September 7, 2022

17 Best Free Screen Capture Software in 2022

15 min

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For video and audio capturing, try out Movavi Screen Recorder:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Built-in video editor
  • Customizable annotations

In this guide, we explore the best free screen capture software and evaluate their features and functions. While many devices have some capture software inbuilt, it can be basic and limiting. For extra features, people often turn to the screen capture software on this list:

Program

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderEditing HD videos on Windows/Mac
Screencapture.comSimple online capture
LoomSharing and commenting using a browser extension
EzvidBasic video editing on a Windows PC
OBS StudioLive broadcasting on Windows/Mac/Linux
Screencast-o-MaticBeginners working on a Windows PC or Mac
ShareXEasy Windows video sharing
Free Screen Video RecorderWindows capture toolbar
TinyTakeAnnotation on Windows
SimpleScreen­RecorderLinux screen recording
Icecream Screen RecorderSimple navigation on Mac or Windows
Debut Video CaptureAdding video effects on Mac or Windows
Free CamAudio editing on a Windows PC
AceThinker Online Screen RecorderScheduled browser capture using an online tool
Apowersoft Free Online Screen RecorderCapturing long videos with an online tool
Movavi Screen Recorder for ChromeSimple browser capture in Chrome
ScreencastifyEasy editing in a browser

Best screen capture software for a PC and Mac

Best for: editing HD videos

OS: Mac/Windows

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 49 reviews

Price: free trial, $57.95/lifetime

Movavi Screen Recorder provides you with a simple desktop capture tool that can also grab audio and video from a webcam and external microphone. You can create screencasts that also show your keystrokes and mouse, and you can easily annotate your videos to make them more clear and more engaging.

This screen capture software also has the capacity to capture just audio or to take videos or photos via webcam if needed without the screen.

Key features:

  • Capture video from your webcam and from your screen
  • Video editing inbuilt
  • Supports MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, GIF, MP3, PNG, BMP, JPG formats

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Choose between different video and audio inputs
  • Simple to make engaging videos using annotations

Cons:

  • Trial version has limitations

Ezvid

Best for: basic video editing

OS: Windows

TechRadar rating: 3 out of 5

Price: free

This totally free software is made for a PC, so it is only compatible with the Windows operating system.

It’s quick and easy to use and has some very good features for beginners, meaning that if you want to make a quick slideshow or video for YouTube then this could be one of the best free screen capture software Windows 10 can run, with no need to buy a license after a trial (this is a freeware download).

Key features:

  • Works with Windows XP3, 7, 8, and 10
  • Includes Facecam and Voice Synthesis features
  • Instant slideshow maker saves time
  • Some annotation features

Pros:

  • Some simple editing functions included
  • The software makes it easy to create a slideshow

Cons:

  • Not the simplest layout
  • Not as many updates or as much support as some of the other options
  • No Mac version

Download Ezvid

OBS Studio

Best for: live broadcasting

OS: Mac/Windows/Linux

TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5

Price: free

OBS Studio is one of the best screen capture software if you are looking to broadcast live, and it works with popular streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

OBS Studio also allows you to switch between a number of different picture and audio sources, and while it doesn’t function like a traditional desktop capture tool, it can take video from your desktop and save it to your computer as well as broadcast it.

Key features:

  • Modular 'Dock' UI to arrange however you wish
  • Detailed video and audio mixer with plugin support
  • Free and open source

Pros:

  • Lots of options for audio and video inputs
  • Allows streaming to some of the top platforms

Cons:

  • Not as much support as some other options
  • Not the most user-friendly for beginners

Download OBS Studio

Screencast-o-Matic

Best for: simple interface

OS: Mac/Windows/iOS

G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5, 54 reviews

Price: free with upgrades

Screencast-o-Matic has a free plan, and while it is one of the best screen capturing software options, it is not freeware. Instead, if you want to get the most out of the tool you need to pay for an upgraded plan.

The company’s free screen capture software is more limited in its features, but still gives you a simple and easy way to start making and editing videos using both what is on your screen and other sources such as a webcam. There are also some simple editing functions included and stock footage within some of their membership plans. If you find that you get on well with the free option, you can always pay for an upgraded plan.

Key features:

  • Works on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Chromebook
  • Easily add captions
  • Uses multiple audio and video sources and capable of picture-in-picture

Pros:

  • Really simple for beginners to get used to
  • Flexible, allowing you to capture footage and edit on multiple devices
  • Add stock music and footage when editing

Cons:

  • Not all features come as part of the free plan

Download Screencast-o-Matic

ShareX

Best for: easy Windows video sharing

OS: Windows

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

Price: free

ShareX is simple and lightweight software for your Windows device. With this app, you can record your desktop or webcam and share it with others users.

