15 Best Screen Recorders for Laptops
Ever wanted to record what’s happening on your laptop screen? You can with a screen recorder for a laptop – and we’ll help you find the best screen recorder software for your needs.
Those looking for a feature-packed program with a free version.
Gamers and videographers looking to record and stream videos.
Beginner gamers streaming from their laptops
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Best laptop screen recorder software
Best for: Anybody looking for a free laptop screen video recorder that’s packed with features, easy to use, and versatile.
OS: Windows, Mac
Price: Free trial or from $94.95 for a one-year license for one Windows PC or Mac.
G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 49 reviews
Movavi Video Suite is one of the best screen recorders for laptops. It’s packed with screen recording features and built-in editing options and allows you to capture your entire screen or just a part of it. It’s easy to take and save screenshots and record video with your webcam or sound from your microphone.
Simple to master
Capture screen, webcam, and microphone
Free version with no time limits
Free version watermarks output videos
Simple editing tools
Capture your webcam
Record audio only
Draw on videos
Best for: Those looking for a laptop screen recorder for free who don’t want to download and install software on their PC.
OS: Windows 10 only (already built in)
Rating: N/A (built into Windows)
Windows Game Bar is a screen recording feature that’s built into Windows 10. It’s easy to activate it from your settings menu, and you can use keyboard shortcuts to start and stop recording your screen. It’s a very basic screen recorder, but it’s free and easy to use.
Built into Windows – no need to download
Free to use
Easy to get started
No additional features, just screen recording and screenshots
Basic screen recording
Action! – Screen and Game Recorder
Best for: Beginner gamers streaming from their laptops
Price: free trial version, $11.84 for the full version
G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5, 12 reviews
If you want to record Let’s Plays or stream gameplay, you should check out Action!. This game recording software prides itself on low CPU usage, which is perfect, if you’re gaming from a laptop. The free trial version lets you test out all the features of the full one. So why not check it out!
Great performance with low CPU usage
Comprehensive and modern interface
30-day free frail version
Watermarks in the free trial
Capturing gameplay up to 120 FPS
Streaming to YouTube, Twitch, Ustream, etc.
Controlling the capture via your smartphone
Aiseesoft Screen Recorder
Best for: All-in-one screen recording
OS: Windows, macOS
Price: free trial version, $62.45 for the full version
TopSevenReviews rating: 4.5 out of 5
Aiseesoft Screen Recorder is an all-encompassing program that helps you save videos and images of your screen. The software is great for using on a laptop, because it saves space on your hard drive. You don’t need three programs: you can use one for recording screen activities, capturing gameplay, and taking snapshots. The free trial version has time limitations, but it is definitely worth your attention.
Recording, saving, and sharing videos of your screen
Easy recording management and accessing videos from iPhone and Android devices
Taking snapshots with text, callouts, and shapes
The trial version limits the recording time to 3 minutes
Recording screen activities
Taking informative screenshots
Best for: Shortcuts and auto splitting of long videos
Price: free trial version, $29.95 for the full version
Amazon rating: 3.7 out of 5
Recordzilla is a screen recorder by Softdiv Software. Because of its small size and compatibility with a big variety of Windows OS versions (including Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11), the app is great for laptop users. Another useful feature for laptops is the webcam capture. If you’re interested, you can check out the free trial version.
Recording desktop and webcam
Capturing TV, DVD, and VCD
Few output video formats
The interface may look dated
Recording websites and online videos
Annotating video recordings
Auto-splitting of long recordings
Best for: Bandicam is great for organizations or individuals looking for free screen recording software that allows them to record short (under 10 minutes) videos.
OS: Windows Vista, 7/8/10/11 (64-bit)
Price: Free version (with watermarks) or purchase from $39.95 for a lifetime license for one PC.
Capterra rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars, 48 reviews
Bandicam is laptop recording software for Windows devices. As well as recording your entire screen, you can record certain areas, add a webcam overlay, or draw on videos while they’re being recorded. Recordings can be saved as AVI or MP4 video files or still images.
Add own logo to recording
Add mouse effects/animations while recording
Choice of the free or full version
The free version has a 10-minute recording limit
Videos are watermarked with the free version
Screen, webcam, or game recording
Chroma key for webcam overlay
Add mouse click effects and animation
Real-time drawing on videos or screenshots
Best for: Screen Grabber Pro is great for anyone looking for a free screen recorder that’s easy to use and allows quick sharing of videos to various sites.
OS: Windows and Mac
Price: Free version or purchase from $29.95 for a one-year license for two computers or $39.95 for a lifetime license for two computers.
