May 28, 2021

15 best free video capture software

15 min

12 573

  1. Open the free online Screen Capture
  2. Set up the recording parameters
  3. Capture the video
  4. Save the MP4 file

Don't waste precious time - record important things now!

App

Best for

Pros

Cons

Screencaptu­re.comScreen recordingsEasy-to-use;
good quality sound;
limits background noise
Lower quality when recording music online
Apowersoft Online Audio RecorderOnline audio recordingsUser-friendly;
simple to implement
Slow customer support
Panopto ExpressTraining;
teaching;
presenting via video
Easy-to-use;
multi-purpose;
great customer support;
reliable;
regularly adds new features;
high-quality
UI is a bit basic;
the editing tool is not always intuitive;
automatic captioning not ideal
Movavi Screen RecorderWebinars;
online calls;
elearning;
video streaming
Easy-to-use;
high-quality;
slick interface;
requires minimal effort and time to set up
File sizes sometimes are large
Window 10 Game BarGamers who want to capture video;
take screen­shots and share them online
The built-in Windows 10 feature;
customizable;
the simple interface
Inconsistent performance;
not compatible with Switch or YouTube;
sometimes hard to see if it is recording
OBS StudioVideo recording and live streamingFast, easy, free;
amazing visual effects;
high-level production
No dedicated customer service team;
the big learning curve when getting started;
uses a lot of computer memory
QuickTime PlayerVideo streaming and recording on a MacEasy-to-use;
streaming and plug-in support
Only works on Mac
Active­PresenterCreating elearning programsUser-friendly;
lots of editing features;
high-quality videos
Lacks video effects;
some lagging when editing
CloudAppRecording;
annotating;
sharing quick videos and screen­shots
Fast, intuitive;
stored in the cloud for easy access
Load time some­times long;
occasional glitches;
have to download screen­shots individually;
no mobile app
Simple Screen RecorderScreen recording for Linux (YouTube videos, tutorials, gaming)Easy-to-use;
feature-­packed;
lightweight;
supports main video formats
No live-streaming feature
recordMy­Desktop Video recording desktop games or videosEasy-to-use;
records videos in open formats
Can’t record games in fullscreen;
can’t synchronize audio and video
VLCScreen capture/­recording;
video and audio streaming and playback
Plays all formats;
simple to record your screen
You can’t record your voice in the screencast;
can only record the entire desktop and not just a section
ScreencastifyCapturing;
editing;
and sharing videos fast with Chrome
Easy-to-use;
an intuitive interface
Lags and glitches;
only 10 mins recording time in the free version;
editing tools only in Premium
LoomVideo messaging for workEasy-to-use;
feature-packed;
reliable;
slick UX
Trimming time sometimes too long;
image quality sometimes poor on large screens
NimbusScreen­shots and recording screen videosSimple to use;
very useful tool;
good for capturing long web data;
lots of options
Bugs when editing or cropping

Now, more than ever, we spend a huge part of our lives glued to a computer. So many of our professional and personal commitments and interests exist online – and not all are in real-time. This is where screen capture video software comes in handy. Whether you want to record a professional video presentation, a video tutorial or e-learning module, a fun clip to post on YouTube, or even a marketing video for your website, you are going to need the right video capture tool. There are a variety of PC/Mac software options available for free download that will help you take high-quality screenshots and videos for all your needs. You don’t need to be a tech expert to take advantage of these easy online video and audio editing tools, and you can choose which options best suit your project. The best free video recorder to create professional-looking, long-lasting digital content is freeware, available online or as apps that offer good HD streaming functionalities.

Let’s explore the best free video capture software currently available to ensure you have the top options when it comes to bringing your video project to life. Once you have read this simple guide and selected the capture program that best fits your needs, you can download the video capture software for free and get started right away!

Free video capture software: online options

If you have ever wished that you could somehow record a virtual meeting, training session, or video call, this is the perfect solution. With these software options, you can capture the audio and visual of your computer desktop, browser, or even webcam. Once you have your video ready, you can edit and annotate it. The image and sound quality are high-level and HD. Create your own training programs or produce personalized videos for YouTube!

