How To Record the Screen with OBS

OBS Studio makes for a powerful screen and broadcasting tool. Apart from live streaming content, the open-source software can also seamlessly record computer screens and pick up audio. The user-friendly dashboard comes with a slew of customizing features for high-quality videos.

How To Record the Screen with OBS

This tutorial will show you how to record both your screen and audio with OBS Studio and save the file on your hard drive. Since the software is compatible with multiple operating systems, we included step-by-step instructions for each one. Keep reading to learn more about the fantastic free tool and its various screen recording settings.

How to Record Screen With OBS?

Since it’s open-source software, OBS Studio is entirely free for download. As mentioned, the program is compatible with different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s an advanced tool that offers a wide range of customizing options. Also, OBS automatically saves the recorded files in a folder of your choice.

The only major downside is that the software doesn’t work with all devices. If you want to use OBS Studio for screen recording, you’re pretty much tied to your computer. As of now, there’s no mobile version available for either iOS or Android devices. However, there’s a way to bypass these limitations, but more on that later.

Below, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to record your computer screen with Windows 10, Linux, and Mac, so make sure to keep reading.

Windows 10

If your PC runs on Windows 8 (including 8.1) or 10, you’re good to go. You can download the appropriate software version from the official website. You’ll be asked to state whether you’ll be using OBS for broadcasting or screen recording during the installation process, so keep that in mind.

Once you’ve downloaded it to your computer, follow these steps for screen recording:

  1. Open OBS Studio. Typically, the software will automatically add a “Scene” after launching. If not, click on the plus icon in the “Scenes” box at the screen’s bottom-left corner.
  2. Navigate to the “Sources” box right next to “Scenes.” Click the tiny plus icon at the bottom of the panel.
  3. Select “Display Capture” from the options menu. A small pop-up window will appear. Add a title and click “OK.”
  4. Another pop-up will appear. If you have multiple monitors, click on the little downward arrow to access a drop-down list. Pick the display you’d like to capture and hit “OK.”

  5.  Navigate to the bottom-right corner of the screen and click “Settings.”
  6. A new window will appear—select “Output” from the sidebar on the left-hand side. Under “Recording Path,” choose a destination for your file.

  7. Once you’re done, click the blue “Start Recording” button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Linux

OBS Studio is compatible with PCs running on Ubuntu 18.05 or higher. However, keep in mind you’ll have to install the FFmpeg video filter first. You can use the following command to do so: sudo apt install FFmpeg. After that, you can get the official OBS version for Linux from the official website.

When it comes to screen recording, the steps are more or less identical, with one minor distinction. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  1. Launch OBS and scroll down to the “Sources” box.
  2. Click the tiny plus button to access the options panel and select “Screen Capture.” The name of the feature is the main distinction between Linux and other OS.
  3. Click “OK” when prompted by pop-ups. In case you have more than one display, pick one for recording.
  4. Go to Settings and click on ‘’Output.’’ Select ‘’Recording Path’’ to determine where the file will be saved.
  5. Navigate to the bottom-right corner of the screen, and hit the “Start Recording” button.

Mac

The oldest version that supports OBS is macOS 10.13, so make sure your Mac meets the requirement before downloading the software. As for screen recording, you can follow the steps for Window 10 to a fault since they’re entirely identical. Here’s a quick recap:

  1. Click the small plus icon in the “Sources” box.
  2. Select “Display Capture” from the options list. Confirm with “OK” when asked.
  3. Go to Settings and click on ‘’Output.’’ Select ‘’Recording Path’’ to determine where the file will be saved.
  4. Hit the blue “Start Recording” button at the lower-right corner of the screen.

iPhone

Unfortunately, there’s no OBS mobile version currently available on the market. Most smartphones already have a built-in screen recording feature, eliminating the need for third-party software.

However, if you’re set on using OBS on your iPhone, there’s a way to work around the limitations. You can use a lightning connector to link the device to your computer and work from there. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Plug the iPhone into your Mac or PC by using a lightning cable.
  2. Launch OBS and scroll down to the “Sources” box.
  3. Click the little plus icon and select “Video Capture Device.”
  4. A pop-up window will appear. Check the little circle that says “Create New” and click “OK.”
  5. A new window will appear. Click on the little downward arrow next to “Devices” to access a drop-down list. Select your iPhone. If it’s not showing up, check whether it’s properly plugged in.
  6. Once the iPhone display appears on the screen, click the “Start Recording” button in the bottom-right corner.

