How to Record a Live Stream on a Computer (2021)

Live streams are, in a way, similar to traditional TV. This means that, in most cases at least, you can’t re-watch them once they end. However, if you have a desktop recording program, you can easily record a live stream and watch it again later. Keep reading for the reviews of some of the best screen recorder programs out there.

How to Record a Live Stream on a Computer (2021)


Before we dive any deeper, it is worth mentioning that it is illegal to reproduce and rebroadcast someone else’s live stream as your own in most jurisdictions in the world. That is not something we at TechJunkie support or encourage. Make sure to read copyright laws and video reproduction regulations in your city, state, or country

In this article, we’ll show you how to record something for your personal use, i. e. to watch later or study for educational purposes. With the disclaimers out of the way, let’s get started.

Why Capture Your Own Live Stream

Although capturing others’ streams is not recommended, capturing your own streams is more than recommended. If you record your own stream, you’ll be able to review it and study your game, performance, or speech. You’ll also be able to see where you’ve made technical mistakes. Recording your own stream is essential for content creators, as you will need a source of clips for YouTube and other social medias.

Why Capture Your Own Live Stream

Additionally, you can use a video-editing program and edit your stream. Adobe Premiere Pro, Cyber Link Power Director, and Apple iMovie are among the most popular options.

This can come in quite handy when you’re trying to up your game, both as a performer/player/speaker and a content creator. Consider adding one of these useful tools to your arsenal.

Prepare the Screen

Before installing a screen recording program, you should disable the screen saver on your computer.

If you’re on a Windows PC, you should right-click on the Desktop and select the Personalize option. Next, click on the Lock Screen tab in the menu on the left side. Click on the Screen Saver Settings button on the Lock Screen page. Select None in the Screen Saver drop-down menu. Go back to Lock Screen page. Select Never in the Screen and Sleep drop-down menus.

On macOS X, you should click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen. Select System Preferences. Next, click on the Desktop & Screensaver icon. When the Desktop & Screensaver window opens, you should click on the Screensaver tab. Drag the Screensaver slider to Never.

Live Stream Recording Programs

There are many programs that can record your screen, therefore allowing you to record live streams that you’re watching. Have in mind that re-encoding an already encoded video (the uploader has already encoded the video before posting) will result in diminished quality. Also, screen recording programs might put additional stress on your graphics card and CPU if you’re recording in high resolution. With that out of the way, let’s see the best programs for recording live streams.

Xbox App

This option is reserved for Windows 10 users. It is a native app that’s primarily made for recording game play videos on your computer. Since it can record your screen, you can also use it to capture other people’s live streams.

Xbox App

You can activate the screen capturing feature of the app by pressing the Win and G keys on the keyboard. When the screen capturing menu opens, you will be able to set your preferred audio device and the sound volume. If you click on the Settings icon in the top-right corner, you’ll be able to adjust additional options.


Camstudio is a free screen recording program. As such, it is a rather simple and lightweight tool. However, it can record anything that’s on your screen, including live streams. The best thing about it is that it supports regional recording, meaning it can record only a portion of the screen.


The program lets you pick the recording resolution, frame rate, and sound volume level. However, it does lack some of the advanced features, such as the ability to edit video footage in real-time. You can also order Camstudio to record your camera, making it one of the most versatile programs in the free section. Finally, it does have a little bit outdated user interface and will only work with Windows.


Camtasia is a paid program. However, it does come with a free trial. Besides the basic screen recording, the app offers some pretty advanced options. You can add pre-made effects, audio clips and music, annotations and titles, and more. You’ll also be able to pan and zoom in and out. Scene transitions are also available.


This app can also double as a video-editing program, though it is not as powerful as Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple iMovie. Finally, you can use it to record your own videos that you want to stream.

Camtasia is available for Windows and Mac. There is no official Linux version. The app costs around $60. The bundle includes Camtasia certification, priority support, and a guaranteed copy of Camtasia 2020.

BB Flashback Express

BB Flashback Express is a Windows-only tool. It is a well-rounded app, being able to give the top apps a good run for their money. It offers all the basic options and features a casual user might need. There’s regional recording as well as the full-screen option. You can record audio with your microphone or add it from your computer.

BB Flashback Pro

Cropping and trimming are only available within the paid version. The paid version also offers the ability to upload your recordings to YouTube and similar sites. AVI and Flash are the only available formats in which you can record. The home license costs $39 while the business license costs $69.

AceThinker Screen Grabber Pro

AceThinker Screen Grabber Pro is available for Windows and Mac. It is a paid app, though it has a free trial. This app allows both full screen and regional recordings. You can edit the video afterwards and add graphic and audio effects. You can also add music from your computer, add text and watermarks, as well as record straight from the webcam.

Acethinker Screen Grabber Pro

This app does have a significant advantage over some other screen recording programs; it allows you to schedule a time to record your screen in the future. For example, you can record the stream of your favorite streamer while you’re busy and away from the computers. A one-year license costs $39.95, while a lifetime license will cost you additional $20. A lifetime family license is $109.95

Record Now, Watch Later

With a desktop recording program, you won’t have to worry about missing any details in a stream ever again. Also, you’ll be able to record your favorite streamers while you’re away and watch them at your convenience.

Do you use a desktop recording app to capture live streams? If so, which one? Have you used any of the apps on our list? Give us your two cents in the comments section below.

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