How to screen-record on your computer or mobile device

Edited by Ben Jacklin

August 3, 2021

There are lots of reasons to want to create a video of your computer or device screen. This article will offer detailed information on how to screen-record on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

App

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderSetting recording schedule
MonosnapCreating videos for YouTube
Record It!Editing screen recordings
MobizenPersonalized intros and outros on screen recordings
Game BarGame recording on Windows
LoomHow-to videos
CloudAppCreating demo videos
Mac built-in screen capturing featureRecording portions of the screen on a Mac
QuickTimeLengthy recording on a Mac
OBS StudioLive-streaming on YouTube
iPhone/iPad built-in toolQuick recording on iOS devices
DU RecorderStreaming to social media from iOS devices
Go RecordRecording videos for YouTube on iOS devices
Built-in Android screen-recording featureQuick recording on Android devices
XRecorderLengthy recordings on Android devices
AZ Screen RecorderCreating GIF animations on Android devices

Special pick: Movavi Screen Recorder

Our special pick from the table above is Movavi Screen Recorder. This user-friendly program creates high-quality screen recordings and offers an impressive array of extra features. The recording schedule feature allows you to set the time for a recording to begin and end.

This software also offers the option to show keystrokes and mouse movement, plus editing capabilities like drawing on a video recording.

How to record your screen on Windows

Unsure how to record the screen on Windows? In this section, we’ll explain how to record what is on your screen using the Windows built-in tool and three top alternative programs that Windows users seem to love.

Read about top screen recorders for Windows according to G2

Best for: Game recording on Windows

Price: Free

If you own a computer running Windows 10, you can film your screen using Game Bar, the built-in program provided by the Windows developers. This app enables users to capture their screen, record internal and external sound, and take screenshots.

Pros:

  • You can monitor your PC’s resource usage during the screen-recording process.
  • There’s an Xbox account integration feature.

Cons:

  • The interface doesn't always show up when you try to open the app.
  • The performance is not always smooth.
  • The app can’t record desktop activity (supports full-screen games only).

To learn how to record your screen on a laptop or desktop, follow the instructions below.

To videotape your screen, open Game Bar, press the Windows key + G on your keyboard. If you want to adjust the screen-recording settings first, open the Windows Settings, then choose Gaming. On the Captures tab, adjust the video and audio settings, background recording settings, and other parameters as needed. Note that you can only screen-record on your laptop or PC for 4 hours max. To take a video of your screen, click Start recording on Game Bar or press Windows + Alt + R. When the recording process begins, you’ll see a small bar in the top-right corner of the screen. To end screen-recording, click Stop Recording on the Game Bar or hit Windows + Alt + R. You will find your recorded video in the default folder.

Best for: Setting recording schedule

$52.95

Review by Windows Report

Don’t want to settle for a basic set of functions? Try Movavi Screen Recorder. One of the best ways to capture anything on your screen is with this program. It enables users to record their computer screen, webcam, internal and external sound, and also edit the resulting video and upload it to YouTube and Google Drive directly from the program interface. The most significant feature that distinguishes Movavi Screen Recorder from other apps is the recording scheduler. Specify when you want your screen to be recorded – the program will do the rest.

Pros:

  • The recording parameters are really flexible.
  • You can schedule recordings.
  • The program supports mouse and keyboard effects.

Cons:

  • The free version can’t record system sound, and the output video includes a watermark.

Best for: How-to videos

Price: Free starter plan

G2 review: 4.5 out of 5, 114 reviews

Loom is a platform on which users can create videos with a fast screen recorder. Loom can capture your screen, voice, and face, which makes this program particularly useful for teachers and presenters.

Pros:

  • Loom is perfect for creating explanatory videos.
  • The program can be connected to Slack.

Cons:

  • There is no editing capability.

Best for: Creating demo videos

Price: Free plan, premium plans from $9.95

TrustRadius review: 9.1 out of 10, 90 reviews

The CloudApp developers position their product as an easy-to-use service for business. With CloudApp, users can record their screen, make screenshots with annotations, and even create looped GIFs and call-to-action buttons.

Pros:

  • CloudApp is perfect for creating demo videos.
  • Some features are specifically designed to solve business issues.
  • The app enables users to create call-to-action buttons.

Cons:

  • The free plan doesn’t include some of the advanced features.

Now you know what programs you can use to screen-record on a PC. Read on to learn how to record your screen on Macintosh.

How to record your screen on a Mac

In this section, we’ll explain how Mac users can use hotkeys to capture their screen. We’ll also describe three alternatives to that approach.

Mac built-in screen-capturing feature

Best for: Recording portions of the screen on a Mac

Price: Free

Mac users running Mojave and later macOS versions can capture their screen using a built-in tool. Below are the instructions for how to screen-record on a Mac this way.

First, press Command + Shift + 5 to open the toolbar. Then select a recording option. To capture the entire screen, choose Record Entire Screen. To capture a part of the screen, choose Record Selected Portion, specify the area for recording, and click Capture. To finish recording, click the Stop button. You will see the recording in the lower-right part of the screen. Right-click the video to open the editing tools. Click Done after you’ve finished editing. Your recording will be saved automatically.

