Free Screen Recorder

Top 9 Best Free Screen Recording Software

They say there is no free lunch and, more often than not, that’s the rule. Screen recording software, though, is a delightful exception — there are heaps of free tools out there.

To help you find the best free screen recorder, we have created a shortlist of the best free screen recorders in 2021 that are free. Ideal for communicating your ideas and feedback faster, recorder video tutorials, explainer videos, report bugs, etc.

Best Free Screen Recorders

What Is Screen Recording Software?

Screen recording software captures what is on your computer screen. You can either record in full screen or capture a specific area. Most of these apps can record your microphone (audio narration) and the best desktop recording software can also record your computer screen with audio (the system sound).

However, this is where the similarities end. Not all such programs are HD screen recorders . Some screen recording tools can save the recording in various file formats or export it to social media websites like YouTube. Top screen recorders, though, can upload your screen captures to the cloud in real-time and give you a sharing link instantly (much more effective).

So, before you set your mind on a free screen recording software, it’s best to evaluate your own recording needs. Maybe you don’t need to upload your videos to social media or maybe you don’t need to record in HD.

How we reviewed the top screen video recorders

We took information about each of the best desktop recorders directly from their official website. In addition, we gathered insights from independent reviews published on G2Crowd and tested each tool ourselves.

What is a good screen recorder?

While our picks range from desktop apps to browser plug-ins, each one meets the following basic criteria:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Can record the entire screen or a specific area
  • Captures both system and microphone audio
  • Built-in video sharing and/or convenient exporting options

See this video for more information.

Here Are The Best Free Screen Recording Software In 2021

Streaming Video Hosting

 

Screenrec

VideoSolo

AceThinker Free Online Screen Recorder

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

Screencast-O-Matic

Ezvid

Prezi Video

Veed

Movavi Screen Recorder

Save screencast to your hard drive

Video Hosting

? 2GB of secure video hosting for free ? Upload to a YouTube-like platform ? Upload to the Screencast-o-matic platform ? No video hosting or uploading options

Cloud Recording

Instant sharing

? Get a private sharing link when you stop recording

Sharing options

Universal sharing link. Share privately or publicly.

Save in AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, MP4 or upload to YouTube, Video, Google Drive, or Dropbox

Upload to Youtube, Dropbox, Vimeo or GDrive

Upload to Youtube

None. You can save the screen capture to your hard drive.

Steam to web conferencing apps

None, You can save the screen capture to your hard drive.

Upload to the cloud, Google Drive, or YouTube; share via WhatsApp, YouTube, Telegram, or email

Record computer audio and video at the same time

Record your voice

Record in full screen

? ? Yes, but you can’t hide the recording widget

Capture Screenshots

Video Library

Video Encryption

Video Analytics

Video Editing Tools

Basic editing and annotation

? ? Trimming only ? Basic video editing, e.g. delete selection

Basic editing option (removing extra fragments)

Facecam recording

Recording Time

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

15 minutes

Depends on how much free space you have

15 minutes

10 minutes

Depends on how much free space you have on your hard drive

Ads

Ad-free

Ad-free

Ad-free

Ad-free

Ads

Ad-free

Ad-free

Ad-free

Ad-free

Video compression

MP4 (Universal)

AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV and MP4

MP4, WMV, AVI, FLV, MPEG, VOB, ASF and GIF

MP4, AVI, FLV

WMV (Windows only)

MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, WEBM, GIF, and MP3

Supported Platforms

Windows and Linux

Windows and Mac

Windows and Mac

Windows and Mac

Windows and Mac

Windows

Windows, Mac and Chro

Windows and Mac

Windows and Mac

Works when you’re offline

1. Screenrec

Click. Record. Share instantly. If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest possible way to capture your computer screen and share the recording with someone else, this is it. No ads and limitations. You not only get a screen recorder for free but you also get business video hosting for free.

Pros:

Cons:

  • There are no video editing tools at this point

Free Download For:

2. VideoSolo Screen Recorder

VideoSolo Screen Recorder is a rising star of best screen recorders for PC that wins many loyal users. It can capture screen activities on your computer to high-quality videos and 60fps so that you can record your gameplay video without frame drop. It can not only record online meeting without permission but also create video tutorial with some editing tools. It can also record sound only on the computer and your voice simultaneously. 

Free HD Screen Recorder

Pros:

  • Record and save computer screen to various format in high-definition.
  • Advanced task schedule to set up recording automatically.
  • User-friendly interface without ads.
  • Basic video editing tools to make your recording easier.
  • Stable recording performance and no time limits.
  • Webcam recording available.

