Screen recorder, screencasting software, and screen capture software are different names for the same tool that allows you to record a computer screen’s output. While screen capture tools differ in price and functionality, most share a number of features, such as:
- adjustable video frame
- cut-and-paste editing options
- unlimited recording time
Which screen recording tool should you use to make an effective video tutorial, create an eLearning course, market your business to online customers, or even record a new maneuver in your favorite game? We researched and compared the 13 best screen recording software for Windows (both free and paid) to help you find an ideal fit for your specific needs and present them for you here.
How to Record Your Screen in Windows 10
If you are using the Windows 10 operating system, you already have a built-in screen recorder called Xbox Game Bar. It has quite limited capabilities; more specifically, it doesn’t allow you to record the entire desktop or File Manager. However, you can use it with any desktop app or program downloaded from the Windows Store. Let’s see how to do this:
- Open the program you wish to record.
2. Press the Windows key and G at the same time.
3. You’ll now see the Xbox Game Bar menu. Click on Start Recording at the upper left-hand corner of your screen. You can also capture your voice by clicking on the Microphone button.
4. Once you’ve finished recording, open the Xbox Game Bar menu and click on Stop Recording.
Congratulations! You’ve made your screen recording. You can find it in the Captures subfolder of the Videos folder.
Free Screen Recording Software that Saves Money
Whether you’ve paid for numerous software after using trial versions and received nowhere close to the bang for your buck that was anticipated, or you’re looking to save some money, there are plenty of free screen recorders that can get the job done with satisfying results without emptying your pocket. A word of caution though: some software companies may require a paid upgrade after you download their “free” tool.
We compiled the seven best free screen recorders that compete with the best paid screen recording tools successfully.
1. Free Cam
A perfect tool for recording WMV screen captures
Free Cam is a very simple free screen recorder with a built-in audio/video editor. The attractive and intuitive interface allows you to create screencasts with the ease of a professional. Even though this software is free, it doesn’t place any watermark and is ad-free.
- No watermark, time limits, or ads
- Records voice-overs and computer sounds
- High-quality resolution
- Users can save videos as WMV or upload them directly to YouTube
- Easily deletes unwanted video fragments
- Removes background noise
- Wide selection of audio effects
- Saves recordings to WMV only
- No webcam recording
Watch this demo to see what you can do with Free Cam:
2. DVDVideoSoft’s Free Screen Video Recorder
The best choice for recording Skype video calls
Free Screen Video Recorder is a full-featured but lightweight free screen recorder from a developer known for its free conversion software. It can record Skype conversations with no limitations and is therefore useful for Skype interviews and online conference calls. Also, different Windows applications can be singled out and captured as discrete elements. Included is a basic user-friendly image editor that is surprisingly helpful for attaining a polished look.
- Offers a convenient screenshot feature
- Different modes for recording screen and video
- Suitable for recording Skype conversations
- Step-by-step instructions provided on the website
- Available in 10 languages
- Output formats include MP4, BMP, TGA, JPEG, PNG, and GIF
- Microphone sound recording only
- Excessive ads may interrupt your work
- Saves recordings to AVI only
- Lacks coherent interface and built-in media player
- May install unwanted software during download
- Does not notify users if disconnection occurs
Here’s a video on how to capture your screen with Free Screen Video Recorder:
A good pick for those who need to share screen captures online
ShareX is an open-source ad-free tool that boasts almost as many custom features as some paid software screen recorders. ShareX is mostly targeted toward developers and power users, so an average customer might get lost in the many advanced tools and editors.
- Records full screen, window, monitor, region, freehand, or scrolling
- Incorporates hotkeys for easier and quicker navigation
- Supports many URL sharing services
- Imports existing videos, music, or photos
- Allows custom watermarks and color effects
- A variety of export options
- Low quality of game recording
- Complicated for the average user
- No webcam recording
- Reported to fail while uploading large files
- No video editor
Learn more about ShareX from this video:
The best free screen recorder for creating AVI video files
CamStudio is a good choice for one-time or occasional users with minimal editing needs. This lightweight, open-source screen recording software creates videos in AVI format that can later be converted to SWF. While its compactness appeals to some, others call for further development and increased technical support.