ShareX is free screen capture software for Windows 10. It’s totally free for Windows users and gives loads of different options to quickly share the video, in a similar way to Loom or other online video sharing platforms.

The editing functions are a little bit limited which can be frustrating, but there are still some good functions to help you liven up your videos, such as capturing from a custom region on the screen, adding custom watermarks, and adding some simple text to the video.

Key features:

  • Easy sharing
  • Works with Windows 11, 10, 8.1 and 7
  • Technically-minded people can edit the source code, available on GitHub
  • Customize workflow

Pros:

  • Contains inbuilt commands for simple actions
  • Lightweight and totally free with no ads
  • Easily upload to YouTube and other video platforms

Cons:

  • Only works on Windows
  • Editing features are limited
  • The layout isn’t the easiest to navigate

Download ShareX

Free Screen Video Recorder

Best for: Windows capture toolbar

OS: Windows

CNET rating: 2.5 out of 5, 4 reviews

Price: free

This free screen capture software doesn't have a lot of advanced features and functions, but the flip side of this is that it is really easy to get to grips with. It’s best for capturing still images on PC, but it does also allow you to do some basic video capture including audio.

The software is lightweight, as the program is only around 33MB to download and run on your Windows device. Videos are saved as MP4 files and with still images, you can choose between BMP, JPEG, GIF, TGA, or PNG formats. You can also print them straight from the toolbar.

This program functions as a small and efficient toolbar which can sit at the top of your desktop ready for you to start recording or make a really quick capture.

Key features:

  • Includes some basic image editing such as crop and rotate
  • Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP SP3
  • Capture still images or MP4 containing sound

Pros:

  • Simple and unobtrusive layout
  • Capture multiple windows and objects
  • Lots of file formats for image capture

Cons:

  • Not available for Mac or Linux
  • Very basic editing functions, especially for video

Download Free Screen Video Recorder

TinyTake

Best for: annotation on Windows

OS: Windows

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

Price: free for personal use

TinyTake has been designed for annotation and collaboration. This is perhaps one of the best options for those who want to simply share ideas in a visual way on Windows devices.

The capture tool allows you to capture your screen before annotating images and video yourself by importing images, highlighting, adding text comments, and more. You can even blur parts of your screenshots for hiding content or blur faces if required.

It’s a good way to share instructions among a team or give feedback on video and other visual projects. For personal use, it is free, but for commercial use, there are paid plans for this capture software.

Key features:

  • Capture videos from desktop and webcam up to 120 minutes
  • Easy annotation for all team members
  • Video annotations are saved locally
  • Share and backup files up to 2 GB

Pros:

  • Easy sharing with annotations
  • Keep your videos in the cloud
  • Make simple backups, share, and upload to YouTube from TinyTake

Cons:

  • Only works on Windows
  • Free plan is very limiting in terms of features

Download TinyTake

SimpleScreenRecorder

Best for: Linux screen recording

OS: Linux

AlternativeTo rating: 4.4 out of 5, 15 reviews

Price: free

This software was made by one individual, Maarten Baert, who set out to create free screen capture software for Linux due to the options out there being less-than-satisfactory. It’s totally free and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

SimpleScreenRecorder is a free download and though the layout has a lot of text and drop-down options rather than visual controls, it doesn’t take too long to get used to the controls.

It gives you the option to capture all of a window or desktop on your computer and has some cool features to keep the software lightweight in its operation. For instance, if your computer is slowing, it will drop the frame rate of the recording rather than using too much RAM.

Key features:

  • Choose to record the entire screen or part of it
  • Shows a preview and statistics during recording (file size, bit rate, total recording time, frame rate)
  • Intelligent synchronizing for video and audio
  • Easy to save presets for recording settings

Pros:

  • Simple controls for Linux users
  • Easy to see what you are recording at all times with the preview function
  • Lots of settings including frame rate and video size
  • Tooltips in the software help you to use all of the settings

Cons:

  • Only available for Linux
  • The layout can be intimidating for beginners

Download SimpleScreenRecorder

Icecream Screen Recorder

Best for: simplicity

OS: Mac/Android/Windows

Capterra rating: 4.2 out of 5, 24 reviews

Price: free with paid upgrades

Icecream Screen Recorder is a clever and lightweight piece of software that allows you to record a part of your screen or the whole screen, and easily share and backup on Dropbox, Drive, YouTube, Skype, and more.

