How to Record the Screen on Your Windows PC or Mac: A Guide

June 24, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Screen recording has become an essential tool for creating tutorials, sharing presentations, capturing gameplay, and more. Whether you’re using Windows or macOS, there are built-in tools and third-party applications that can help you effectively record your screen activities.

Windows Screen Recording

Windows users can take advantage of the Xbox Game Bar, a built-in tool specifically designed for capturing screen activity, including non-gaming applications. To set up the Xbox Game Bar on Windows 10 and 11, users can customize settings such as default file location, background recording, video and audio recording, and frame rate.

Additionally, Windows 11 users on a specific build can use the Snipping Tool for screen recording. The Snipping Tool feature allows users to access and record the screen, with the option to save or share the recorded video as an MP4 file.

macOS Screen Recording

Mac users with Mojave or higher versions can utilize the Screenshot tool for screen recording. The Screenshot tool offers options to capture the entire screen, a selected window, or a custom portion. It also features settings such as save location, countdown timer, and options to capture the mouse pointer and use the microphone for audio recording.

Make sure you’ve picked a microphone option when screen recording with Quicktime
"Make sure you’ve picked a microphone option when screen recording with Quicktime" by Yandle is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Another built-in tool for macOS users is the QuickTime Player. This tool provides steps for recording the screen, adjusting recording settings, choosing audio sources, enabling mouse click visualization, and starting/stopping the recording process. After recording, QuickTime Player allows users to play, edit, and share the recorded video seamlessly.

Third-Party Screen Recording Tools

For those looking for additional functionalities, third-party screen recording tools can be a great option. OBS Studio is a free program compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It offers features for screen recording, audio recording, live streaming, and video editing.

Another tool for Windows users is Free Cam, a basic screen recorder that captures screen activity and audio, saving recordings as WMV files. It includes instructions for screen recording and editing to enhance the user experience.

PlatformBuilt-in ToolsThird-party Tools
Windows
  • Xbox Game Bar (Windows 10 & 11)
  • Snipping Tool (Windows 11)
  • OBS Studio
  • Free Cam
macOS
  • Screenshot Tool (Mojave or higher)
  • QuickTime Player
  • OBS Studio
LinuxN/A
  • OBS Studio

Screen Recording on macOS: A Deeper Dive

Mac users can further explore the capabilities of the built-in Screenshot toolbar by pressing Shift + Command + 5. This toolbar provides tools for capturing the entire screen, a window, or a portion of the screen, with customization options such as timed delay, showing the mouse pointer or clicks, and selecting the save location. The Show Floating Thumbnail option allows for easier management of screenshots or recordings, displaying a thumbnail in the bottom-right corner of the screen for a few seconds.

Using QuickTime Player, macOS users can enjoy an alternative method for screen recording with audio. Though it shares similarities with the Screenshot toolbar, QuickTime is suitable for capturing presentations or tutorials requiring audio and supports older macOS versions.

Choosing the Right Screen Recording Tool

When selecting a screen recording tool, consider your specific needs and objectives. Built-in tools like Xbox Game Bar for Windows and Screenshot or QuickTime Player for macOS offer simple and convenient solutions. For more advanced features, third-party tools like OBS Studio provide comprehensive options for professional-quality recordings.

Security considerations are crucial when using third-party apps, so it is recommended to choose reputable developers to avoid potential risks. Installing security software like Avast One can enhance online privacy and protect devices effectively.

In summary, the right screen recording tool for you depends on your recording needs, required features, and platform compatibility. From built-in tools on Windows and macOS to powerful third-party applications, there are plenty of options available to help you create high-quality screen recordings.

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