How do I record video and audio from my screen?

Screen recording allows you to capture video and audio of your computer screen. This can be useful for creating tutorials, product demonstrations, recording gameplay, and more. There are a few different ways you can record your screen depending on your needs:

Full screen recording captures everything visible on your display. This gives you a video of your entire desktop.

Recording a region or selection lets you choose a portion of your screen to record. This is useful for capturing a specific window or area.

You can also record yourself from a webcam overlayed on the screen capture. This allows you to add narration and reaction.

Some tools also allow you to record system audio, so any sounds playing on your computer like music or alerts will be included.

In this guide, we’ll go over the leading software options for recording your screen and how to use them effectively.

Software Options

There are many screen recording software options to choose from, both free and paid. Some of the most popular free screen recorders include:

  • OBS Studio – An open source and completely free screen recorder and streaming software. OBS is very customizable and works on Windows, Mac and Linux. It can record your full screen or specific regions (The best screen recording software in 2024).
  • ScreenRecorder – A simple, free screen recorder for Windows that can capture your screen, webcam, and audio (Best Screen Recording Software of 2024).
  • Screen Recorder Chrome extension – Built into Chrome browser to record your screen, camera, and microphone.

Some popular paid options include:

  • Camtasia – A robust screen recorder and video editor for Windows and Mac. Camtasia has advanced editing tools and is easy to use (Best Screen Recording Software of 2024).
  • Screenflow – A Mac-only screen recorder with options to record video, audio, webcam, iOS devices, and more. Great for high-quality video tutorials.
  • Snagit – A screenshot and screen recording tool for Windows that integrates with common apps.

There are many other great options available. The best software depends on your platform, recording needs, and budget.

Record Full Screen

To record your full screen, you’ll first need to select a screen recording program that has this capability such as OBS Studio, Bandicam, CamStudio, or Snagit. Many programs allow you to customize settings for full screen recording such as resolution, frame rate, and bitrate to optimize quality.

Some tips for the best full screen recording quality include:

  • Set the resolution to match your monitor’s native resolution. For example, 1920×1080 for 1080p monitors.
  • Choose a high frame rate such as 60fps for smooth playback.
  • Use a high bitrate between 15-25Mbps for HD quality. The higher the bitrate, the larger the video file size.
  • Adjust encoder settings for optimal compression and image quality. Many programs use encoders like x264.
  • Record a short test clip and review it. Make adjustments to the settings as needed.
  • Close unused programs and browser tabs to maximize CPU/GPU resources.

Optimizing these settings will help ensure your full screen captures are high-quality and easy to view.

Record Region/Selection

Sometimes you may want to only record a specific part of your screen rather than your full display. This is useful for capturing video of a single program or app window. Both Windows and macOS have built-in tools to select a specific screen region to record.

On Windows 10, hold the Windows key and press Alt + R to open the built-in Xbox Game Bar recorder. Click on the camera icon to open recording options. Under “Capture area”, choose “Recording a selected portion of the screen.” You can then click and drag to select the part of the screen you want to record [1].

On Mac, open QuickTime Player and go to File > New Screen Recording. Click the arrow next to the Record button and choose to record a selected portion of the screen. You can then select the area to record.

Third party apps like OBS Studio also allow choosing a specific region or application window to capture [2]. This gives more control over recording parameters.

The main benefit of only recording part of your screen is reducing file size while still capturing the relevant area. It also lets you maintain privacy and avoid showing things like notifications during your recording.

Record Webcam

Adding a webcam overlay to your screen recording is easy with most screen recording software. Here’s how to add and adjust your webcam overlay:

Notta allows you to add a webcam overlay to your screen recordings. In Notta, click the ‘+’ button in ‘Sources’ and select ‘Visual Capture Device.’ This will add your default webcam as a source. You can resize and reposition the webcam overlay on your screen.

EaseUS Recorder also lets you record your screen and webcam simultaneously. After starting a recording, click the webcam icon in the toolbar to enable webcam recording. You can drag and resize the webcam overlay to customize its placement.

Most software allows you to adjust the size, position, and other settings like border color and opacity for your webcam overlay. Place it in an unobtrusive spot, but make sure it’s still visible. Some programs even let you add effects like green screen to your webcam video.