Cons:

  • Not free but provides a free trial version with recording time limitation.

Available for:

  • Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP (SP2 or later)

3. AceThinker Free Online Screen Recorder

AceThinker Free Online Screen Recorder is a web-based tool that is simple yet comprehensive and easy to navigate due to its intuitive instructions and guide. One of AceThinker’s stand-out features is capturing an entire screen with unlimited duration or an infinite number of recordings.

Free HD Screen Recorder Without Watermark

Pros:

  • Annotate while you’re recording your screen
  • High fps screen recording for gameplay capture
  • Computer audio recording.
  • Webcam video recording
  • Record the entire screen or just choose to record a specific area
  • Save file in AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, MP4
  • Upload to YouTube, Video, Google Drive, or Dropboxs

Cons:

  • No Cloud Recording – need to wait for the video to upload
  • You need to download a launcher for first time use

Available for:

  • Chrome, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer

4. Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

A nice online screen recorder with basic video editing capabilities. This free screen capture software runs in your browser (Mac or Windows) and requires an internet connection. The Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder might be a good choice if you’re looking for a one-time solution.

Apowersoft

Pros:

  • Record your webcam
  • Add annotations within the video
  • Capture computer audio
  • Crop your video (no other editing tools, though)
  • Works on Windows and Mac but not on Linux
  • After recording, you can save the video file to your computer or upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
  • You can save the file in a number of different formats (This can also be a con if you don’t know what you’re doing)

Cons:

  • Requires a browser plugin to run which may slow your browser down. There is a “Download desktop version” button on the website but this is actually the Pro version, not the free one.
  • No cloud recording option. If you want to share your screencast, you will have to wait for the video to render and, then, you will have to wait for it to upload.
  • Time limits and watermarks (removed when you create a free account)
  • Not suitable for game recording because you can’t hide the recording widget
  • Users report that it takes quite a lot of time to view the replay
  • You must be online to use it

Available for:

  • You must be online to use it

5. Screencast-O-Matic

The free version of Screencast-O-Matic is another browser-based screen recording tool. It should work for you if you don’t need to record computer audio and you only want to make very short videos.

Screencast-O-Matic

Pros:

  • Narrate the video (record your computer microphone)
  • Record your webcam
  • After recording the video, you can upload it to YouTube or the Screencast-o-matic hosting service
  • Highlight your mouse

Cons:

  • 15-minute recording limit
  • There is a watermark
  • You can’t record computer audio in the free version
  • No screenshot tool
  • The free version can only run in the browser which can slow your computer down
  • Ads on your screencasts
  • Requires Java to run
  • Some users report that it crashes their browsers and slows down their computers
  • No cloud recording option. If you want to share your screencast, you will have to wait for the video to render and, then, you will have to wait for it to upload.

Available for:

  • Windows and Mac

6. Ezvid

Ezvid is on our best screen recording software list because it has some cool features like the ability to draw while recording or synthesize human speech from text. Like iSpring Free Cam, it only works on Windows and saves screencasts in the bulky WMV format.

Ezvid

Pros:

  • HD video capture
  • Include computer narration with your video
  • Trim videos
  • Insert images and videos in your screencast
  • Draw while recording
  • Facecam recording
  • No watermarks
  • No ads

Cons:

  • Works on Windows only
  • Recording limit — depends on how much free space you have on your hard drive
  • Delayed replay — you have to wait until your video is rendered
  • Some users report that it slows down their computers
  • Screen captures are saved in .WMV format (OK if you’re using a Windows PC but the video might not play on other platforms)

Available for:

  • Windows

7. Prezi Video

Prezi Video gives you the opportunity to record a presentation from your Prezi slideshow using the desktop app. This app lets you record, edit, and download your presentations and even stream them to conference apps.

Record Your Screen

Pros:

  • Connects with Prezi or other Powerpoint presentations.
  • Powerful editing right within the app
  • Offers templates to customize videos
  • Have the option to show either webcam with presentation in background or just the presentation content
  • Downloads in mp4 format
  • Can live stream to Zoom, Webex, and GoToWebinar
  • Can pause and resume recording

Cons:

  • 15 minute recording limit
  • Only records up to 720p

Available for:

  • Windows, Mac and Chrom

8. Veed

Veed is an online screen recorder and video editor. If you can’t install new apps on your computer, this may be a good solution. Works on Windows and Mac, no software download or plugin required.

