Whether you’re a student or a gamer, you appreciate Screen Recording and the tools that help you record your screen in great quality. There are tons of great screen recorders out there but choosing the right one for your needs can be a tough job. Hence, in order to save you the trouble of scouring the internet and Subreddits and lengthy discussions on online communities, we have compiled a list of the 15 best screen recording software for Windows. This list includes both paid and free options for you to find the perfect match. Although, if you’re searching for a screen recorder to record on Chrome, you could use these useful Chrome screen recording extensions.
1. OBS Studio
High-quality screen recording? Check. Multi-platform streaming? Check. Pro-level editing and control tools? Check. OBS Studio is one of the most decked-out screen recording software in the domain. It brings a vast set of video editing tools to the table, which is what makes it a favorite among the gaming community and professionals who know their way around the software.
Unlike a host of other options in the domain, OBS does not impose a restriction on the length of videos one can record or stream, despite being absolutely free and open source. You can choose from various resolutions (HD, FullHD, etc.) and video formats (flv, mp4, mkv, etc.) and stream them on popular streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Live, and DailyMotion to name just a few.
And yes, OBS Studio can stream games in full-screen mode and record videos at frame rates of up to 60FPS. All in all, you won’t be left wanting more options if you jump on the OBS Studio bandwagon, provided you manage to ace its UI.
The sheer diversity of tools available in OBS Studio makes it an intimidating option for newbies, not to mention the fact that it takes a lot of time to customize and tweak the settings to one’s liking and comfort. Having said all of that, OBS Studio still remains the best screen recorder for PC.
|Records in 60fps|
|Best for intermediate and advanced users|
|Streaming support for Twitch and other popular platforms|
|Free and open-source|
Download OBS Studio (Free)
Sure, OBS Studio is feature-packed and has lots of add-ons and utilities, but it’s not for everyone. General users might find it overwhelming. That’s why we bring you the best screen recording software for Windows 10 that is easy to use, lightweight, open-source, and completely free. ShareX is one of the popular screenshot tools on Windows 10, but not many are aware that it can also record your screen on Windows 10.
It has a simple UI/UX, just press Shift+Print Screen to start and stop screen recording. The best part is that it also supports audio recording. Move to Task Settings -> Screen Recorder under Capture -> Screen Recording Options -> choose your microphone as the audio source. That’s it. What’s more, you can also create a GIF quickly using its dedicated tool. I find ShareX exceptionally good at what it does and you must use it for both screen recording and taking screenshots on Windows 10.
Pros Cons Free and open-source None Records in 60fps Lightweight and easy to use Supports intelligent regional capture Supports GIF and other popular media formats
Download ShareX (Free)
If you are someone who wants to create a high-quality GIF from a screen recording on Windows 10 then let me present you the ScreentoGIF tool. It’s simply an indispensable tool on Windows 10 which works flawlessly well. The app is entirely free and open-source and does not show any ads either. Just choose your region and click on the Record button to get started. Within seconds, you can save the recording as a high-quality GIF without any reduction in resolution.
In case, you want to save screen recording in MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, WEBM, and more, you can do that as well. Apart from that, it also supports a lot of popular encoders which is great. Not to mention, the lightweight 3.5MB tool comes with a GIF editor as well where you can add your own watermark, change the background, add webcam recording, board recording, media, and annotate as well. Basically, you are getting an advanced yet simple-to-use screen recording software for Windows 10 — all for free. What more can you ask for?
Pros Cons Best tool to create high-quality GIFs None Free and open-source Simple and easy to use Supports multiple frame rates Supports multiple media formats
Download ScreenToGIF (Free)
4. Free Cam
Yes, the name is pretty generic but believe me, Free Cam is one of the most simple screen recording software for Windows 10. It’s free, does not feature any kind of ads, has a lightweight profile, and works superbly well. The UI is particularly clean which makes things even better for general users. You can select a window, full screen, a partial region and start recording the screen with audio support.
Do note that Free Cam does not support webcams and MP4 format in the free version. If you want this flexibility then you will have to get Cam Pro which starts at $227 per year which is very expensive. I would not suggest you get the Pro version of this software. If you want basic software for screen recording then Free Cam is more than enough. Apart from that, I must mention that Free Cam comes with a built-in editor which is surprisingly good. It also has the option to remove background noise from the audio recording. I think Free Cam offers plenty enough and you should give it a shot.