Android

Very much the same rules apply to Android devices. Follow the steps from the previous section if you’re dead set on using OBS. However, keep in mind this method typically results in bottlenecks and glitches. Unless your model has a built-in screen recorder, try browsing the Google Play Store for a more compatible alternative.

Customizing Screen Recording With OBS

You can improve the quality of your file by playing around with different customization options. Let’s start with setting the screen capture parameters:

  1. Open OBS Studio and go to “Settings.”
  2. Select “Video” from the panel on the left-hand side. From there, you can change the resolution, FPS, Capture, and Output size of the recording.
  3. Adjust the settings according to your requirements. Click on the little downward arrow next to each one to access a list of options.
  4. Once you’re done, click “Apply,” then “OK.”

If you want your file to be in a specific format, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to Settings, then ‘’Output.’’
  2. Click the little downward arrow next to “Output Mode” and choose “Advanced.”
  3. Under the “Recording” section, find the “Recording Format” dialog box. Click and scroll through the list of available formats.
  4. Double-check if the “Use Stream Encoder” is enabled and click “Apply.”

Of course, these changes mostly boil down to personal taste. OBS is a pretty intuitive software, so the default settings work just fine.

How to Record Screen and Audio With OBS?

There are multiple options when it comes to capturing audio with OBS Studio. You’re free to switch between internal and external sources, and the steps are pretty much the same for Linux and Windows OS. In comparison, Mac users have a slight disadvantage since OBS can’t record audio without third-party assistance. Luckily, there’s a utility app that works great with the software.

Keep reading for a walk-through on recording both screen and audio with OBS on different operating systems.

Windows 10

Before you start screen recording, you can set the audio source with the “Audio Mixer” feature. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the “Mixer” section.
  2. Click the little gear icon to open a drop-down list. Go to “Properties.”
  3. Choose a preferred source (Desktop or Mic/Aux audio). OBS automatically enables both, so you can also leave it at that.
  4. To adjust the volume, toggle the slider next to your chosen audio source.
  5. If you want to mute the audio completely, click the little speaker icon next to the enabled source.

Linux

Follow the exact steps from the previous section to adjust the audio settings when screen recording. However, in case you only want to record the internal audio, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the little plus icon in the “Sources” box.
  2. Select “Audio Output Capture” from the drop-down list.
  3. Enter the title of the source in the little pop-up box and click “OK.”
  4. Select the preferred output device and start recording.

And if you only want your mic to register, you should:

  1. Click to add a new “Source” and select “Audio Input Capture.”
  2. Check “Create New” in the small pop-up window.
  3. Select the microphone from the drop-down menu.
  4. Adjust the settings using “Mixer.”

Mac

Mac users need a third-party app to record audio with OBS. We recommend using Blackhole since it works well with the software. You can download the VA driver from the Mac App Store for free.

After you’ve installed the app, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Apple MIDI Setup.
  2. Create a new output device that includes both your speaker and the Blackhole driver.
  3. Launch OBS and add the new device as the “Audio Output Capture” source.

iPhone and Android

Given that there’s no OBS mobile app for iOS or Android devices, it’s much more convenient to use pre-installed screen capture apps. Sure, there’s the lightning cable workaround, but it often produces lackluster results. If you want to simultaneously record the screen and audio, we suggest sticking to built-in features.

Additional FAQs

Best OBS Alternatives

Of course, OBS isn’t the only live streaming/screen recording software out there. Here’s a list of possible alternatives with many similar features:

· XSplit

· Wondershare Demo Creator

· ShareX

· Bandicam

· Action

· Shadowplay

Just for the Record

With OBS, you can create high-quality screen recordings without much hassle. The software is pretty user-friendly and works well with different operating systems. There’s a wide range of customizing options that allow you to change the file format and video capture configurations as you please. You can also capture audio from multiple sources, albeit with the help of third-party apps in some cases.

The only downside to OBS Studio is that it’s incompatible with mobile devices. While you can use a lightning cable to link your phone to the software, it’s better to use the built-in features most models have nowadays.

Do you use OBS for screen capturing? Is there a different software you prefer? Comment below and tell us if there’s a better way to use OBS with mobile devices.

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