Rating: 4.2 of 5 stars, 192 reviews
AceThinker Screen Grabber Pro is a free laptop screen video recorder that’s simple to use. Available for Mac and Windows, you can record your entire screen or a specific area and record audio both from your computer itself and an external microphone.
Easy to use
Upload video to YouTube, Google Drive, or Dropbox
Free version available
Available for Windows and Mac
Adds a watermark in the free version
Multiple recording modes
Different audio input
Annotate in real time
Add webcam overlay
Best for: Individuals and small businesses looking for a free laptop recorder with additional features.
OS: Windows and Mac
G2 rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 24 reviews
Icecream Screen Recorder is a free way to record video on a laptop screen on Mac or PC. Select certain areas to record, add your own watermark, or record via your laptop webcam. There’s a Pro version available, too, with additional features.
Can take screenshots
Lets you record selected parts of the screen
Save screenshots and send via Skype or email
Some features only available in the Windows version
Laptop screen recorder with audio only if needed
Record all or part of your screen
Annotate recordings or screenshots
Record games, live webinars, or streaming videos
Easily share recordings to Google Drive, Dropbox, and YouTube
Best for: Windows users looking for a free, compact solution for video recording that’s simple to use.
OS: Windows only
DVDVideoSoft Free Screen Video Recorder is a compact app for Windows that’s packed with features. Record your screen and speech from your laptop mic or an external microphone. The software also lets you save screen captures and resize, rotate, and crop images taken.
Capture multiple windows
Save screen captures to edit, share, or print
Save your recordings in MP4 format
No Mac version – only available for Windows
Save captures to file, clipboard, or print them out
Set a program to run at Windows start-up
Record from full screen or a window
Open-source video recorder for laptop software
Best for: Professional videographers or gamers looking to live stream and record video on laptop screens.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Capterra rating: 4.7 of 5 stars, 694 reviews
OBS (Open Broadcaster Studio) is one of the best screen recorders for laptops. It's free, open-source, and also supports live streaming. With its powerful API, it’s packed with features and allows you to capture your entire screen, browser windows, still images, webcam recordings, and more.
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Modular ‘Dock’ UI that’s easy to set up to suit your needs
There’s a steep learning curve as it’s designed for professionals
It can frequently crash on lower-spec machines
Modular ‘Dock’ UI
Unlimited number of scenes
Intuitive audio mixer
Wide array of settings and configurations
Studio Mode to preview scenes
Best for: Anybody looking for a free laptop screen recorder that’s simple to use to create AVI videos.
OS: Windows only
Capterra rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
CamStudio is a free, open-source laptop screen video recorder. You can record all or part of your screen as well as audio, but videos can only be saved in AVI format. There’s a handy built-in help file if you get stuck using the software.
Free to use
Lets you add captions to recorded videos
Can only save videos in AVI format
The installer may install unwanted programs on your computer
Add high-quality, anti-aliased screen captions
Video Annotation feature
Record all or part of the screen
Lossless Codec for crystal clear results
Reduce or increase video quality
Best for: Those already using VLC as their media player, or anybody looking for a quick and easy solution for screen recording.
OS: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, Android
G2 rating: 4.5 of 5 stars, 517 reviews
VLC is one of the most popular media players around, but it can also be used as a laptop screen video recorder. If you already use VLC as your media player, it’s easy to set it up to record your screen, but it doesn’t have any advanced features.
Easy to set up
Choice of desired frame rate
Great if you already use VLC for playing media
Only saves files in MP4 format
Choose desired frame rate
Includes VLC Media Player
Save files in MP4 format
Online laptop screen recorder with audio software
Best for: Anybody looking for a free online solution to record meetings or training sessions.
OS: Supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers
Trustpilot rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 467 reviews
If you’re wondering how to record a laptop screen with audio, Screencapture is the free online solution you need. There’s no software to download, and you can save your videos in HD quality – you can also record your webcam.
Free, and no software to download
Record voice and computer system sounds
Option to add or remove a watermark
Watermarks in the trial version
Fast video saving in HD
Screen and/or webcam recording
Record voice and/or computer system sounds
Best for: Anyone looking for a free, fully-featured screen recording tool that allows you to edit, annotate, and share recordings easily.
OS: Works in most browsers
TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder is a free online tool that’s easy to use. You’ll need to install the browser extension, but then you can start to record video on your laptop screen in a few clicks. You can also record webcam and audio and annotate your videos in real-time.
No time limits
Real-time editing and annotation
Easy to share to YouTube or other sites
Handy user guide to help you get started
Requires browser plugin
Not suitable for recording games
Flexible one-click recording
Wide range of output formats
Insert webcam in recording
Easy online uploading to YouTube and other sites
Best for: Educators and professionals creating how-to videos, lessons, and presentations.