Pros Cons Free and easy to use with no ads Saves in WMV and not MP4 Support for audio recording No webcam support Built-in editor Premium version is too expensive Records up to 720P
Download Free Cam (Free, Premium version starts at $227 per year)
Screencast-O-Matic is a new screen recorder that has gotten quite popular for its feature set. It offers screen and partial window recording and screen + webcam recording along with the audio as well. You can also trim the video with its basic editor, and change the file format from the Settings page. Overall, it’s a simple screen recorder that does the job well.
That said, Screencast-O-Matic requires you to sign up for a free account. In addition, the free version only lets you record the screen for 15 minutes. If you want no restrictions then you can opt for the Deluxe plan that starts with $1.65 per month. I think, its free version will suffice many users’ needs. So if you are looking for a screen recording app on Windows 10 that supports webcam, sound effects, drawing, captions, etc. then Screencast-O-Matic is a good choice.
Pros Cons Easy to use Requires sign up Webcam and audio supported 15 minute restriction for free users Captions available Built-in editor to edit recordings on the fly Sound effects available
Download Screencast-O-Matic (Free, Paid plan starts at $1.65 per month)
Bandicam is one of the most popular screen recorders for Windows PC that has a slew of features yet it’s pretty easy to use. The software has a great ability to record screens at high bitrates and frames. In fact, it doubles up as a great screen recording software for games as well. You can record videos at customizable frame rates and 4K Ultra HD resolution too.
Even at such a high-quality capture configuration, it offers small-size video recordings due to its built-in compression feature that makes sure there is no sacrifice on quality and you get the smallest file size. The recordings can be adjusted for the current window, whole desktop, capture area, and more. To sum up, Bandicam is among the best screen recorders for PC and you must give it a try.
|Two capture modes||Expensive|
|Ability to resize the capture area||Laggy video recording|
|Support fr various codecs and formats|||
|Built-in compression features|||
|Small file size|||
Download Bandicam (Free, $39.95 for 1 license)
TinyTake is to screen recording what MS Paint is to draw. The way MS Paint lets you perform basic image editing tasks like cropping and adding a splash of color, TinyTake will let you record short videos and capture screenshots with the same level of ease.
If you want a simple tool to record your screen activity that won’t confuse you with a complicated UI, loads of commands and hidden tools, TinyTake is the ideal option for you. The software is really fast when it comes to recording screen activity and taking screenshots.
Moreover, all the necessary tools are neatly laid out on the software’s home screen, from where you can choose to capture a still or record the complete screen’s activity (or just a section of it by manually adjusting the focus area). Furthermore, you also have the option to save them locally or on the 2GB free cloud storage that comes bundled with the free version.
While basic editing options like annotations and text addition are available for screenshots, you can not do the same with videos. All you can do is record videos of up to 5 minutes in the free version, which essentially means recording a gaming session is far beyond its reach.
In order to use the software’s video editing tools and enable direct YouTube upload, you have to shell out $29.95/year, which also brings facilities like an increased video recording limit, more cloud storage, etc.
Pros Cons Best for basic users Expensive Choose your capture window Free version is limited to 5 minutes of recording Annotation support Cloud storage Webcam integration
Download TinyTake (Free version, Premium version starts at $29.95/year)
8. Active Presenter
Active Presenter is a screen recording software tailor-made for folks who want to create content like software tutorials, video demonstrations, and training videos to name a few. Aside from that, Active Presenter is quite easy to use with an easily navigable UI and a host of tools to edit the captured screenshots and videos.
When it comes to making software simulations, Active Presenter transforms the daunting task into a breeze, as it automatically segregates the video into multiple slides, much like MS PowerPoint. If you seek to record reaction videos, shoot live commentary videos, etc., then Active Presenter can prove to be one of the better options.
Its sheer ease of recording such videos and the wide selection of editing tools like Smart Capture, Audio/Video Overlay, multi-format export, and object highlight among others. And the best thing is, there is no time limit on the length of videos you can record.
Active Presenter appears to have been designed with a niche audience in mind, and as such, it is not a particularly good option for gamers to record their virtual action and dope combos.
Also, the controls and editing tools can be quite confusing for folks who want to use the tool just for basic screen recording tasks. Moreover, the majority of editing tools, especially for videos, are exclusive to the software’s premium versions.
