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Sometimes text can't get your point across like a live video can. Whether you need to share your screen with either a business audience or one of your colleagues, you need screen recording software.
It can often be time-consuming and lack the interactive engagement required to capture someone's attention.
Also, imagine having to write down everything to articulate something when you can simply use screen capture software.
In cases when it's easier to show your screen to a massive audience rather than text, you should use the best screen recording software. These tools are great for online video tutorials, online courses, webinars, and more.
What is Screen Recording Software?
Screen recording software are computer programs that capture the video content of your computer screen over a set duration. In addition to video capture, this software can also capture audio from your computer microphone or external microphone setup.
Video screen recordings are now being increasingly used for creating demos, videos for educational purposes, tutorials, and product demonstrations.
Screen capture software video recordings have an apparent edge over other modes of communication, such as:
- It explains things visually (with audio involved for instructions)
- Can build customer trust (by viewing videos of other customers validating a product or service)
- It can explain things more comprehensively that infographics or text
Screen recording tools capture the entire screen and allow you to engage in a more interactive and meaningful way.
However, with dozens of screen recording software available online, you are bound to get confused when choosing.
That's why I evaluated tons of screen recording apps and curated the list of the 11 best for Mac and Windows.
Let's get started.
What is the Best Screen Recording Software?
Here are my picks for the best paid and best free screen recorders.
Initially released in 2006, Screencast-O-Matic is a screen-casting and video-editing software that can be directly launched from the browser. Available both as a free and paid software, it's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.
Based out of Seattle, WA, this screen recording software provides services at one of the cheapest market rates and offers excellent value to its customers.
Screencast-O-Matic is best used in the education sector to help students with video assignments, prepare tutorials, and lectures. It also comes in handy when it comes to providing product demos, create video game walkthroughs, and conduct a workshop.
- Robust set of tools for high customization
- Allows you to add music, animation, and infographics to your video
- Keeps your recordings safe and secure with online back-up
- Free screen recorder comes with features like screen capture, webcam recording, and microphone audio recording (up to 15 minutes)
- The paid version can upload files into Google Drive, Dropbox, and the Vimeo
- While recording, you can zoom in, zoom out and add texts
- Ability to edit and mute system audio and video sections of a screencast (paid version)
- Supports mp4, AVI, and FLV file formats
- Scripted recording options
- Very affordable
- The paid version allows you to remove watermark
- No time limit on recording
- Allows users to edit audio track
- Create an account and refer friends to earn discounts
- One of the cheapest screen recorders on the market (paid version)
- Watermark cannot be removed in free version
- Recording only for 15 minutes in free version
- The free version offers minimal features so you'd need to upgrade to a paid plan
Apart from the free version, it has two paid versions. The Deluxe version costs $1.50 per month and is payable yearly. The second version is the Premier plan and costs $4 per month, payable yearly.
This version has all the perks of the deluxe version along with additional features, including extra bandwidth, no advertisements and watermark, and more.
Overall, based on the feature set and price point, Screencast-O-Matic is my #1 choice.
Get started with Screencast-O-Matic.
Initially released in 2002, Camtasia was developed by TechSmith to create video tutorials and screencasts. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac and supports a wide range of file formats for exporting and importing videos and other projects.
This screen recording software is especially useful for making YouTube, marketing, and educational videos.
Camtasia is especially useful for web designers and videographers who need to make their videos look unique and professional. It is also beneficial for making tutorials and training videos for the education industry.
