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How to Screen Record PC: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s digital world, knowing how to screen record on your PC has become a vital skill for various purposes, such as creating tutorials, capturing gameplay, or conducting online presentations. This comprehensive guide will walk you through multiple methods and tools to help you screen record on your PC effortlessly.

how to screen record pc

Built-In Screen Recording Tools

Windows Xbox Game Bar

The Xbox Game Bar, integrated within Windows, is primarily designed for recording gameplay on your PC. However, it can also be used to capture non-gaming screen activities. Here’s how to set it up and use it:

Enabling Xbox Game Bar

To get started, go to Settings > Gaming > Xbox Game Bar. Turn on the switch for Enable Xbox Game Bar. You can also trigger the Game Bar using an Xbox controller by checking the box for Open Xbox Game Bar using this button on a controller.

Customizing Shortcuts

On the same screen, you can view the default shortcuts for various Game Bar actions or personalize them with your preferred key combinations.

Recording Your Screen

Press Win+G to open the Game Bar, and a set of widgets will appear on your screen. Click the Start Recording button or use the Win + Alt + R keyboard shortcut to begin recording your screen activity.

Stopping the Recording

A small floating bar will appear in the upper-right corner once you start recording. Click the Recording button on this bar to stop the recording. A notification will inform you that the game clip was recorded, and you can view your video in the Game Bar.

Windows 11 Snipping Tool

Windows 11 users running build number 22621.1344 or higher can now use the Snipping Tool to record their screens. To check your OS version, go to Settings > System > About and look for the Windows Specifications section. If you have an older version, update your OS and Snipping Tool through the Microsoft Store app.

How to Use the Snipping Tool

Open the Snipping Tool using the Win + Shift + S shortcut or by selecting the app’s shortcut from the Start menu. Click the video camera icon on the toolbar, and then click the New button. A recording toolbar will appear at the top of your screen. Select the area you wish to capture and click the Start button.

Editing and Saving the Recording

After you finish recording, a video of the captured activity will appear. You can share the recording with a person, app, or service using the Share icon. Use the Save icon to save the recording as an MP4 file.

macOS Screenshot Tool

Mac users running macOS Mojave or higher have a built-in screen recording feature. Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the Screenshot tool. You can choose to capture the entire screen, a selected window, or a custom portion of the screen. The tool also offers options to record video with or without audio.

Additional Options

Click the Options button to select the save location, initiate a countdown timer, and decide whether to show the mouse pointer in the recording. You can also choose to use your Mac’s microphone for recording voiceovers or external audio.

Starting and Stopping the Recording

Click Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion to start recording. A Recording button will appear at the top of the screen on the menu bar. Click this button to stop the recording, and a thumbnail of your recording will be saved to your computer.

Third-Party Screen Recording Applications

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a free and powerful screen recording software compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It offers a range of features, including screen activity recording, microphone input, and computer audio recording. The output is saved as an MP4 file.

Live Streaming and Studio Mode

OBS Studio also allows you to live stream your video or use Studio Mode for adding cuts, fades, and other transitions to your recording. The program offers numerous settings to customize the video and audio recording quality.

Free Cam

Free Cam is a simple yet effective screen recording software for Windows users. It captures your screen activity and audio, saving the recording as a WMV file. You can select the area you want to capture, and the program offers basic editing features and direct YouTube uploading.

Recording Mobile Device Screens

For those interested in recording their smartphone screens, guides are available for using the built-in recorder on iPhone and iPad or choosing the right app for Android devices.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to screen record PC activities is a valuable skill in today’s digital world. Whether you’re using built-in tools like Xbox Game Bar and Snipping Tool or third-party applications like OBS Studio and Free Cam, this guide has provided you with a variety of options to ensure you can capture your screen with ease. Happy recording!

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