Pros Cons Best for recording tutorials Editing tools are limited to premium users Multi-window recording Integrated office apps No time limit for recordings Support for multiple file formats
Download Active Presenter (Free version, Premium version starts at $199)
One of the most popular screen recorder software out there, Camtasia lives up to its name with a huge set of editing tools neatly arranged in an interface that makes it relatively easy to find and use. Annotations, transitions, animations, you name it, Camtasia has it.
One of the most appealing aspects of Camtasia is the placement of beautification tools in its UI, which are easy to locate and even easier to use as they follow a simple drag-and-drop mechanism to apply them.
The software has virtually every tool in the book (custom dimension, caption effects, cursor effects, timeline quizzes, etc.) to help you make that perfect video which can be shared on platforms like Vimeo and YouTube.
Moreover, you can choose to save the edited videos either locally or on Google Drive straight from Camtasia. Despite being free, there is no time limit on the length of videos one can record, which is a huge bonus.
The rich array of goodies offered by Camtasia places it in a class of its own, but they come at a steep price. Even though you get a free trial period of one month, you’ll have to shell out $99.50 just to upgrade and $199 to purchase a single-user license of Camtasia’s Mac and Windows versions in a single bundle.
So, unless you are deeply invested in the ecosystem and can fully utilize its vast toolkit, going for the app’s premium version won’t be a good idea, as there are other options available that are free. And also, Camtasia takes a lot of time (and apparently, resources too) to load, so if you install the software on a not-so-powerful system, be patient.
Pros Cons Built-in editing features Expensive Online backup Not intended for basic users Resizable capture area Multi-window recording Customizable
Download Camtasia (Free trial for 30 days, Full version at $249.99)
10. Movavi Screen Capture Studio
The Movavi Screen Capture Studio is a relatively lesser-known screen recording software for Windows. But don’t let its obscurity in the domain mislead you, as the Movavi offering is packed with all the core screen recording and video editing tools. Movavi Screen Capture Studio is equipped with some of the best video editing tools that are rarely found bundled with any other software in the segment.
First things first, there is no time limit on the length of videos you can record with Movavi Screen Capture Studio. Aside from the core editing tools, the software also brings some novel beautification tools to the table such as mosaic, noise reduction, focus adjustment lenses, artistic blur tools, scenic filters, and stickers to name just a few.
Text addition in various styles, stabilization, pan/zoom, and frame-by-frame editing are some other options that make this software truly unique and totally worth a try.
Although Movavi Screen Capture Studio’s UI is pretty clean and is loaded with features, the short free trial period of just 7 days is a bummer, plus, the exported videos have a big watermark slapped on them.
Furthermore, whatever audio is recorded by users, only half of each audio file is saved in the trial mode. So, like it or not, if you want to use Movavi Screen Capture Studio for the long term, buying a premium version is the only option.
|Record and edit in the same app||Free version has watermark|
|Zoom in and out during the recording|||
|Filters and animations|||
|Noise reduction in video|||
Download Movavi Screen Capture Studio (Free trial for 7 days, Premium version starts at $34.95 per year)
11. Screen Capture Recorder
Screen Capture Recorder is a free and open-source screen recorder that works very well. For starters, it requires you to have Java installed, or else will guide you to the installation page and the process. Once Java’s installed, launching the software will open the command prompt and the overlay where you can start recording.
As for the recording options and settings, the app comes with options to choose audio and video devices, configure screen recorder bounds, allow you to configure the window size before recording, an option to configure the FPS (max 30), where the recordings are saved, and streaming on a URL. You can also change the scaling resolution. All in all, for a free and open-source screen recorder, the Screen Capture Recorder does a decent job.
Pros Cons Decent UI Requires you to separately install Java Easy to use and setup A bit too basic and UI needs work Best for basic users Can only record in up to 30 fps Free and open source Support for streaming via url
Download Screen Capture Recorder for free
12. Xbox Game Bar (Windows’ Built-in Screen Recorder)
If you are looking for a free screen recorder for PC then you are better off with the native one that comes pre-installed on Windows 10. To record games on Windows 10, Microsoft has brought the screen recording feature as part of the Xbox Game Bar.
The best part is that this feature has been extended to all apps and it’s no longer just limited to games. It basically means that now you can record any app or window on Windows 10 without any external software. The built-screen recorder on Windows 10 has support for audio recording, high bitrate, resolution, and more.