Apps To Record Your Computer Screen

Pros:

  • Screen capture with a click
  • Unique layout options
  • Fast and simple review
  • Full video editing
  • Auto-generated subtitles
  • 2 GB of free storage
  • No need for downloading

Cons:

  • Has watermark
  • 10-minute recording limit
  • No customer support

Available for:

  • Windows and Mac

9. Movavi Screen Recorder

Screen recorder by Movavi is a simple but functional program. It will work perfectly if you need to record a screencast with the sound, webcam, and highlighting of your mouse and keyboard clicks, or make a screenshot. The program is suitable for Windows and Mac users, and it does not require an internet connection.

How To Record Your Computer Screen

Pros:

  • Record both the system sound and the microphone. Disable one or both of them if you do not need to record it
  • Record your screen and your webcam
  • Highlight the cursor and keystrokes
  • Make screenshots
  • Save recordings to the hard drive or the Google Drive
  • Save videos in MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, WEBM, GIF, or MP3 formats
  • Instant sharing: you can share a video on a cloud, on WhatsApp, YouTube, Telegram, or via email directly from the program
  • No time limitations for recordings
  • No ads

Cons:

  • There are no opportunities to edit a recording; you can only cut extra fragments
  • No support for Linux

Available for:

  • Windows and Mac

What Is a Good Screen Recorder?

There are two important points to consider when looking for the best free screen recorder in 2021.

1. File Format & Compression

A file format is a particular way of organizing the data within the file. There are many video file formats and some screen recording tools support more than one. However, most of the time, it goes down to MP4 vs. WMV.

MP4 or WMV for screen capture?

MP4 or WMV for screen capture

The WMV format is a product of Microsoft. Back in the day, it was created to allow professional videos to be recorded in high quality, e.g. on DVD, Bluray. The biggest issue here is that Mac users often have trouble viewing WMV files.

MP4, on the other hand, helps you produce video files that can be opened on any platform. And, when it comes to video quality, MP4 is actually better than WMV.

So,MP4 is more suitable for publishing your screen captures on the web and sharing them with others. The best free video capture software allows you to save your videos in MP4.

2. Video Hosting & Uploading

When looking for a screen capture software, you’d probably look at the recording features like — recording time, ability to record the computer audio, and so on.

But what happens after you record your screencast?

Most of the time, video files are very big and can’t be attached to emails. This means that, to share a video, you have to upload it somewhere in the cloud. In other words, you need video hosting.

This is a book-worthy topic but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Hosting on YouTube. Some screen recorders allow you to post your videos on YouTube. That’s great when you want to share your videos publicly but not recommended if the screencast contains sensitive information.
  • Proprietary video hosting. Some screen recorders like Screenrec, Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder and Screencast-O-Matic come with video hosting. When storing your videos on these platforms, it would be wise to research if the platform is free and what level of security it offers.
  • Cloud Recording. If there is no Cloud Recording option, you will have to wait for the video to upload until you can share it. The best free screen capture tools come with this option.

Conclusion

Even the best free screen recording software has advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, the recording features — what you can do with the tool, are just as important as the effectiveness — how quickly you can record your computer screen and share it with others.

So, before you set your mind on a free screen recording software, it’s best to evaluate your own recording needs. Maybe you don’t need to upload your videos to social media or maybe you don’t need to record in HD.

Based on this criteria, the top screen recording software for us is the free screen recorder by ScreenRec. The final decision is, of course, yours to make.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the names suggest, the biggest difference is that a desktop screen recorder can capture your screen while you're offline or on a poor internet connection. An online screen recorder requires stable Internet. For this reason, an online screen recorder isn't the best option when it comes to game capture. It may be a viable option when you're recording a tutorial, though.

Screencast-O-Matic is a popular screencasting tool. Many people use it to record tutorials, training videos and other educational content. The biggest advantage of Screencast-O-Matic is, perhaps, the ability to share the recording to a number of platforms like Vimeo, YouTube and Screencast-o-Matic's own video hosting platform. One downside, however, is the fact that you have to wait for the recording to upload and, if you've been recording for, say, 1 hour, this can be a huge pain. That's why, as an alternative, we'll suggest ScreenRec. It's quick and lightweight, allows you to capture both your computer audio and microphone audio and, finally, it's got instant private sharing--your screen recordings are uploaded in real time which means that you never have to wait. You get a sharing link as soon as you press "Stop".

It depends on the screen capture tool you're using and your platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc). With ScreenRec, for example, you have to press Alt + S to start recording your desktop. This works on all platforms.

References and Further Reading?

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