Best Free Screen Recording Software

Contributor, Benzinga

Finding free options for screen recording is a lot easier than many would think. There are many uses for screen recording software from creating lessons for online use to even recording video games to upload for other people to view. No matter how you plan on using it, finding the best free screen recording software is an important step to create a high-quality result for your viewers. 

What to Look for in Screen Recording Software

Before you start your download of the first option for a screen recorder, think about what you’re going to be using it for. You want to make sure you have the right program for what you need to do. Using this list of factors, you can more easily determine the best possible choice for your screen recording software. 

Recording quality

Working in a free screen recording software, you will generally find high-quality options for your screen capturing. However, if you are using a free version of a normally paid program, they will sometimes limit the quality of what the free version can capture so that you will be more inclined to pay for the full version. However, it is not hard to find HD quality captures in a free program.

Screen size

Depending on the size of your screen, you may need to adjust the size of your screen recording software. There are always the standard ratios and frames that you can choose from, but also being able to create a custom size can make it easier to record just a small portion if you are not wanting to capture the full screen. 

Audio recording

An option that a lot of screen recording programs leave out is in-depth audio controls. This can help you or hinder you depending on your level of experience. There are some basic options that will only use the built-in mic of the computer or maybe a microphone on a headset. However, some of my favorite programs will offer options to use an actual audio interface and multiple inputs at the same time. 

Remember also to figure out if you need to capture the audio of what is happening on your screen. This can make a large difference in the outcome and effectiveness of your video if you need the sounds of what is happening on your screen to be available to your viewers. 

Assignable controls

Being able to assign controls for different aspects of a screen recording program can be very helpful. When you have everything in place on the screen and are ready to get started, you can assign a specific key on your keyboard to start and stop the recording. That way you do not have to be in the program itself to start any function. 

If you go into the settings of your screen recording software, you should be able to find the menu for this under “Controls” or something similarly labeled. In this menu, you can assign a function to one of your keys. Make sure to use one that you will not need while recording. 

The Best Free Screen Recording Software

Now that you understand some of the details you need to pay attention to, here are the best free recording software choices we’ve seen. 

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a go-to software to capture screen activity. It captures in very high quality and has every choice needed to get the right audio and check the levels. You can choose where all of your recordings are saved and much more. 

Pros:

  • High-quality video
  • Detailed audio setup
  • Customizable screen size

Con:

  • Can be difficult to set up

Best for: High-quality audio and video

Pricing: Free

Rating: 5 stars 

FlashBack

The great part of FlashBack Express is that you’re getting access to a top-of-the-line screen recorder for free. While it is the free version of FlashBack Pro, the largest differences are only that you cannot edit the video you recorded in FlashBack, and you are limited to only 3 formats for the video. That being said, they are MP4, API and WMV — 3 of the most popular formats that you can find. 

Pros:

  • No watermarks
  • Can capture webcam 
  • No time limits

Cons:

  • Only available on windows
  • Limited formats

Best for: Windows users

Pricing: Free

Rating: 4 stars

Panopto

When you want to do a quick screen recording without having to download any programs, Panopto is the best choice for you. All you have to do is set up the permissions for your computer, which Panopto will walk you through, and you are ready to record. You have 5 hours of online storage for your recordings, but you have the option to download your recordings to save them yourself. 

Pros:

  • No download required
  • Videos can be shared directly with special permissions

Cons:

  • Limited storage and streaming for free users
  • Limited audio and video customization

Best for: Online screen recording

Pricing: Free

Rating: 3 stars

Monosnap

With Monosnap, it’s a snap to set up all of your details of how you want your recording to go, from starting and stopping it to even custom sizing what is being recorded with your mouse. Monosnap is built to not only screen record but to do easy screenshots for you. 

Pros:

  • In-depth controls and customization
  • Unlimited video lengths
  • Integration with popular apps

Cons:

  • Limited file extensions
  • Only 2 GB of storage
  • Limited integration with 3rd-party apps

Best for: Control customization

Pricing: Free

Rating: 4 stars

Free Doesn’t Limit Function

In whatever way you need to do your screen recording, know that you can find the tool for the job — and free is good. Don’t stress when it comes to creating content or projects for work, especially since this is a simple step in the process. With a little familiarization, each software option presented is easy to use, and hopefully, you’ll find each of these choices optimal for your current and future projects.