Are there times you wish you had a way to record what’s happening on your desktop or laptop screen? There is! Learning how to screen record on Windows 10 is useful for a variety of reasons, including:
- Capturing videos that can’t be downloaded directly
- Explaining tech issues to your computer repair professional
- Teaching workshops or courses
- Sharing your video gameplay
- Saving disappearing social media content
Any time you want to save the action on your screen to watch or share later, a screen capture may be appropriate. Mastering this simple trick can save you time and frustration.
You’ll be able to create video projects or informational products for an online business, school projects, or your own personal enjoyment. It’s simple enough that kids are even using screen captures for their school assignments to explain educational concepts to teachers and classmates.
How to record your screen on Windows 10 with Windows Game Bar
Some computers come equipped with video cards that can easily perform screen recordings. You just need to have the proper software to make everything work. If you have Windows 10 on your computer, the Windows Game Bar feature is already installed, and it works with compatible video cards. Here’s how to test if your computer has this feature.
1. Press Windows+G
2. A small window will pop up and ask Do you want to open Game Bar?
3. Check the box underneath this message next to Yes, this is a game
Now, you'll see your Game Bar menu. There are many features within, but we are only interested in the following screen capture settings.
4. Hover your cursor over the top bar containing the Xbox icon
. To the right of the Xbox icon is a camera icon that can be used for still screenshots, as well as a white circle that can be used for live video recordings
5. When you’re ready to begin recording, press the white circle. It will turn red when you are actively recording
6. When you are done capturing what's on your screen, simply push the circle again and it will turn white
7. Your screen recording is automatically saved to the following folder on your computer: C/Users/Videos/Captures. From there, you can open and edit your videos with your Windows Photos software
What if Windows Game Bar doesn’t appear?
What should you do if you don’t see the Game Bar when pressing Windows+G? It may be that you don’t have the proper software installed on your computer. You must have the Xbox gaming app, which usually comes with all new editions of Windows 10. You can also find it in the Windows app store for free.
You don’t need to connect your Gaming Bar to an active Xbox account to use the screen recording feature. In fact, for privacy reasons, you can even log out of the Xbox app by clicking on the Setting icons (the gear), then Accounts, and click to log out of your Xbox account.
How to video screen capture with PowerPoint
As a Windows 10 user, you have other existing software you can use to your advantage: Microsoft PowerPoint. Start by ensuring that your screen is set to the item you want to record before you begin, such as a Chrome Browser tab or an email program. Then, follow these steps.
1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint and choose to start a new, blank presentation
2. From the top navigation bar, select Insert and Screen Recording
3. You’ll be prompted to select the area of the screen that you wish to record. Make it the size you need to show only what you want without revealing off-screen details you want to keep private
4. If you do not want your computer to record the audio that occurs during your recording, click the microphone to toggle audio off. If you don’t want the recording to capture your mouse movements, click this button off as well
5. When you’re ready to begin, click the circle record button. The control menu will move up to hide itself offscreen
6. You can now record for as long as you wish. When you are finished, move your mouse to the top of the screen and the menu will come back down. Press the square to stop recording, the pause button to temporarily stop recording, or the microphone and mouse buttons to change those settings
7. The video is now embedded in the PowerPoint presentation that you created from the blank document. Click on File and then Save As to select the name and file location for the entire presentation. Or, you can save only the video by choosing File and then Save Media As to specify its name and location
This is a popular free option for those who already have Microsoft Office products and want to use their videos in a professional presentation, educational environment, or as a video with little to no post-recording editing.
Use open-source OBS Studio software to capture for free
There isn't much in the way of support for this software, which is common for open-source tools. You’ll need to take your time getting to know how everything works before you take on an important project or try to capture something live that may not be available more than one time.
You can adjust a number of settings, including automatic recording, bitrate, hotkeys, and file location. The auto-setup wizard can make some of these decisions as well. Once setup is complete, follow these steps to screen record.
