April 11, 2022

Top 22 Best Free Screen Recorders in 2022

18 min

11 517

  1. Download Movavi Screen Recorder.
  2. Adjust the recording parameters.
  3. Record your screen.
  4. Convert the screencasts to other formats.

If you need to take a recording of your PC or Mac screen, you’ll need a screen recording app. To help you find the best free screen recorder for your PC or Mac, we’ve put together a definitive list of the top 22 screen recorders below.

Program

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderBeginners and professionals
ActivePresenterProfessionals who create e-learning materials
OBS StudioRecording gameplay or live streams
ShareXBeginners who don’t need to edit their recordings
Apowersoft Free Online Screen RecorderOne-click screen recordings
Icecream Screen RecorderSimple recordings
FlashBack ExpressScreen recording without watermarks
Free CamBeginners who want to edit recordings quickly
Debut Video Capture SoftwareFree and basic screen recording from multiple sources
Free Screen Video Recorder (DVDVideoSoft)Basic screen recording
EzvidCreating screen recordings with computer generated narration
TinyTakeSaving screen recordings to cloud storage
Screencast-o-MaticProfessionals
AcethinkerWeb-friendly screen recordings
ScreencastifyEasy screen recording in your web browser
LoomCreating shareable web recordings for business use
BandicamRecording gameplay on low powered PCs
PassFab Screen RecorderQuick and simple screen recordings
AnyMP4Recording online meetings
iTop Screen RecorderMulti-purpose screen recording
ApowerRecRecording on-screen demonstrations
SoapboxMarketing professionals

Our special pick from this shortlist of the best free screen recorders is Movavi Screen Recorder. Built with beginners in mind, but with plenty of advanced features, Movavi Screen Recorder lets you create high-resolution recordings with ease.

It supports timed recordings, keyboard and mouse controls, and some essential video editing features, such as on-screen drawing.

The best free screen recording software for PC

OS: macOS, Windows

Best for: beginners and professionals

Windows Report review

Movavi Screen Recorder is the ultimate all-rounder for users who are looking for a top quality screen capture tool on Windows and Mac. At a basic level, it will record your screen (with audio) and save it in a high-quality file format of your choice.

You can use the built-in tools to edit the recording, capture your webcam alongside the recording, or annotate it with on-screen drawing tools. It also allows you to set up a scheduled recording, automating the process entirely. Movavi Screen Recorder is free to try, but to remove the watermark and other limitations, you’ll need to upgrade.

Key features:

  • Records microphone and webcam
  • Schedule recordings
  • On-screen annotation

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Supports all major video file formats
  • Includes 4K output
  • No features locked in free version

Cons:

  • Watermarks added in free version

ActivePresenter

OS: macOS, Windows

Best for: professionals who create e-learning materials

Capterra review: 4.7 stars out of 5, 27 reviews

While ActivePresenter is a powerful screen recorder for all users, it’s aimed squarely at the professional e-learning market.

It allows you to create interactive materials around your screen recordings, letting you annotate, customize, and export your recordings in a number of video formats, including MP4 and WebM, as well as the web-friendly HTML5.

Key features:

  • Allows you to import non-video content (e.g. PowerPoint presentations)
  • Able to interactive features to recordings
  • Exports to web-friendly formats
  • Powerful annotation and editing features

Pros:

  • Great e-learning creation tool
  • Includes video editing
  • Supports recordings up to 1080p

Cons:

  • Difficult to master

Download ActivePresenter

OBS Studio

OS: macOS, Windows, Linux

Best for: recording gameplay or live streams

TechRadar review: 4 out of 5 stars

OBS Studio is the go-to application for live streamers and gameplay recordings. You can record video and audio streams from a number of different sources, whether it’s a browser window, full-screen gameplay, or from your webcam. You can also use professional capture cards to record gameplay from consoles.

You can customize OBS Studio extensively, adding overlays, hotkeys, and sound effects to your recordings.

