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You don't need a blockbuster budget to create quality videos.

The best screen recorders can help you produce clear, engaging videos in record time — no credit card required.

Whether you're a working professional seeking an async communication tool or a content creator who educates and entertains, screen recording software is an essential part of your digital toolkit. Unfortunately, most free options come with expensive tradeoffs, such as low-resolution output and unsightly watermarks. These kinds of things muddle your message and leave a bad impression on your audience, often doing more harm than good.

That’s why I curated this list of free and freemium screen recorders — so you can create freely, without worrying about a program holding you back.

Each recorder on this list functions as a standalone application, with everything you need to get started on the right foot. Some of the recorders (like Loom) can even take you beyond the basic screencast, with pro-level features like webcam recording and post-production video editor capabilities worthy of Spielberg himself.

Are you ready to start directing your own masterpiece? If so, let’s cut to the action.

Best Free Screen Recording Apps in 2022

  1. Loom

  2. OBS Studio

  3. ScreenRec

  4. Screencastify

  5. Vimeo Record

  6. ClickUp Clips

  7. TinyTake

  8. ApowerREC

  9. Xbox Game Bar

  10. QuickTime

1. Loom

Loom's Free Features:

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows, Mac), Mobile app (iOS, Android), and Google Chrome extension and Loom AI

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in high quality, up to five minutes long and 4k resolution.

  • Editing: Trim and conjoin looms; remove filler words with a click

  • Hosting: Cloud hosting for up to 25 videos

  • Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available

Loom is the best online screen recorder on the market. It installs on your device as a native desktop, mobile, or Chrome app, letting you screen capture and record your webcam and audio input everywhere you work. Choose the window you want to focus on, hit record, and it's off to the races!

After you've wrapped up your video recording, Loom helps you polish it to a shine. Use Loom's intuitiveediting tools to trim some length off the top or weave multiple looms together for a longer take. If you find yourself stumbling over "umms" and "uhhs" more often than not, it’s no problem. Loom's powerful AI generates automatic transcripts of your screencast's audio, letting you cut all the filler language from your recording with the push of a button.

Once you're happy with your loom, you can download it in MP4 format (watermark-free, of course) for use in any project. Or, you can host with Loom and generate a sharable link that places your video front and center on a dedicated landing page. Email the link to your colleagues for comments and feedback, and watch as your project takes shape faster than ever before!

Here are the most common Loom use cases:

View our library of Loom resources to learn more.

2. OBS Studio

OBS Studio's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows, Linux, Mac)

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in various formats

  • Editing: Use Studio Mode to make real-time adjustments while recording

  • Hosting: No first-party video hosting available

  • Cost: Entirely free

If Loom is the Apple iMovie of screen recorders, OBS Studio is the Adobe Premiere. It comes jam-packed with enterprise-grade features, but it's also much more difficult to use.

This sharp learning curve is, of course, by design. OBS Studio is marketed towards the professional content creation crowd, integrating enterprise-grade features suitable for screen recording and live streaming in 4K resolution. If you've spent much time on YouTube, you've probably seen some of its features in action. OBS Studio is the program of choice for big-time influencers like Ninja and Linus Tech Tips.

Since OBS Studio is open-source, the program is entirely free and always will be. Take the time to learn the application's maze of options and add-ons, and you can bend it to your will. There's no doubt that OBS Studio is the most powerful free screen recorder on the market and an excellent option for techies who don't mind tinkering.

3. ScreenRec

ScreenRec's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop App (Windows & Linux)

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in MP4 format

  • Editing: No video editing functionality

  • Hosting: 2GB of cloud hosting

  • Cost: Entirely free

ScreenRec is an excellent option for capturing longer-form content. There's no cap on how long you can go, making it a viable solution for business meetings, school presentations, and even YouTube videos. You can also record in any resolution, from HD 1080p to stunning 4K, ensuring all ScreenRec videos come out crystal clear.

Perhaps the biggest issue with ScreenRec is its lack of accessibility. You can only download it as a native desktop app, and only on Windows and Linux machines (rumor has it that Mac support is in the pipeline). The platform's cloud storage solution is also lackluster. Two gigabytes of storage space can only hold a few minutes of 4K video.

Even so, the developers packed a lot of cutting-edge functionality into an entirely free program. ScreenRec is delightfully easy to use, with lots of attention and detail poured into the simplistic UX. It's among the best free screen recorders for Windows 7 and 10. 

4. Screencastify

Screencastify's Free Features

  • Platforms: Google Chrome extension

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in WEBM format, up to 30 minutes long

  • Editing: Cut, crop, and annotate; add questions to videos in post-production

  • Hosting: Cloud hosting for up to ten videos

  • Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available

Screencastify is as quick 'n easy as it gets. It's a Chrome screen recorder that takes you from installation to recording in 60 seconds flat. Despite its lightweight performance, the feature list isn't shabby. This free recorder has a 30-minute recording limit, and the platform's cloud storage provides space for up to ten videos.

Although Screencastify works for everyone, the company markets itself to students and educators. To that end, the app integrates with various educational platforms, including big names like Google Classroom and App Smash programs like Wakelet and Remind. It also comes with interactive quiz functionality. Once you've finished a recording, Screencastify lets you go back and insert questions throughout the video. Every time a viewer reaches one of these predetermined points, the video stops and prompts the user for input.

If hosting with Screencastify isn't your thing, the app does have an export option. You can download your finished product in WEBM format or shoot it straight to Google Drive, no watermark in sight. If you opt to upload directly to Youtube, your final cast will show up with the Screencastify logo.

