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How to Record Screen on Windows: 2 Easy Methods

While it might seem like instructional video is a modern invention, it can trace its way to the beginning of moving images. However, there hasn’t been a straightforward way to record your screen on Windows, Mac, or Linux until this last decade. Given the amount of time we all use computers, you’ll likely need a solution for this purpose on your machine on an occasional basis at the very least.

How to Record Screen on Windows

The good news is that Windows users have a few ways to carry out this task. There’s the native Screen Recorder app, but you can also press a third-party app into service. This is going to be good in a few instances, and we’ll cover all of them here.

In this post, we’re going to show you how to record your screen on Windows. First off, we’ll show you the native method. This (of course) doesn’t need any other tools to use. However, from there, we’ll talk about some third-party apps to help you record your screen.

📚︎ Table of contents:

How to record the screen on Windows: The native solution

We’d bet that most users don’t know that Windows includes a way to record your screen without any additional tools. However, it’s possible, thanks to the Xbox Game Bar. Here it is running within the Sea of Thieves game – for demonstration:

The Xbox Game Bar running within the Sea of Thieves game.

This is essentially an overlay for your PC gaming exploits. In the past, this type of app would appeal to a niche audience: that of hardcore gamers. It provides a multitude of features, such as the ability to chat with friends, work with your volume and sounds, control your music, and find multiplayer buddies.

However, almost everyone who wants to access these features can do so without the need to download anything that’s non-Microsoft. What’s more, the Xbox Game Bar also includes the ability to capture your screen through images or video, no matter what it is you’re doing (you don’t need to be gaming).

Finding the Xbox Game Bar

To do this, you’ll need to find the Xbox Game Bar. You can achieve this through the Windows Start Menu:

Finding the Xbox Game Bar in the Windows Search menu.

Or use the Win + G shortcut.

In some cases, you might not see anything happen. To fix this, head to the Windows Settings screen, and navigate to the Gaming → Xbox Game Bar section. Here, switch the toggle to On.

Toggling the Xbox Game Bar in the Windows Settings.

Once you do this, you should see an overlay on your screen.

Using the Xbox Game Bar to record your screen on Windows

An active version of the Xbox Game Bar.

The Xbox Game Bar includes lots of different options, but we want to find its Capture settings. You might see this as a shortcut link already, or it might be a default widget on screen. In any case, you can find this under the Widget Menu item:

The Widget Menu option in the Xbox Game Bar.

Clicking this will open the Capture screen. The first open relates to still images, which is handy, but not the focus here. Instead, look to the other three choices:

The Xbox Game Bar Capture widget - use it to record screen on windows.

You can choose one of the following:

  • Record the last 30 seconds of action. This will capture the last 30 seconds of your screen. As you can expect, the Xbox Game Bar will buffer your action in order to do this, so you may experience a slight performance dip while the overlay is active.
  • Start a new recording. This is a manual option to start a new recording from the moment you click to activate. You’ll also need to stop the recording when you finish.
  • Recording with the sound from your microphone. If you use an external microphone, maybe as part of a headset, this option will let you capture that audio, too.

Once you click a choice, you’ll see a smaller bar appear that logs the recording and offers a few other options too.

When you finish, the Capture overlay screen will display the Show all captures option. If you click this, you’ll head to the relevant folder in Windows File Explorer. The Operation System (OS) uses the C:\Users\{your-username}\Videos\Captures location to store screen captures.

Also, note that if you want to start a new recording without the need to go through the Capture overlay, you can use the Win + Alt + R shortcut to start and stop it. Of course, you don’t have the flexibility in choice as you would using the Capture overlay, but it’s great for quick recordings.

Third-party solutions to help you record your screen on Windows

In the next couple of sections, we’re going to provide a few options to help you record your screen on Windows. Spoiler alter: they’re all great, and your choice will be down to which one you feel most comfortable with.

Without further ado, let’s look at the best third-party ways to record your screen on Windows. 👇

1. ScreenRec

Out of the plethora of free screen recorder apps for Windows, ScreenRec is one of the best. It looks slick and comes with a ton of functionalities. If you use different OSs, you can also use ScreenRec on macOS and Linux,too.

how to record screen on windows: ScreenRec

The screen recorder functionality isn’t the only facet of ScreenRec, but it’s our focus here. As such, here’s what it can offer you:

  • Quick setup, and it’s fast to use.
  • You’re able to record your computer and voice audio from the interface.
  • If you run a webcam, you can also select this as a capture device.
  • You don’t have any time limitations with ScreenRec, nor do you have to add watermarks to your captures.

What’s more, ScreenRec lets you record your video files to your local computer or to the cloud. This is helpful if you have a powerful computer and want to conserve file space. Depending on your use case, screen recordings can take up a lot of space, so cloud storage should be a welcome feature.

You’ll also find that ScreenRec is flexible when it comes to what you record and how you present it. For example, you can take a typical approach and marry up voice and video. However, if you choose to use a webcam, you can provide a slick ‘facecam’ overlay too:

ScreenRec's facecam overlay option.