There is a variety of recording settings you can choose between and this even lets you get rid of desktop icons or disable your screensaver while you’re recording so that you don’t ruin your video.

Once recorded, there are some simple editing effects including cutting the video, speeding up and slowing down recordings, and displaying your mouse clicks and hotkeys.

Key features:

  • Easily capture the whole screen or a section of the screen
  • Simple annotation
  • Integrates well with cloud backup
  • Some simple editing functions including speeding and slowing
  • Schedule recordings for a later time

Pros:

  • Allows you lots of options for effects and video settings, such as hiding or showing your cursor
  • Compatible with a lot of devices
  • Easily copy and share recordings, you can even copy them to your Clipboard

Cons:

  • Limited file types and size unless you upgrade to PRO
  • Free videos are watermarked

Download Icecream Screen Recorder

Debut Video Capture

Best for: adding video effects

OS: Mac/Windows

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

Price: free for personal use

Debut Video Capture has many of the same features as other screen capture software free to download today.

This tool allows for simple capture of stills and video from either a part of the screen or the whole screen and also has a good webcam overlay feature so you can record video and audio from multiple sources. You can also use other network devices. For example, you could input a VHS recorder with the right connections.

It also allows you to record in a variety of different video formats and quickly and easily add effects including easy color correction and simple annotation. You can then upload the video in a variety of different places including YouTube, with ease.

Key features:

  • File types including AVI, WMV, FLV, MPG, MP4, and MOV supported
  • Capture from multiple inputs including webcams
  • Simple effects and color correction
  • Green screen functionality, change your background image

Pros:

  • Simple to use for both Mac and Windows users
  • Flexible, allowing you to record at scheduled times and from various video sources

Cons:

  • Only free for personal use
  • Free version restricts some of the features

Download Debut Video Capture

Free Cam

Best for: audio editing

OS: Windows

G2 rating: 4 out of 5, 16 reviews

Price: free with upgrades

Free Cam is a great piece of free screen capture software that allows you to easily add and edit audio, and make some simple edits at the click of a button, including removing unwanted sections and getting rid of background noise.

Free Cam can allow you to capture and cast your screen for free, with mouse highlighting and other simple annotation options in real-time.

Key features:

  • Simple audio editing with a visual cursor
  • Includes effects and background noise removal
  • Easy to share videos to YouTube or save as WMV files

Pros:

  • Simple to make audio edits and reduce background noise
  • Easy to select a recording area on the screen
  • Straightforward interface is good for beginners

Cons:

  • Lots of features are restricted unless you pay for the PRO version
  • Only records up to 720p without PRO upgrade

Download Free Cam

Best online screen capture apps

Best for: simple online capture

OS: any (web-based)

Trustpilot rating: 4.7 out of 5, 520 reviews

Price: free and paid plans

This is a really simple and effective way to capture your screen online with no need to download any additional software or take up extra space on your computer or device.

Screencapture.com lets you capture from multiple sources including your webcam and multiple audio sources. Record directly on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers. This is a totally private and secure way to capture your screen.

Key features:

  • Capture your whole screen or a part of your screen
  • Totally secure online capture via a private site
  • Add audio sources and webcam video

Pros:

  • Super simple layout
  • Include sound from a variety of different sources
  • Save and download the video to your computer

Cons:

  • Watermarked videos unless you pay for a subscription

AceThinker Online Screen Recorder

Best for: scheduled browser capture

OS: any (web-based)

G2 rating: 5 out of 5, 2 reviews

Price: free

AceThinker gives you the option to record and download videos from online sources in a variety of different formats. The online screen recorder can function easily within your browser, but it does require you to download a simple piece of software first.

It is really easy to set the parameters for download and choose which part of the screen you want to record and schedule a time for the recording to start.

Key features:

  • Download in AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, MP4 formats
  • Simple browser capture with the download of a launcher program
  • Resize and schedule video recordings

Pros:

  • Simple layout and easy to click and drag the area you want to record
  • Save recordings in a variety of formats

Cons:

  • No editing functions inbuilt
  • Requires a download in spite of offering browser-based capture

Go to the AceThinker website

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

Best for: capturing long videos

OS: any (web-based)

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

Price: free

This free online screen recorder video is quick and simple to use, but it also gives you the option to download long videos without worrying about tiny limits on file size and timing.

Apowersoft is another online screen capture app that needs you to download a launcher, but it still does the recording within the browser itself.

It’s a free option for capturing video from a variety of sources including your browser window, games, and even from your webcam.

You can also make screencast videos and edit and annotate them in real time. This includes annotating with lines, text, highlights, and more within the video itself, before you upload or send it on. This is great for teaching or demonstration.

