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How to Record Desktop With OBS - Complete Guide

feature obs record desktop While many people, especially aspiring content creators, are thrilled to get into the industry. Some people are aware of the technical issues. They may face these problems when recording their computer screens. Also, when recording gameplay or walkthrough videos. With that being said, high-quality screen recorders are required. Although there is much software over the internet, OBS can be your right choice. It is an open-source and utterly cross-platform that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux OS. OBS became a powerful screencast video production software. They were just combined with video editing software and solid audio. Still, OBS has many plugins to configure before starting recording. But we will give you a comprehensive tutorial and go through the whole process on how the OBS record desktop process is possible. Let us dive into the world of OBS to learn more!

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Brief Background About OBS

Supported Formats: MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, MKV, WebM, and more.
Installation Packaged Size: 93.26MB

OBS is popularly used as a streaming and recording program. Because of its versatility, it is trusted by many users to record computer screens and different videos in HD quality. Furthermore, OBS is composed of “sources” and “scenes.” Sources are where the video will come from. Examples of these are texts, webcam, capture cards, images, and more that you can use in the recording process. In contrast, scenes are how the final recorded video will appear. Besides that, OBS provides an inbuilt “Audio Mixer.” You can use it to customize the volume, distortion, audio effects, and audio quality. You can indeed produce professional-looking videos without installing other software. Thanks to all its advanced features.

obs screen recorder interface

How to Record Screen with OBS

This section provides a detailed tutorial to help you carry out OBS for screen recording and take advantage of its unique features. There are many ways to use this open-source screen recorder. But for this purpose, we will provide you with the easiest way possible to instantly follow the whole process. Move on to the steps below and discover how to record desktop with OBS.

Step 1 Install and Launch OBS

Install OBS according to the requirements for your computer’s OS. After installing the tool on your computer, launch it and get used to its interface, navigation, plugins, and other features. See the user interface displayed below to know if you downloaded the right program (OBS has a different look depending on your OS).

obs screen recorder linux interface

Step 2 Configure Sources and Scenes

As stated above, OBS uses systems of “Sources” and “Scenes.” This system works together to manage your total production effortlessly. Before proceeding to the recording process, you need to put in a “Sources” inside the “Scene.” To do so, hit the “+” icon on the bottom section of the “Sources” tab. Then, choose “Screen Capture” for Linux or “Display Capture” for Mac and Windows. Afterward, click the “OK” button to save it.

add source to the scene and choose screen capture

Step 3 Customize the Settings

Next, move on to the tool’s “Settings” located at the “Control” tab. Choose “Output” from the options and edit the “Recording Path,” where you want to store the recording. After that, customize the recording quality, format, and bitrate. Also, you can customize other settings depending on your requirements. Once done, hit the “OK” button underneath the settings window to apply the changes.

customize obs settings on the output tab

Step 4 Begin to Record Desktop OBS

When everything is ready, proceed to the “Control” tab of the tool. Then, hit the “Start Recording” button. Once the recording process begins, the button will be turned to the “Stop Recording” button. Hit the “Stop Recording” button to complete the recording. The recorded video will be kept in the output folder that you set a while ago in the settings.

start recording the desktop and save the recording

The Best OBS Alternative for Windows and Mac

Supported Formats: 61.53MB
Installation Packaged Size: MP4, F4V, AVI, TS, MOV, WMV, and GIF.

Does OBS look complex to you because of your time to set it up? Then you can look for a more straightforward tool instead. One of the most notable OBS alternatives that we highly recommend is the AceThinker Screen Grabber Premium. AceThinker Screen Grabber Premium helps you record computer screens with audio and webcam. What is more, you can record in 720P, 1080P, and 4K resolution for better recording quality. Compared to OBS, the tool offers simple yet powerful editing tools. You can add mouse cursor effects, trim unnecessary parts, or customize annotations. Besides that, you can instantly share your recordings on many platforms. You can share it on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and more. Learn how to use OBS capture desktop alternative below.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Launch the OBS Alternative

