September 7, 2022

How to Use VLC to Record a Screen

17 min

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  1. Click on View and go to Advanced Controls
  2. Go to Media (or Ctrl + C), then Open Capture Device
  3. Set Capture Device to Desktop
  4. Click Convert / Save, then Save, and then Start

Seem like too many buttons and options? Try Movavi Screen Recorder instead with its simple and intuitive UI.

How to enable the VLC record button

If you weren’t already aware of the VLC record video feature, you’re not alone. VLC doesn’t exactly advertise this function, and the VLC record button is typically hidden from the user interface. Follow these simple steps to enable it:

  1. Open VLC on your desktop.
  2. Click on the View menu in VLC.
  3. Select Advanced Controls.
  4. The VLC record button should appear next to the Play button.

How to use VLC to record a video

Recording a video with VLC is fairly straightforward. To do it, though, you’ll need to ensure that the VLC record button is ready to go. So, before you complete the steps below, be sure that you’ve already enabled the VLC record button as we discussed in the section above.

Once you’ve enabled the record button, let’s walk through how to record with VLC. We’ll start with a step-by-step guide to record a screen with VLC.

  1. Click on the Media tab from the top menu.
  2. Scroll down and select Convert / Save.
  3. Choose the Capture Device tab at the top right of the window.
  4. In the Capture Device window, at the top right, click the Capture mode dropdown and select Desktop.
  5. Choose your preferred frame rate from the Desired frame rate for the capture dropdown menu.
  6. Click Convert / Save at the bottom right corner of the window.
  7. Name your file and choose its destination.
  8. Click the Save button.
  9. Click Start to start recording your screen.

How to use VLC for video capture from a disc

If you have a video that you’ve recorded to a DVD or Blu-ray disc, you may find yourself wondering how you can quickly grab a recording of part or all of your video. Ripping a video clip from a disc can be a time-consuming process that involves finding the right software and messing with a lot of video and audio settings. Instead, why not record the video directly from your media player?

VLC’s video capture capabilities don’t stop with its ability to record a desktop, though. You can also capture videos from discs using VLC. Assuming that you’ve enabled the VLC record button, this process is quick and easy. Here’s how:

  1. Start playing the disc using VLC media player.
  2. Click VLC’s Record button next to the Play button.
  3. When you reach the end of the segment that you want to record, click Record again to stop.
  4. Navigate to the VLC’s Videos folder to retrieve your new video file.

How to record network stream with VLC

If you’re a streamer, you’ll appreciate the ability to record a screen with VLC. It’s often useful to be able to go back and record your livestream after the fact so that you can make edits and/or upload it to other platforms. Likewise, if you have a home security camera or another recording device that uploads to the cloud, you may need to record the feed if you want to capture specific activity to share online, with your neighbors, or with the police. To record your stream, follow these steps:

  1. In VLC, click on the Media menu.
  2. Scroll down and select Open Network Stream.
  3. Open your preferred browser and copy the URL for your stream.
  4. Paste your stream URL into the Please Enter a Network URL box in VLC.
  5. Click the Record button to start and stop recording your stream.
  6. Go to VLC’s Videos folder to find your stream recording.

How to record a part of a video with VLC

Sometimes you may want to capture a part of a video to add a clip to a longer video project, such as a newscast or commentary video. You might also want to enrich a livestream or add to an online presentation. To record a part of a video with VLC’s record function, follow the steps above to enable the record button. Once you have your advanced controls selected, here’s how to record a specific clip of a video:

  1. Open your video in VLC media player.
  2. Use the timeline slider to navigate to the part of the video that you want to record.
  3. (Optional) If you need to select the exact point at which you start your video clip, you can use the Frame by Frame button. It’s the last button on the right of the Advanced Controls that enables you to use the Record button.
  4. Click Record.
  5. Click Play.
  6. When you reach the end of the clip that you want to record, click Record again to stop.
  7. You can find your video saved in the Videos folder.

How to record a webcam with VLC

In addition to recording videos in VLC and capturing screen recorders, VLC’s video recorder can also record video from your webcam. This is a great feature for adding your reactions to a gaming stream or recording yourself for an online presentation or webinar. Here are the steps to record from your webcam:

  1. Select the Media tab at the top of the VLC window.
  2. Click on the Capture Mode dropdown menu.
  3. Choose DirectShow.
  4. You’ll now need to choose your video and audio devices. Click on Video Device Name and choose your webcam.
  5. Click on Audio Device Name and select your microphone. This could also be your webcam if you aren’t using an external mic.
  6. (Optional) To adjust the frame rate and other settings, you can click on Advanced Options and choose your preferred video input frame rate. You can also select Device properties to allow VLC to use your webcam’s preset frame rate and other settings.
  7. Click Okay. When you’re ready to record, click the Record button.

How to convert recorded videos with VLC

Once you’ve recorded a video (from your desktop, a disc, or your webcam) in VLC, you may need to convert it to a different video format. Having the ability to convert between file formats makes it easier to share videos on different platforms, save videos to disc, or convert them to formats that look better on a phone, tablet, or another device. Let’s walk through the process to convert your recorded videos with VLC.

  1. Navigate to the Media menu in VLC.
  2. In the File Section, browse for your video file and add it.
  3. Click the Convert / Save button.
  4. In Settings, choose your preferred output file type (e.g., MP4, h.265, etc.).
  5. Choose your export file’s name and destination.
  6. Click the Start button.
  7. When it’s done processing, your video will be saved in its new format at your chosen destination on your computer.