This can make ScreenRec akin to a solution such as Loom, but for none of the price. Combined with functionalities such as a robust recording history and sharing options, you have an expert way to record your screen on Windows with tons of value.

👉 Click here to skip to how to record screen on Windows using ScreenRec.

2. Bandicam

For those who need to record the Windows screen, Bandicam is an elder veteran of the space. Thousands of users own this tool, and as such, it can do a fantastic job in a number of different areas.

how to record screen on windows: Bandicam

You can use this solution on Windows and Mac, and much like ScreenRec, you have a number of key features on hand:

  • You’re able to record full-resolution video of either the whole screen or a portion of it.
  • There are annotation features that will help you markup your video and turn it into a dynamic document.
  • With a webcam to hand, you can provide a facecam for your videos.

This is a good start, but there is lots more to discover with Bandicam. For example, you can choose how you combine the difference voice and video sources to record your screen. What’s more, you can record dual monitors, show your mouse clicks on screen, and even schedule the beginning and end of the recording. The latter option can help you use Bandicam as a continuous recording device, ideal for long-term captures such as Closed Circuit TV (CCTV).

However, Bandicam offers a premium tier for some of the more powerful features, which means the free version has limitations. For example, you can only record up to ten minutes, and each video comes with a watermark. You also won’t be able to schedule recordings unless you pay for at least a one-site license at $39.95.

How to record the screen on Windows using ScreenRec

Given the great feature set, the cost, the flexible OS versions, and how there are no restrictions to the software, I think ScreenRec is a standout way to record the screen on Windows. As such, the rest of this article will show you how to use it.

We’re going to cover some of the basic functionality here, but there is plenty to get your teeth into. The installation process is straightforward, and begins with a button click to download the software from ScreenRec’s official website:

The Download button for ScreenRec.

From here, the process is similar to other Windows applications. Once you have ScreenRec on your system, you’ll want to open it up in the most comfortable way for you, such as through the search bar:

Finding ScreenRec in the Windows Search Menu.

Once the app opens, you use the Alt + S shortcut to start the recording process. Before you begin the capture, you click and drag to choose the recording area, then select the Video Camera option from the small ScreenRec toolbar:

The ScreenRec toolbar.

👉 At this point, you’ll see your recording start. While you capture the screen, you can adjust the volume, toggle microphone, and choose the webcam if necessary:

how to record screen on windows: the ScreenRec recoridng bar during a capture

👉 At this point, you can continue the recording until you click the Stop button.

Working with your screen capture

Once you complete the recording, you’ll see the instant sharing link on the desktop, along with a preview of your capture:

The ScreenRec instant sharing option, along with a preview of a capture.

However, if you choose the Gallery icon in the ScreenRec toolbar, you get a complete recording history to peruse:

The ScreenRec Gallery.

ℹ️ Here, you can preview each video in your history or delete it. Also, you can copy the shareable link here – possible through ScreenRec’s 2GB of free cloud storage:

how to record screen on windows: the options for an individual capture in the ScreenRec Gallery

The gallery provides a few different ways to work with your captures too. For example, you have a number of sorting options – either ascending or descending – based on attributes such as the name of the video, the date, and more:

The sorting options within ScreenRec Gallery.

You can also work with the file name – this comes in handy if you have lots of captures and want to use the ScreenRec’s search functionality. Our advice is to give your recordings a descriptive name that includes the app you capture, the date and time, and anything else relevant that you might need to search for.

Advanced features of ScreenRec

ScreenRec also includes a few options that you’ll need to be aware of. You access them from the ScreenRec toolbar’s ‘cog‘ icon. This brings up a panel with a few different settings:

The ScreenRec Settings screen.

ℹ️ Here, you can choose the microphone and primary camera. However, you can also adjust the following:

  • You’re able to choose whether you record system audio.
  • You can set the recording quality here. The default is Standard Definition (SD), but you also get High Definition (HD) and ‘4K,’ too.
  • If you want to set a new shortcut to start a capture, this is possible here.
  • You can toggle whether you use instant sharing links for each of your video captures.

You’ll also use the settings screen to enter your proxy server details. If you use a proxy server on your computer, this is an essential step. Without it, you might risk not being able to access some functionalities – especially cloud storage.

🧐 Conclusion

Recording your screen is almost a necessary task for many computer users. We do so much on our machines that might need documenting. You’ll suffer if you don’t know how to record your screen on Windows. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can do the job.

⌛ For most tasks, the native Screen Recorder app will suffice. This provides almost everything you need to capture your screen – though the qualifying word here is, “almost.” An app such as ScreenRec or Bandicam can do the basic job, but packs in a few more elements that could see either one as your go-to solution on Windows. What’s more, all of these solutions to record your screen on Windows are free.

Do you know of a method to record your screen on Windows that we don’t cover here? Let us know in the comments section below!

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