Key features:

  • Includes live streaming and on-screen recording features
  • Customizable interface with hotkeys and layers
  • Built-in video and audio editing
  • Special effects and transitions

Pros:

  • Free-to-use and open-source
  • Optimized for gameplay and streaming platforms
  • Customizable interface
  • No watermarks or limitations

Cons:

  • Difficult for beginners

Download OBS Studio

ShareX

OS: Windows

Best for: beginners who don’t need to edit their recordings

TechRadar review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

ShareX is one of the best free screen capture software for Windows. It’s not as feature-filled as OBS or Movavi Screen Recorder, but it’s a good entry-level app for recording your screen. You can customize the recording area, allowing you to capture individual windows or the whole screen.

It supports a number of common video formats, but you can also export recordings as web-friendly GIFs.

Key features:

  • Offers full screen and active window recordings
  • Includes automatic capture functionality
  • Allows you to export to social media and video platforms

Pros:

  • Free and open-source
  • Simple interface
  • Supports video format conversion
  • Exports in all major web formats

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support video editing
  • Quite basic
  • Some difficult-to-understand features and settings

Download ShareX

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

OS: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Best for: one-click screen recordings

TechRadar review: 4.5 out of 5

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder is a great, cross platform screen capture tool that allows you to create quick recordings of your browser or PC window with just one click.

There are no time limits, no limitations, and no watermarks in Apowersoft recordings. You can record audio from a mic or on-screen, capture your webcam, export to video sharing sites, or save locally as an MP4, AVI, and other major formats.

Key features:

  • Records from multiple sources
  • Includes real-time editing and annotation
  • Supports watermarks and video trimming
  • Offers scheduled and timed recording

Pros:

  • Supports all major file formats
  • Allows direct exporting to social media and cloud storage
  • Includes powerful editing features

Cons:

  • Requires additional download for desktop users
  • Dated user interface
  • Lack of app customization

Go to the Apowersoft website

Icecream Screen Recorder

OS: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

Best for: simple recordings

Capterra review: 4.4 out of 5 stars, 18 reviews

Icecream Screen Recorder is a minimalist screen recorder for PC, Mac, and mobile users. It’s aimed at recording on-screen apps and games while keeping system resource usage low.

The free version has some limitations, including a five minute video limit and a watermark.

Key features:

  • Simple interface for screen recording
  • Offers video conversion functionality (in pro version)
  • Able to customize recording area

Pros:

  • Very simple to use
  • Low system resource usage
  • Supports up to 720p resolution

Cons:

  • Restricted free version with watermark and five minute video limits
  • Some features aren’t available on Mac and mobile

Download Icecream Screen Recorder

FlashBack Express

OS: Windows

Best for: screen recording without watermarks

TechRadar review: 5 out of 5 stars

FlashBack Express has all of the functionality you’ll need to record your screen, allowing you to customize the area, select individual app windows, and add your camera feed.

It isn’t time-limited like Icecream Screen Recorder, and it doesn’t include watermarks. If you need more functionality, you’ll need to upgrade.

Key features:

  • Record from multiple sources
  • Add external audio commentary
  • Export to video sharing sites directly

Pros:

  • No time limits to recordings
  • No watermarks
  • Allows multiple capture sources

Cons:

  • Limited free version, with advanced features requiring upgrade
  • Restricted file output without upgrading

Download FlashBack Express

Free Cam

OS: Windows

Best for: beginners who want to edit recordings quickly

CNET review: 5 out of 5 stars, 1 review

Free Cam is a Windows screen capture tool that makes screen recording simple. It’s free to use, has no time limitations, and doesn’t apply a watermark to videos.

You can customize the recording area, add voice overs, highlight on-screen interactions, and more. If you need to edit the recording, you can trim and cut your video and customize the audio feed.

Key features:

  • Able to customize the recording area
  • Supports microphone input capture
  • Allows for basic video editing
  • Up to 720p quality recordings

Pros:

  • No watermarks or limitations
  • Supports social media sharing
  • Easy-to-use and beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Only supports the WMV file format in free version
  • Doesn’t support webcam capture

Download Free Cam

Debut Video Capture Software

OS: macOS

Best for: free and basic screen recording from multiple sources

TechRadar review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Debut Video Capture Software isn’t the most modern-looking screen capture program, but it offers a number of useful features.