- You can add eye-catching titles, effects, annotations, and more
- Allows audio recording along with video recording
- Users may add or download add-ins and extensions
- Allows you to add zoom in, zoom out, and pan animations to your video recordings
- Flawless integration with Microsoft Outlook
- Creates interactive videos containing clickable links to generate dynamic video content
- Wide range of options for recording (computer screens, powerpoint presentations, webcam, voice recordings)
- Wide range of options for editing (visual effects to animations)
- Enables you to add quizzes in your videos
- Special discounts for academic and government institutions ($30 for academics and $20 for the government)
- No time limit on video length
- Compatible with both Mac and Windows
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Integrated with Google Drive
- Requires a lot of training to be able to edit and use it properly
- Video editing is a little less advanced as compared to its contemporaries
- Selection of pre-made sound themes is limited (not very diverse)
- Does not support live recording from a digital video camera
Unlike the previous two tools in this list, Camtasia is not free software. However, you do get a 30-day money-back guarantee along with a free trial.
After that, it comes with a one-time fee of $199 (single-user license). No credit card detail submission is necessary for automatic billing.
Get started with Camtasia.
Ezvid Inc. is a Los Angeles-based video and screen recording software company. With a talented team of developers, writers, and designers, it makes one of the best screen recorders for Windows and Mac.
With its full-featured video editor and screen recorder, it is effortless to create videos for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
Moreover, it has quick keyboard shortcuts that you can use to enable hands-free recording. Laced with features like instant slideshow maker, free included music, and easy-to-use speed control for videos, Ezvid is an excellent option.
Recording games, making YouTube videos, and small projects with multiple recordings.
- Text-to-speech tool
- Efficient built-in editor
- No watermarks when you record or edit videos
- Easy-to-use screen recorder
- Allows you to easily upload videos to YouTube with 1280×720 resolution (optimized for bright crystal display)
- Free soundtrack music (legal for YouTube)
- Automatic animation effects
- Automatic audio normalization
- Blocks spyware, malware, and advertisements (100%)
- FaceCam, voice synthesis, screen drawing, and speed control are available
- Speed control of videos
- Easily upload your videos to YouTube
- 1280X720 resolution
- Easy recording of audio, and addition of images and text
- No registration fee
- YouTube recording is allowed for only 45 minutes at a stretch
- It's not always compatible with Mac (you should check with the company in case of doubt)
- Can't hide the recording widget
- Doesn't allow to save your video in your PC for later reference
- Can only be uploaded into YouTube (uploaded directly)
- Doesn't provide some important editing features like transition effects, zooming, and panning (for recorded footage)
- Music doesn't appear on the timeline
- No option to mute music or export video as a media file
This screen recording software is entirely free of cost.
Built by MangoApps, TinyTake is one of the best video recording software available for Windows and Mac in the market right now. The basic version is free for all. They also offer paid subscription options that come with advanced features.
With great attributes like YouTube integration, webcam image capture, and automatic folder compression, TinyTake is one of the most lightweight and easy-to-use video recorders you will come across.
Ideal for online customer support, customer documentation, and making educational videos.
- Can easily capture images of a selected area, in part or full screen
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
- Draw attention with the highlighter
- Blur parts of the screen
- Videos can range from five minutes to up to 2 hours
- In-built online file viewer
- Video player optimized for a seamless experience on mobile phones
- In-built YouTube uploader
- Quick online filter (to filter out multimedia and other files)
- One-click sharing of the screenshots (save to file, send to the printer, copy to clipboard, or attach to email)
- No watermarks
- Very convenient for annotating videos for product reviews, demos, faults, or bug reporting
- Video annotations can be saved locally, for future reference
- Fast and easy sharing of files up to 2 GB at one go)
- Easy sharing of large files even if the receiver doesn't use TinyTake
- You can drag entire folder hierarchy, automatically zip it and upload to cloud
- Allows you to view images, play videos, read PDFs; no other software necessary
- If there are any mistakes in your video recording, you'd have to restart the app altogether
- Large videos are slow to load
- The free version has minimal attributes
- No API available
This video recording software essentially has one freemium plan and three paid plans.
- The first one is a free plan, with a recording limit of 5 minutes for 2 GB.
- The second plan is priced at $29.95 per year and provides a recording time of 15 minutes with a storage capacity of 20 GB.
- The third plan is priced at $59.95 per year, and provides a recording time of 30 minutes, with a storage capacity of 200 GB.
