Screen recorder, screen recording software, screencasting software, and screen capture software are different names for the same tool that lets you to record a computer screen’s output. While screen capture tools differ in price and functionality, most share several features, such as:
- adjustable video frame
- cut-and-paste editing options
- unlimited recording time
Which screen recording tool should you use to make an effective video tutorial, create an online course, market your business to online customers, or even record a new maneuver in your favorite game? We researched and compared the 16 best screen recorders for Windows (both free and paid) and present them for you here. We hope this article will help you choose the screen recorder for capturing video on your computer that will be the best fit for your specific needs.
If you don’t have much time for reading and want to avoid the lengthy process of choosing software, just download iSpring Suite. It will let you create videos like a pro — even if you’ve never done it before.
|Best Free Screen Recorders||Best Paid Screen Recorders|
|Free Cam||iSpring Suite|
|Free Screen Video Recorder||Camtasia|
|CamStudio||Movavi Screen Recorder|
|Ezvid||My Screen Recorder Pro|
Free Screen Recorders that Save Money
Whether you’ve paid for numerous software after using trial versions and received nowhere close to the bang for your buck that was anticipated, or you’re looking to save some money, there are plenty of free screen recorders that can get the job done with satisfying results without emptying your pocket. A word of caution though: some vendors may require you to buy a paid version after you download their “free” software so you can get full access to its functionality.
We compiled the eight best free screen recorders in 2022 that successfully compete with the best paid screen recording tools.
Ideal screen capturing software for making WMV screen captures
OS: Microsoft Windows 7/8/10/11 (32- and 64-bit)
Size: 22.1 MB
Free Cam is a very simple free screen recorder with a built-in audio/video editor. The attractive and intuitive interface lets you to record both the entire screen and a portion of your screen — you can adjust the size of the area you need to capture. Even though this software is free, it doesn’t place any watermark and is ad free. Besides, it has no time limits — you can record videos that are as long as desired.
- No watermark, time limits, or ads
- Records of entire screen, a selected area of the screen, or a single window.
- Records voice-overs and computer sounds
- High-quality resolution
- Users can save videos as WMV (720p) or upload them directly to YouTube
- Easily deletes unwanted video fragments
- Removes background noise
- Wide selection of audio effects
- Saves recordings to WMV only
- No webcam recording
Watch this demo to see what you can do with Free Cam:
The best screen capture software for recording Skype video calls
OS: Windows XP SP3 / 7 / 8 / 10 / 11
Size: 34.68 MB
Free Screen Video Recorder is a full-featured but lightweight free screen recorder from a developer known for its free conversion software. It can record Skype conversations with no limitations and is therefore useful for Skype meetings and online conference calls. Also, different Windows applications can be singled out and captured as discrete elements. Included is a basic user-friendly image editor that is surprisingly helpful for attaining a polished look.
- Offers a convenient screenshot feature
- Different modes for recording your screen and video
- Suitable for recording Skype conversations
- Step-by-step instructions provided on the site
- Available in 10 languages
- Output formats include MP4, BMP, TGA, JPEG, PNG, and GIF
- Microphone sound recording only
- Excessive ads may interrupt your work
- Lacks coherent interface and built-in media player
- May install unwanted software during download
- Does not notify users if disconnection occurs
Here’s a video on how to capture your screen with Free Screen Video Recorder:
The best screen recorder for PC for those who need to share screen captures online
OS: Windows 7 & above
Size: 7.15 MB
ShareX is an open-source ad-free tool that boasts almost as many advanced features as some paid screen recorders. ShareX is mostly targeted toward developers and power users, so an average customer might get lost in the many advanced tools and editors.
- Records full screen, window, monitor, region, freehand, or scrolling
- Incorporates hotkeys for easier and quicker navigation
- Supports many URL sharing services
- Imports existing videos, music, or photos
- Allows custom watermarks and color effects
- A variety of export options and productivity tools
- No advertisements
- Low video quality of game recordings
- Complicated for the average user
- No webcam recording
- Reported to fail while uploading large files
- No video editor
Learn more about ShareX from this video:
The best free screen recorder for creating AVI video files
OS: Windows XP & above
CamStudio is a good choice for one-time or occasional users with minimal editing needs. This lightweight, open-source screen recording software creates videos in AVI format that can later be converted to SWF. While its compactness appeals to some, others call for further development and increased technical support. The tool also has minimal editing functionalities, so you might need to have additional video editing software.
