How to Use VLC to Record Screens

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How to Use VLC to Record Screens and Where to Find the Best Alternative

The VLC screen recorder is not the most popular tool to grab streams or the desktop. And that makes sense because this media player has fundamental limitations.

In this article, we’ll give you a short guide to how to record screens with VLC, show you where the VLC record button is, and discuss the disadvantages of using VLC as a recorder. In addition, we’ll suggest an alternative screen recorder with advanced recording tools.

How to Use VLC Screen Capture – a Short Guide and Potential Pitfalls

To grab your screen with VLC, follow these steps.

  • Step 1. Open the Media Menu

    Find the Media tab in the top menu and click on it. Choose the Convert / Save option.

  • Step 2. Set Up Recording Parameters

    In the settings window, go to the Capture Device tab. Choose the Desktop option in the Capture Mode list.

    Here you should also decide on the frame rate. This setting defines the quality and size of the output video. The higher the frame rate, the better quality the image and the larger the size of the file you’ll have.

    We recommend you experiment with the frame rate by moving it between 15 FPS and 30 FPS. Select your preferred speed.

    Now hit the Convert / Save button.

  • Step 3. Choose a Destination File Format and Start Recording

    In the window that opens, browse the Destination File. In the Profile section, you can choose the output format. VLC video capture offers a wide range of formats, so you won’t need to convert the video again later.

    To start the VLC screen recording process, click on the Start button.

    You can control the recording process with the grey control panel that appears on the screen.

  • Step 4. Stop Recording and Save the File

    When you’ve finished recording, press the Stop button. The default folder for recordings is the Videos folder on your computer.

    Before you start to record with VLC, check out these potential disadvantages:

    • You cannot use the microphone to record your voice.
    • The app records the entire screen. There’s no option to choose the size of capture area.
    • If you want a high resolution video, you’ll have to free a lot of space on your hard disk because the file is going to be pretty huge.
    • VLC has many difficult recording settings. They can be useful, but it takes time to understand how to use them.
    • The program interface is not user-friendly and it’s not always obvious where to find parameters or functions you’re looking for.
    • If you’ve made a mistake while setting up the parameters, the program can capture a cascade of VLC-inside-VLC windows. This happens if your VLC is maximized. You can minimize it in the Advanced Controls section (the View tab).
    • VLC cannot take screenshots.

    As you can see from the list above, it’s probably not the best idea to rely on VLC to record video. That’s why we suggest you to try an alternative – Movavi Screen Recorder.

How to Record Your Desktop with a VLC Alternative – Movavi Screen Recorder

Compared to the VLC capture function, Movavi Screen Recorder offers significant benefits:

  • It lets you capture video and audio simultaneously. You can record not just your desktop, but also system sound, microphone, and webcam.
  • The software offers different sizes of capture area: full screen, active window, or other selected parts of the screen.
  • The recordings are saved in high resolution, but don’t take up a lot of space on your hard drive.
  • The recorder has built-in tips on how to use it, which appear when you hover the cursor over a particular button to ease the recording process.
  • There are many advanced settings in one place – in the Settings menu. You can use specific effects for mouse, show keyboard, change shortcuts to control recording, schedule start of capturing, and much more.
  • The program has a screenshot function. Take screen captures during recording and edit them in the preview window.
  • You can share the video right from the preview window.

Let’s have a look at Movavi Screen Recorder in use.

  • Step 1. Download the Recorder

    Download the appropriate software for your operating system – WindowsWindows or MacMac. Installation takes just a few minutes.

  • Step 2. Customize the Settings

    Check the Settings menu and explore the range of parameters. You can skip this step if you don’t have the time or the desire to learn about all the options in the program right now.

    The three main parameters you should care about are Microphone, Webcam, and System Audio. If you want to include your voice and face, Microphone and Webcam should be enabled. Activating System Audio lets you capture internal sounds when you’re recording webinars or online meetings.

  • Step 3. Record Your Desktop

    Press the REC button to start capturing.

    The Screenshot button is right there, too.

  • Step 4. Edit the Video and Save the File

    Sometimes you may need to cut out some parts of your video. You can do this in the preview window, using the Scissors and Trash Can. In addition, you can record separate streams and edit them together later.

    Click on Save As. The save window appears, where you can choose the format for the output file and the destination folder, and name the recording. By the Save As button, you’ll see the Share icon. Click on it and choose how you would prefer to share the video.

    In summary, it’s fine to start with the VLC recorder if you’ve already installed this media player. But we highly recommend you also give Movavi Screen Recorder a try. It just might be the perfect solution for you.


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

Movavi Screen Recorder

  • Capture video from your computer screen
  • Grab sound from multiple sources
  • Use the simple editing tools to make your recording perfect
  • Save videos in any popular format

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