Pros:

  • The tool is always at hand.
  • You can record all or part of the screen.

Cons:

  • There are no advanced video-editing tools.

Best for: Creating videos for YouTube

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Review by Slant

Monosnap is an app you can use to record your screen, make annotations and highlights, and share the results with others. With this program, you can also create GIF animations. The free version of the app can only be used for non-commercial purposes, but Monosnap developers also offer paid subscription plans.

Pros:

  • Monosnap enables users to upload videos to YouTube directly.
  • There are lots of tools to create screencasts.
  • The app can be used to make GIFs.

Cons:

  • The free plan is limited in features.

Best for: Lengthy recording on a Mac

Price: Free

QuickTime is a built-in media player that all Mac users have. Besides playing videos, this program can record your screen and also offers essential editing tools. You can capture your entire screen or just a selected part of it.

Pros:

  • QuickTime offers basic video-editing features.
  • The program has no time limit for individual recordings.

Cons:

  • The program only supports the MOV file format.
  • QuickTime doesn’t record system audio.

Best for: Live-streaming on YouTube

Price: Free

TechRadar review: 4 out of 5

OBS Studio is a free, open-source program that combines features of screen-recording and video-editing software. With OBS Studio, users can record their screen and livestream to YouTube. OBS Studio is also perfect for gamers, as it can record full-screen games and has Twitch integration. The number and length of videos you can create is not limited.

Pros:

  • OBS supports recording from multiple sources.
  • The program supports streaming and recording in HD.
  • Video-editing tools are included.

Cons:

  • The setup can take a while.

How to take a video of your screen on iOS devices

Here, we’ll explain how to record the screen of your iPhone or iPad. There’s a way to screen-record with the built-in tool, and we’ve also included three other options to choose from.

iPhone and iPad built-in tool

Best for: Quick recording on iOS devices

Price: Free

Devices running iOS 11 and higher have a built-in screen capturing tool. Here’s how to use it to screen-record on your iPhone or iPad.

First, open the Settings, tap Control Center, then Customize Controls. To add the screen capturing tool to the Control Center, tap the Plus sign near the Screen Recording widget. Quit Settings and swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center. To start capturing the screen, just tap the Screen Recording button. The process will begin after a countdown, and you’ll see a timer appear at the top of the screen. To stop recording, open the Control Center and tap the Screen Recording button again. You will find the recording in your Photos.

Pros:

  • The tool is fast and easy to use.
  • The built-in screen recorder gives immediate results.

Cons:

  • The feature is not obvious, and the widget is a bit hard to find.

Best for: Editing screen recordings

Price: Free with in-app purchases

App Store review: 4.6 out of 5, 232.2K ratings

Record It! is one of the most highly-rated apps on the App Store in its category: the average rating to date is 4.6 out of 5. With this app, you can record games for walk-throughs and apps for tutorials. You can add reactions to the resulting video, overlay an audio commentary, and enhance your recording using video-editing tools.

Pros:

  • The app can record games.
  • There are video-editing tools.
  • The app allows users to add facecam reactions.

Cons:

  • Videos are limited to three minutes in the free version.

Best for: Streaming to social media from iOS devices

Price: Free with in-app purchases

App Store review: 4.5 out of 5, 53K ratings

DU Recorder is a free app you can use to livestream and record your screen while playing games, watching live shows, and more. The basic app costs nothing, but, of course, there is a premium version available that offers advanced features such as custom watermarks, VIP feedback channels, and other options.

Pros:

  • DU Recorder supports streaming to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
  • The app includes a video editor.

Cons:

  • Videos recorded with the free version have a watermark on them.

Best for: Recording videos for YouTube on iOS devices

Price: Free with in-app purchases

App Store review: 4.5 out of 5, 51.3K ratings

Go Record is a tool for recording games and apps with internal audio and adding reactions to the resulting videos. The screen-recording tool is accompanied by a set of video-editing features. The app is compatible with iOS 11 and higher.

Pros:

  • Go Record can upload videos directly to YouTube.
  • The app offers the possibility of adding facecam reactions.

Cons:

  • The free version has a limited set of features.

How to film your screen on Android devices

The final section of this article is about the ways in which Android users can record their screen. After describing the use of the built-in feature, we’ll offer three alternatives available on Google Play for free.

Built-in Android screen-recording feature

Best for: Quick recording on Android devices

Price: Free

If you’re the owner of a Samsung, LG, Huawei, or OnePlus device running Android 10 or higher, you have access to a built-in screen-recording tool. The process is pretty much the same for every device, with minor differences. To learn how to record your screen on Android, follow the instructions below.

On an LG, Huawei, or OnePlus device, pull down the notification shade from the top of the screen. Here, you will see all the widgets you have quick access to. Tap the Video Camera icon and grant the device permission to record the screen. The screen-recording process will begin. Tap the Stop button to finish the process. You will find the resulting video in your phone Gallery.