- Creates a screen-in-screen video
- Allows you to create small-sized files
- Custom cursor
- Quality options available for output video
- Reported to spread harmful viruses and malware
- Outputs only to AVI with a conversion to Flash
- Output is incompatible with certain browsers
- Audio falls out of sync
- Lack of interactive and animation features
To explore how to use CamStudio, watch this video:
A perfect screen recording tool for making quick video clips and sharing them on YouTube
OS: Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
Size: 981 KB
Ezvid is a free screen recording program that claims to be the world’s tool, and that may not be too far from the truth. Ezvid’s clarity is enhanced by the product’s speed: specifically designed to save users’ time, it will help you produce and upload videos directly to the YouTube platform in a matter of minutes. And that’s why this tool enjoys notoriety among gamers and movie fans who are interested in making YouTube videos frequently and as quickly as possible.
- Offers computer-generated speech for narrative purposes
- Automatic high-quality resolution (1280 x 720p HD)
- Speed control over output videos
- Sleek and modern interface
- Instantaneous upload to YouTube
- Selection of popular music tracks included
- Reviewers report extraneous noise
- Minor bugs and inconsistencies
- Fullscreen game is not available
A screen recorder with a native cloud-based gallery for storing and sharing videos
OS: Windows 7 & above / Mac OS X 10.13 & above
Size: 53.6 MB
TinyTake by MangoApps is a sophisticated desktop screen recorder for Windows and Mac that lets you to capture images and videos from your computer screen, add comments, and share them with others within minutes. TinyTake comes with an online cloud-based gallery where you can store all your screen captures and recorded videos.
- Bulk file sharing
- Public URL available for sharing
- Built-in online file viewer for images, videos, and documents
- Ability to create custom shortcut keys
- Directly uploads video captures to YouTube
- Video player is compatible with mobile devices
- Free version has a 5-minute limit for video recording and 2 GB storage
- Video files are saved as MP4 only
- Ads / Promotions
- Limited editing tools
Here’s a video on how to use TinyTake for recording videos:
The best free screen recorder for capturing gameplays
OS: Windows 10 & 11, Mac, Linux
Size: 117 MB
OBS Studio is a top open-source software for live streaming. You can create scenes composed with multiple sources: images, texts, window captures, browser windows, webcams, capture cards, and more, and then switch between them seamlessly via custom transitions. Unlike many other free competitors, it is an advanced screen recorder that packs a lot of features and settings. But all this can seem overkill for those who are looking for the quickest and easiest way to shoot a video.
- Allows you to set up multiple scenes and use various sources
- Includes built-in audio mixer with per-source filters
- Provides advanced configuration options
- Does not add watermarks
- Has no recording limit
- Supports multiple streaming services
- Some users find the interface quite clunky
- Learning curve is steep for non-techs
- Reported to crash quite often
- Not suited for quick screen recordings
Watch this video on OBS Studio and how to use it:
Great video recording software for creating demonstrations and streaming video games
OS: Windows (all) on 64 bit / macOS 10.5 or above
Size: 3.15 MB
Debut is among the best free screen recorders for Windows and lets you to make videos for almost any task. It has a slightly odd and old-fashioned interface but offers advanced functionality. For example, you can make mouse highlighting spotlights, show keystrokes, replace the background with images, video, or color, add a logo or watermark to your video capture, and even schedule a recording.
- Can capture from a network IP camera and other devices
- Records screen, webcam, and audio
- Unlimited recording time
- Robust editing options
- A variety of output formats
- Green Screen tool
- Time-lapse video recording
- Limited editing features
- Outdated interface
- No interactive or animation features
- Reported to slow down when uploading videos
Here’s a video on how to screen record with Debut:
The best screen recorder for video messaging
OS: Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android
Size: 125 MB
Loom presents itself as a screen and webcam recorder that helps people record quick video messages that they can send to their team. Thus, it’s a great alternative to emails, instant messaging, and web meetings. However, the free version has some limitations. For example, it allows the creation of a maximum of 25 videos per person and restricts the duration to five minutes. Besides, it has limited editing capabilities, which means you need to use other apps to edit and share recorded messages.
