Record screen on computer with OBS Studio

There are different ways to record screen on Windows computer. For example, we can use the built-in recorders in Windows 11, the Xbox game bar, the Windows Snipping Tool, as well as third-party recorders, like OBS, Snagit, ShareX, ScreenPresso, etc. We have complied a list of five free screen recorders with detailed instructions to record screen on Windows PC here.

Today, we’d like to demonstrate how to record screen videos using another great tool, the OBS Studio. It is a screen-casting and live-streaming software available across multiple platforms including macOS, Windows and Linux. OBS is probably used most often for live streaming, but also one of the most heavily used tools for simple screen recording. Best of all, it is free and open source, so there aren’t any locked features, and even you have more control than commercial screen recording apps.

Basic steps to record screen using OBS on your computer.

Download and install OBS on your computer, Windows or Mac. We will use OBS for Windows in this demo.

Open OBS on your PC. Before we start recording the computer display or anything else on our computer, we have to tweak some settings. Click on Settings in the bottom right corner of the main window. Click on Output tab in the left sidebar, choose where you want to save your recordings under the Recording Path. Go to the Recording Format and choose the output video format you like, mkv, flv, mp4, mov, ts or m3u8. You can also choose video bitrate, audio bitrate, encorder, quality, and other settings here.

OBS studio for Windows output settings

 Click on Video tab in the left sidebar and set the base resolution to the resolution of your screen. You can also choose the output resolution and other video settings here.

OBS studio for Windows video settings

Click on Audio in the left sidebar and choose the audio settings you want to use. Desktop Audio is for system audio recording. Mic/Auxiliary Audio captures sound from external devices. You can select your microphone and/or other audio sources here.

OBS studio for Windows audio settings

Save the changes you have just made, close the settings window and return to the main OBS window.

When you start OBS Studio, you start with a blank scene by default or go to add a scene if there are none listed yet.

recording computer screen using OSB studio for Windows

Click on the + button in the Sources panel and choose Display Capture or Window Capture, depending on what you want to record. You can add all kinds of Sources, images, text, video, your webcam, game play, desktop, etc. A Source that is listed above another Source in the list will be on top and might hide what’s beneath it. So you may want to drag and drop to re-align the sources in the list.

If you choose Display Capture, select the display you want to record. If you choose Window Capture, select the window you want to record. Adjust the position and size of the capture window as needed.

You are now ready to click that Start Recording button at the bottom right of the OBS Window. Click on the Stop Recording(the same place you start the recording) when you’re finished.

Your recording will be saved to the location you specified in the output settings.