First, get Screen Grabber Premium using the appropriate installer displayed above. The tool is accessible on both Windows and Mac. Make sure to click the right button for your computer OS. Then follow the guide on the dialogue box to ultimately install the tool. After the installation, the program will appear on your computer screen.

sgp main interface

Step 2 Adjust the Settings

Next, go to the “Video Recorder” of the tool. Then, hit the “gear” icon beside it to launch the tool’s main settings window. Now, choose your preferred format, layout, effects, and quality to produce high-quality output video. When done, hit the “OK” to put in the changes you’ve made.

sgp adjust recording settings

Step 3 Start the Recording Process

Go back to the “Video Recorder” tab for the recording process. Then, toggle “ON” the system sound to capture the screen with audio. Also, customize the screen ratio according to your needs. Afterward, hit the “REC” button to initiate the recording. You can also hit the “Pen” icon to put annotations like shapes, lines, texts, and more. Snap the “Stop” button on the floating toolbar to end the recording.

go to video recorder to record the screen

Step 4 Play the Recording

A playback window will appear on your computer screen once you end the recording. Here, you can watch the recorded video, trim unwanted parts, or take a screenshot of your favorite part. Then, hit the “Save” button to render the video. After the rendering process, the recording will be saved on your computer.

play and save the recording on the computer

Other OBS Alternative for Windows/Mac

Supported Formats: MP4 and WMV
Installation Packaged Size: 4KB/for launcher only

If you are searching for a free online tool alternative for OBS, AceThinker Free Online Screen Recorder is the recommended tool for you. This online tool can record the computer screen in 1080P HD quality with unique features. You can record videos as much as possible without a duration limit or even lag. The tool can also record the internal sound and sound from a microphone for voice-over. When it comes to screen recording, you can record the entire screen, specific window, or a specific area. Since its an online tool, you can access it on Google Chrome, Safari, and other web browsers. After recording, you can straightly upload the recorded files to YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. See how this online OBS desktop capture alternative works through the guide below.


  • Proceed to the tool’s official web page and hit the “Start Recording” button at the center of the landing page. Then, click the “Download” button that will pop out on your screen to get the launcher.
  • This launcher is your way to access the recording interface of the tool. Once the tool appears, hit the “gear” icon on the bottom right part to change the settings.
  • You can change the recording layout, hotkeys, output format, and more. After that, hit “OK” to keep all the changes.
  • Now, hit the “REC” button to start recording your screen. Wait for the three-second countdown to finish, and let the tool do the rest for you. To stop the recording, hit the red square button on the toolbar.

free recorder interface

FAQs About OBS Studio

1. Can OBS record the system sound of my computer?

OBS can include the audio of the video in the recording. Either it is internal audio or external audio such as a microphone. Moreover, the tool can record them all without needing another audio recorder. But it would be best if you exert extra effort in setting up the sources to record internal audio and screen with OBS.

2. How can I record the screen with a microphone using OBS?

First, go to its settings and select “Audio” from the options. Then, choose “Desktop Audio Device” from the menu and select the correct device to record. Now move on to the “Microphone/Auxiliary Audio Device” to ensure that you use suitable sources. Once done, hit “OK” and test if OBS desktop recording with audio works.

3. Is OBS malware-free?

Yes, it is. Since OBS is open-source software, anyone can improve its functions. That includes its security and safety options for each user. As long as you get OBS from its official website, you will have the latest version free of malware and virus.

Comparison Chart

Features OBS Studio Screen Grabber Premium Free Screen Recorder Online
Recording Area Full-screen Full-screen, specific window, and specific area. Full-screen, specific window, and specific area.
Editing Option Not available Available Available
Distinctive Feature It offers powerful configurations. You can add different sources, duplicate existing ones, or adjust their properties. It allows customization of recording tasks with a predefined time and date to initiate the recording. It does not require registration and other third-party tools to record the computer screen.
Quality Resolution Up to the highest quality available Up to 4K Up to 1080P
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Posted by Trafalgar Law to Screen Grabber Pro

Last updated on January 20, 2022

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