Almost every device—Macs, PCs, iPhones, and Androids—have a built-in way to record your screen, but each one is different. On iPhones, it only takes four steps. On PCs, you may have to use PowerPoint. (Yes, really.) And lord help anyone trying to screen record on Android who isn’t a developer. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to record your screen (regardless of your device or operating system).
- 1.What is Screen Recording?
- 2.How to Record Your Computer Screen
- 3.8 of the Best Screen Recorders
- 3.1 The Vidyard Chrome Extension
- 3.2 OBS Studio
- 3.3 FlashBack Express
- 3.4 Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder
- 3.5 Debut Video Capture
- 3.6 ShareX
- 3.7 Icecream Screen Recorder
- 3.8 TinyTake
- 4.How to Record Your Screen on a Mac
- 5.How to Record Your Screen on a PC
- 5.1PowerPoint Screen Recording
- 5.2Screen Recording Windows 10 (The Xbox App)
- 6.How to Record Your Screen on iPhone
- 7.How to Record Your Screen on Android
What is Screen Recording?
A screen recording is when you record a video of what’s happening on your device screen. You can use it to demonstrate how software works, build personal connections with prospects, share feedback, and save yourself from writing a long email. To record your screen, use either a built-in feature or download an app/tool.
Most free screen recorders can:
- Record a video of what’s happening on screen
- Record audio
- Save the video, either to your device or the cloud
Some screen recording software (like Vidyard’s Chrome extension) goes further and lets you capture a webcam video of yourself talking, displayed in a bubble alongside your screen recording, so you can add a personal touch to your explanation.
How to Record Your Computer Screen
- Vidyard Chrome extension (Mac, Windows, iPhone)
- OBS Studio (Mac, Windows)
- Flashback Express (Mac, Windows)
- QuickTime (Mac)
- PowerPoint (Windows)
- Xbox app (Windows)
- Native screen recorder (Mac)
- Native screen recorder (iPhone)
- Native screen recorder (Android)
8 of the Best Screen Recorders
Best for: Screen recorder and sharing
Price: Free, download a Chrome extension or app
Pros: Works on most devices, intuitive, allows sharing, no watermarks
For versatility, nothing beats Vidyard’s Chrome extension—it works on both Mac and Windows, and you can still use it on iPhone to record videos of yourself (though not your screen). Vidyard is great for recording demos, walkthroughs, presentations, and more.
Pro Tip: Vidyard is also a tool for hosting and sharing videos. It’ll upload videos to the cloud automatically (saving storage on your device), let you trim recordings, send videos via email with just a few taps, and get notified when someone watches your content.
2. OBS Studio
Best for: Long screen recordings, gaming videos
Price: Free, download desktop software
Pros: HD quality, unlimited length
Short for Open Broadcast Studio, OBS is a desktop screen recording app for gamers, but it can be useful for recording long marketing webinars or in-depth product demonstrations. You can stream footage live to YouTube, or if you’re a marketer in the video game world, Twitch.
Pro Tip: In settings, you can customize keyboard hotkeys to control the recording while it’s in fullscreen mode.
Price: Free, download desktop software
Pros: Edit your videos
FlashBack Express is also for gamers, and includes a built-in video editor so you can trim or annotate your videos before you export them, either to YouTube or your desktop. It doesn’t add watermarks to your videos like some screen recorders do, and has a feature I haven’t seen anywhere else: You can ask it to obscure any passwords you enter while recording, so you don’t give away access to your company’s systems.
Price: Free, download desktop software
Pros: Create GIFs, lots of export options
Apowersoft is good for tutorials, live streaming, live chats, and software demonstrations. It lets you create your own customizable keyboard shortcuts and export to lots of formats, including GIF. You can upload your completed video straight to YouTube, Vimeo, G-Dive, or Dropbox. If you want to edit videos, however, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version, though there is a free trial.
Price: Paid, download software
Pros: Schedule your recordings
Debut is different than other screen recording tools in two ways: You can capture video from external devices like security cameras, and you can schedule it to start new recordings. This is useful if you want to create a time lapse of, say, something you drew in Photoshop. It costs money, but not much: Just $3 per month if you pay quarterly.
