Best free programs to record computer screen on Windows PC and Mac, for free
In the following guide we will show you how Record video from computer desktop on Windows and Macillustrating the tools integrated within the operating systems and the main free programs designed for the purpose.
READ ALSO: Create a time-lapse video with screen captured images
1) Snipping Tool (Windows 11)
The best way to record screen on Windows 11 is to use the app Snipping toolwhich is useful for both capturing screenshots and recording the screen.
To activate screen recording, simply open the app Snipping tool from the Start Menu, press the camera-shaped icon at the top and click on Newselect the area to acquire with the program (drawing the box with the mouse), click on Start and wait for the end of the countdown to immediately start recording.
At the end of the recording, press the Stop button at the top to reopen Snipping Tool, evaluate the recording with the integrated player and, if satisfied, press the Save button to save the video in the PC memory.
2) Xbox Game Bar
There Xbox Game Barincluded in Windows 11 and in Windows 10, offers a valid alternative to record the computer screen without having to use a dedicated program.
To use this recording function, open a program or app on your computer, press keys WIN+G on the keyboard and press the button at the top left Start recording to record everything that happens on the screen; At the end we stop the recording by pressing the button at the top right Stop.
At the end of the registration we press WIN+G and click on the top Collections to view the recorded clips and choose whether to share or delete them.
If the Xbox Game Bar does not appear, press WIN+I on the keyboard, we open the menu Gameswe press on Xbox Game Bar and activate the switch inside it.
To learn more, we can read our guide on how to use Game Bar in Windows 10 to record screen.
3) Screen capture on Mac
On a Mac or MacBook we have two methods to record screen with the built-in app QuickTime Player.
The fastest method is the keyboard shortcut: just press Shift + CMD + 5 to start the tool, choose the desired type of acquisition (full screen, window, selection) and finally press on Acquire to start recording.
Alternatively we can open QuickTime Player from the Launchpad, press up on the menu Fileclick on New screen recording and start the same capture screen seen earlier.
4) Free Cams
A simple and immediate program to record the screen is Free Camsavailable free for Windows.
This simple program allows you to choose whether to capture just a window, capture a selection of the screen, or capture the entire screen. During the acquisition it shows a bar with the volume level acquired and the duration of the recording, being able to interrupt it at any moment; after capturing we can save the recording in MP4 format, so that we can upload it online.
5) VLC Media Player
Among the most advanced programs to record the full screen of the PC we also find that VLC Media Playerthe all-round player that also includes a great recording system.
To use VLC, open it, press on the top left Averageclick on Convert/Savelet’s go to the tab Capture devicewe set Desktops in the menu Acquisition modewe set 30.00 f/s in the field Desired frame rate for captureand press down on Convert/Save.
In the new window we choose Videos – H.264 + MP3 (MP4) in the drop-down menu next to the item Profilewe press on the button Browsechoose a folder where to save the video and finally press on Start.
VLC will start recording the screen as long as it is active (better minimize it now to avoid the “infinite mirror” effect); to stop recording, simply press the key Stop located at the bottom of the player.
On the versatility of VLC we can read our ai guides VLC hidden features and tricks and at special features of VLC.
6) OBS Studio
Among the best programs to record screen and games we find OBS Studiocompletely free program for Windows, Mac and Linux.
To record the screen with OBS Studio, install the program on the Mac or PC and, once inside the interface, press the + key down (under the section Sources), select the item Screen capturewe press on Okayresize the screen to be captured by moving the red border that will appear, press again on the same + key seen previously, select Capture input audiowe press on again Okay and finally press up Start recording to start recording; to interrupt press on Stop recording.
If we don’t want to record our voice too, just start recording immediately without adding as a source Capture input audio; vice versa if we also want to add the webcam recording to the screen capture (particularly useful for live streaming of games), press the + button again under the section Sources and we add Video capture devicebeing careful to select the webcam in use.
We can choose as formats the most popular ones FLV, MP4, MKV and TS, in the path Settings -> Output -> Recording format.
OBS Studio is the flagship program for stream or record PC games, webcams or desktopswidely used on Twitch and all sites that work with games.
7) Other video recording programs
In addition to the programs recommended so far we find dozens and dozens of free applications to record video on the Internet; if the apps seen so far do not satisfy us, we can try the ones recommended below:
1) Ezvid is a program for creating videos by recording your screen, already described in detail in a dedicated article. Thanks to its interface, Ezvid is very easy to use, with a built-in basic video editor, which also allows you to add images, change the video playback speed and make overlay annotations. Ezvid also supports uploading videos to YouTube directly and adding comments to the video using the microphone.
2) Icecream Screen Recorder is another handy alternative to screen record Windows PC and Mac, with a free version that should be enough for most people. Icecream allows you to record video from your desktop as well as from your webcam.
3) FlashBack Express is another good Windows screen recording program, available in a free version and capable of capturing videos from a webcam and games. It is packed with features and tools despite being a free version of the paid FlashBack Pro program and does not add watermarks or impose time limits on recordings.
4) Active Presenter is a professional program that provides a free version to be used for home use. Active Presenter allows you to record video from anywhere on the desktop, also record audio and sound, without watermarks or time limitations, with the possibility of adding annotations and overlays, with support for different video formats and with a video and audio editor to fix the final movie.
5) TinyTake is another screen capture and video recording program, available for both Windows and Mac. With TinyTake, you can record video of your computer screen, add comments, edits, annotations and share it, up to 120 minutes in the free version.
6) APowerSoft Free Online Screen Recorder is a website that works without downloading anything and allows you to create screen recordings for as long as you want, also with the possibility to select the area of the screen to record, to capture audio and video simultaneously and even add annotations while recording.
7) SRecorder is a free software that records your desktop PC desktop into a high quality video including audio. This program is perfect when users need to create video conferences, video presentations, video recordings of games or chats.
8) Bandicam is a free, lightweight screen recorder for Windows that can capture anything on your PC screen and save it as a high-quality video such as AVI or MP4 file.
9) Rylstim Screen Recorder is another free screen recording app that is simple, with no complex options to configure.
10) smart pixels it is yet another program that works well for screen recording, also with picture in picture, special effects and other functions that are also ideal for gamers who want to share video of playing games on YouTube.
11) ScreencastOmatic is a web application that records your screen, which works without downloading any programs. This is one of the easiest to use screen recording apps, even on Mac (as well as Windows and Linux). Once installed on the Mac we look for its name in the Launchpad and, once started, immediately press the gear-shaped key, so that we can select Screen as the source of the video.
12) Acala Screen Recorder And Cute Screen Recorder are two other free programs for Windows that can be used to record the desktop, simple, light and without too many options.
13) SMRecorder it’s a video recorder for windows freewhich can record both video and audiosaving it all in one AVI files. SM Recorder is really simple to use and allows you to record from the webcamthe videos seen on the PC and even record just the audio computer or a microphone. On the general tab, there are options to choose where the audio comes from, where to save the recording, and the duration.
14) An excellent program for recording the screen on the PC can be considered Cam studio, open source and free for everyone. Camstudio is one of the few programs without limitations and completely free, which allows you to save recordings in AVI format on your PC, without time limits, even with audio.
To record the screen we can use the valid tools integrated in Windows and Mac, useful if we just need to capture some video of what we do for school or for the office. If we work a lot online and we use YouTube and Twitch we will necessarily have to focus on professional programs such as OBS Studio or one of the other applications seen above.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to take a screenshot in windows 10 and 11 come on how to record android screen to video.