If you have a Samsung device, you can also record audio from the speaker and microphone. To tweak your screen-recording parameters, go to Settings, select Advanced features, then tap Screenshots and screen recorder. Finally, find the Screen recorder settings and adjust the recording parameters: specify the sound source, resolution, and other settings.

Pros:

  • The built-in tool is fast and can be accessed in a matter of seconds.
  • No additional setup is required.

Cons:

  • The tool can’t record internal sound.

Best for: Personalized intros and outros on screen recordings

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Google Play review: 4.3 out of 5, 3 million ratings

The Google Play Editors’ Choice, Mobizen, is an app that enables users to record, capture, and edit videos and screenshots. With Mobizen, you can start broadcasting your gaming process and other activities within seconds. While recording, you can capture your face reactions with facecam and add voice comments.

Pros:

  • Mobizen can record your screen in Full HD (1080p, 12 Mbps, 60 fps).
  • The app offers personalized intros and outros.
  • There is the option to remove the watermark for free.

Cons:

  • Ads and pop-ups appear from time to time.

Best for: Lengthy recordings on Android devices

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Google Play review: 4.7 out of 5, 3.8 million ratings

With XRecorder, you can record “clear screen” videos with no watermark. The app helps create tutorials and record video calls and TV shows. In fact, the developers claim the app can record your screen no matter what app is running: Musical.ly, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, or anything else. You can add facecam reactions and a voice-over using video-editing tools. The maximum custom parameters for a video are 1080p, 12 Mbps, 60 fps. After you’ve finished recording and editing your video, you can upload it directly to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, IGTV, or Facebook.

Pros:

  • There is no watermark on the output video.
  • The app doesn’t require root access.
  • There are no recording time limits.

Cons:

  • There are ads in the app.

Best for: Creating GIF animations on Android devices

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Google Play review: 4.5 out of 5, 1.4 million ratings

AZ Screen Recorder is a powerful screen-recording tool for Android users. Besides the basic recording features typical to this kind of app, AZ Screen Recorder also has many less-common features. For example, you can draw on the screen while recording your gameplay. The app also delivers a large variety of video-editing features. You can trim, cut, crop, rotate, merge, and convert videos and add subtitles and background music. AZ Screen Recorder also makes it possible to livestream to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch, and the facecam feature is available.

Pros:

  • The app can be used to make GIF animations.
  • You can transfer the recorded videos to your computer via Wi-Fi.
  • The screen-recording process stops if the device is shaken.

Cons:

  • The free version has ads.

Summary

We hope this article has been useful in helping you choose the right screen recorder to suit your needs. To sum up, the following is a list of the aspects you should consider when choosing a screen recorder:

Features: Choose a screen recorder that can perform all of the functions you want to accomplish with your screen recordings. If you simply want to record what happens on your screen so you can take notes later, any screen recorder will probably meet your needs. If you’re going to perform detailed editing or stream live on YouTube, take those features into account as you choose your program.

User-friendliness: Some programs are very easy to use, even for beginners. Others are more complicated and have a steeper learning curve. Consider the amount of experience and tech-savvy you possess and choose a screen recorder accordingly.

OS: Make sure to choose a screen recorder that works on the system you will be using (Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc.)

Support: Try to find a program that offers easily accessible support if you run into problems as you create screen recordings.

Reviews: Check out reviews written by users and professional blogs or magazines to determine how well the program performs.

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

Frequently asked questions

Is there a way to screen-record?

Yes, there are many ways to record your screen, regardless of the device you’re using. You can take advantage of the built-in tools on your computer or mobile device, or you can choose a standalone app that may offer more advanced functionality. See below for the list of apps we’ve gathered for you.

Windows:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • Loom
  • CloudApp

Mac:

  • Monosnap
  • QuickTime
  • OBS Studio

iOS:

  • Record it!
  • DU Recorder
  • Go Record

Android:

  • Mobizen
  • XRecorder
  • AZ Screen Recorder

Just select the one that fits your needs and is supported by your device.

Is there a step-by-step guide on how to screen-record?

You can record your PC or Mac screen with Movavi Screen Recorder.

First, install and launch the program. Then adjust the recording settings for your microphone, webcam, and system audio. Record your screen, edit the output video (if necessary), and share it with friends or colleagues.

For detailed instructions, please read the appropriate guide below.

How do you record your screen on an iPhone?

iPhones running iOS 11 and higher have a built-in screen capturing tool. Here’s how to record your phone’s screen.

  1. First, open the phone Settings, tap Control Center, then Customize Controls. To add the screen capturing tool to the Control Center, tap the Plus sign near the Screen Recording widget.
  2. Quit Settings and swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center. To start capturing the screen, just tap the Screen Recording button. The process will begin after a countdown, and you will see a timer appear at the top of the screen.
  3. To stop recording, open the Control Center and tap the Screen Recording button again. You will find the recording in your iPhone’s Photos.

How do I screen-record on Windows 10?

You can record the screen of any PC running Windows 10 with Movavi Screen Recorder. For detailed instructions, please read the complete guide below.

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