- Creates a screen-in-screen video
- Allows you to create small-sized files
- Custom cursor
- Quality options available for output video
- Reported to spread harmful viruses and malware
- Outputs only to AVI with a conversion to Flash
- Output is incompatible with certain browsers
- Audio falls out of sync
- Lack of interactive and animation features
To explore how to use CamStudio, watch this video:
A perfect screen recording tool for making quick video clips and sharing them on YouTube
Ezvid claims to be the world’s easiest screen recorder, and that may not be too far from the truth. Ezvid’s clarity is enhanced by the product’s speed: specifically designed to save users’ time, it will help you produce and upload videos directly to YouTube in a matter of minutes. That is why the tool enjoys notoriety among gamers and movie fans who are interested in frequently making video clips in the quickest manner possible.
- Offers computer-generated speech for narrative purposes
- Automatic high-quality resolution (1280 x 720p HD)
- Speed control over output videos
- Sleek and modern interface
- Instantaneous upload to YouTube
- Selection of popular music tracks included
- Reviewers report extraneous noise
- Minor bugs and inconsistencies
- Fullscreen game is not available
A screen recorder with a native cloud-based gallery for storing and sharing videos
OS: Windows and Mac
TinyTake by MangoApps is a sophisticated screen recorder that allows you to capture images and videos from your computer screen, add comments, and share them with others in minutes. TinyTake comes with an online cloud-based gallery where you can store all your screen captures and recorded videos.
- Bulk file sharing
- Public URL available for sharing
- Built-in online file viewer for images, videos, and documents
- Allows you to create custom shortcut keys
- Video player is compatible with mobile devices
- Free version has a 5-minute limit for video recording
- Video files are saved as MP4 only
- Limited editing features
Here’s a video on how to use TinyTake for recording videos:
7. OBS Studio
The best free screen recorder for capturing gameplays
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
OBS Studio is a powerful open source software for video recording and live streaming. You can create scenes composed with multiple sources: images, texts, window captures, browser windows, webcams, capture cards, and more, and then switch between them seamlessly via custom transitions. Unlike many other free competitors, OBS Studio packs a lot of features and settings. But all this can seem overkill for those who just need a quick and easy screen capture solution.
- Allows you to set up multiple scenes and use various sources
- Includes built-in audio mixer with per-source filters
- Provides advanced configuration options
- Does not add watermarks
- Has no recording limit
- Supports multiple streaming services
- Some users find the interface quite clunky
- Learning curve is steep for non-techs
- Reported to crash quite often
- Not suited for quick screen recording
Watch this video on OBS Studio and how to use it:
Paid Screen Recording Software That We Love
The Internet’s bountiful supply of screen recording products means that one is sure to find free and low-cost options. However, when searching for high-quality performance, elaborate presentation, and expert technical support, many users are ready to invest their money in paid software. Here are six paid screen recorders that have gained customers’ and reviewers’ trust and continue to expand their eminent presence in the market.
8. iSpring Suite
A perfect solution for creating video courses, how-to videos, and software tutorials
iSpring Suite is a fully stocked authoring toolkit designed for eLearning. It includes a professional video studio, as well as a set of other tools for online training: a course authoring tool, a quiz maker, a conversation simulator, and an interaction editor. The video studio allows you to make screencasts with voiceovers, video tutorials with annotations, and screencasts complemented with a presenter video. After a screencast is recorded, you can easily edit it: remove noise, insert media objects and annotations, delete unwanted fragments, and add transition effects.
- Can record two videos at the same time: a screencast and a webcam video
- Records a narration
- Has a multi-track timeline for video editing
- Adds images, visual hints, infographics, and captions
- Creates smooth scene transitions
- No time limits for recording
- Only mp4 video format is available
- Few interactive and animation features
To get a complete sense of iSpring Suite and its options, watch this video:
Price: $970/year for the entire toolkit. Free 30-day trial → (no credit card required)
A robust screen recorder with quizzes and interactivity options
OS: Windows and Mac
Camtasia is a feature-packed tool for detail-oriented enthusiasts. It allows you to record video and audio one after another, combining the results afterward. Camtasia is quite flexible in terms of using animations and video effects and adding overlays. What differentiates it from other screen capturing software is that it allows creating and adding quizzes and interactivity in videos.