So, if you want to record the screen on Windows 10, just hit Windows + Alt + R and screen recording will start then and there. You will find the recorded video under User Profile -> Videos -> Captures.
And if you want to customize all sorts of video capture settings then move to Windows Settings -> Gaming -> Captures. That’s it. Having said that, bear in mind, the built-in screen recorder does not record the desktop or file explorer. But apart from that, it’s a solid way to record the screen on Windows 10.
Pros Cons Built-in recorder Does not record desktop and file explorer Easy to use Supports microphone recording High bitrate and resolution Free to use
Comes pre-installed on Windows 10
13. Fluent Screen Recorder
Fluent Screen Recorder markets itself as a minimalistic screen recorder for Windows and that’s true to all extent. The app is free and open-source and can be downloaded from GitHub and Microsoft Store. It gets a lot of things right, such as giving users the ability to select the framerate, bitrate, resolution, and window that they want to record.
Besides, users can also choose if they want to record their screens with audio and microphones. It also has a quick shortcut to select a microphone you want to record with and to set an overlay for recordings. Overall, Fluent may not be the most feature-rich screen recorder for Windows (because it was never intended to be), but is a great nifty screen recording application.
Pros Cons Minimalistic yet packed with decent amount of features A bit too basic for intermediate and advanced users Records in 60fps and high bitrate Best for beginners Minimalistic yet packed with a decent amount of features Can record a particular Window
Download Fluent Screen Recorder for free
14. Samsung Screen Recorder
Yes, we couldn’t believe it when we first saw this app on the Windows store. If you remember, Samsung still sells Windows notebooks in the form of Galaxy Books, and the Samsung Screen Recorder is specifically made for them. However, since it’s published on the Windows store, you can try it out on any PC and it should work.
The app itself isn’t very futuristic but basic at best. It doesn’t take much space, the overlay is decent. There’s an option to record yourself which makes it easy to record lectures and presentations with you on the camera. If you have multiple monitors, you could select which screen to record from the settings, which webcam or microphone to use, and more importantly, set the resolution at which you want to record. The fps is set to 60 by default but you could move it to 30 using the low fps toggle. As you begin the recording, you could also annotate, and use markup tools. Overall, it’s a pretty good screen recorder, especially great if you’re a student or a lecturer.
Pros Cons Good overall package A bit too basic Records in 60fps and can also record your face Doesn’t support window recording Best for beginners No streaming support Annotations via text and hand Free on the Microsoft Store
Download Samsung Screen Recorder for free
15. Simple Screen Recorder
Simple Screen Recorder is also an open-source app that can easily capture your screen without any issues. It’s a fairly simple tool that doesn’t require much knowledge or experience using screen recorders and works out of the box without any tweaks.
It’s a basic tool and can only record your entire screen and not app windows, but it does allow you to choose which screen to record if you have multiple displays. The tool records at 60fps by default but you could bring it down to 30 if you want to. Besides, it also allows you to choose which mic and speaker to use to record and playback the recording. Overall, it’s a decent option if all you want to do is record your entire screen for gameplay.
Pros Cons Free and open-source None Records in 60fps Best for beginners and intermediate users Choose mic and speakers for input and output
Download Simple Screen Recorder for free
What makes a Good Screen Recorder?
Regardless of if you’re an advanced or basic user, a good screen recorder should have a hotkey for quick access. It should also give you quick toggles to activate voice recording, annotation tools, the option to zoom in/out, and more. On top of that, screen recorders should offer you the ability to change the frame rate, resolution, bitrate, output file format, etc., for added flexibility
It’s an added bonus if a screen recorder comes with a small set of video editing tools like cropping and trimming. Not to mention, the ability to convert video recordings to GIF (so you can use it with your favorite GIF keyboards) or other file formats would be nice. However, it’s hard to find all these features in one room, but there are a few apps that try to bring most of them together.
Best Screen Recorder for Windows FAQs
There is no one-stop answer for everyone, but I would recommend OBS Studio to advanced users and ShareX to general users.
You can use any of the screen recording software from the above list or go through our detailed article on how to record the screen on Windows.
Press Windows + Alt + R and then enable the toggle for the microphone in the top-right corner. Now, it will start recording the screen with your audio as well. In case, you are using a third-party program then look for Audio Capture under the Settings page.