How to Record Your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iPhone Screen

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Screenshots are great, but sometimes you need to create a video recording to really get your point across. You can record your computer desktop, your smartphone screen, or your tablet display.

This process gives you a video file that you can do whatever you want with. Upload it to YouTube or email it to a friend. Create a video tutorial or just capture an issue you are having to demonstrate later.

the Windows


RELATED: How to save your desktop and create a screencast in Windows

Windows 10 includes a built-in tool to record your screen, so you don’t have to install anything. Just use the GameDVR tool to create a quick recording on your desktop. Don’t be fooled by the name: GameDVR can record any app, even if it’s not a game.

For more advanced screencasts (or Windows 7 users) we recommend OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s a powerful, free, and open source tool that lets you do a lot more than GameDVR. Insert watermarks, embed video from your webcam while capturing your desktop, or capture multiple windows at once and position them wherever you want. OBS is widely used for video game streaming on Twitch.tv because it is so powerful, but it also works just as well for creating a professional looking video for your desktop.

If you want something even more powerful with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, which not only records your screen, but also contains powerful video editing tools. Be careful, this is not cheap. Fortunately, they have a free trial, so you can test it out before you buy.

macOS

RELATED: Use your Mac’s QuickTime app to edit video and audio files

macOS offers a handy built-in screen recording tool. This is one of the many useful functions hidden in QuickTime, which is more than just a media player that it looks like.

To record your Mac’s screen, open the QuickTime app and click File> New Screen Recording.

You can then click on the small menu to the right of the Record button and choose whether you want to capture your microphone audio in the video as well. This will allow you to tell your actions. Click the Save button to begin when you’re ready.

QuickTime will shrink to a small icon on the right side of your menu bar and start recording. Click Stop when you are done and you will be able to preview and save your video. QuickTime can edit the video as well, removing any unnecessary bits.

For something more powerful you can try Open broadcast software (OBS). It’s not just for Windows, it also works on Mac. If you want something even more powerful with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, which has powerful screen recording and video editing tools, but as we mentioned earlier, it doesn’t come cheap.

Android

RELATED: How to record the screen of your Android device

Android allows you to record your screen in several ways. The easiest way is to download an app with screen recording features, like Screen recorder from A to Z. It has a ton of features, allowing you to control video quality, record your voice, add watermark or even record video from your camera.

Alternatively, Android also allows you to capture video of your device’s display via the adb command if you connect your Android device to your computer, but you will probably find apps like AZ Screen Recorder more convenient. You can read about both methods here.

iPhone or iPad

RELATED: How to Record Video of Your iPhone or iPad Screen

There are two ways to record the screen of an iPhone or iPad: an official one that requires a Mac, and an unofficial one that can be run on a Windows PC.

Apple offers a convenient and official way to record the screen of an iPhone or iPad. This requires a Mac running OS X Yosemite or newer, as well as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 8 or newer. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for Mac users. It’s meant for developers to capture their apps in action, and iOS developers will need to have Macs anyway.

If you have a Mac and an iPhone or iPad, you can connect your iPhone or iPad to it and use the QuickTime app to capture its screen. Simply select File> New Movie Recording, click the menu button next to the Record button, and select the connected iOS device instead of your Mac’s built-in webcam.

If you don’t have a Mac, you can use AirPlay mirroring software like the free software LonelyScreen tool to display your iPhone or iPad screen on your computer desktop and record it using any Windows screenshot tool.

Linux


There are many open source screen recording apps for Linux, and you’ll likely find plenty of them if you open your Linux distribution’s package manager and do a quick search. There’s even a way to do this with ffmpeg and other terminal commands, if you like that sort of thing.

One of the most popular and oldest open source tools for this is recordMyDesktop, which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Center or the package management interface of your Linux distribution of your choice.

Launch recordMyDesktop and use its options to choose video and audio quality levels. This tool can record your entire desktop or just a small part of it. recordMyDesktop performs well, provides a simple interface, and offers the most important desktop recording options.

If you want something more powerful, try Open broadcast software (OBS). It is available for Linux as well as Windows and macOS.


You can also live stream your desktop instead of recording it. On a desktop PC or laptop, OBS works great for live streaming. You can even live stream your desktop right from VLC!





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