, macOS and Linux. Its main use is to send everything in live streaming and to put side by side with the video of the desktop (or the game) that of an external webcam (usually the one of the streamer).
Start the program, select Settings and as Broadcast Parameters, choose Mode> “Only on file”. At this point, choose where to save the recordings in .MP4 format with what happens on screen.
Before starting the recording, click on Sources or Sources (depending on the version) and choose Add> Capture Screen to start recording the entire desktop. Confirm all other options with OK to leave the default settings. Registration takes place with the “Start registration” button. To stop it, reopen the OBS window and select “Stop / Stop Recording”.
Screencast Capture Lite
Another program that you can use to record the computer screen is Screencast Capture Lite, available for free from the following link only for Windows operating systems.
A very simple program to use; in fact once installed it is sufficient to start it, click on the Play symbol (to start the screen capture) then click on the Start recording to start recording the screen in a video file.
You can change the acquisition folder using the Storage folder item, or change the acquisition source using the Primary screen item. To change the format and quality of the captured video, just select the lower right button Settings.
If you are looking for a complete program to record the PC screen you can use Bandicam, available for download from the following link. Again, this is a program available only for Windows XP, Vista, 7/8/10.
Once installed, simply start it and click on the big red button with the word Rec to start the screen recording. Apparently very basic in the functions it offers but very simple to use.
If you need more advanced features, you can use the “Gaming” mode to record game gameplay via keyboard shortcuts and, once the recordings are finished, you can edit videos and upload them directly to the Internet (YouTube).
The free version of Bandicam allows unlimited recording up to 10 minutes with the presence of a watermark. You will need to purchase a license to use all the features of the program.
Other programs to record the computer screen
To record the screen and the desktop, other programs are available in addition to those shown in this guide. Below you will find a complete list of programs that you can try to acquire the screen on a computer (almost all for Windows PCs) …
- Captura – Windows
- ACTION! – Windows
- FlashBack Express – Windows
- Jing – Windows, macOS
- QuickTime Player – integrated in macOS, does not require installation