Best Free Screen Recorders for Windows

With so much video content on the web, and a variety of platforms online where content can be shared, more and more people are using screen recorder software.

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

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By using such software, you can record audio and video streams from your desktop, webcam or other devices, which is perfect for creating video tutorials, product demos, for school projects, or simply to document something you are doing.

Screen recording, otherwise known as screencasting, is the very useful tool that will come in handy more than you might realize.

Maybe you have a project you want to record your screen for right now, but don’t know exactly how to do it? There are many screen recorder software options available, and it is hard to know where to start.

Our handy guide here lists some of the best screen recorder software for running on Windows, to help you narrow down which ones will suit you.

A few things to think about when selecting screencasting software:

  • Many free recorder options have time limits or add a watermark to your video. don’t get caught out if this isn’t going to suit you. We have included software which has no watermark.
  • Basic recorders simply capture what’s on your screen and allow you to save it. More advanced recorders include other features like tools for editing, picture-in-picture, or annotations.
  • Some screencasting software also gives you the ability to live stream your recording to platforms like Twitch, YouTube or Mixer.

ActivePresenter

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

ActivePresenter is a powerful all-in-one, free screen recorder that allows you to capture your desktop, or a selected area, without leaving a watermark on your recorded videos.

ActivePresenter also has some very useful tools: a built-in video editor that you can use to cut, trim, crop, blur, merge clips; recording cursor path; add annotations, like shapes, lines, callouts, arrow, text, highlight or spotlight effect.

You can record in full HD quality and render your video into AVI, MP4 or MKV without any limitation or watermark, however, the export to HTML with have a watermark.

ActivePresenter works on Windows 7, 8x, Windows 10 and macOS X.

Apowersoft free online screen recorder

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

Apowersoft is a simple to use, very powerful web-based screen recorder. As a browser-based tool, it’s unsuitable for gaming, but it is great for plenty of other tasks. You can use Apowersoft to record video and audio and export it without watermark or time limit.

You are able to record the whole screen from your desktop or a webcam, select an area of the screen to record or pick a preset resolution to suit your final output.

There are plenty of options to choose: whether to include the cursor or not; add annotations during the recording; and then export to a range of formats including MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV and more, or choose to upload directly online.

The one really handy feature of Apowersoft is that it offers customizable keyboard shortcuts for speed and convenience. Apowersoft also includes a simple video editor, so you can cut, crop, adjust brightness, add text to your video.

To start using Apowersoft free online screen recorder, you will need to download a small launcher application. This will give you a control bar, where you can access all the recorder’s features.

There is also a ‘Download desktop version’ button which gives you a trial version of the premium Apowersoft Screen Recorder Pro software, but the rial is more limited than Online Screen Recorder.

VSDC Free Screen Recorder

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

This free screen recorder for Windows will also not leave a watermark on your finished video, nor does it have any time limits. The interface is very simple, intuitive and easy to use. You can record a custom area of the screen, and also select a 2nd, 3rd or 4th screen to record.

When you are recording you can utilize drawing tools to add annotations, shapes, highlight, text and so on. You can output your video in PCM or MPEG4, at max. 30fps.

VSDC also offers VSDC free video editor – the recorder itself does not contain video editing options, and you’ll need to install both programs to edit your video or use another editor.

A couple of other drawbacks is that there is no screenshot function, you cannot record from your webcam, nor to upload video directly.

OBS Studio

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

OBS – Open Broadcast Studio –  is open source, and completely free to use without restrictions or any watermark. If you are a gamer and looking for screen recording software for streaming, then this is the program for you. You can stream live to Twitch or YouTube gaming, save projects and return to them, or encode or export in a variety of formats.

It offers high-quality streaming and recording, up to 60fps (or higher), and can make use of multi-core CPUs for improved performance. As OBS Studio can record straight from your graphics card, you can also capture games in full-screen mode, unlike some other screen recorders, which can only record if the game is in a window.

In the Studio mode, you can add images and text during a live recording, or you can manage multiple video streams for a single recording with the help of the Scenes option. There are many transition options available, and it has customizable hotkeys to control the recording. It will also stream pre-recorded video.

The controls and set up aren’t as simp of other recorders, and it might take some fiddling to get t just how you want, but for gamers, OBS Studio is by far the most powerful screen recorder. It is available for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, as well as Mac and Linux.

FlashBack Express

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

This is another great screen recorder that’s ideal for recording games and capturing footage from your webcam. It is a free version of a paid program, but you still won’t get lumped with watermarks or time limits. The interface is also a bit easier and more approachable than OBS, so good for a beginner.

It offers all the standard features you would expect: recording from the desktop or your webcam, full screen or selected area, editing of your clip with a basic editor; and export to a variety of formats as required (WMV, AVI and MP4).

But, it also offers a lot of cool additional features to give you very professional recordings: it can replace your silly wallpaper with a plain one; automatically obscure passwords entered on the screen; hide messy desktop icons, and the highlight of your mouse pointer to make it easier to follow. In its dedicated gaming mode, you can define the frame rate too.

VLC Media Player

Best Free Screen Recorder for Windows

You may already know and use this brilliant program – it is widely recognized as one of the best media players for Windows and Linux. One often missed feature is its ability to do screen recording.

If you are after something basic, VLC might be just what you need to easily capture video clips of your entire desktop when you need. You can add external audio if you want, and capture from your webcam. Keep in mind though, it isn’t a dedicated screen recorder so its functionality is limited.

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