Looking to record your computer screen to do a screencast? Here are a few free screen recorders for you to consider, and at the end of the article, my personal favorite.. I’ve used all of the five I listed here.
I won’t go back to some of the screen recorders I tested for obvious reasons which will be clear to you as you read this.
This is a free screen recorder software. Ability to have settings for video.
Pros – this software is small, easy to learn and to use.
Cons – when I installed the software, it came with all kinds of adware. I had to clean up my computer. Based on reports online, other users face the similar issues.
Advice – try to avoid or use with caution due to adware. Otherwise an decent option.
Screen Cast O Matic
This is also a free screen recorder. The free version can record your computer screen and webcam as well. There is a paid Pro version for a small fee per year. The Pro version allows you to edit the video you have capture.
Pros – free, small and easy to use. Can capture webcam which is a plus
Cons – Limited to 10 minutes and an annoying watermark at the bottom left corner of the video for the free version. Recorded video files cannot be edited in 2 video editing software I tested. This is because the frame rate i.e. the FPS is 10 in the version I used. A search on the internet shows that other frame rates are possible on the Pro version.
Open Broadcaster Software
A free screen recorder that can record computer screen and webcam in HD. It can live stream your video to online video streaming services like Youtube, Twitch.tv etc
Pros – free, no watermark, no time limit on recording. You can capture your webcam. Works on Windows OS 7, 8 and 10, plus OS X and Linux.
It can do green screen or chroma key with your webcam quite easily. You can set frame rate, video and audio bitrate etc to suit your recording needs. Also has plugin for microphone noise gate to reduce back ground noise.
Cons – have some tiny quirks. Just need to be mindful before you hit record. Does not have built in function to edit.
Suggestion – good choice to use if you want free screen recorder without limitation on time
Free screen recording from Techsmith. This is a small free screen recording software that can capture still images and screen cast videos as well. There is a free version that records to .swf files and a paid version for a low yearly fee. The paid version can convert files to .mp4 to upload to Youtube etc.
Pros – free. Pretty decent software. Easy to use.
Cons – 5 minutes limit. Does not capture your webcam, and no built in editing function. Ensuing video file is in SWF format. Editing .swf file may be an issue, and not many software can play .swf files.
Note – Jing is from Techsmith, the same company that makes Camtasia Studio. Camtasia Studio is a full suite of screen recording and editing software. However it is a paid software and priced quite steep at US$299. Do not confused Camtasia Studio with CamStudio above. They are different software.
My choice of free screen recorder
Open Broadcaster Software because of the ability to set frame rate, bitrate, webcam, chroma key and microphone noise gate. It is also free without limitation of recording length, and no watermarks etc to cripple the software.
The video file can be edited in many video editing software.
Note – frame rate, and bitrate affect the video quality. The microphone noise gate reduces background noise thus you reduce unnecessary editing.
I created a step by step course to walk through Open Broadcaster Software, so you can get started immediately. Click here to get the course here.