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Wondershare DemoCreator
All-in-one computer screen recorder and video editor.
  • Capture target window, full screen or specific area on computer
  • Record voiceover, screen and webcam simultaneously and edit them on different tracks
  • Edit captured screen video with caption, sticker and annotation tools
  • Add transition and green screen effects

Best Screen Recorder for Windows PC: The Definitive Guide

Nov 18, 2020• Proven solutions

Screen recording is getting more essential in daily life, whether you want to record a webinar, a Skype interview, a video call or a conference, or make review demos to demonstrate the apps or applications, or record your gameplay and then post it to YouTube. However, it is hard for people to choose the right screen recorder because there is so many screen recording software available on the market. How to choose the perfect one based on your needs such as the screen recorder is FREE and there is NO WATERMARK, NO TIME LIMIT, and NO FILE SIZE LIMIT.

Well, we have researched some of the best screen recording software on the market today and completed a comprehensive guide to show you the BEST 10 screen recorders for any purpose on PC.

In this guide, You will learn:

Check this guide if you are looking for a screen recorder for iOS, or Mac, YouTube here. If you are looking for a screen recorder for a special purpose, you should check this article because we have listed 20+ best screen recorders for all purposes for different platforms.


Recommended: Best Screen Recorder&Video Editor in one: Wondershare DemoCreator

Wondershare DemoCreator is a screen recorder that has a built-in video editor tool, which means you can record and edit your video footage. Besides the basic video editing features, such as splitting, cutting, rotating, scaling, and trimming, there are some splendid recording and editing features. Using DemoCreator, you can

  • Record the entire screen or just a part of your screen
  • Capture video, system audio, webcam, and mic at the same time
  • Add Markers to important points during recording
  • Record high paced games at up to 120 fps
  • Change video speed and add fade in and fade out with a simple drag
  • Detach audio and record voice narration during editing and reduce the noise

You can download it now and have a try. Let us know how you think about Wondershare DemoCreator in the comment below.


Part 1: Choosing the Right Screen Recorder for Your Needs

To help you find out the right Windows screen recorder based on your needs, we have made a comparison form of some of the screen recording software according to their recording features, price, editing tools, save capacity, and the video effects.

  Name OBS Bandicam Fraps Atomi ActivePresenter Camtasia Icecream Screen Recorder
Price Price Options Free Free Free Free   Free
    $39 $37 $149 $199
 
$29.95
    Check difference Check difference     Check difference
Recording Desktop Recording Y Y Y Y Y Y
Webcam Recording Y Y Y Y Y Y
Audio Recording Y Y Y Y Y Y
Effects Zoom-in tool N N N Y Y Y
Transitions N N N Y Y N
on-screen drawing N Y N Y Y Y
Chroma key Y N N N Y N
Add watermark Y Y N Y Y Y
Mouse Effects N Y N Y Y N
Editing Editing Tools N N N Y Y N
Save FPS 60 120 120 60 30 30
Save video as FLV, MP4, MOV, MKV AVI, MP4 AVI MP4, FLV, AVI, WMV, WebM, MKV MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI MP4, MKV, WebM
Direct Upload to YouTube N N N Y Y N
Use Commercial Use Y Y Y
Free: No
Paid: Yes
Y
Free: No
Paid: Yes

Part2: Top 10 Best Screen Recording Software

1. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) – Best Free Game Recording Software

OBS is a free and open-source software set for recording and live streaming. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux and is written in C and C++ code. For gamers, this is the perfect software to use if on either of those computers as OBS allows live streaming of the games that can be shown through YouTube and Twitch. There’s no delay in this because the OBS utilizes the GPU, Graphics Processing Unit, in live streams with up to 60 frames per second.

Check the video below to learn a step-by-step guide on how to record games with OBS:

Pros: 

It’s free, but it also means it doesn’t have the advanced features other software would have, which gamers would be willing to invest in.

Cons:

If using a Mac, it could crash because any bugs could be in conflict with Mac’s system, while it looks stable on Windows.

Download OBS Studio from the official website


2.Icecream Screen Recorder – Best Budget Screen Recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder is a recorder that captures the entire computer screen or certain areas of the screen. With this software, webinars, video calls, and conferences can be recorded with its in-built, user-friendly interface. There are several pros and cons to this software.