Best for: online screen recordings
Trustpilot rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 103 reviews

This is a free online screen recorder that captures your browser activity, computer screen, or face via webcam offering full security for all your recordings. There is an online version available that requires no download or installation, or you can use the desktop version, which has added functionality. Known for its fast saving and good HD image and sound quality, it is a simple yet professional video capture tool.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Good quality sound
  • Limits background noise

Cons:

  • Lower quality when recording music online

Best for: online audio recordings
TechRadar rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

This is a free online audio recorder. In one click, you can record any sound such as music streaming sites, radio stations, in-game sound, voice chat, etc. You can easily store your audio file in a built-in library or share it to other platforms. The sound quality is excellent, and the interface is easy to navigate.

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Simple to implement

Cons:

  • Slow customer support

Best for: training, teaching, and presenting via video
G2 rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 75 reviews

This software is an easy way to record and share videos and is particularly popular with businesses and universities for meetings, online learning, and knowledge sharing. Functionalities include recording, streaming, editing, hosting, and sharing – it is all right here. Compatible with Windows and Mac, you can download this video capture software free of charge.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use, multi-purpose, reliable
  • Great customer support
  • Regularly adds new features

Cons:

  • UI is a bit basic
  • The editing tool is not always intuitive
  • Automatic captioning not ideal

Free video recording software for Windows

To save time and personalize your message, consider replacing your email with a video recording of your screen and an audio recording of your voice. A popular tool for virtual classrooms, online meetings, and pre-recorded content, video recording software for Windows 7 or for Windows 10 will help you produce professional, accessible videos. Here, we have compiled the best options for you to use on your PC.

Best for: webinars, online calls, elearning, and video streaming
G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 44 reviews

This is a free video recording software for Windows that records any type of screen activity – online tutorials, video chats, screencasts, and even animation – in just one click. It produces high-quality video images and sound quickly, and you can save them in any of the popular video formats. Easily share your videos online or upload them to your Google drive.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use, high-quality
  • The slick interface
  • Requires minimal effort and time to set up

Cons:

  • File sizes sometimes are large

Windows 10 Game Bar

Best for: gamers to capture video, take screenshots and then share them online

This is a customizable gaming overlay in Windows 10. It works with most PC games and allows you to capture video or screenshots and share them. Other features include chat and finding new teammates across different platforms – Xbox, mobiles, PC.

Pros:

  • The built-in Windows 10 feature
  • Customizable
  • The simple interface

Cons:

  • Inconsistent performance
  • Not compatible with Switch or YouTube
  • Sometimes hard to see if it is recording

Best for: video recording and live streaming
Capterra rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 526 reviews

This is a free and open-source software for real-time video recording and streaming available for Windows 10, Mac, and Linux. Customizable and feature-rich, this software offers high-performance video and audio production.

Pros:

  • Fast, easy, and free
  • Amazing visual effects
  • High-level production

Cons:

  • No dedicated customer service team
  • The big learning curve when getting started
  • Uses a lot of computer memory

Free video recording software for Mac

If you are working on a Mac, you will find that not all software is compatible. But here, we explore the different software options available to you if you want to watch, stream, record and capture your screen/online activity on a Mac.

Best for: video streaming and recording on a Mac

This is a multimedia Apple application that allows you to play and stream videos and record your Mac screen. Customize your videos with editing and trimming tools and then share your creations to platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Streaming and plug-in support

Cons:

  • Only works on Mac

Best for: creating elearning programs
Capterra rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, 26 reviews

This versatile free video recording software allows you to record your screen, edit and annotate your video to create elearning programs. With an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, its many features enable you to add enhanced interaction effects and animation to your videos and then export them to a video.