- The last plan costs $99.95 per year, and provides a recording time of 60 minutes, with a storage capacity of 1 TB.
The last two plans don't have any advertisements and come with YouTube integration.
CamStudio was initially released in 2001 by RenderSoft but was re-released by Microsoft as a pen-source video-recording software. In the recent past, allegations were made about it containing malicious software. However, it has been declared virus-free for a long time now.
This screen recording software is perfect for creating screencasts and quick demos and uses the AVI format. The video files can also be converted into the Flash and mp4 video format.
Despite being open-source and free, it packs a punch when it comes to the features. With CamStudio, you get unlimited video recording, the ability to add multiple extensions, a straightforward setup and installation process, and more.
Moreover, it is particularly useful if you need to make a video of still images and add texts. If you are someone with high customization requirements, this is an excellent choice for you.
Great for professional training tutorials, support in information technology, marketing domains, education, and research.
- Records files in AVI format
- Can record an entire screen or a small part of the screen
- Can add text and comments to video and image captures
- Offers automatic panning
- Can highlight cursor path for increased clarity
- Records with sounds
- Extensions and editing options can be added to the code
- No unwanted advertisements
- The latest version has attributes like codec support and automatic notifications of new updates
- Effortless installation
- Open source and free of cost
- You can add a time-stamp or a watermark
- Very easy to create training tutorials
- Wide range of video styling features
- There is no time limit for recording (unlike many other screen recording software tools)
- Doesn't contain any video editor (no base editing capability)
- The output is limited to AVI and SWF
- No compressors
- Used to be susceptible to malicious software and viruses (Trojans) in the past
- Output file is sometimes a bit too large
- Not very useful for game-recording
- Doesn't display file types
It is a free, open-source software.
6. Icecream Screen Recorder.
After CamStudio, Icecream Screen Recorder is another feature-rich, easy-to-use, and free and open-source software on this list. One of the best parts about this screen recording software is that it enables you to capture any area of your screen, either in part or in full, and save it as a screenshot or a video recording.
On top of that, it allows you to record games, video tutorials, webinars, live streams, Skype calls, and much more. You can access it on Windows, Mac, or Android.
One of the most prominent benefits of this app is that it is quite lightweight, and gets updated to the latest versions automatically.
Although popular feedback is that it has limited editing capacities, it can be advantageous if your requirements don't require a high frequency of edits.
If you have minimal editing requirements, then Ice-cream Screen Recorder software is perfect for you.
It comes in handy if you want to make educational tutorials and videos, and also for recording games. You can also use it for recording video or Skype calling for small businesses.
- You can choose the video quality
- You can record audio
- Allows you to select and capture a part of your screen
- Annotate (add text, shapes, and arrows for a better description)
- Easy upload (using YouTube, Dropbox, and Google Drive)
- Zoom in feature (to make videos more up, close and personal)
- Allows you to trim recordings (cut unnecessary parts)
- Hides cursor and disable screensaver options during recording
- Changes the microphone volume as per your need
- Displays hotkeys used in videos
- Schedules screen recording (set multiple screen capture tasks at once)
- Easy setup and installation
- Intuitive and customer-friendly user interface
- Can slow down the computer
- Limited editing capabilities
- The free version contains very basic features and allows only 10 minutes of recording
- The floating toolbar is captured while recording
- Videos and screenshots can be saved only in limited formats
The software is entirely free of cost for use. However, you can purchase the Screen Recorder Pro at a one-time fee of $29.95.
7. iSpring Free Cam.
iSpring Free Cam is one of the best media recording software tools available in the market currently. It allows you to record any part of your screen and upload directly to YouTube or save as WMV (Windows Media Video).
Using screen recording software, you can create screencasts very easily, and train your employees to work with business software. One of the advantages of this software is that you can add a presenter video at the top or bottom of the screen, which helps you provide better user engagement.