Debut is customizable, allowing you to control the recording area, video resolution, brightness and color settings, timings, and more. You can also export videos to video sharing sites directly.

Key features:

  • Supports multiple recording sources
  • Allows you to schedule recordings
  • Real-time video editing
  • Supports video-sharing sites

Pros:

  • Records and combines videos from multiple sources
  • Extensive customization
  • Supports scheduled and time lapse recordings

Cons:

  • Interface looks old
  • Some difficult features

Download Debut Video Capture Software

Free Screen Video Recorder (DVDVideoSoft)

OS: Windows

Best for: basic screen recording

If you’re interested in screen recording without excessive features, Free Screen Video Recorder from DVDVideoSoft is the tool for you. It’s simple to use, with the ability to determine the record area on-screen.

Video recordings are only available as MP4 files, but you can save screenshot images.

Key features:

  • Customizable recording area
  • Records PC audio and microphone input
  • Takes screenshots

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Highlights on-screen mouse actions

Cons:

  • Basic functionality
  • Only supports MP4s

Download Free Screen Video Recorder

Ezvid

OS: Windows

Best for: creating screen recordings with computer generated narration

TechRadar review: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s difficult for free video recording software to stand out, but Ezvid is an intriguing option for users. It offers one-click screen recordings on Windows PCs, with camera and microphone capture built-in.

Ezvid is able to create computer generated speech from a text file for narration, or you can add your own audio using your microphone.

Key features:

  • Supports webcam and microphone recording
  • Includes picture-in-picture mode
  • Computer generated narration
  • Supports uploads to video sharing sites

Pros:

  • Few limitations
  • Easy-to-use
  • Text-to-speech computer generated narration

Cons:

  • Media files aren’t easily accessible
  • Maximum 45 minute video length

Download Ezvid

TinyTake

OS: macOS, Windows

Best for: saving screen recordings to cloud storage

TechRadar review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

TinyTake is a beginner-friendly screen recording tool that lets you capture an area, window, or your entire screen. It supports webcam capture, allows you to use various keyboard shortcuts, and includes 2GB of free cloud storage for your video files.

You can also export videos directly to video sharing sites, as well as view your captures on-the-go using TinyTake’s web gallery. There are some limitations in the free version of TinyTake, however, including a five minute recording limit.

Key features:

  • Customizable capture area
  • Supports webcams
  • Cloud storage included with online gallery

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Includes 2 GB of free cloud storage
  • Allows you to edit and annotate recordings

Cons:

  • Recording limited to five minutes with the free version
  • No commercial use in the free version

Download TinyTake

Screencast-o-Matic

OS: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Chromebooks

Best for: professionals

PCMag review: 4 out of 5 stars

Screencast-o-Matic is a hugely popular screen recording tool for all major platforms, including Chromebook users. It allows you to customize your capture area, add a webcam feed, and include narration to your screen recordings.

Screencast-o-Matic includes a simple-to-use video editing tool that allows you to add text and shapes, trim your videos, add music and sound effects, and more. The free version doesn’t allow you to annotate your videos or record system audio, however.

Key features:

  • Supports multiple platforms and file formats
  • Customizable recording area
  • Supports direct sharing to social media and video sharing sites

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Supports webcam capturing
  • Cloud storage included

Cons:

  • Many features require a subscription
  • Unable to record system audio in free version
  • Uploads to Screencast-o-Matic are limited to 15 minutes in length

Download Screencast-o-Matic

Acethinker

OS: Windows, Mac

Best for: web-friendly screen recordings

Trustpilot review: 4.3 out of 5 stars, 18 reviews

Acethinker is a one-click recording tool (once you’ve installed the background recording app) that lets you record your screen, include or exclude system audio, and capture the input from your microphone.

Acethinker supports all the major formats, including MP4 and WMV, and allows you to export directly to video sharing sites and cloud storage.

Key features:

  • Customizable recording area
  • Support for all major video file formats
  • Includes microphone audio capture

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Includes export to cloud storage and video sharing sites

Cons:

  • Not strictly web based, as it requires an initial download
  • Limited features

Go to the Acethinker website

Screencastify

OS: macOS, Windows, Linux (Chrome web browser required)

Best for: easy screen recording in your web browser

G2 review: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 52 reviews

Screencastify is completely web-based. This Google Chrome extension lets you record your browser window, capturing individual tabs or the entire browser. You can edit videos, save them to Google Drive, or upload them to social media.