Record System Audio

Capturing the audio coming from your computer is essential for tutorials, gameplay videos, and other screen recordings where you want to include the system sounds. Here are some tips for recording high quality system audio:

Use audio capturing software like Movavi Screen Recorder that can record all system sounds and audio playing on your computer. Enable the system audio recording option before starting your screen recording.

For best quality, set the audio recording format to 16-bit or 24-bit and a high sample rate like 44.1kHz. This will result in clear, high-fidelity audio. Avoid compressed audio formats like MP3.

If you are recording a microphone on top of system audio, check for an option to record separate audio tracks. This will allow you to adjust levels for each track in post-production.

Use headphones to monitor the audio while recording. This will help ensure clean audio without echoes or background noise.

Adjust the system audio volume before recording so it is audible without peaking or distorting the recording. You can fine tune levels further in editing.

Annotate and Edit Videos

After recording your screen, you may want to annotate or edit the video to highlight important information or make it more engaging. Here are some key features to look for:

Drawing on Screen

Many screen recording tools allow you to draw directly on the video to point out or underline important items. You can choose different colors and brush sizes for flexibility. For example, Encord and Filestage let you annotate videos frame-by-frame.

Adding Text Boxes

Adding text boxes is an easy way to insert notes, captions, or commentary to your video. Look for a tool like Labellerr that enables you to drag and drop text anywhere on the video.

Basic Video Editing

Tools like Filestage allow you to trim and splice video clips, adjust playback speed, add transitions, and more. This helps polish and enhance your videos without needing advanced editing software.

Choosing a screen recorder with built-in annotation makes it easy to highlight and enhance your videos in one seamless workflow.

Export Options

After you finish recording your screen, you’ll want to export or save the video in a shareable format. Here are some of the most common export options for screen recordings:

Exporting as a Video File

The most flexible export option is to save your screen recording as a standard video file format like MP4 or MOV. These versatile formats allow you to easily share or edit your video. MP4 offers a good balance of quality and file size, while MOV may preserve higher quality. Just be sure to choose a format compatible with your intended viewing platform.

According to TechSmith, MP4 is one of the most widely compatible and portable video formats.

Sharing on YouTube

Many screen recording tools support direct sharing to YouTube. This saves you the hassle of downloading the video and re-uploading. YouTube converts uploads to MP4 format, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility. Sharing to YouTube also gives you access to features like ads and analytics.

Converting to GIF

For short, silent clips, converting to GIF can create an easy to share looped animation. However, GIFs are limited to 256 colors and will lose video quality compared to proper video formats. They best serve as bite-sized previews. Select just a short segment of your screen recording when exporting to GIF.

Mobile Screen Recording

Mobile phones like Android and iOS devices have built-in tools to allow you to record your screen. Here are some ways to record your screen on mobile devices:

Using built-in tools on Android devices: Android phones like Samsung, Google Pixel, etc. have a native screen recorder app. You can start recording by opening the notification panel and tapping on the “Screen Recorder” icon. This will allow you to record videos of your screen along with audio. You can choose to record screen touches as well.

Using built-in tools on iOS devices: iPhones and iPads also let you easily record videos of your screen using the Screen Recording option in Control Center. Swipe down from top right to open Control Center and tap on the Screen Recording icon. You can choose microphone and system audio as sources before starting the recording.

Using third-party apps: There are many free and paid third-party screen recording apps available for both Android and iOS devices. These provide additional features like annotations, editing tools, live streaming support, etc. Some popular options are AZ Screen Recorder, Mobizen Screen Recorder, DU Recorder, etc. They can be downloaded from app stores.


Recording video and audio from your screen can be a useful tool for content creators, students, remote workers, and anyone looking to capture on-screen activity. With the software options covered in this guide, you should have a good overview of how to get started recording your screen across different platforms and devices.

In summary, the key steps are choosing software with the capabilities you need, setting up audio sources, configuring video and audio quality settings, and selecting a screen region or full display area to record. Features like webcam capture, annotations, and edits can help enhance your videos as needed.

For additional guidance, see the video tutorials offered by software providers for setup instructions and advanced techniques. The documentation for your operating system may also cover built-in tools to record your screen. With the right tools and settings, you can create high-quality screen recordings for any purpose.

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