Perfect for making engaging educational videos, tutorials, and videos explaining product demos or games.
- Screencasts with voiceovers (quickly create narrated tutorials)
- You can record your entire screen, a part of the screen, or simply an app
- Records sound effects (to make the app more appealing and provide a real-life experience)
- You can also draw attention to your on-screen actions via a mouse
- Interactive canvasses (drag-and-drop option, annotations, etc.)
- You can add a personal touch to videos (add presenter video at the top or bottom of presentation)
- Helps users become familiar by using visual hints
- You can trim or delete videos (split and merge fragments)
- Smooth scene transitions (eliminate abrupt transition cuts to for a more seamless experience)
- Easily share videos (upload them to LMS, YouTube or send them to stakeholders)
- Noise reduction, voice fading, and volume adjusting capabilities
- Good customer support
- Easy to install
- User-friendly, intuitive interface
- Safe, virus-free software
- No advertisements and watermark
- No time limit of use
- No advanced video editing features
- Lack of annotation tools
- Can export video in WMV format only
- Recording frame rate is only 15 FPS
iSpring Free Cam is a free, open-source app available on the internet.
8. Screenflow - Telestream.
Screenflow is an excellent recording software available for Mac. It offers a wide range of features and can be used to record the entire screen or some part of it.
Moreover, it allows you to readjust, delete, trim, and insert specific portions of the recordings and offers high customization capabilities. Features like high-quality recording, professional motion, and closed-caption support make it one of the best options out there in the market.
Great for demonstrating and explaining software ad product demos, and also to make educational tutorials. It is also an excellent platform for creating online training videos that you can personalize and narrate.
- Mp4 compatibility and encoding
- Motion and animation graphics
- Closed caption support
- Partial and full-screen capture
- iOS recording (highly reliable)
- Highly customizable
- Record videos and add your own narration
- Allows you to trim clips, and add zoom and pan effects
- Easy addition of text on top of recording for better explanations
- Add and use 'drop shadow' and 'reflection'
- Can simultaneously record from multiple sources
- Batch export feature (allows the export of multiple files simultaneously)
- Chroma key support available (replace your colored background with stills from your recording)
- Publish your videos directly to YouTube, Facebook, Google Drive, Vimeo, or Dropbox
- You can export your file in various formats, including AIFF, GIF, MV4, MOV, and MP4
- Excellent customer support (phone and online)
- Fully integrated with Dropbox
- High-quality video export
- Reasonable prices
- Accepted media extensions are not listed
- The transition from one stage to another is difficult
- Not a user-friendly and intuitive graphic interface
- Available only on Mac; not available on PC or tablets (iPad)
- On-screen text options could be better
- No drawing during recording
- No free upgrades available
The paid plans start at $129, and it is one of the priciest screen recorders in the market.
9. Free Screen Video Recorder (by DVDVideosoft).
Free Screen Video Recorder is a compact, full-featured screen video recorder and screenshot capture tool. The best part is that it allows you to record screen activities easily and capture anything on the screen, including objects, menus, full screen, and rectangular regions.
You have multiple options and can either choose to save captures to file or clipboard or directly printing them out. Other than being free, open-source software, it is entirely advertisement and virus-free, which further adds to its value.
Designed to serve basic purposes like making educational video tutorials and is a good fit there. It is not very useful for product demos or the gaming industry.
- Records screen activities, on-screen changes, speech from microphone, and even mouse movements
- Can capture multiple windows (can capture objects including multi-level menus)
- You can resize, re-crop, and rotate output images
- Record screen video to mp4 format
- Highlighting the cursory path for increased clarity
- Options to save the file in BMP, JPEG, GIF, TGA or PNG formats
- Free screen recorder with no threats of malware, virus or advertisements
- Record video with sound (using a microphone)
- Has a large community of users with over 33 million global download
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Step-by-step visually guided video to help you get started
- Can use the software on up to 3 computers per license
- You can easily change the default settings (media format, program language, delay's time)
- Runs immediately when Windows starts (optional feature)
- Available only for Windows, not Mac or Linux
- Does not support picture-in-picture
- Minimal features
- Must accept or decline bundled third-party installations during the set-up
As the name suggests, Free Screen Video Recorder is open-source and free software.
