When trying to create a training presentation for work or just want to share an entertaining game session, it is important to know how to record your computer screen. Most laptops or desktops support screen recording. However, the procedure can vary depending on the platform.
We can show you the basics of capturing your screen when you are working with a device that runs on Windows 10 or MacOS.
Further instructions and best-ofs
The instructions in this manual apply to both Windows 10 and MacOS Mojave. This guide also explains recording options that use integrated third-party open source and paid tools.
How to record your screen in Windows
If you don't want to download additional software, Windows includes a built-in tool for gamers. It can be used by anyone and is a convenient way to capture your screen and even add audio when needed.
How to record your screen with the Game Bar
To be able to use this function, your PC must support one of the following encoders. Most modern graphics cards or processors support them.
- AMD VCE – (AMD Radeon HD 7900 or newer)
- Intel Quick Sync H.264 (Intel 2nd Generation CPU or newer)
- Nvidia NVENC (most Nvidia GeForce 600, Quadro K series or newer)
Step 1: Click the Start button and then click the gear icon in the Start menu. This will open the Settings app.
Step 2: Choose gaming.
Step 3: Under Game Bar, make sure that the option Record Game Clips, Screenshots and Programs with the Game Bar is activated.
Step 4: Enter the standard keyboard shortcuts to open the game bar: Win + G. A prompt may appear asking if the highlighted application on your screen is a game. If you do, just choose yes.
Step 5: The game bar will appear near the top center of your screen. It provides buttons for accessing multiple overlays, including sound, performance, and recording.
The game bar capture overlay should appear by default. If not so, click the webcam icon in the game bar. Then click the Round Start Capture button in the capture overlay. Click it again to finish.
Note: The Game Bar recording feature does not work with the desktop or file explorer. But it should work with games and non-game apps.
Alternatively, you can enter the key combination Win + Alt + R to start and stop recording with the game bar activated.
All video recordings are saved in the Videos / Recordings folder as an MP4 file.
How to record your screen in PowerPoint
Didn't you know that you can record your screen with PowerPoint? It is true and relatively simple.
Step 1: With PowerPoint already open, click the Insert tab, and then click the Screen Capture button in the far right media panel.
Step 2: The screen turns white and renders a toolbar along the top center of your screen. You will see a red-dotted border through the white overlay that represents your recording space. If you want to record the entire screen, press Windows + Shift + F at the same time.
Step 3: Click the Record button or press Windows + Shift + R at the same time.
Step 4: You can click the Pause button – it replaces the Record button – to pause the recording as needed. Click the square Stop button to stop recording.
Step 5: To save the recording, right-click on the video displayed in PowerPoint. From the pop-up menu, choose Save Media As…. Follow the on-screen instructions to save your recording.
When you're done, you can save the video as a separate file for accessing or embedding at will. The editing and control options are very limited after that, but it's a great option for quick and dirty shots – especially if you're doing this for an upcoming presentation. Don't ignore the video enhancement tools offered by PowerPoint, such as: For example, changing the video shape, adding a frame, and adding visual effects such as shadows, lights, and more.
Alternative offline apps for professional work
If you want an enhanced recording experience with an app designed specifically for more professional and game-oriented clips, it's best to download one of the following apps.
OBS Studio (free)
OBS Studio is one of the most advanced and freely available screen recording apps. It is open source and allows unlimited full-screen recordings without watermarks. It has built-in streaming functions for those who want a live audience while recording. The excellent hardware support enables videos at 60 frames per second.
OBS Studio offers more functions than some freemium apps. However, setting up your personal settings may take a little longer. However, it is still the best of the free screen recording apps currently available.
Snagit ($ 50 +)
Snagit targets more startups than gamers. It contains a variety of recording functions for the presentation of products and the creation of marketing videos, instructions, vlogs etc. If you want a sophisticated video with multiple video types, multiple graphics and screen recordings, Snagit is a good choice for simpler requirements. It does cost $ 50, but if you don't mind paying for the privilege, the extra features are worth it.
How to record your screen on a Mac
MacOS screen recorder
MacOS Catalina includes a native feature that allows you to capture your screen and take screenshots. Here's how:
Step 1: Press Shift + Command + 5 to bring up the screenshot toolbar.
Step 2: The toolbar will appear on your screen. You will see two sets of buttons: three on the left to take a screenshot and two in the middle to take the screen. The Option and Record (or Record) buttons are also displayed.
Click the "Record Entire Screen" or "Record Selected Part" button, followed by the "Record" button – it replaces the capture if the tool was originally in screenshot mode – on the right.
Step 3: When you're done, click the small record button in the menu bar at the top of your display. The button looks like a circle with a square in it. Alternatively, you can press Command + Ctrl + Esc. By default, your video is saved on the desktop.
If you are using an older version of MacOS, you can always use QuickTime Player for basic screen recordings (as well as audio recordings). QuickTime recordings are not easy to edit. However, if you want a quick and easy recording method, this is one of the easiest.
Step 1: Start QuickTime Player. You will probably find it on the launchpad.
Step 2: First click on File in the upper left corner of the menu bar.
Step 3: In the drop-down menu, click the New Screen Capture option.
Step 4: A pop-up may appear asking for permission to record the computer screen. Click the Open System Settings button and check the box next to QuickTime Player. You may need to restart QuickTime Player.
Step 5: When QuickTime restarts, click File, and then click New Screen Capture again. The QuickTime toolbar is identical to the built-in MacOS capture utility. Click Options to add or remove mouse clicks, use the built-in microphone, and set the destination of the video.
Step 6: Again, you can see two sets of buttons: three on the left to take a screenshot and two in the middle to take the screen. Click the Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Part button, followed by the Record button on the right.
Step 7: When you're done, navigate to the menu bar and click the Stop Recording button as shown below. Alternatively, tap the appropriate icon if your Mac has a touch bar.
Step 8: To save your recording, click on File in the menu bar and then on Save in the dropdown menu. Choose a suitable location and name for the recording and click Save to confirm.