How to Screen Record on Windows or Mac [2021]

How to Screen Record on Windows or Mac

Screen recording tools or features come in handy when you want to record an educational webinar, online conferences or meetings, create live streams and more for future reference. Some screen recording apps also allow you to share video files directly from within the app. While Mac and Windows devices offer inbuilt software that will help you record and capture your PC screen, they lack additional functional features. That is where the popular third-party screen recording apps are tapping.

These alternative apps usually have a free version for you to check out, and they are quickly gaining popularity among users. We have mentioned one such alternative app in this article and two inbuilt options for Mac and Windows.

You may have an inbuilt program to record your system screen or opt for an alternative. However, to use it properly to get the best recording outputs, it is crucial to know how to use them. Here, we have not just mentioned the top 3 programs but also listed the instructions to operate each of them.

Step-by-step instructions of how to record your screen

Movavi Screen Recorder (for Windows and Mac):

If you’re unwilling to settle for an essential tool and want something compatible with both Mac and Windows OS, try Movavi Screen Recorder. It has a free version for both the operating systems and is the simplest to use third-party screen recorder with an intuitive user interface. So much so that using Movavi to record computer screens does not mandatorily require additional instruction. The app is self-explanatory. Think of it as useful software that unravels and helps you learn as you open and start working with it. The recorder lets you drive directly from its user-friendly interface.

  • First, open the video or audio on the screen that you want to record.
  • Open the Movavi Screen Recorder and press the screen recording button at the mid-right of your screen.
  • To select the capture area, press the space bar or drag-and-select the part you intend to record with the crosshair around your cursor. However, if you want to be more precise, go to the top left corner and select a custom frame size.
  • Only when you’ve selected the capture area, the recording panel will be visible.
  • Since Movavi allows you to record audio from multiple channels, click either the microphone or speaker button to record accordingly.
  • If you want to record video simultaneously, switch on your camera and enable Webcam overlay with a button that will show up on the recording panel.
  • Additionally, you can enable cursor recording, highlight the cursor & clicks, capture your keystrokes. You make all these changes in the Effects section of Preferences.
  • Finally, press on REC on the control panel to start with the recording right away. Use the pause and STOP buttons on the control panel to pause or finish recording.


  • Recording scheduler
  • You can enable keyboard and mouse effects in the recording
  • Flexible recording parameters


  • The free version does not remove the watermark, add tags to the video and cannot record system sound.

GameBar (for Windows):

GameBar is designed to mainly record games on Windows PC. It can also capture screen activity from other windows and applications, except File Explorer and a few specific Windows app, like Weather. Windows 10 users will find this screen recorder pre-installed in their system. With GameBar, Windows developers enable users to capture their screens and take screenshots and record external and internal sound. The program allows to screen-record only for 4 hours at a stretch.

Follow the listed instructions below to film your screen successfully:

  • First, set up the program. For that, Navigate your way to the GameBar page from Settings. Switch on the button for recording screenshots, game clips and broadcasting. On this page, you can also alter shortcuts under Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • To adjust other parameters like background recording or video and audio settings, click on Capture, appearing on the screen’s left side.
  • Press the Xbox key on the controller to activate the GameBar recorder, provided you have an Xbox controller connected to the PC.
  • Once you’re done, navigate to the screen you want to record. Hold & press the Windows key + G on the keyboard to open the GameBar program.
  • The screen will then show several widgets with individual controls for recording audio and video, broadcasting screen activity and taking screenshots.
  • Click on Start Recording (short key is Windows + Alt + R) option on GameBar to take a video of your screen.
  • Once you click on your screen, the widgets will disappear and be replaced by a floating bar on the upper-right corner screen for controls. Click the Recording button again (on the floating bar) to stop the recording.
  • Soon as you’re done with recording, you’ll receive a notification on your system saying that your clip was recorded. Click on the notification to be redirected to the file location. Check the file and upload, if you want.
  • Please note that the video file is automatically saved in MP4 format.
  • Long press Ctrl + Print Screen, select the area and release to take a screenshot.


  • Xbox Account integration
  • Monitor your system’s resource usage while the screen is being recorded.
  • Easy to use


  • Occasional lag in performance
  • Can’t record desktop activity
  • At times, on opening the app, the UI doesn’t show up.

QuickTime (for Mac):

If you are a Mac OS user, let’s assume that you know your system has an inbuilt video player called QuickTime. But, were you aware that it doubles as a screen recorder? This program allows you to record the screen on pc and provides essential editing tools for post-processing. With QuickTime, users can either capture the entire screen or record a selected portion.

Here is how to record your screen using the native QuickTime screen recording app on Mac:

  • Open QuickTime Player- select the File option and click on New Screen Recording.
  • Wait for a Screen Recording prompt to appear.
  • Set up the screen recorder by clicking on the drop-down arrow on the red Recording button’s right. Here, you will find the Internal microphone enabling option, which you need to check to record your voice. If you want to record your clicks, click on the ‘Show Mouse Clicks in recording’ option.
  • Suppose you have already started the recording, and you forgot whether you had checked the mouse click recording option. In that case, if it is checked, you will see a black circle emphasize around the cursor with every click.
  • Click the Record button (appears in red) when you want to start the recording.
  • A selecting pop-up will appear at the center of the screen. If you wish to record the full screen, click anywhere on the screen. However, to record the screen only in part, click and drag over the screen section you want to be recorded, reposition it as per your preference and start recording.
  • Go to the top menu bar. To finish the recording, hit the Stop button.
  • Next, your recording pops up so that you can review it.
  • If satisfied with the result, navigate to the File option in the top menu bar and then Save. A pop-up will be appearing, where you need to name your video file and hit ‘Save.’
  • Press Command + Shift + 4 if you want to take a screenshot.


  • Unlimited duration for a single-take recording
  • Offers necessary video-editing tools


  • The app does not record system audio
  • It supports the MOV file format only.

That’s all that you need to do to get started recording on Windows or Mac. Which method have you tried out of these?

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Lorenzo Gutierrez
Digital Marketing Strategist at Lorenzo Gutierrez Digital Marketing
A little bit about myself: Lorenzo Gutierrez, founder of Lorenzo Gutierrez Digital Marketing, has a decade of experience growing business revenues with cutting edge digital marketing. With an MBA from Western Governors University and a passion for the craft, he offers a results-driven approach to digital marketing, ensuring your online success.

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