However, you can purchase a license to access more advanced features, all the software tools by DVDVideosoft.
It costs $9.95 for six months, $14.95 for twelve months, and $29.95 for an unlimited membership. All of these features come with superior customer support and easy update management.
Smartpixel is an easy-to-use and screen recorder that is compatible with Windows and Android. Initially released in 2015, it is free software that is integrated with D3D technology, which is compatible with a majority of PC and mobile games.
Furthermore, owing to its video compression technology, it is capable of recording high-quality videos with minimal machine and storage requirements. It is especially useful for gaming enthusiasts, who find this software to be ideal for game recordings.
Ideal for gamers, especially for recording gaming tutorials. It is also suitable for product demonstrations, tutorials, along with making educational videos. With Smartpixel, you can also create professional, personalized music, or webcam videos.
- Provides beauty tools for beautification (color settings, light management, and slimming)
- Allows you to import videos or images and include them in the recording
- PIP feature available (add a touch of personalization)
- You can add lyrics and audio to webcam recordings (also allows adjustable volumes)
- Allows you to clip, merge, and split videos
- Upload videos directly to YouTube
- Output available in FLV, AVI, MP4, and WMV
- Adds annotations and live commentary to videos
- The optional mini mode takes up very little on-screen space
- You can also mark and pinpoint exciting moments to engage customers better
- Records screen in HD quality without taking up much space (video compression)
- Has hotkeys, which allow you to control functions via keyboard
- You can save multiple projects and can access and edit them any time you want
- Cannot pan or zoom on specific parts of the video
- Cannot adjust the recorded audio
- Doesn't offer any multilingual version
- Requires a lot of resources to set up
- The user interface is not intuitive (you might find it challenging to use for the first few times)
The software is open-source and free.
ShareX is, without a doubt, one of the best free screen capture tools available in the market right now. It can capture the entire screen or parts of the screen. With a high degree of customizability, it promises to fulfill the needs of every user.
Furthermore, you can use it to annotate recordings and screen captures as well as upload them in a variety of ways to multiple destinations. However, as of now, it is only available for Windows.
Best for educational tutorial videos, product demos, and for creating videos for hands-on demonstrations for gaming purposes.
- You can upload your screenshots (or recorded videos) to more than 70 hosting services, including Google Drive, Imgur, Dropbox, and more
- The automatic upload feature allows you to share any screenshot, captured video, or GIF
- Built-in image editor (will enable you to edit the shots you took manually)
- You can record screen in the form of videos or GIF
- Uses multiple screens
- In-built auto-capture feature
- You can record full screen or a part of the screen
- Supports multiple URL sharing services
- Imports videos, photos, and music
- Comes with a range of color effects
- Image combining option (here you can choose any number of images and combine them)
- No watermark required
- Quality of game recording is low
- Not very user-friendly (user interface can be a little complex)
- Webcam recording not supported
- Uploading large files can be a problem at times
- There is no video editor
- Not available for Mac users
- Shareable links have limited shelf-life and get expired after a specific period of time
- Scrolling window capture does not always work
- Lacks a dedicated customer support team
ShareX is an open-source, free screen recording software tool.
Before selecting a screen recording software, you should choose the one that perfectly aligns with all of your video requirements.
Nowadays, choosing the perfect screen recorder is more of a successful business strategy than a valuable add-on, and thus there is little room for error.
The best part about this list is that most of the tools mentioned above are either free or come with a free trial version, which comes in handy if you want to test the product before making the final purchase.
So, set the long-term goal and vision of your business, and see which of these tools suit you the best.
Is any screen capture software not on this list? Let me know in the comments.