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Lots of editing features
  • High-quality videos

Cons:

  • Lacks video effects
  • Some lagging when editing

Best for: recording, annotating, sharing quick videos and screenshots
G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, more than 1000 reviews

This free software is designed to save you time by allowing you to capture your screen and share it, thus accelerating your workflow. Take a video, a screenshot of your screen and then annotate to provide further information and context. It is quick and intuitive, facilitates business communication with clear messaging, and frees up time in your agenda.

Pros:

  • Fast and intuitive
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Load time sometimes long
  • Occasional glitches
  • Have to download screenshots individually

Best video capture software for Linux

As an alternative to Windows, Linux is an operating system that is popular with big companies, gamers, and the more technically minded. If you are looking for video capture software to capture and record your screen activity that is compatible with Linux, read on.

Best for: screen recordings (YouTube videos, tutorials, gaming)
AlternativeTo rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 12 reviews

This is a free, open-source, feature-rich, Linux-compatible screen recorder. One of the best video capture software options available, it is lightweight yet produces HD quality images for screen captures and videos. Video/audio recordings can be paused and resumed at any time, and you have the option of different file formats for your productions.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Feature-packed
  • Lightweight
  • Supports main video formats

Cons:

  • No live-streaming feature

Best for: video recording desktop games or videos
SourceForge rating: 5 out of 5 stars, 8 reviews

This is an audio/visual screen capture software program compatible only with Linux. It is popular with gamers for the recording of desktop games and videos in open formats.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Records videos in open formats

Cons:

  • Can’t record games in full screen
  • Can’t synchronize audio and video

Best for: screen capture/recording, video and audio streaming, and playback
This is a free, cross-platform audio and video playback program that also features screen capture and recording functionalities.

Pros:

  • Plays all formats
  • Simple to record your screen

Cons:

  • You can’t record your voice in the screencast
  • Can only record the entire desktop and not just a section

Browser extensions

A browser extension is another option that you can try for recording the video and audio activity on your screen. Some can be used offline as well as online, adding an extra level of adaptability. Recording, editing, and annotating are made easy with the numerous features available. You can then upload or share them across different platforms – web and mobile. Here, we cover the most popular Chrome extensions, which save automatically to your Google Drive, so you can easily store your creations and access them when you need them.

Best for: capturing, editing, and sharing videos fast with Chrome
Chrome Web Store rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This Chrome extension is a free, simple option for recording, editing, and sharing your videos. Available online and offline, options include narrating your video, embedding your webcam in your recording, and annotating the video directly. When you are done, your video automatically saves to your Google Drive.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Clear video and sound
  • An intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Lags and glitches
  • Only 10 mins recording time in the free version
  • Editing tools only in the Premium version

Best for: video messaging for work
Chrome Web Store rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

This is another Chrome extension for screen capture video that is popular with businesses and companies for onboarding employees and streamlining professional communications. Instead of sending an email, you can record your face, screen, and voice to create a clear and personalized message.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Feature-packed
  • Reliable
  • Slick UX

Cons:

  • Trimming time sometimes too long
  • Image quality sometimes poor on large screens

Best for: screenshots and recording screen videos
Chrome Web Store rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

This Chrome extension offers a cross-platform service. It allows you to record or take screenshots of your browser/desktop screen, then edit, annotate, and then share them across web and mobile platforms.

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • A very useful tool
  • Good for capturing long web data
  • Lots of options

Cons:

  • Bugs when editing or cropping

Frequently asked questions

What is the best video capture software?

  • Screencapture.com
  • Panopto Express
  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • Windows 10 Game Bar
  • OBS Studio
  • QuickTime Player
  • ActivePresenter
  • CloudApp
  • Simple Screen Recorder (SSR)
  • recordMyDesktop
  • VLC
  • Screencastify
  • Loom
  • Nimbus

Does Windows 10 have video capture?

Game Bar is a built-in feature of Windows 10 and can be used across the Xbox console. You can also test-drive Movavi Screen Recorder. It is simple, user-friendly, and gives professional results every time.

Can VLC capture video?

Yes, as well as playing and streaming video, VLC has screen capture/recording functionality.