Check out the latest review below to learn more on Icecream Screen Recorder

Pros: 

On the pro side, it records videos in MP4, MKV, and WebM format, allows audio and webcam recording, has on-screen annotating while screen capturing, and provides screenshots to be in JPG or PNG format.

Cons: 

On the con side, it offers only a limited fiction and editing option for free users, who only have 10 minutes of screen recording time, and its recordings can’t be used for commercial purposes.

Difference between the free and paid versions? 

There is no time limit in the paid version, the video format and video codec is diverse in format, and has many features the free version doesn’t have. It includes scheduled screen recording, license to use 2 computers, and priority support.

Download Icecream Screen Recorder from the official website


3. Bandicam – Great Game, Screen, and Webcam Recording

Bandicam is a screen recorder for Windows that records everything on the screen with high-quality video. Bandicam allows the recording of a certain area on the screen, webcam, or game that uses DirectX/OpenGL graphic software. It enhances the recording performance with a specific encoder, allowing the recording of the main subject at high speed and a high compression ratio in perfect quality.

Here is a video tutorial of how to use Bandicam and its main features:

Pros: 

Its pros include the system’s hardware-accelerated recording, the recorded file size being smaller than other software (which means more space to save), and permission to film 24 hours of footage in 4k Ultra High-Definition.

Cons: 

The cons are that it isn’t supported to live stream and that a watermark is seen on top if using the free version.

Difference between the free and paid versions?

The main difference is that: the free version can be used up to 10 minutes with a watermark. 


Download Bandicam from the official website


4. Camtasia – For Educational Materials, Product Overviews, and Marketing Videos

The TechSmith Camtasia Studio is a two-in-one software that serves as a personal screen recorder and a video maker & editor. It can make some very imaginative, professional-style videos, which can be played for a variety of projects necessary for such an undertaking. Camtasia Studio has no limits to what it can do, showcasing its versatility as a video-producing software that is better than the competition. The latest version has brought some impressive additions including new callout options, improved sharing tools, and a revamped interface. No separate license is required for Windows and Mac, meaning users can use Camtasia Studio for both systems, whatever is chosen. As for its pros and cons:

Here is a tutorial on how to use the latest version of Camtasia Studio 9

Pros:

  • No Time Restrictions – For a few minutes for a couple of hours, it allows users to produce and edit videos at any length. 
  • Everything Can Be Recorded – Computer screens, webcams, and any special audio such as voiceovers can be featured. It will be like PIP, in some cases. 
  • Editing – Converting to any file format and editing it up is easy. Anything can be added or cut from the video, as part of its specialty. 
  • Import & Export - .camproj, .camrec, and .avi file formats are acceptable. 
  • Works With Other Products – Any other software can be utilized with Camtasia Studio, such as Microsoft products and YouTube.

Cons:

  • The Need for Software – All users must download the Camtasia software with specific requirements for Windows and Mac, and there is no web-based version as of now.
  • DV Camera Support – Or lack thereof, as Camtasia does not use the live recording from a digital video camera.
  • Software Updates – Free updates are only allowed to any upgrade of the version, and not the brand new version, in which it must be paid for.

Download Camtasia from the official website


5. CamStudio – Free Screen Capturing For YouTube

CamStudio is a software that records your computer screen activity including the audio and creates AVI videos out of that.

Learn how to record your Pc screen in HD with Camstudio

Pros:

This is good for Windows users to make quick screencasts, download them, and export as an .avi file. Special features include cursor highlighting, session recording, panning automatically, and recording with sound.

Cons:

On the downside, it’s too simple of software in that there aren’t any great features it has, and only .avi is permitted for exporting. It’s also the anti-gamer software, as it is impossible to work with if recording.

Download CamStudio from the official website


6. ShadowPlay – Best Recording PC Gameplay

ShadowPlay is a free software for streaming and recording gaming moments. ShadowPlay uses Nvidia Geforce GPU technology, which helps the PC’s CPU ability to run the game fluidly. It comes in two modes, shadow mode, and manual mode. In shadow mode, all gameplay from the last 20 minutes will be recorded with just one press of a button and older moments will be deleted. The manual mode is standard, meaning unlimited recording can be manually turned on and off. It records with 4K resolutions at 130 Mbps, which means amazing quality will be seen.

