Record Internal Audios using Audacity in Windows

Voice Recorder, formerly Sound Recorder, is the stock voice or sound recording software for Windows. It is ideal for recording lectures, conversations or just any sounds you like. However it can only record sounds from your microphone, not from your sound card. You can’t record system audios, record audio playing on your computer, record online streaming music songs, internet radio, broadcast, voice chat, Sky calls on your computer.

Record System Audios on Windows computer

Windows sound recorder or voice recorder app can’t help you record the sound coming from your Windows PC. You will need a third party sound recorder. Audacity is one of the most popular ones. Its Windows WASAPI loopback recording solution can help Windows users easily record the sound your computer is outputting from its speakers. But of all, it is open source and free. Check out below instructions to record internal sound on your PC.

audacity logo

Method 1. Enable Windows WASAPI loopback recording from Audio Setup

Click on the Audio Setup button in the the top tooldock, then choose Host from the drop-down menu and select Windows WASAPI, choose Recording Device and select the loopback input for the computer playback device you will be listening to (for example, “Speakers (loopback)“. Remember that it will be marked with a (loopback) after it’s name.

audacity for windows - audio setup
Audacity for windows – audio setup – Audacity version 3.4.1

Method 2. Select the loopback device from Device Toolbar

The Device Toolbar is disabled by default thus you may not see it from the main interface of Audacity. To show Device Toolbar, go to the top menu bar, click View > Toolbars > Device Toolbar.

In the Device toolbar of this audio recorder and editor program, choose the Windows WASAPI as the Audio Host, the “(loopback)” input in the Recording Device box, for example, “Speakers (loopback)”, “Speakers (Conexant Smartaudio HD)(loopback)”, “Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio) (loopback)”.

audacity for windows - device toolbar - set windows wasapi host, loopback recording device
audacity for windows – device toolbar – set windows wasapi host, loopback recording device – Audacity version 3.4.1

Method 3. Choose the recording source from Audio Settings

From the top menu bar of Audacity, click Edit > Preferences, then the Audio Settings dialog pops up. Here you can choose Windows WASAPI from the Interface > Host, and select the loopback device from Recording > Device. Click OK button to save the change and close the Audio Settings.

audacity for windows - audio settings choose windows wasapi host, loopback recording device
audacity for windows – audio settings choose windows wasapi host, loopback recording device – Audacity version 3.4.1

Test your audio settings

Perform a test recording to make sure everything is set up correctly and adjust your audio settings if necessary.

Record your desktop audio on PC

After that go to play the music, internet radio, live streaming video, any sound from YouTube, Spotify and more on your computer and hit the red Record button in Audacity to start recording, click the yellow Stop button to stop the recording. Play the recorded audio to make sure the audio has been recorded, optionally edit the audio before saving the project or exporting it.

Save your recording

After you have finished recording and editing(if needed) your audio, go to the File menu at the top of the Audacity window, select Export Audio from the dropdown menu. This opens the Export Audio dialog. Here you can name your recording file, choose the file format you want to use. Audacity supports various formats, including WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC, and more. Choose where you want to save the file. Finally click the Export button at the bottom right corner to complete.

1 thought on “Record Internal Audios using Audacity in Windows”

  1. Phillip M. Feldman

    I’m trying to record from a phonograph.

    Firstly, I’m unclear about the following: “Run Audacity, in the Device toolbar of this audio recorder and editor program, then choose …”

    Does this mean the following:

    (1) Launch Audacity.
    (2) Go to the Device Toolbar.
    (3) Choose Windows WASAPI?

    When I do this and then start a recording, I get sound out of my speakers, but nothing shows up in Audacity.

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