5. ClickUp Clips

ClickUp Clips' Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows, Linux, Mac), mobile app (iOS, Android), Google Chrome extension, browser-based web app

  • Captures: Screen recordings in WEBM format

  • Editing: No video editingfunctionality

  • Hosting: 100MB of cloud hosting

  • Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available

Clips is a screen recorder built atop one of the world's most popular task management programs: ClickUp. Given the software's popularity, you can find Clips everywhere — on desktop, mobile, or within your browser. If you opt to use Clip within Chrome or Firefox, you don't have to download a single thing!

Since Clips isn't ClickUp's primary product, it does come with several limitations. For instance, you can't record your webcam, and there's no editing functionality. But what Clips lacks in features, it more than makes up for in convenience.

Recording a Clip is so simple. Simply click the record button from within ClickUp's primary interface, and it begins capturing your digital activities within the chosen window. Once you've finished recording, the video automatically uplinks to the cloud before spitting back a link to share with colleagues. You can also embed the video file within a ClickUp task, making it easy to share comments and information across your organization. 

6. TinyTake

TinyTake's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows, Mac)

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in MP4 format, up to five minutes long

  • Editing: Post-production GIF creation using screencast stills

  • Hosting: 2GB of cloud hosting

  • Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available

TinyTake (made by Mango Apps) may be small, but it packs a ton of power. The application offers endless ways to capture your digital experiences. It takes screencasts, webcam recordings, and even custom screenshots. Simply drag your cursor over the area you want to capture or take advantage of TinyTake's streamlined window selection system. Following a 3, 2, 1 countdown, the app captures its designated area effortlessly, exerting minimal computing power for a lag-free experience.

The program works on Windows or Mac and — true to its name — features a minuscule 50MB install. Although it installs locally, the program remains synced with the web while running, saving your recordings to TinyTake's cloud hosting platform. Every time you capture a new video, it provides a link for you to share with friends or colleagues.

In addition to its screen recording capabilities, TinyTake also functions as a GIF maker, offering tools for splicing together, annotating, and even adding effects to images and screencast stills. You can use these same features to spiffy up your screen recordings, but only if you shell out for the premium plan.

7. ApowerREC

ApowerREC's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows, Mac) and mobile app (iOS, Android)

  • Captures: Screen and webcam recordings in eight different formats

  • Editing: Trim length; add annotations like text, arrows, and shapes

  • Hosting: No first-party video hosting available

  • Cost: Free, with paid upgrade available

Most screencasting software works fine on desktops, but they don’t work well as iOS screen recorders or Android screen recorders. ApowerREC is among the only free and cross-platform options on the market. It's also one of the most feature-rich, with few restrictions on the $0 plan.

Create unlimited screencasts that last as long as you like, and spice them up with a suite of fun annotations. After capturing and polishing your screencasts to perfection, export them locally or to the cloud in formats ranging from FLV to MP4. Although ApowerREC lacks a first-party hosting service for sharing videos with classmates or colleagues, it does sync with RecCloud. Unfortunately, the process feels far less streamlined than all-in-one recording and hosting platforms like Loom.

8. Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Windows)

  • Captures: Screen recordings in MP4 format

  • Editing: Syncs with Microsoft Photos for trimming and annotating

  • Hosting: Syncs with Microsoft OneDrive for 5GB of cloud hosting

  • Cost: Entirely free

Are you running Windows 10 or 11? If so, you already have a functional, watermark-free PC screen recorder installed on your system. It's called Xbox Game Bar — a gaming-oriented application that comes pre-installed with every version of Microsoft's popular operating system.

Accessing Xbox Game Bar is easy. All you have to do is press down on the Win + G keys simultaneously. Doing so launches a visual overlay, which features various gaming-oriented commands, including one for capturing your on-screen activity. Click record to start capturing your digital experience, and return to Game Bar when done. The program also features many handy shortcuts for streamlined control over the process.

Of course, you can use Xbox Game Bar to capture much more than in-game footage. It works with virtually every application, including all your browser-based activities. The one drawback is that it only captures screen and audio feeds, not your webcam.

9. QuickTime

QuickTime's Free Features

  • Platforms: Desktop app (Mac)

  • Captures: Screen recordings in MOV format

  • Editing: Cut and trim footage

  • Hosting: Syncs with iCloud for 5GB of cloud hosting

  • Cost: Entirely free

Like Microsoft, Apple has its own built-in screen recorder. It's called QuickTime, and it provides unlimited, watermark-free screencasts on your Mac device. 

Although QuickTime doesn't support webcam recording out of the box, here's a clever workaround: when preparing to record, open up the Camera app and place it in a small window next to your primary recording interface. As long as your microphone is on, QuickTime will pick up all screen, webcam, and audio feeds without issue!

This Mac screen recorder is entirely free, though you can opt to expand your iCloud storage and hosting space for a reasonable monthly subscription fee.

How To Choose the Best Screen Recording App for You

No two screen recorders are alike. Each application has a unique set of features, with pros and cons depending on how you plan to use it. 

Have you thought about how you intend to use your free screen recorder? If not, here's a look at some everyday use cases:

Of course, this is only a small sampling size. The use cases are as limitless as your imagination! With that said, I do have a recommendation suitable for most situations. It's called Loom — and it's the most well-rounded option among the good free screen recorders on today’s list.

First off, Loom is available on all your devices, making it easily accessible anywhere. It also features an intuitive interface suitable for complete beginners! At the same time, Loom’s backend is extraordinarily powerful, with a feature set that makes hardcore techies swoon. The editing suite is simple but effective, and the automatic annotations (with one-click filler speech removal) are a cutting-edge quality of life feature you won't find anywhere else.

If you work professionally and need an asynchronous communication tool to make your process more efficient, you can't go wrong with Loom. As for aspiring content creators? Use Loom to quickly create videos in a bite-sized, easy-to-understand format. No matter why you want to share a glimpse into your digital experience, Loom is there for all your screen recording needs.


Jul 29, 2022

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