Best Free Screen Recorders

Capture Android, Windows, Mac or Linux

best screen recorders
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Recording your computer screen is easy, and there are many ways to do it. Some operating systems screen-capture a computer or mobile device by default, but others require third-party apps. Whether you want to capture live game action or create How-To videos for a software program, these programs will do the job. Here are the five best free screen recorders.

01
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OBS Studio

OBS Studio
Screenshot from Windows

What We Like

  • Real-time streaming, video capture, and mixing.

  • Free, open-source software.

  • Streamlined Settings panel.

  • Lots of customization possibilities.

What We Don't Like

  • Advanced functions difficult to use.

  • Not much documentation.

  • Troubleshooting is difficult.

  • Doesn't work with Windows XP.

The cream of the crop of free screen recorders, OBS Studio is the preferred screen-capture program for many gamers. This open source software is ideal for both video recording and live streaming, letting you record from multiple sources including external microphones and webcams.

Image masking, color collection, and other visual filters are provided. There's also a high-grade audio mixer with advanced filtering that can be applied to each audio source. OBS Studio allows you to integrate other video and images into your recording. You can also capture certain sections of the screen alongside live gameplay footage.

OBS gives you the ability to record in multiple formats, and supports on-the-fly mixing during live streams. It works seamlessly with Twitch, DailyMotion, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Live, and Smashcast.

While OBS Studio has a steep learning curve, users can find active forums and community-created tutorials on the developer's website, so it's very easy to find answers to your questions.

OBS Studio is compatible with:

  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows
02
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FlashBack Express

FlashBack Express
Screenshot from Windows

What We Like

  • Captures anywhere on a PC screen.

  • Adds webcam footage and audio commentary to screen recordings.

  • No watermarks.

  • No limit on length

What We Don't Like

  • Limited editing tools.

  • Slow editing process.

  • No frame-by-frame editing in Express version.

FlashBack Express is the free version of FlashBack, a paid application designed with streamers and YouTubers in mind. Its interface makes basic screen recording a simple task, and the free version doesn't impose any length limits or stamp your finished projects with watermarks.

You can define frames per second (FPS) for your recording, which makes it an excellent tool for gamers in particular, and you can schedule recordings to take place at a specified date and time. FlashBack Express can also be set up to start recording as soon as a designated application is launched, a useful feature that ensures a complete capture. The software allows you to mix commentary and webcam cameos into your recorded video, and it allows for multiscreen recording.

With that said, several useful features are only available in the paid version. In the free version, for example, you can only save recordings in WMV, MP4 or WMV file formats. Purchasing a license allows you to save files in all formats. The paid version of FlashBack also unlocks frame-by-frame editing, smoothing out erratic cursor movements, the ability to blur sensitive information, picture-in-picture, and more. From a security perspective, password-protected recordings can be created in the paid version.

FlashBack Express is compatible with:

  • Windows
03
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TinyTake

TinyTake
MangoApps Inc.

What We Like

  • Free plan for personal use (plus paid commercial plans).

  • Easily captures and annotates videos.

  • Direct uploads to YouTube.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version limited to 5-minute recording limit.

  • Ad-supported.

TinyTake is a far more basic screen recorder. It's ideal if you're looking for a simple, short recording of your screen activity. While not ideal for intensive recordings like gameplay, TinyTake can easily handle basic screen-casting.

The free version has a 5-minute recording limit, but cloud storage and an Online Gallery provide up to 2GB worth of space to store and share your clips. The paid version offers increasing amounts of storage space based on the price of your chosen subscription, with up to 1 TB of space for the Jumbo plan ($99.95/Yr).

The free application is ad-driven and designated for personal use only, while commercial or more advanced users will have to purchase the premium version. There are multiple license levels available with costs that vary depending on your specific needs.

Purchasing a license opens up other features, including the ability to add annotations to your videos and upload directly from TinyTake to YouTube.

TinyTake is compatible with:

  • macOS
  • Windows
04
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Icecream Screen Recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder
Icecream Apps

What We Like

  • Records screen and webcam.

  • Drawing panel for annotating video.

  • Zoom feature while recording.

  • Simple interface.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version limited to 5 minutes of video.

  • No editing tools.

  • Records at 30 frames per second.

Icecream Screen Recorder is a unique screen recording option, allowing you to draw annotations, arrows, outlines, and other shapes and figures directly onto your video. You select specific parts of the screen to record, and you can adjust video quality on the fly. That'll come in handy when you need to factor bandwidth or file sizes into your recordings.

More advanced features come with a price tag. To lift the five-minute recording limit, you'll need to upgrade to the Pro version. While the free version offers only one output video format (WEBM) and video codec (VP8), Icecream Pro supports AVI, MP4, and MOV recordings, as well as H.264 and MPEG-4 codecs.

Other Pro-only features include custom watermarks, scheduled recordings, hotkeys, live zoom, and trim functionality.

Icecream Screen Recorder is compatible with:

  • macOS
  • Windows
05
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DU Recorder

DU Recorder
DU Group

What We Like

  • Livestream screen direct to YouTube and Facebook.

  • Record screen videos.

  • No ads or time limits.

  • High-quality stream.

What We Don't Like

  • No annotation capabilities.

  • Lacks game recording features.

  • Limited editing tools.

The mobile platform's premier screen recording option, DU Recorder works on Android 5.0 and higher. Ad-free and with no significant limitations, the app boasts millions of downloads from the Google Play Store.

DU Recorder creates high-quality recordings of your mobile games, video calls, and other apps with HD support and a decent selection of frame rates, bit rates, and resolutions. It can record external sound as part of your video and includes motion-sensing, which halts recording whenever you shake your phone or tablet. DU's brush tool allows you to draw on-screen and integrate your etchings as part of the recording.

Its live feature lets you stream your Android screen directly to Facebook, and the app's video editing tools allow for a lot of flexibility. You can trim parts of your video, merge multiple records into one, add background music and subtitles, rotate, crop, and convert videos to GIF format—all at no charge.

DU Recorder is compatible with:

  • Android
  • iOS

If you aren't satisfied with DU Recorder for any reason, other honorable mentions on the Android platform are AZ Screen Recorder and Mobizen Screen Recorder.