1. Put the program into Studio Mode, separating your screen into a preview pane and a live pane
2. Click on Sources, then Window Capture, then Create New
3. Choose the window you want to record from the drop-down list
4. You should now see that window on the preview side of your screen. You can adjust it to your liking by clicking the Transition button in the middle of your screen, or drag corners to make it fit
5. When you’re ready to record, select Start Recording
6. Click Stop Recording when you are finished
7. You can find your recordings in the Videos folder for your username. If you’d like to change the file format to match your favorite editing program, you can select that at the time you name your file as well
Since this is a free software program, it’s up to you to update it manually as needed. Check the developer website regularly for any new features or updates in order to keep the program running smoothly.
Use YouTube Live Streaming to record videos
Do you already create YouTube videos? If you have a channel, consider the YouTube Creator Studio to capture what’s on your screen. If you don’t already make videos, it’s free to sign up. Just use an existing Google account to set up a YouTube channel and follow these steps to record video on Windows 10:
1. From the YouTube main screen, click on the Upload button in the upper left
2. Choose Live Streaming, then Events. You may be asked to verify your phone number
3. In the Create Event page, name your video and change the privacy to “private” if you don’t want anyone to be able to see it. If you think you may want to be able to share the video with others from your YouTube page, select “unlisted”
4. You will now see the Hangouts on Air page open up. If you don’t want to record the sound, click the microphone icon to turn it off
5. Select Screenshare from the menu on the left. Then, choose a window to record
6. When you are ready, click Start Screenshare to project your own screen up on the YouTube Hangouts screen. Click Start Broadcast to begin recording
7. Click Stop Broadcast when you are done recording
8. Your video is now saved in your Channel dashboard. Find it among your videos and use YouTube’s basic video editing tools to shorten or edit, add titles or music, and more
9. To save the video for offline viewing, click the Edit button next to the video, and select Download MP4. This will save it in a video file format widely recognized by video players and editors on different devices
Premium screen recording and editing with TechSmith software
If you want more flexibility with your screen recording, want to add other production components, or wish to have a more robust editing tool, it's worth considering a paid program.
TechSmith is a notable player in the video and screen capture business with two popular tools to choose from. They also offer a bundle discount from time to time so that you can get both of these programs at a discount. This typically includes tech support and access to the next version of the program when it is released as well.
works best for those who want an "easy button" on their desktop at all times that they can simply push to record what they are doing, without adjusting too many settings. Once installed, the SnagIt button sits in your Windows toolbar and can be clicked to activate.
With Snagit, you select the area you want to record or choose a pre-sized window. It also has a magic selection feature that can guess the area of the screen with the most activity and select it for you. You can turn audio on or off and specify if you want audio to come from the computer or your external microphone.
SnagIt saves and exports videos very quickly and is ideal for anyone who wants to create shorter snippets of video for social media or include it in a montage of videos or a presentation. The software also comes with the ability to make GIFs, a notable feature that not many other screen-recording options can do.
For a full-featured video capture and editing tool, there’s nothing quite like Camtasia
. This program captures video in the same way as SnagIt but allows you to do much more once it’s captured.
Camtasia comes with a variety of templates to help you get started creating videos which means that titles, font, illustrations, animated transitions, and even music can be picked out for you. All you have to do is customize it.
You also get access to a limited music library, sound editing tools, and visual mixing tools. It comes with a wide range of support offerings as well, including an online academy to help you create everything from short videos to commercials.
SnagIt and Camtasia work very well together and have their own perks. It’s worth considering both if you want to do professional-level screen recordings and the video editing that comes with it. Even better, each offers a limited free trial to see if it's a good fit for your needs.
How to choose the right screen record method
Which of these screen capture options is the best for you? It depends on your situation. If you’re a casual user who just needs to create videos occasionally, the free tools found in Windows 10’s Game Bar or Microsoft PowerPoint will do just fine.
If you want an easy way to share your videos to YouTube and integrate it with other Google features, consider the YouTube Creator option.
If you’re a pro user or someone who wants to get into screen recordings for business assets, it’s worth looking into a paid screen recording software like SnagIt or Camtasia. This is especially true if you want to retain the rights to your work or create videos to sell as part of a product or service. Someone with the patience to learn an open-source option, however, can definitely get by with OBS Studio.
While Windows has made it very easy to capture still images with Screen Print
, there are plenty of times when you need to record a video. With so many options to choose from, including some free picks, you can start making video screen captures of amazing quality without buying upscale studio equipment. Plus, most consumers can master these options within an hour.
About the Author
Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.