How to Record Screen with OBS on Windows, Mac, and Linux

In Short
  • OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) is an open-source tool that allows users to broadcast or record their screens effortlessly.
  • You can install OBS on Windows, Mac, or Linux, create scenes to record your desktop and use it without any issues.
  • Users can record the full monitor, a specific game, or a window using OBS by following a few easy steps.

There are multiple ways to record your screen, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux. But no software comes close to OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) when it comes to smooth operation and reliability. So, to make it easier for you, we have compiled a guide to explain how it works. Here are all the methods to record your screen with OBS.

Method 1: Record Screen with OBS on Windows

Let’s start with the most commonly used platform, Windows. Since OBS has no restrictions on Windows, the steps are pretty straightforward.

Install OBS on Windows

There are two ways you can download and install OBS. Go to the OBS official website and press the Windows button. Once done, follow the basic installation steps. You can also go to the Microsoft Store and search OBS Studio, which will give an install button. Once you press the button, OBS will automatically install in your system.

Change OBS Settings

After opening OBS, the first thing you need to do is adjust your settings for recording. Here is how it goes:

  1. First, click on the ‘Settings‘ button on the bottom right of the OBS.
OBS Settings Menu
  1. Once done, click on Output‘ from the sidebar, and then look for the ‘Recording‘ section.
OBS Recording Setting Tab
  1. Now you can select the recording files path from here by either typing the path name or browsing the path location.
Selecting OBS Recording Path
  1. You can also change the recording quality and recording format. But keeping it as we suggest will exactly do the job.
OBS Recording Quality and Format Selection
  1. Once all settings are done, click on Apply and OK, and you’re done!

Start Recording in OBS

  1. To start recording, you first need to navigate to the scene section on the bottom left of your screen. By default, OBS adds a scene. If it is not there, press the plus icon under the scene tab.
OBS Adding New Scene
  1. After adding a scene, press the Plus icon on the sources tab.
Adding New Source in OBS
  1. It will open a large menu with a lot of options. Select ‘Display Capture
Selecting Display Capture for Recording in OBS
  1. A new pop-up window will come to confirm adding a new display capture source. Name it what you want and click on ‘OK.’
Creating a New Display Capture Source on OBS
  1. Once confirmed, it will show which display you want to record. You can change the display you want to capture if you have multiple screens. Choose the right one and click on ‘OK’ again.
Change Recording Display in OBS Display Capture
  1. Now that you have selected a display, navigate your cursor to the ‘Start recording‘ button on the bottom right and click once you are ready.
OBS Start Recording Button

Specific Window Capture

Additionally, OBS also introduced ‘Game Capture’ and ‘Window Capture’ for specific game screens or application screen recordings without showing any crucial information on your display. Learn to set it up in this section.

1. To record only a specific game screen, click the Game Capture or Capture specific window option.

2. Then select the game you want to record and click Start Recording.

  • Selecting Window and Game Capture on OBS
  • Selecting Specific Game Screen for Recording
  • Recording Specific Game Screen on OBS

Similarly, you can use Window Capture for any application window on OBS without recording the whole screen.

Method 2: Record Screen with OBS on Mac

The recording screen on Mac through OBS is almost similar to Windows with slight restrictions. But don’t worry, as we have covered everything you need to know.

Install OBS on Mac

Before going on the OBS download page on their official website, make sure you have macOS 11 or higher. Once you have that dealt with, download the Mac Intel version or Mac Apple silicon version and follow the installation steps.

Start Recording

To start recording your screen on OBS on Mac, follow these steps below:

  1. Start by adding a new scene if it has already been added. Click on the ‘Plus’ under the scene tab in the bottom left corner of OBS.
Adding New Scene in OBS mac
  1. Then, click the ‘Plus’ button on the source tab to bring out the sources menu.
Adding New Source in OBS mac
  1. Click on ‘macOS Screen capture‘ next to add a new screen capture source.
mac OBS Screen Capture select
  1. Press ‘OK‘ to confirm adding the source.
Confirm Adding New Screen Capture in mac OBS
  1. After confirming, select the screen you want to record and press ok.
Selecting Which Screen to Capture in Screen Capture
  1. Once done, click the Start Recording button on the bottom right of OBS to record your screen.
Start Recording Button mac OBS
  1. To change the file location of the recording, simply go to ‘Settings.’
Selecting Settings in mac OBS
  1. Once done, click on Output‘ from the sidebar, and then look for the ‘Recording‘ section. Then, select where you want it to be saved.
Selecting Recording Path in mac OBS

Method 3: Record Screen with OBS on Linux

Using OBS on Linux comes with a lot of complications. Follow the steps below to learn how to do so:

Install OBS on Linux

Before jumping on the steps to record your screen, let’s discuss how to install OBS on Linux. OBS is officially supported on Flatpack and Ubuntu. You can get the Flatpack version using the link here.

For Ubuntu users, if you have Ubuntu 20.04 or later installed, then open your terminal and type the following to install it :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ffmpeg obs-studio

Start Recording

The recording in Linux on OBS is pretty similar to Windows with some little differences. Learn how to use it here:

  1. First, launch the OBS, navigate to the ‘Scene‘ box, and press the ‘Plus’ button to create a new scene.
Adding New Scene in OBS Linux
  1. After that, create a new source by clicking the ‘Plus’ button under the ‘Source‘ tab.
Adding New Source in OBS Linux
  1. The menu will pop up with an option called ‘Screen Capture.’ This option is the same as ‘Display Capture‘ in Windows and Mac.
OBS Linux New Screen Capture
  1. If you have multiple screens, then select the one you want to record and press ‘OK.’
Change Recording Screen in Linux OBS
  1. After you are done selecting the screen, press the ‘Start Recording‘ button.
OBS Linux Start Recording Button
  1. You can go to settings to change the recording file path or location.
OBS Settings Option on Linux
  1. After going to ‘Settings,’ go to the ‘Output‘ tab and navigate to the recording path.
OBS Linux Recording Path Selection

And that’s how you can record your screen using OBS on any platform. Are you still having trouble? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Is OBS Studio free?

Yes, OBS is open-source and free to use without any watermark or such restrictions.

How long can you record in OBS?

There are no time limits to record on OBS.

How much RAM is needed for OBS?

A minimum of 4 GB RAM is needed.

Is OBS only a recording software?

No, it is an open broadcaster software that is good for streaming and recording.

comment Comments 1
  • Kudos to the developer for their insightful exploration and great knowledges! Your article brilliantly navigates through the intricacies of this fundamentals shedding light on its versatility and practical applications. Your thorough analysis and clear explanations serve as an invaluable resource for both beginners and app development in alike. Keep up the exceptional work, empowering the IT community with your expertise!

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