VLC alternative: Movavi Screen Recorder

While VLC is capable of recording screens and recording video clips from discs, it may not be the best screen recorder option available. For one thing, VLC’s record button isn’t even enabled by default. To get started recording videos, you need to go through extra steps to reveal the record button. Then, if you need to switch between recording your screen, your webcam, or the video playing in VLC media player, you have to go through several steps to get to the right settings in VLC’s Media menu. For this reason alone, many users find themselves looking for alternatives to record screens or webcam feeds.

If you’re looking for an alternative to VLC for your screen recording and video conversion needs, you might want to consider Movavi Screen Recorder.

Comparison parameter

Movavi Screen Recorder

VLC

PerformanceFastSlow
FeaturesCustomizable parameters, audio and video recording, editing capabilitiesPlays, records, and converts a wide variety of video and audio formats
Video and audio qualityHigh-quality video outputHigh-quality video output
PricingStarts at $57.95 after free trialFree
User interfaceExtremely user-friendlyComplex and unintuitive
OSWindows 7/8/10/11, Mac OS X 10.13 or higherWindows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11, Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later
ReviewsCapterra rating4.7 out of 5 starsG2 rating4.7 out of 5 stars

Let’s discuss how Movavi Screen Recorder could be a good alternative to VLC for your screen recording needs. This software is free to download and is extremely user-friendly, making it a popular choice for many who’ve tried to record screens with VLC.

Plus, Movavi Screen Recorder comes with several convenient features that may be lacking from VLC. The capability to capture different video sizes from your screen, for example, is a big attraction for many users. With Movavi, you can record your full screen, a selected area, or Movavi can automatically detect and record the active window in your screen that you want to record. This is especially useful for recording online presentations. Other benefits of using Movavi include but aren’t limited to:

  • High-resolution output videos that don’t take up a ton of storage space.
  • A built-in screenshot function to capture stills while recording a video from your screen.
  • Video sharing capabilities.

To record your screen with Movavi Screen Recorder, follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Download Movavi Screen Recorder. Once you’ve downloaded the software, follow the instructions to install it, and open Movavi Screen Recorder on your desktop.

Step 2 (Optional). Adjust your settings. If you just want to record your screen quickly, you don’t have to adjust any settings or make any changes to get started. Just skip this step and move on. You can select your microphone, record from your webcam, and activate system audio.

Step 3. Tap the REC button at the bottom right of the display. This will start your recording. When you’re finished, just tap this button again to stop recording. You’ll also notice that there are three other buttons to the left of the REC button. These are Webcam, Microphone, and System Audio. They’ll let you capture video from your webcam and/or audio from your microphone or computer on the fly for fast and easy recording.

Step 4 (Optional). Make edits to your video. With features to trim your video, control the volume, and make other minor edits, many users won’t need additional editing software after they finish recording their screens.

Step 5. Save your video. Just click on Export, name your file, and set its destination. And, if you want to go ahead and publish your video or send it to a friend or colleague, hit the Share button for several preset options to share your video.

Summary

Now that you have step-by-step instructions on how to record a video from your screen, webcam, or from a disc, what do you think? Once you know where to find VLC’s advanced controls mode to access its record function, the recording process is fairly easy. With that said, Movavi Screen Recorder is a more robust tool that allows you to perform edits and share your video right from the program.

As you decide which screen recorder will best fit your needs, consider a few questions:

  • How often will you need to record from your screen or webcam?
  • Will you need to frequently switch between recording your screen or webcam?
  • Do you need the freedom to select only a section of your screen or a window outside of your media player to record?
  • Will you need to edit your recorded videos before saving and/or sharing them?
  • Will you be sharing videos often, and would it help to have the option to share directly from your screen recording software?

If you’ll only be recording one webcam video or one video from your desktop screen, you may not need a lot of the convenient features that come with Movavi Screen Recorder. However, if you’re participating in regular online presentations, webinars, or live streams, not having these features could quickly become very cumbersome.

Why not try downloading Movavi Screen Recorder for free today to see how well it works for you? The additional features make it an attractive alternative to VLC for all your video recording needs.

Frequently asked questions

Can VLC record a video?

Yes, VLC can record a video from a disc, and it has the capability to record a screen or webcam feed as well. Accessing the controls to record with VLC is not the most intuitive process, but once you’ve found the advanced controls, the steps to record videos are fairly straightforward and easy. To get started, you’ll need to go to the Media menu in VLC media player and select Advanced Controls. From there, you’ll also need to choose where you’ll be capturing video from (e.g., webcam or desktop screen).

What does the record button do in VLC?

VLC media player is known for its ability to play multiple video and audio file formats on a Windows or Mac desktop. It also has the capability to record videos and video clips as well, by capturing video playing in the media player, on your desktop, or by capturing your webcam feed. The record button in VLC can be used to record part or all of a video playing within the media player, or users can adjust the settings in VLC’s Media menu to capture recordings from their desktop screen or webcam.

Where is the VLC record folder?

When you use VLC to record a video, it will automatically save the video recording to VLC’s Videos folder. On a Windows 10 computer, this folder is found in your system drive at C:\Users\[username]\Videos. To find the VLC Videos folder on your Mac, hit the cmd key and the space bar at the same time and type “Videos” into the search window. Once you locate the Videos folder, you can move your video files to any folder or subfolder you prefer on your computer.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more