How to Screen Record on PC: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

I. Introduction

Screen recording on a computer is an essential tool for anyone who needs to create visual content or wants to record a game, webinar, or live streaming video. This technique allows you to record everything that happens on your computer screen, resulting in a video that you can edit and share with your friends, colleagues, or the public. In this article, we will guide you through the process of screen recording on a PC.

Screen recording has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the rise of video content. Whether you want to create a tutorial or show your gaming skills, screen recording is the perfect way to capture your work. Screen recording can also help to create content that you can share on different platforms like social media, teaching platforms and it can help to engage your audience.

This guide aims to give a comprehensive overview of how to screen record on a PC, including everything from choosing the right software to tips for optimizing your settings. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this article will be helpful in your screen recording journey.

II. Step-by-step guide on how to screen record on PC for beginners

The following steps will guide you on how to record your screen on a PC if you’re new to screen recording.

A. Preparing your computer for screen recording

Before you begin to record your screen, make sure your computer is ready for the job. Ensure that your device has ample storage space because screen recording can produce large files which can occupy much space in your hard drive.
Also, it’s essential to check your CPU performance and battery status, as screen recording requires a lot of processing power and might consume battery life quickly. Therefore, charging your device before recording might be a good idea.

B. Choosing the right screen recording software and installing it

There are various screen recording software options in the market like OBS studio, Camtasia, Bandicam, and others. When choosing, consider the features that the software offers, pricing (if it’s premium software), the size of the software, ease of use, and user reviews.
After you’ve chosen the right software, download and install it on your computer. The installation process will depend on the software you’ve chosen.

C. Configuring the software’s recording settings

After installation, launch the software and adjust the settings to suit your recording needs. These settings might include the recording quality, resolution, frame rate, and audio quality. Additionally, ensure that you select the right screen or window that you want to record. Take time to test out the software’s settings before starting your recording.

D. Beginning and ending your screen recording

Once you’ve configured the software’s settings, it’s time to begin your recording. Press the record button and start performing the activity or the process on your computer screen. To stop the recording, press the stop or pause button, depending on the software you’re using.

E. Saving and exporting your recorded video

After you’ve stopped the recording, save your video in a specific folder on your computer. Once the video is ready, you can edit and export it as an mp4 or other video file formats you choose. You can also upload it to hosting sites like Youtube or Vimeo.

III. 5 recommended screen recording software for PC with their features and pros and cons

As there are numerous screen recording software options available, this section will recommend five of the best software options for recording your PC screen.

A. Software #1: OBS studio

1. Features

  • Open-source software that’s free to use
  • Live streaming capability
  • Unlimited scenes and sources supported
  • Advanced video editing capabilities

2. Pros

  • Free to use
  • Cross-platform – works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Lightweight and low on system requirements
  • Advanced recording and editing features for pros, such as greenscreen support

3. Cons

  • It might have a steeper learning curve, especially for beginners
  • The user interface may appear complex for some users
  • It might not be suitable for high-end video productions and recording at 4K resolution.

B. Software #2: Camtasia

1. Features

  • Video editing suite and screen recording software in one package
  • Picture-in-picture capability
  • Drag-and-drop editing interface
  • Advanced video editing features like transitions and animations.

2. Pros

  • User-friendly and easy to use
  • High performance and fast rendering speed
  • Professional-grade video editing features
  • Excellent customer support

3. Cons

  • Pricing might be relatively high for some users
  • Limited support for live streaming

C. Software #3: Bandicam

1. Features

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Support for external video devices like webcams
  • Option to record a specific section of the screen
  • Advanced video compression options.

2. Pros

  • Low impact on system resources and fast recording speed
  • Offers a free version with limited features for users to try
  • Easy configuration options
  • Support for different video and audio codecs

3. Cons

  • Watermark or trial version message appears in recordings
  • Limited video editing features
  • Customer support might not be satisfactory

D. Software #4: Screencast-O-Matic

1. Features

  • Basic screen recording capabilities
  • Ability to add captions or subtitles
  • Webcam overlay feature
  • Option to upload to hosting sites like Vimeo or Youtube.

2. Pros

  • Different pricing options and a free trial version
  • Browser-based software, meaning it doesn’t need to be installed on your device
  • Easy to use interface with drag-and-drop functions
  • Good customer support

3. Cons

  • Premium features might not be worth the money
  • Basic video editing capabilities
  • The free version records videos with a limited duration of 15 minutes

E. Software #5: Icecream Screen Recorder

1. Features

  • Option to record a specific section of the screen
  • Audio recording support
  • Shortcut keys for easier recording
  • Option to add text or watermark to the video.

2. Pros

  • Has a free version with basic features
  • User-friendly interface and easy-to-use editing tools
  • Several output formats to choose from
  • Supports dual-screen recording

3. Cons

  • Free version has limited features
  • Limited advanced editing features
  • Watermarks appear on videos recorded with the free version

IV. A comparison of 3 different methods of screen recording on PC

Aside from using screen recording software, there are other methods of recording your computer screen. These include recording using in-built windows 10 tools, recording using the Game Bar, and using external hardware like capture cards. Here is a comparison of pros and cons of each method:

A. Method #1: Recording using in-built windows 10 tools

1. Overview

Windows 10 comes with in-built screen recording tools like the Xbox app or Game DVR. These tools offer basic screen recording functionality and can record audio and video simultaneously.

2. Pros

  • It’s free and pre-installed on every Windows 10 device
  • Easy to navigate
  • Includes basic video editing tools
  • Supports full-screen recording or specific window recording

3. Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • May not work well with all games or software
  • Requires tweaking some settings for optimal recording quality
  • The recorded video might have windows audio sounds by default

B. Method #2: Recording using Game Bar

1. Overview

Game Bar is an in-built Windows 10 app that can capture video and screenshots of your screen while playing games or using apps.

2. Pros

  • Free and excellent for gamers and game streaming
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Supports background recording
  • High-quality recording

3. Cons

  • Only able to record things from a single window
  • Difficulty in performing editing processes with it
  • Limited features available compared to external recording software
  • Only supports game recording and may not work with other software or windows settings

C. Method #3: Using external hardware like capture cards

1. Overview

External hardware like capture cards is a reliable method for advanced recording, particularly for gamers and streamers who want to record high-quality videos.

2. Pros

  • Can record videos at a higher frame rate and resolution than software capture
  • Excellent for broadcasters and gaming streamers
  • Minimal resource usage on the system
  • Easy to set up with a hardware component module


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