How to easily record your screen in Windows
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(Pocket-lint) – If you need to record a video of what you’re doing on Windows, there are a few ways to do it and some are surprisingly easy to do.
We’ve already covered how to easily capture gameplay footage to share on YouTube and other sites, but if you want to save anything other than gameplay footage, that’s possible too.
How to Record with Xbox Game Bar
Don’t get me wrong, although the Xbox Game Bar has the word “game” in its title, it can also be used to record your actions on Windows. So, if you want to record a particular window or application, it will only take a few clicks.
For most uses, the Xbox Game Bar is arguably the easiest way to record footage on Windows, as it’s built into Windows as standard and therefore doesn’t require any additional downloads. As long as you are using Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can follow the steps below to start recording.
However, you can only use this method to record a window or application, not the entire desktop or anything that happens in Windows.
- Click on the program you want to record to make sure it is the focal point.
- Then press the Windows and G keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Xbox Game Bar.
- At the top left, look for the “capture” box.
- Click the record button (the circle)
- Press Win and G again to close the overlay and perform the action you’re trying to record.
- When you’re done, open the Xbox Game Bar and click Stop.
- You will then find the recorded sequences in the “videos” folder of Windows Explorer.
You can also start and stop recording without even opening the Xbox Game Bar. To do this, press ALT+WIN+R to start recording, then ALT+WIN+R to stop it. You can also press ALT+WIN+M to toggle your mic on and off while recording, in case you need a commentary or voiceover for the video.
Videos captured this way are saved in MP4 format, so they are easily editable in your favorite video editing software.
Recording Windows Sequences with GeForce Experience
Although Nvidia’s GeForce Experience is primarily aimed at gamers, it can also be used to record footage on Windows. This is another free and relatively easy way to easily record in Windows.
If you’re using a gaming PC with an Nvidia graphics card, chances are that Nvidia’s GeForce Experience is already installed. If not, we think it’s worth installing as it not only makes it easy to record video but also keeps your graphics card drivers up to date.
As with Xbox Game Bar, all you need to do is press a few keys to get started. Press ALT+Z to open the overlay.
You will need to change some settings in order to allow your desktop to be recorded. Some privacy settings are already in place to prevent you from accidentally saving private items, so you need to adjust them first.
To do this :
- Press ALT+Z to open the overlay.
- Click the settings button on the right side.
- Scroll down to “privacy control” and click
- Click to enable desktop capture
This will allow you to record your screen in Windows.
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To start recording Windows activity, all you need to do is click record and “start recording”. You can also press ALT+F9 to start recording and press ALT+F9 again to stop recording when you’re done.
When you’re done, you’ll find the recordings in your videos folder in Windows Explorer.
Recording Windows with OBS Studio
Open Broadcast Studio (aka OBS Studio) is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to record on a Windows machine, Mac, or Linux PC. It can be downloaded for free and is quite simple to use.
If you’re just looking to record footage and nothing else, pick it up. Download and install the software and when you launch it for the first time, a wizard asks you if you want to optimize it for streaming or recording. Choose the recording and follow the instructions.
The easiest way to record your actions is to use display recording to capture everything that happens on your screen.
- At the bottom left of OBS Studio, you will see a box marked “sources”.
- At the bottom of this box there is a plus icon. Click on it to add a source.
- From the list, select Display Capture, then select the monitor you want to capture.
- Then click ok
- On the right side, under the controls, click “start recording”.
- Minimize OBS Studio and go about your business.
- Once you are done, open the app again and click “stop recording”.
- By default, recordings are stored in C:UsersXXXXVideos.
You can also use hotkeys to start and stop recording. You can find these and set your own shortcuts by clicking Settings in the bottom right, then navigating to Shortcuts.
If you don’t want to record your entire screen, you can choose to record only certain apps. To do this, repeat the steps above, but instead of selecting “display capture”, choose “window capture”, then select the specific window you want to record from the drop-down list. This can be useful to eliminate accidental recordings of unnecessary things that you will then have to modify, such as reducing and enlarging OBS Studio for example.
In the settings, you can also choose to add your microphone if you need a voiceover or commentary for your video.
Note that, by default, OBS recordings are saved as MKV files. This is useful if OBS crashes, but can be a pain for other uses. Don’t worry, it’s easy to convert MKV files to MP4. When you are done recording, click on “file” in the upper left menu of OBS Studio, then on “Remux recordings”. Click the dots and find the files you want to convert, then click remux. The job is done.
Written by Adrian Willings.