- Records screen, webcam, and audio
- No watermark or ads
- Has a team workspace for storing and sharing videos
- Allows you to see who viewed the video
- Can be integrated with other tools: Jira, Confluence, etc.
- Video interaction capabilities like emoji reactions and comments
- Has an extension for Google Chrome
- Very limited editing functionality
- Only 25 videos per one user
- Video duration is limited to 5 minutes
Take a look at this brief video tutorial on how to use LOOM:
Comparison Chart of Free Screen Recorders
|Product name||Webcam recording||Audio recording||Video editing||Output|
|1. Free Cam||No||Yes||Yes||WMV|
|2. DVDVideoSoft’s Free Screen Video Recorder||No||Yes||No||MP4, BMP, JPEG, PNG|
|3. ShareX||No||Yes||No||AVI, MP4, GIF|
|4. CamStudio||No||Yes||No||AVI, SWF|
|7. OBS||No||Yes||No||LV, MP4, MOV, MKV, TS, HLS|
|8. Debut||Yes||Yes||Yes||AVI, WMV, FLV, MPG, MP4, MOV|
|9. Loom||Yes||Yes||Yes||MOV, MP4, AVI, WMV, WebM|
Paid Screen Recorders We Love
The Internet’s bountiful supply of screen recording products means that one is sure to find free and low-cost options. However, when searching for high-quality performance, elaborate presentation, and expert technical support, many users are ready to invest their money in paid software. Here are seven paid screen recorders that have gained customers’ and reviewers’ trust and continue to expand their eminent presence in the market.
A perfect solution for creating screencasts, software tutorials, and complete video courses
iSpring Suite is an extremely easy-to-use tool that lets you to make screencasts with voiceovers, instructional videos with annotations, and screencasts complemented with a presenter video. After a screen capture is recorded, you can edit it effortlessly: remove noise, trim a clip, insert media objects and annotations, and add transition effects. The tool is also perfectly suited for those who want to create software tutorials as you can set it to automatically capture keystrokes and clicks and add hints for the actions.
- Can record two videos at the same time easily: a screencast and a webcam video
- Records a narration
- Has a multi-track timeline for video editing
- Adds images, visual hints, infographics, and captions
- Creates smooth scene transitions
- No time limits for recording
- Only mp4 video format is available
- Few interactive and animation features
More than just a screen recorder!
With iSpring Suite, you can also create online courses, quizzes, role-plays, interactions, and other eLearning content. No experience or tech skills are required.
To get a complete sense of iSpring Suite and its options, watch this video:
Price: $970/year for the entire toolkit. Free 14-day trial → (no credit card required)
A robust screen recorder with quizzes and interactivity options
OS: Windows and Mac
Camtasia is a feature-packed tool for detail-oriented enthusiasts. It allows you to record video and audio one after another, combining the results afterward. Camtasia is quite flexible in terms of using animations and video effects and adding overlays. The best thing is that this tool constantly releases updates and receives new features on a regular basis.
- Incorporates a webcam
- Audio, video, and cursor tracks can be edited separately
- Imports existing videos, music, photos, and PowerPoint slides
- Adds captions, callouts, and quizzes to your videos
- Frame-by-frame editing
- Has a library of royalty-free music and sound effects
- One of the most expensive screen recorders
- Reported to slow down on large and heavy projects
- Busy multi-track interface
Here’s a brief overview of Camtasia:
Price: $299. Free 30-day trial.
The best video capture software for streaming and game recording
OS: Windows and Mac
Filmora Scrn is a trustworthy video recording software that is especially loved by gamers. It lets you to capture fast-paced scenes (up to 60 fps for Mac) while simultaneously recording a webcam video. It also has a basic video editor that allows you to improve the look of the video and tutorial features, which can help direct attention to the main items on the screen.
- Can record from your computer and webcam simultaneously
- Imports over 50 file formats and exports in multiple formats
- Picture-шn-picture mode
- Frame rate from 15 to 120 FPS
- HD and even 4k recording are supported
- Lacks advanced editing features
- Noticeable performance impact in games
- Reported to lag and freeze when editing
Watch this video tutorial on how to use Filmora Scrn:
Price: $49.99 for 1 year or $79.99 for a lifetime license. Free trial.