As a web-based recorder, it can’t record outside of the Chrome browser window. It does allow you to capture your audio and webcam feeds and annotate your recordings, however.

Key features:

  • Powerful web browser screen recording tool
  • Supports camera and microphone recording
  • Offers basic video annotation and editing
  • Supports uploads to cloud storage, social media, and video sharing sites

Pros:

  • Supports some major formats, including MP4 and GIF
  • Able to create unlimited number of videos
  • Supports video editing

Cons:

  • Recordings limited to five minutes in free version
  • Limited to Google Chrome browser window

Download Screencastify

Loom

OS: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Best for: creating shareable web recordings for business use

GetApp review: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 186 reviews

Loom is a modern, easy-to-use screen recording app for all major platforms. Aimed at the business market, Loom allows you to create collaborative screen recordings that you can share with colleagues. You can use it to record your monitor and make changes to the final video before publishing it.

Loom recordings are stored in the cloud, allowing you to share links to your video. You can control who has access, as well as monitor reactions in real time.

Key features:

  • Cloud-based screen recording tool
  • Collaborative features
  • Able to share videos online with control over permissions
  • Includes webcam and microphone capture

Pros:

  • Modern and easy-to-use interface
  • Free storage for 25 videos
  • Support for 1080p videos

Cons:

  • Additional storage costs extra
  • Limited to five minute videos on free plan

Download Loom

Bandicam

OS: Windows

Best for: recording gameplay on low powered PCs

Software Advice review: 4.33 out of 5 stars, 45 reviews

Bandicam is a powerful screen recording for Windows users. It’s lightweight, with a lower system resource footprint than other screen recording tools. Bandicam offers certain presets for different recording types, such as game recording with a built-in FPS counter. It also allows webcam and microphone capturing.

You can use Bandicam to record up to 10 minutes of footage without upgrading. Free users will see a watermark, but upgrading will remove this.

Key features:

  • Supports major file formats
  • Offers different preset settings profiles
  • Includes webcam and microphone recording
  • Lightweight app with low memory footprint

Pros:

  • Requires minimal system resources
  • Includes an FPS counter and game overlay
  • Supports 4K screen recording

Cons:

  • Limited to 10 minutes recording time with the free version
  • Videos are watermarked in the free version
  • No editing features

Download Bandicam

PassFab Screen Recorder

OS: macOS

Best for: quick and simple screen recordings

PassFab Screen Recorder is a simple but powerful screen recording tool. There are no time limits, it supports webcam and microphone capture, and has different scenario presets (such as game recordings).

You can draw on-screen during a recording, schedule a recording, capture your mouse and keystrokes, and more. The only limitation is a watermark in the free version.

Key features:

  • Unlimited recordings
  • Advanced picture-in-picture mode
  • Real-time editing and annotation

Pros:

  • Lots of feature available for free
  • Able to customize recording area
  • Supports 4K video resolution

Cons:

  • Watermark in free version

Download PassFab Screen Recorder

AnyMP4

OS: macOS, Windows

Best for: recording online meetings

G2 review: 5 out of 5 stars, 1 review

AnyMP4 Screen Recorder supports basic video editing in popular formats, including MKV. It’s designed with various scenarios in mind. For instance, you can use it to easily record high-quality gameplay, allowing you to share the recordings on social media.

You can also use AnyMP4 to create e-learning courses, record meetings and conferences, and more, thanks to audio and webcam capturing. You can also annotate and edit recordings in the app itself.

Key features:

  • Settings for different scenarios
  • Supports webcam and microphone capture
  • Allows annotation and editing

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Lots of features
  • Offers various quality settings

Cons:

  • Highest quality settings and file formats require paid upgrade

Download AnyMP4

iTop Screen Recorder

OS: Windows

Best for: multi-purpose screen recording

If you want to record your work meeting in the morning, but your gameplay in the evening, iTop Screen Recorder is a good option. This multi-purpose screen recorder is flexible, allowing you to customize the capture area, creating no-lag recordings at the highest resolutions.