- Incorporates a webcam
- Audio, video, and cursor tracks can be edited separately
- Imports existing videos, music, photos, and PowerPoint slides
- Adds captions, callouts, and quizzes to your videos
- Frame-by-frame editing
- Has a library of royalty-free music and sound effects
- One of the most expensive screen recorders
- Reported to slow down on large and heavy projects
- Busy multi-track interface
Here’s a brief overview of Camtasia:
Price: $249. Free 30-day trial.
10. Filmora Scrn
A reliable tool for streaming and game recording
OS: Windows and Mac
Filmora Scrn is a trustworthy screen recording software that is especially loved by game players. It allows you to capture fast-paced scenes (up to 60 fps for Mac) while simultaneously recording a webcam video. It also has a basic video editor that allows you to improve the look of the video and tutorial features, which can help direct attention to the main items on the screen.
- Can record from your computer and webcam simultaneously
- Imports over 50 file formats and exports in multiple formats
- Picture-шn-picture mode
- Frame rate from 15 to 120 FPS
- Supports HD and even 4k recording
- Lacks advanced editing features
- Noticeable performance impact in games
- Reported to lag and freeze when editing
Watch this video tutorial on how to use Filmora Scrn:
Price: $19.99 for 1 year or $29.99 for a lifetime license. Free trial.
11. Movavi Screen Recorder
A great screen recorder for capturing video calls, webinars, and other online events
OS: Windows and Mac
Movavi Screen Recorder is an easy-to-use screen capture tool that enables you to record computer screens, capture webcam and audio, save recordings as videos and GIFs, and take screenshots. You can upload records to Google Drive or YouTube and share them with your audience via social networks.
- Incorporates webcam
- Can record screen and audio simultaneously or separately
- Saves video in HD and supports multiple formats: AVI, MP4, MOV, and MKV
- Takes screenshots and edits them
- Allows scheduled recording
- Mouse display in the recording
- Has no video editing tool; must use a separate program
- Trial version limits recording time to 5 minutes
- Reported to have periodic crash issues
See how to use Movavi Screen Recorder in this video:
Price: $39.95 for 1 PC. Free 7-day trial.
12. My Screen Recorder Pro
A good solution for those who need to distribute screen recording to their website
My Screen Recorder Pro is a feature-packed screen capturing tool that records anything on the computer screen, including the entire desktop, menus, cursors, and video with sound. It also lets you record your webcam or mobile screen in high-definition quality simultaneously with the desktop screen. Besides industry-standard AVI, WMV, and MP4, the screen recorder can save video in WebM, perfect for distribution or uploading to your website or blog.
- Can record webcam or mobile screen, along with desktop screen recording
- Video output to AVI, WMV, MP4, and WebM formats
- Allows scheduled recording
- Auto-upload recordings to any FTP account
- Can securely monitor the screen in hide mode
- Has limited editing options
- No animations and transitions
To learn more about My Screen Recorder options and settings, watch this video:
Price: $129.95. Free feature limited trial.
A simple screen recorder with basic editing features
FlashBack is a full-motion-based screen recorder with a simple, handy interface. You can capture your screen, along with webcam and mic, and then make the recording better with a built-in video editor by adding captions, arrows, images, and highlights.
- Records multiple monitors
- Incorporates webcam
- Allows you to add distinctive and custom watermarks
- Quick upload to Youtube, FlashBack Connect or export as MP4, GIF, WMV, QuickTime, AVI, and Flash
- Offers zooming and panning options
- Difficult to modify existing demos
- Allows you to import files only in FBR format
- Does not track the movement of windows in use
Price: $49 for 1 PC. Free 30-day trial.
Both free and paid tools from the best screen recording software can be effective methods of capturing the work-related or entertainment activities on your PC.
Whether you should spend money on one of the products outlined above depends on the nature of your tasks. Professionals working on eLearning video projects may benefit the most from the iSpring Cam Pro screen recorder. Experienced users with keen technical skills might opt for the free ShareX screen recording tool. Those looking for a simple and reliable screen recorder for simpler tasks should be pleased with Free Cam.