Price: Free, download software
Pros: Create GIFs, capture screenshots of scrolling web pages
ShareX doesn’t have the most intuitive interface but it lets you capture an image of an entire website where you have to scroll down. It can also recognize the text within those images, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), in case you want to know what’s inside those screenshots.
Price: Free, download from Apple Mac Store
Pros: Annotate videos, zoom in
Icecream excels at video editing and annotation. Easily add logos, insert names, or zoom in on specific areas during a demo. You can export your video in lots of different file formats, and you can set custom hotkeys to record quickly.
Bonus: Icecream’s Screen Recorder supports over 50 languages, so it’s a good pick for global teams.
Price: Free, download software, Windows only
Pros: Bulk file sharing
Like the name implies, TinyTake is simple and easy to learn. It has a recording limit of five hours, but that won’t matter to most marketers. TinyTake is good for product reviews, capturing bugs, and recording demos. You can export video files in bulk, upload them to YouTube, or store them online.
How to Record Your Screen on a Mac
If you have the latest version of MacOS, Mojave, there’s a built in feature for recording your screen and it’s as easy as pressing a hotkey. (This is why people like Macs.) To use the native screen recorder:
- Press Command + Shift + 5
- Select whether you want to capture the entire screen, a window, or a selection (otherwise, it’ll begin recording the entire screen automatically)
- When done, click “Stop” to end the recording
- Your recording will appear as a thumbnail at the bottom right hand corner of your screen, click it to choose where to save the video
Alternatively, you can use QuickTime, which is native on all Macs:
- Open QuickTime
- Select “File” and then “New Screen Recording”
- Click the red “Record” button to start
- To stop, click the “Record” button again
- To save, click “File” then “Save”
Pro Tip: If you only need to save a screenshot on Mac, press Command + Shift + 4 and select the area you want to capture.
How to Record Your Screen on a PC
Screen recording isn’t a built-in feature on PCs like it is on Macs. The easiest way to record your screen on most is to use PowerPoint.
PowerPoint Screen Recording
- Open PowerPoint
- Click the “Insert” tab and select “Screen Recording”
- Select the area you want to record—to select the entire screen, press Windows Key + Shift + F
- Click the ”Record” button, or press Windows + Shift + R
- To end the recording, click “Stop”
- When it’s over, you can save the recording as its own file
Screen Recording Windows 10 (The Xbox App)
Microsoft preloads the Xbox app on Windows devices so you can record video games, but it works just as well for businesses.
- Type “Xbox” into the Windows search bar and open the app
- Hold Windows + G on your keyboard
- Click “Yes, this is a game”
- To begin, click “Record” or press Windows + Alt + R
- To end, click “Stop”
Pro Tip: If you only need to take a screenshot on Windows 10, press Ctrl + Print Screen (PrntScrn), select the area you want to capture, and release.
How to Record Your Screen on iPhone
Most iPhones have a native feature for screen recording.
- Go to Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls, and tap “+” next to Screen Recording
- Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen (if using an iPhone X, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen)
- Long press on the circle button and tap Microphone
- Tap to start recording
- When done, tap to stop recording
- You can find your recording in your Photos app
Pro Tip: If you only need to take a screenshot on iPhone, hold the iPhone Home Button and press the Power button on the side.
How to Record Your Screen on Android
The latest version of Android, Android Q, finally includes a native screen recording tool. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s hidden by default. To enable it, you’ll need to enable your Android device’s developer mode.
- Go to Settings, About Phone, and tap the “Build Number” button seven times—it will say, “You’re now a developer!”
- Return to Settings and select Advanced, Developer Options, Feature Flags
- Toggle on “settings_screenrecord_long_press”
- Now you’re set up to record your screen
- Long-press the screenshot button and it’ll bring up a popup menu
- Tap “Start Recording” (a new popup will display)
- Tap, “Start Now”
- To end, tap “Stop”
- The video will show up in your default photo gallery
Pro Tip: If you only need to take a screenshot on Android, hold the Power Button and down on the volume button.