The best screen recorder for capturing video calls, webinars, and other online events
OS: Windows and Mac
Movavi Screen Recorder is an easy-to-use screen capture tool that allows you to perform desktop recording, record the webcam, capture audio, save recordings as high-quality videos and GIFs, and take screenshots. You can upload your final video to YouTube or Google Drive and share them with your audience via social media.
- Incorporates webcam
- Can record screen and audio simultaneously or separately
- Saves video in HD and supports multiple formats: AVI, MP4, MOV, and MKV
- Takes screenshots and edits them
- Allows scheduled recording
- Mouse display in the recording
- Very few editing tools
- Trial version limits recording time to 5 minutes
- Reported to have periodic crash issues
See how to use Movavi Screen Recorder in this video:
Price: $42.95 for 1 PC. Free 7-day trial.
Good screencasting software for those who need to distribute videos to their website
My Screen Recorder Pro is a feature-packed screen capturing tool that enables you to record a specific area of the computer screen, including the entire desktop, menus, cursors, and video with sound. It also lets you record your webcam or mobile screen in high-definition quality simultaneously with the desktop screen. Besides industry-standard AVI, WMV, and MP4, the screen recorder can save video in WebM, perfect for distribution or uploading to your website or blog.
- Can record webcam or mobile screen, along with desktop screen recording
- Video output to AVI, WMV, MP4, and WebM formats
- Allows scheduled recording
- Auto-upload recordings to any FTP account
- Can securely monitor the screen in hide mode
- Has limited editing options
- No animations and transitions
To learn more about My Screen Recorder options and settings, watch this video:
Price: $129.95. Free feature limited trial.
A simple screen recorder with basic editing features
FlashBack is a full-motion-based screen recorder with a simple, handy interface. You can record your computer screen, along with webcam and mic, and then improve the recording with a built-in video editor by adding captions, arrows, images, and highlights.
- Records multiple monitors
- Incorporates webcam
- Allows you to add distinctive and custom watermarks
- Quick upload to Youtube, FlashBack Connect or export as MP4, GIF, WMV, QuickTime, AVI, and Flash
- Can zoom in/out and add blurs
- Difficult to modify existing demos
- Import files only in FBR format
- Does not track the movement of windows in use
Price: $49 for 1 PC. Free 30-day trial.
A reliable video capture tool with a built-in stock library and secure video hosting
OS: Windows, Mac and iOS, Android, and Chromebook
Screencast-O-Matic is considered one of the best screen recorders that can be installed on different devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s fast, fairly easy to use, and comes with a video editor that lets you to personalize screen recordings and make them more attractive and entertaining. Unlike its many competitors, Screencast-O-Matic comes with a built-in stock library full of videos, images, and music tracks, cloud hosting for storing and sharing videos, and even collaboration and team management tools. However, this advanced functionality is available only for premium plan users. It lets you to upload your videos to YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, and Dropbox. There’s also a mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Does webcam and audio narration recordings
- Comprehensive video-editing options
- Automated Speech-to-Text option
- Built-in stock library
- Secure and private online backup
- Collaborative video management tools
- The free version embeds a watermark in videos
- The free version limits screen recording time to 15 minutes
Get more details about Screencast-O-Matic from this video:
Price: Pricing starts at $4.00/month. There’s also a free version with limited functionality.
Comparison Chart of Paid Screen Recorders
|Product name||Webcam recording||Audio recording||Video editing||Output|
|10. iSpring Suite||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, HTML5|
|11. Camtasia||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, HTML5, WMV, AVI, PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, WAV, MP3, MP4|
|12. Filmora Scrn||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, MP3, GIF, etc.|
|13. Movavi||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, GIF, MP3, PNG, BMP, JPG|
|14. My Screen Recorder Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes||AVI, WMV, and WebM|
|15. FlashBack||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, AVI, GIF, etc.|
|16. Screencast-O-Matic||Yes||Yes||Yes||MP4, AVI, FLV|
In addition to paid and free screen recorders for Windows, there’s a variety of screen capture software for Mac, as well as web-based tools. Here are a few solutions we consider worth mentioning.
