Screen recording can be useful when you need to record a how-to video to help someone learn how to use a program, record a game walkthrough, or prepare for a presentation. Record here means you can create a video of whatever you are doing on your desktop, save the recording as a video file and send it to a friend or upload it on YouTube.
We’ve featured screen capturing tools before, and you know a few ways to take screenshots on your computer. For something more than just a still image, here are 8 free screen recording programs that will help you record every action you make on your Windows desktop.
Free programs at times come with drawbacks or limitations, and watermarks are common in many free screen recording softwares. However, the following list of programs has been tested to not have any watermarks and can export to a file format recognizable to most video editing softwares.
Ezvid is a screen recorder program that comes with an in-built video editor where you can split your recordings and add text in between two clips, creating a slideshow effect. There is no way to export the video you recorded. However, you can upload the video to YouTube through the program itself.
For gamers, there’s an option to enable ‘Gaming mode’ where it records the windowed mode of your game. The program comes with a few music clips. However if you decide to have no music, it will be replaced with a ‘Silent machine’ which sounds like a small fan from a computer. You can add in other pictures and video clips, as well as add in your voice after you’re done editing your clip.
2. BlueBerry FlashBack Express Recorder
BB (short for BlueBerry) FlashBack Express Recorder lets you use your webcam to record yourself while recording the activities that are happening on your desktop. After you have stopped recording, it creates an FBR file which can be edited with its packaged video editor.
If you did not enable your webcam, you can skip the video editor program and export it to the AVI file format right away. Otherwise, you can use the software to position and resize your webcam box before exporting it. Although it requires you to register (for a free account) after 30 days of usage, it still provides you with all of its functions before you register.
Screenr is an interesting way to share a screencast (recording of your screen) online without installing a program on your computer; it requires Java to work. You select an area on your screen which you want to record (max: 5 minutes). All recordings are saved into your account.
After recording you’ll be given a link which you can share. You can also export your video to MP4 or upload it on YouTube.
Screenr also provides a bookmarklet so you can record without going to the website. Register with your Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo or Windows Live account in order to use Screenr for free.
4. Rylstim Screen Recorder
Rylstim just records your screen after you hit the ‘Start Record’ button. This will be useful for people who do not want to configure anything and just want a basic recorder. This program does not record sound from input devices like a microphone.
The only options available determine if you want to show your left or right mouse button clicks in the video. If you enable the mouse click options, a red ripple will appear at your cursor when you left click and a green ripple appears for right clicks. This mouse click ripple effect will only be visible when you view your recording.
CamStudio comes equipped with many options to tweak the way it records. There are options to enable or disable your mouse cursor, record sounds from programs or a microphone (or have no sound at all) and the option to enable custom screen annotations.
You can also choose to record a particular area on your screen or a program window so that the rest of your desktop isn’t showing on the recording. It can record at different frame rate speeds; for example 1 FPS (frames per second)to create a time lapse video effect, or 30 FPS for a smooth video.
Webinaria is another easy-to-use screen recording software with basic options for your recording needs. It can record your entire screen, a program window or a custom selection. You can choose from 3 frame rate options; 5, 10 and 15 FPS (frames per second).
Videos are produced in AVI file format. If you were using Google Chrome before running Webinaria, Google Chrome will be detected as the program window for recording.
DVDVideoSoft Free Screen Video Recorder
This program has a simple user interface carrying 9 icons. The first 4 is for screen capturing, the next 4 handles screen recording and the last icon opens the options of the program. It also exports its video to an AVI file format. What’s good about this program is its automatic file naming options.
It gives you options to include the specific date and time in the filename of your recorded video. Users who need to keep track of many screen recordings back to back will find this automatic file naming option useful.
Krut Computer Recorder
Krut does not require installation but uses Java to run. After downloading, you’ll have a folder where you have to run the ‘KRUT.jar’ file to get started. The capture area and recording frames per second can be set by the user.
There is an option called ‘Follow Mouse’ where it captures the area around your mouse, wherever it moves to. When using the ‘Follow Mouse’ feature, you can enable preview mode to see the captured area as you record. This program outputs to three types of files: the WAV file only has the audio recorded, while of the two MOV files; one has no audio and the other has both audio and video of the recording.