Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows


A picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a book thick like “Game of Thrones.” While I am still doing screen capture regularly through the day with my best friend Greenshot, I have grown more and more finding myself needing a nice and easy-to-use video recording tool to capture what’s happening on the screen. After I kept my notes along the way with my search and testing, I think it’s time to share what’s been good out there that don’t cost you a dime to use.

Here are 6 of them to start. But as usual, we will always come back, do a review, and update what’s been changed. All tools below work on both Windows 7 or 8 systems, 32-bit, and 64-bit unless otherwise noted.

Microsoft Expression Encoder 4

Since it’s for Windows, let’s start with what Microsoft has to offer. Expression Encoder 4 is an advanced audio/video encoding application that also does screen recording in its free version. It’s a 2-step process, you need to record the screen first and push the recording to Encoder for further editing and outputting. The original recording is saved in Expression Encode format and you can review what’s recorded within the tool. And the final can be saved as Windows Media .wmv format.

Expression Encode - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

Ezvid Video Maker

Ezvid is a very easy to use all-in-one screen recorder and video creator with a straightforward user interface to work with. With one click, you can record your screen with the app, and capture whatever appears on your computer screen: Web pages, games, applications, paint programs, maps, you name it. Ezvid also allows you to add slides, change the playback speed of your video, and make overlaid annotations.

ezvid   version 2017 02 27 22 14 01 600x473 - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows


TinyTake is a cool 2-in-one tool that does not only screen capturing but also video recording. You can also annotate what’s been recorded and get them shared out with other people very easily. Similar to Community Clips, when it runs, it sits in the system tray wait to be fired up. Right-click the icon on the system tray, and choose one of 3 options to start video recording, video from desktop, video from webcam or image from webcam. You can do so through the keyboard shortcuts as well if you remember them.

TinyTake menu - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

The recording can be saved in the cloud, which you will need to register a free account first, or locally on your computer, in MP4 format. You can record up to 2 hours of content if you are saving it locally.

TinyTake saving menu 600x363 - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

Open Broadcaster Software

Open Broadcaster Software, commonly known as OBS, is one of the popular ones out there when it comes to free screencasting. It’s not only for video recording but also for live streaming as well, with features including:

  • Encoding using H264 and AAC
  • Unlimited number of screens and sources
  • File output in MP4 or FLV format
  • GPU-based game capture for high-performance game streaming
  • etc.

OBS 600x537 - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows


Yes, that’s right. VLC has a screen recording feature built-in that you can use. It’s useful especially when you have VLC installed on your computer already.

Go to Media → Open Capture Device, set the Capture mode to Desktop and 15.00/fs as desired frame rate and Click the little down arrow next to Play button, select Convert.

VLC Open Media 2014 11 19 15 41 511 - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

Specify the destination path and file, and click Start button to start recording. The file can be saved in multiple formats, MP4 is recommended.

VLC convert - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

Note that, VLC screen recording only captures the main monitor and it captures the whole screen.

Screen O Matic

Screen O Matic offers both a Windows Client and a Web-based screen recording feature. It’s a quick and easy one for those who don’t want to mess up with loads of video recording settings and setup. Just simply launch and go with a single click. It supports MP4, FLV, and AVI format is capable of recording screen or screen and webcam the same time. You can also push the output file straight to YouTube if you want to.

The short part is that the free version only allows you to record up to 15 minutes of content. Most of the time, it seems to be sufficient anyway.

Screencast o matic - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

Game Bar on Windows 10

Windows 10 Game bar - Top 6 Free Screencast Recording Tools for Windows

If you are running Windows 10 on a supported hardware, it’s a lot easier to do the screencast. Simply press Win+G and follow the instruction on the screen.

How to use Game bar to do screencasting on Windows 10

So, what do I choose?

It depends, really.

If you are using VLC, and only need to do screen recording periodically, why not just using VLC without installing another piece of software on your computer?

If recording a full screen isn’t enough, go with TinyTake or OBS.

If you need more editing features after the recording, try out Microsoft’s tool, Expression Encoder.

If you like a quick and dummy tool that records less than 15 minutes of video, Screencast O Matic is the way to go.

However, if installing another piece of software doesn’t sound attractive, there are free web apps that can do screen recordings too, such as Screencast O Metic, Screenr, and Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder.

And if you are one of the early Windows 10 users, do you know Windows 10 has the screencast capability built right in the system?

That’s it for the day. Enjoy and happy screencasting.


  1. Good info! Just noting that screen o matic’s free version does not appear to do audio from the computer, rather it uses the web cam feature.

  2. Thanks for this article. I am going to try something else than VLC though, it crashes every time I try to use this feature.

  3. Some great tools here, I’ve tried a few of them.

    Personally, I prefer using the AceThinker Free Screen Recorder as it’s simple and has everything I need for screen recording.

  4. Nice overview but lacking detail. For example EZvid looks great, but can only upload to Youtube. That’s a no no for me

  5. Good to know these screen recording tools and thanks for the sharing. I’d also recommend Acethinker Online Screen Recorder which I have been using for many years. It is a free online tool that lets you record your screen right from the browser. You may add it to the list as well.

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  7. Good lists for screen recording. But there is no Bandicam which is good screen recording software.
    It needs to be updated!

  8. Hi, thanks for sharing this article. It helps me a lot since I’m looking for another screen recorder that I may use for my project. Besides, I’m using Acethinker Screen Grabber Pro with more than a year, this tool is very easy to use because you don’t need to download any third party app to use it. You may also include it on your List.

  9. Hi, Kent! Thanks for your nice sharing! VLC is easy-to-use. It is also a powerful video editor and converter. It is the only “free” product I would use to record my desktop. I’ve tried many before, but they didn’t work great on me and some of them even make my computer got stuck and crashed. I have another paid video recorder called Joyoshare Screen Recorder as well. Though it is not free, it is cost-effective, which helps me capture any videos and audios from web browsers. Not all free products are safe enough. Share my program here for those people who might have the same worry.


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