OS: Works in most browsers
G2 rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 84 reviews
Panopto Express is a free online screen recorder that makes it easy to record anything on your computer screen. There are no recording limits, and you can easily share your recordings through Panopto, Google Classroom, or YouTube.
No software to download or install
No recording limits
Record webcam using SmartCam technology
Capture multiple sources simultaneously
Can be a bit clunky to use
UI is very basic
Can only download recordings in MP4 format
Simple one-click recording
Choice of recording quality options
Add backgrounds to recording
Picture in picture or tile layout
Record audio only
How to screen-record on a laptop
If you’re wondering how to screen record on a laptop using Movavi Video Suite, here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Download and install the software
Download the software. Then double-click the file to install it on your computer.
Step 2. Launch the software
Open Movavi Video Suite by double-clicking the icon in your Start Menu or on your desktop.
Step 3. Set up recording parameters
Adjust your recording settings to suit and set up the screen capture area by clicking the Video Camera icon in the right-hand menu and following the on-screen prompts.
Step 4. Capture audio and video
Hit the red REC button to start recording audio and video. Tap the Stop button in the bottom right or hit F10 to stop recording.
Step 5. Edit
Simple editing tools make it easy to edit your recording.
Step 6. Save your recording
Your file will automatically be saved to Videos > Movavi, but you can change this in the settings.
How to choose a screen recorder for your laptop?
Here are some important things to consider when choosing the best screen recorder for a laptop:
Compatibility: Don’t forget to check that the laptop screen recording software you’re planning to use is compatible with your OS (or if you’re using an online recorder, that it works in your browser).
Supported formats: Look for recorders that support a wide variety of output formats. Some free software may only support very specific formats that may not meet your needs.
Usability: Always check to ensure the software you choose suits your experience level. It can be tempting to opt for feature-packed apps aimed at professionals, but if you’re new to screen recording software then this could be complicated.
Free trial: Wherever possible, try to choose software that offers a free trial or a free version before purchasing, so you can ensure it’s right for your needs.
User reviews: We’d always recommend checking out user reviews and rating for any software before purchase. This will allow you to see whether other users are enjoying using the software, and will also fill you in on any issues or problems you might expect to experience.
Support: Finally, always check to see what support is available in case you run into any problems – for example online, email, or live chat support.
Hopefully, this article has helped you consider what to look for in a video recorder for a laptop. Now you have several great options to consider. Check out the free versions and see what works best for you.
Paula is a seasoned content creator, copywriter, and editor, with more than 8 years of experience writing for tech and travel brands such as Thomas Cook, Skyscanner, Eltima Software, and DigitalTrends.com, as well as many others. She studied fiction editing with Liminal Pages in 2016 and launched her fiction editing business the same year, working with publishers in the UK and US and authors from around the world across a range of genres, from sci-fi and fantasy to thrillers and crime fiction. Today she writes regularly for DigitalTrends.com and Skyscanner's blog. She's also passionate about film photography and enjoys gaming.
Movavi Video Suite
Frequently asked questions
How do you record your laptop screen?
One of the easiest ways to record video on a laptop screen is to use Game Bar, which is already installed with Windows 10. Here are the steps to follow:
Click Start > Settings > Gaming > Game Bar.
Toggle the top button On to activate Game Bar.
Click Capture in the left-hand menu to see where your screen capture will be stored by default.
Click to toggle the Background Recording button On and adjust the max recording length to suit.
Adjust your audio settings. We recommend turning on the Record Audio toggle and checking the box next to turn the mic on by default when you record.
If recording training videos, you may want to turn on Capture mouse cursor movements.
Use keyboard shortcuts Win + G to display Game Bar and Win + Alt + R to start and stop recording.
If this all seems a bit complicated and you’re looking for a simpler video capture alternative, give Movavi Video Suite a go!
What are the best laptop screen recorders?
There are plenty of great, easy-to-use laptop screen recorders out there packed with features, but here are some of the best screen recorders for laptops, in no specific order.
Movavi Video Suite
Windows Game Bar
Icecream Screen Recorder
DVDVideoSoft Free Screen Video Recorder
Screencapture Free Online Screen Recorder
Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder
Does Windows 10 have a built-in screen recorder?
Yes, it does. Windows Game Bar comes built into Windows 10 and can be activated by following our step-by-step guide in the first FAQ above. It doesn’t have any advanced features, but it’s a quick and easy way to record video on your laptop screen if you’re using a Windows laptop.
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