It supports multiple file formats, is easily customizable, and allows you to edit your recordings without exporting first. iTop Screen Recorder is available as a free download with no limitations.

Key features:

  • Multi-purpose screen recorder
  • Optimized for limited system resources
  • Includes video-editing features

Pros:

  • Modern and easy-to-use
  • Lots of premium features for free
  • Supports all major formats

Cons:

  • Lacks some customization settings

Download iTop Screen Recorder

ApowerRec

OS: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

Best for: recording on-screen demonstrations

TechRadar review: 5 out of 5 stars

ApowerRec is a cross platform recording tool. You can use it to customize your recording area, capture your microphone and webcam feeds, add annotation in real time, and more.

It also allows you to zoom into a recording area, schedule recordings in advance, place a spotlight in certain areas during recordings, and more. ApowerRec also supports direct uploading to social media and cloud storage services.

Key features:

  • Customizable recording areas
  • Real-time annotation
  • Online uploading

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Includes editing tools

Cons:

  • Some features require a paid upgrade

Download ApowerRec

Soapbox

OS: macOS, Windows, Linux (Chrome web browser required)

Best for: marketing professionals

G2 review: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 19 reviews

Soapbox is a web-based recording tool for Google Chrome users. Aimed at the professional market, you can use it to make commercial videos to share on social media and by email.

Soapbox supports webcam and audio recording, offers basic video editing tools, and includes some special effects and transitions. With built-in sharing tools, you can share your recording widely, but downloading the video requires a paid upgrade.

Key features:

  • Screen recording tool with marketing features
  • Includes webcam and microphone capture
  • Offers transitions and special effects
  • Able to share videos on social media and through its own platform

Pros:

  • Really easy to use
  • Lots of good features
  • Web-based and cross platform

Cons:

  • Expensive paid plans
  • Requires Google Chrome
  • Limited to web browser window only

Download Soapbox

Conclusion: What to look for in a screen recorder

We’ve listed the best screen recording software for PC and Mac users. It’s a long list to get through, so if you’re struggling to choose, here are some of the most important things to look for:

  • Ease of use: make sure the app is right for your experience and skill level.
  • Features: look for a good screen recorder that offers the features you need. E.g. does it record system audio, can you upload to video sharing sites, etc.
  • Recording quality and formats: any screen recorders you use should support your screen’s display resolution and allow you to save in major file formats like MP4.
  • User reviews: before you try a screen capture tool, check the reviews and user feedback to see how well it performs.
  • Support: check what customer support options are available to you if you need help, such as live chat or email support.

Ben Stockton

Ben Stockton is a technology writer from the United Kingdom. He was previously a computing college lecturer in the UK, but since leaving the classroom, he's been a writer, creating how-to articles and in-depth technology tutorials for sites like MakeUseOf, How-To Geek, and Online Tech Tips. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best screen recorder without a watermark?

You can get an answer to this question by reading our article about the best screen recorders without a watermark.

What is the best screen recorder for Windows 10?

There are a number of Windows 10 apps that could be considered as the best free screen recorder, such as Movavi Screen Recorder, ActivePresenter, and OBS Studio.

How do you use a free screen video recorder on Windows 10?

There’s a built-in screen recorder for Windows 10 called Game Bar. Here’s a short guide on how to use it.

  1. Click Win+G, then check the Yes, this is a game box.
  2. Go to the Windows Settings, then go to the Gaming section, and select Game DVR to specify the recording settings.
  3. Click the Record from now button on the Game Bar.
  4. Finish recording by clicking the Stop button. Your recorded video will be saved to the C:\Users\%user_name%\Videos folder.

What is the best free screen recording software?

A number of apps could claim the title as the best free screen recording software. These include Movavi Screen Recorder, OBS Studio, ActivePresenter, FlashBack Express, ShareX, IceCream Screen Recorder, and Screencast-O-Matic.

How do I choose the best free screen recorder?

To find the best free screen recorder, think about the usability (how easy it is to use), the number of features on offer, the recording quality and output file formats, user reviews and feedback, and the customer support available to you.