The Best Free Screen Recorders
A screen recorder is a piece of software that allows you to capture a video while using a PC, laptop, or mobile. They are becoming increasingly popular with businesses, who frequently use them for collaboration and customer service, and individuals, who find it an easy way to stream on Twitch or YouTube. Better still, there are many free tools on the market.
This article will take a look at some of the best free screen recorders available today.
ScreenRec is an excellent option for businesses. It captures footage and uploads it to an appointed, encrypted cloud account, making it easy for your colleagues or clients to watch your latest presentation. Plus, an in-built system lets you see who has viewed it.
The tool comes with 2GB of free storage, with more available through a reasonably priced purchase plan. It will work well enough even if your PC hasn’t got the greatest processor and won’t take up too much space on your computer. It should be noted, however, that you can’t edit your videos on this app, and you can only record for five minutes unless you open a ScreenRec account.
- Encryption for your files
- Able to track views
- No editing capabilities
Bandicam is a favorite of streamers and gamers due to the ability to choose all or just part of your screen to record. In addition you can draw in real-time when recording. Even the world-famous PewDiePie uses this app for his YouTube videos! Plus, you can record in Ultra HD and in multiple definitions too.
This tool doesn’t clog your computer and has the added bonus of compressing the size of the video while keeping the quality regardless of which definition you record in. One drawback is that Bandicam has a watermark that will appear on all your videos unless you pay for the registered version.
- Record in Ultra HD
- Compresses video size to save memory usage
- Plenty of screen selection features
- Videos watermarked until account upgraded
ShareX gives you plenty of options for screen recording with 15 different modes, including full screen, active window, and more. You can also blur parts of the background or use a magnifier to focus on a selected area which will definitely give your video an edge over the competition.
With over 80 places to upload and share your creations, ShareX is a fantastic option for anyone looking to increase their reach. Unfortunately, you can’t use this app with a Mac. And with not much included by way of a tutorial, getting used to all of the settings may prove a challenge.
- Ability to blur backgrounds or magnify images.
- Can upload easily to multiple locations
- Not available for Mac
OBS Studio is one of the more technical options currently available. This could be the best choice if you’re looking for a professional, sleek end product. You can record in real-time, with no time restraints, and stream live simultaneously. All of which makes this the go-to choice for many gamers. Want to film in 60FPS or more? No problem. Fancy editing the upcoming scene while the current one plays live to your audience? Studio mode has got you covered.
OBS Studio has to be one of the most in-depth and professional free screen recorders on the market. However, as with most things, there are a couple of things to be wary of before you jump in. You need to know what you’re doing before you start, as being faced with so many new toys to play with and no instructions to help can be daunting. There are also a few bugs and glitches that need to be ironed out. But as OBS Studios is open-source, it’s constantly being updated and is undoubtedly worth sticking with. Once you learn how to use it, you’ll see the results.
- Professional results
- Record and stream real-time simultaneously
- Great editing features
- Complex interface and lack of tutorials
Flashback Express is a more straightforward option for gamers. It offers gaming-specific settings, and you can also upload straight to YouTube. Another great feature is that your videos won’t have a watermark imprinted. You can trim your video with editing options available once you purchase a lifetime license.
However, you will need to register an email address to start their 30-day free trial. But with the easy-to-use interface and friendly feel, this is an excellent choice for beginners.
- Good option for gamers
- No watermark
- Will need to upgrade after 30 day free trial
ScreenPal (formerly Screencast-O-Matic) is another good choice for those looking to make videos without any hassle. There’s a 15-minute limit on the free version, and you can record from the webcam and the screen at the same time or individually. Although the free option doesn’t record your computer audio, it will record your microphone, making it useful for those budding voiceover artists.
With a few simple clicks, you can resize your screen, select your microphone, press ‘Rec’ (Yes, it’s that easy), and your masterpiece can begin. Once finished, there’s not a huge editing suite, and the paid version offers far more. You’ll need to download an app, as Screencast is a web-based recorder, but if you’re looking for efficiency and practicality, give ScreenPal a try.
- Easy to use
- Multiple screen recording options
- Will need to download an app
Loom is a good option for the corporate world and is used by over 200,000 companies worldwide. You can use your desktop or work via a Chrome extension giving the flexibility needed for videos on-the-go. Creating a Business Plan provides unlimited storage perfect for tutorials and presentations. What’s more, as the video is uploaded instantly, you can send the access link to your target audience immediately.
You can choose from various screen layouts and get a free five-minute video. Loom also has the capacity to record webcam footage. However, you will need to register an account to start.
Unfortunately, this can be pretty time-consuming. But if you’re looking for a quick answer for a short, snappy video, then Loom could be the answer.
- Great flexibility
- Instant upload
- Registering an account will take some time
Screencastify is another option for those looking to make a quick video, as this free browser extension offers a 10-minute limit. However, the features available like the drawing tools in different colors and on-screen emojis make this a great option for teachers looking for interactive projects for their students.
Recorded videos are saved onto your Google Drive automatically and can also be exported into various formats. The Pro plan lets you record for however long and often as you want. It also unlocks extra editing capabilities and allows unlimited export. The framerate can be a little erratic though, and the free version comes complete with a watermark. If you want to make your video more user-friendly, check out Screencastify.
- Great for teachers
- Saved automatically to your Google Drive
- Inconsistent framerate
The Future of Video Production
With the popularity of YouTube showing no sign of decreasing and with Twitch gaining pace over the last few years, the number of videos available to watch and crate will continue to multiply. From online tutorials to the latest live games, the choice is yours. Whether you’re a novice in the creative world or a seasoned veteran looking to keep costs to a minimum, some of the apps and websites listed above could be precisely what you’re looking for.
Have you ever tried any of the free screen recorders we reviewed here? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below.