Key features:

  • Exports to MP4, WMV, AVI, FLV, MPEG, VOB, ASF, and GIF
  • Captures long videos without restrictions
  • Save to device or upload to cloud storage

Pros:

  • Great for recording lectures and classes
  • Easy to start recording with a simple layout
  • Choose to record one area of the screen

Cons:

  • You need a launcher to start using the capture features
  • Watermarked video

Go to the Apowersoft website

Best desktop capture tools for browsers

Loom

Best for: sharing and commenting

OS: Windows/Mac/iOS/Android

Chrome Web Store rating: 4.7 out of 5, 10,038 reviews

Price: free with paid upgrades

Loom works as an app as well as a browser extension, and it is fantastic for those who want to share videos within their organization or as another communication tool. It lets you annotate short videos, and share them all within Loom’s secure platform.

Loom is used by over 14 million different organizations around the world, and this means that it has become commonplace. This means it is often convenient to share videos with people and leave comments, as so many people already have the app.

Loom lets you record from a variety of sources in your browser and instantly share via cloud, you also get notified if someone reacts or comments so it is great for collaborative work.

Key features:

  • Record from multiple inputs including internal audio, screen, camera, and mic
  • Notifications on the video and the option to share and control who sees it
  • Totally secure
  • Edit the video using the Loom web application

Pros:

  • Easy sharing, and lots of people are already familiar with the format
  • Download videos if you need to
  • Relatively simple editing and you can add annotations and even links in videos

Cons:

  • The free plan restricts you to 5 mins per video
  • Not as easy to share if people don’t have Loom accounts
Get Loom

Best for: simple browser capture

OS: Windows/Mac

Chrome Web Store rating: 3.7 out of 5, 13 reviews

Price: free with paid upgrades

Movavi Screen Recorder for Chrome extension makes it simple to grab video directly from a webpage, from your desktop, or from any program that is running on your computer. Like Loom, you can also embed your webcam image so that you can talk people through what is on screen.

There are options for a variety of inputs, both for video and audio and the controls are simple and intuitive.

Key features:

  • Simple settings with no need for technical knowledge
  • No launchers needed other than the chrome extension
  • No limits on screen capture volume and length
  • No need to register

Pros:

  • Quick and easy way to start grabbing a video from your browser
  • Captures from your desktop if needed

Cons:

  • Watermarked videos unless you pay for membership

Get Movavi Screen Recorder for Chrome

Screencastify

Best for: easy editing in browsers

OS: Windows/Mac

Chrome Web Store rating: 4 out of 5, 11,706 reviews

Price: free with paid upgrades

Screencastify makes it really easy to edit the videos within your browser as well as capture them. In real time, you can annotate the videos using mouse effects, a pen tool, and even some stickers.

You can choose from a variety of different videos and audio sources to make your video, and narrate what is on screen using your mic. There is a watermark on videos by default, but this is not unusual for browser-based capture.

The editing is simple, and you can merge videos, trim, and even add effects like zoom and blur. Easy sharing and simple analytics are also incorporated.

Key features:

  • Easy to share via Screencastify and ask questions and see who has viewed the video
  • Share via Google Drive
  • Export to your device as MP4, GIF, or MP3

Pros:

  • Simple editing features and functions, even for beginners
  • Capture from a variety of sources
  • Simple analytics and ways to help you to engage the audience, such as questions

Cons:

  • Audio capture is not the best quality
  • Watermarked unless you pay for a membership

Get Screencastify

Summary

There are a lot of options for screen recording both within your browser and on your computer. Make sure you consider the following when looking for free screen capture software:

  • Usability: you should make sure that the capture software is simple for you to use, even if you are a beginner. Many free screen capture options are simple and straightforward, but some need some further knowledge.
  • Compatibility: is the screen capture option suitable for your device? Make sure you can download and install the software.
  • Features: what kind of features are included, and do they suit your needs? For example, you might need a screen capture option that includes webcam capture.
  • Upgrade price: is there a price to upgrade the software? For example to be able to get rid of the Watermark that some screen capture software includes by default, or to unlock more features.
  • Support: it’s a good idea to check if support is available – for example, live chat or email support.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best screen capture software?

Here are some good options for screen recording:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • OBS Studio
  • Screencapture.com
  • Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder
  • Loom

How can I get free screen capture software?

As you can see from our list of the best free screen capture software, there are many ways of doing this. A lot of people choose to use a specific desktop program downloaded to their computer. There are also options to record directly in your browser using an online tool for screen capture or by adding a specific browser extension.