Video Tutorial: How To Use Nvidia Shadowplay

Pros:

  • It’s Free – The only thing needed is a GTX 650 video card or better.
  • Easy to Use – Set shortcuts, location for downloads, and all settings for recording.
  • Good Quality – Can set to High, Medium, and Low, or 50Mbps, 22Mbps, and 15Mbps.

Cons:

  • Lack of Features – It can be only recorded in 1080p and the frame rate cannot be set.
  • The need for a GTX 650 – Again, it’s free, yet this is needed before it can be downloaded.

Download ShadowPlay from the official website


7. Xsplit Broadcaster – Screen Recorder for Live Stream

Xsplit Broadcaster is an application for streamlining and in-built audio/video mixing. It is marketed for video game live streaming, but it is also a great piece of software for live streaming videos with its easy-to-use advanced tools. There are three formats of Xsplit – Free, Personal, and Premium. 
Free is for beginners in streaming and would like to give XSplit a try. The Personal License gives users access to full HD transmitting at 60+ fps, strong audio codec support, and advanced product features. For the Premium License, this is highly recommended for commercial use and has all-access to XSplit’s groundbreaking features, including a Live Preview Editor, Audio Mix Preview, and adding custom script plugins and effects with source transitions.

Video Tutorial: How to Use Xsplit Broadcaster

Pros:

  • Easy and automated in usage
  • Drag and drop-style graphic integration of recordings
  • Use of third parties with files and URLs
  • Variety of tools and advanced features
  • Quick technical support
  • Account works for both Broadcaster and Gamecaster with one payment

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well with the Diamond CG500
  • Poor handling with social media updates

Download Xsplit Broadcaster from the official website


8. Fraps – Best Light Screen Recording For Games

Fraps is a tool with a size of just 2.3 Megabytes being used. It might not have as many features as other software similar to theirs, but the features are among the best. It captures videos at 7680×4800 (!) resolution with frames that can be set up between 1-120 fps. It can be used as a benchmark and show the total frames per second while gaming to see that it is working fine.

How To Record Gameplay Video With Fraps

Pros:

  • It shows all statistics of performance and measures the average performance rate it gives. These statistics can be saved to a separate file in your PC for future reference.

Cons:

  • On the downside, its features are very limited and you will only be able to record and stream videos with some added information.

The difference between the free and pro versions is that a user who registers has no limit to the length of their video, has no watermarks, and can capture screenshots in PNG, JPG, and TGA format.

Download Fraps from the official website


9. Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic is a free screen recording software that is compatible with Windows and Mac. It also can be bought for more tools to enhance the screen recording. Here are its pros and cons.

Screencast-O-Matic 2017 Tutorial:

Pros:

  • The easy option of saving videos in different formats
  • The easy option to upload it all on YouTube
  • The easiness of the whole software

Cons:

  • There are no optional cursor tools
  • When uploading on YouTube, the watermark is included
  • The editing tools are too basic and not advanced enough

Download Screencast-O-Matic from the official website


10. Ezvid Video Maker

Ezvid Video Maker is a software for screen recording where, in a few clicks, recording the computer screen leads to high-resolution movies being produced. Ezvid also allows recording for a specific region (as regions between North America and Europe are different) and permits title, description, and keyword addition to the recordings.

Video tutorial: Using Ezvid video maker to record your screen:

Pros:

  • Videos are automatically saved, even during recording
  • Slideshows with screen capturing
  • Features voice synthesis
  • The on-screen narration during the recording
  • Direct uploading to YouTube
  • Has webcam recording

Cons:

  • Recording time restricted to 45 minutes
  • YouTube only for direct uploading
  • No random settings for screen recording

Download Ezvid Video Maker from the official website

Filmora logo filmora product interface

The All-in-One Screen Recorder & Video Editor

  • Record desktop screen, voiceover, and webcam simultaneously
  • Edit recorded clips quickly with a wide range of professional tools
  • Built-in plentiful templates and effects
  • Export to MP4, MOV, MKV, GIF and multiple formats
Try It Free
For Win 7 or later (64-bit)
Try It Free
For macOS X 10.13 or late
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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.