Best Screen Recorders for Mac
The best screen recorder for Mac designed for remote teams
Zappy is software produced by Zapier, a company that provides workflows to automate the use of web applications together, specifically to improve communication and productivity within the company. It allows employees to create screencasts, screenshots, and GIFs easily, upload files to the cloud, and share each file with colleagues by embedding a link to G-Suite tools, Slack, and other services. The software doesn’t have a video editor, but lets you place colorful text, add arrows, or draw, so you can communicate with your peers visually.
- Makes screencasts, screenshots, and GIFs quickly
- Allows you to make annotations instantly
- Enables you to add audios and a selfie view
- Free cloud hosting with a paid Zapier account
- You can highlight what’s important with an annotation or drawing
- No animations and effects
- Only available on macOS
- In the early access phase
- Uploading captures to the cloud is a paid feature
Watch this 20-second video on how this tool works:
Price: Free for paid Zapier users
Apowersoft’s Free Online Screen Recorder
Free screen recording software that doesn’t require installation
This tool is one of the few online video recorders. It lets you to record your screen and combine it with audio and webcam video. While recording, you can add shapes, notes, colors, and icons to your videos and then export them to various formats. When you’re done with the screencast, you can save the video to a local drive or upload it to RecCloud.
- Doesn’t require installation on a computer
- Simple interface
- Webcam and audio recording
- Unlimited recordings without watermarks
- Support for live annotations
- Multiple output formats
- Demands a stable internet connection
- No animations or transitions
To learn more about this tool and see how to use it, check out this comprehensive video guide:
How We Tested the Best Screen Recorders
To prepare this detailed review, we installed each screen recorder on the computer and saw how well it performed. We expected to see the best screen recording software run smoothly on the PC and that the videos we created would play perfectly.
We also explored the functionality of each tool and compared their capabilities, assessed the user interface and whether the software is easy to use, and evaluated how closely each option meets the needs of its target audience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section
We’ve put together a list of common questions about screen capture software to take a deeper dive into the topic.
What is screen recording?
Screen recording, also known as screen capture, refers to recording anything that’s happening on your screen. It can be used for different purposes. For example, learning professionals can demonstrate to their employees how to use the software they need to perform their job. Software development companies can record videos on how to use their tool for their customers, and gamers can share their gameplay with the whole world.
How to record your screen in Windows 10
If you’re using the Windows 10 operating system, you already have an internal screen recorder called Xbox Game Bar. It has quite limited capabilities; more specifically, it doesn’t allow you to record the entire desktop or File Manager. However, you can use it with any desktop application or program downloaded from the Windows Store. Let’s see how to do this:
- Open the program you wish to record.
2. Press the Windows key and G at the same time.
3. You’ll now see the Xbox Game Bar menu. Click on Start Recording at the upper left-hand corner of your screen. You can also capture your voice by clicking on the Microphone button.
4. Once you’ve finished recording, open the Xbox Game Bar menu and click on Stop Recording.
Congratulations! You’ve made your screen recording. You can find it in the Captures subfolder of the Videos folder.
Finding the Best Screen Recording Software
Both free and paid tools from the best screen recording software can be effective methods of capturing the work-related or entertainment activities on your PC.
Whether you should spend money on one of the products outlined above depends on the nature of your tasks. Professionals working on an eLearning video project might benefit the most from iSpring Suite. Experienced users with advanced technical skills might select the free ShareX screen recording tool. Those looking for a simple and reliable screen recorder for simpler tasks should be satisfied with Free Cam.
Did you like this article or have something to add to our review? Feel free to share your personal feedback and ask questions in the comment section.
Here are some more articles on this topic that you might find useful:
- How to Make a How-To Video in a Breeze
- How to Make a Tutorial Video: A Complete Guide
- The 38 Best Training Video Software for 2022
- The 21 Best Video Tutorial Software: Free and Paid
- How to Create an Employee Training Video
- A Complete Guide to Creating Talking Head Videos
- The 20 Best Explainer Video Software for Every Budget
- How to Make a Screencast: Tips and Tricks
- A Complete Guide on How to Create an Instructional Video