The Best Free Screen Recorders 2021: Free Software to Capture Screen Video You Must Try!

If you’re looking for a good screen recording software to record your computer screen for making software tutorials, or just to show your friends what’s happening on your computer’s screen, this is the right article for you.

After testing more than 40 different screen recording software programs on the market, we created this list in consideration of its usability, feature-rich package, technical support, pricing plans and many other important criteria. Here we have compiled top 10 best screen recording software in 2020 for you.

Deciding to use which program depends very much on your needs, and your budget. Don’t forget to read my detail review about each program to understand more about it before making your own decision.

Free Screen RecordersAffordable Screen Recorders
1. ActivePresenter5. Camtasia
2. OBS Studio6. Mirillis Actions
3. ApowerSoft7. Movavi Screen Capture
4. Screencast O Matic8. Bandicam
9. Aiseesoft screen recorder
10. Gilisoft screen recorder

Let’s dive into the detail now!

1. ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter is an all-in-one screen recording software, created by Atomi Systems. This program has everything you need to create high quality screencast video for various purposes. With ActivePresenter, you can create full high definition video from capturing the whole screen, a fixed window or a locked application. Its screen recorder is as simple to use as any other tools you see on the market now.

Once you finished the recording, ActivePresenter lets you edit you captured video in its free video editor. You can cut, trim, crop, split and merge the recording as well as deleting unwanted parts, adding annotations and special effects easily. In ActivePresenter free edition, you can use all of its features without any restriction. However, you can only export the video into MP4, AVI, MKV or WebM with no watermark. For exporting to HTML5 output, you’ll need to buy a license. To learn more about ActivePresenter, click here!  

Key Features

  • Record video on the screen with audio and webcam in full high definition.
  • Add images, shapes, texts, arrows, numbers and animations to recorded videos.
  • Cut, trim, crop, blur video, remove green screen background, add closed caption, picture in picture, text to speech and more.
  • Export captured video into MP4, AVI, MKV, WebM and HTML5 without watermark or time limit.
  • Available on Windows 64 bit and macOS X.

Best For

  • Making software training tutorials, product demonstrations and online training videos.
  • Creating fully responsive e-learning courses.

Pricing Detail

  • Free to use for non-commercial purpose.
  • Standard Edition – $199 per lifetime license.
  • Professional Edition – $399 per lifetime license.

2. Camtasia

Camtasia has been the industry standard for years. It offers a set of unique screen capturing and editing tools in just one place. Camtasia’s screen recorder is one of the most powerful tools we’ve reviewed so far. Added to that, Camtasia also comes with an intuitive video editor with lots of advanced editing features that professional trainers, tutors and teachers may love it.

Compare to other video editing suite on the market, Camtasia is a little bit more pricey. However, this expensive suite is worth the money, especially for those of you who are professional trainers or daily YouTube video creators. Check out our honest review about Camtasia here.

Key Features

  • Record video, audio and webcam in full HD quality.
  • Record game-plays, webinars and streaming movies without lag
  • Edit recorded videos and existing videos with pre-built templates, themes.
  • Add call-outs, annotations, shapes and text title into video quickly.
  • Adjust audio, color filters, remove green screen and more.
  • Export video into various formats and share on dedicated server.
  • Available on Windows and Mac.

Best For

  • Making screencast videos, online training videos, product demos and software tutorials or promotional videos.

Pricing Detail

  • Free trial within 30 days.
  • Premium license – $249 lifetime-> Grab this 10% Off Camtasia to save your money!

3. Movavi Screen Capture Studio

Movavi screen capture studio is a video editing suite which comes along with a high quality screen recorder, a video editor and audio recording tools which you can use to edit existing videos on your computer or making a new screencast video by recording your full screen desktop or a part of the screen easily. The program is as simple to use as Camtasia or ActivePresenter we mentioned earlier. The only drawback of this program is similar to Camtasia. The price is a little bit more expensive than other simple video recording software. Added to that, Movavi screen capture studio is only available to trial within 14 days. To learn more about this software, take a look at our in-depth review here!

Key Features

  • Simple to use with intuitive user interface.
  • Easily record everything on the screen.
  • Lightweight and decent for making screencasts.
  • Edit captured video in a classic timeline editor with tons of effects, filters and transitions.
  • Great price compare to other expensive video editing suites on the market.
  • Export video in various formats.

Best For

  • Making YouTube videos and online training videos.

Pricing Detail

  • Free trial in 14 days with watermark on the output.
  • Personal license – $59.95 lifetime.

4. Mirillis Action Screen Recorder

Mirillis Action is a powerful and simple to use screen recording software for Windows and Mac you can trust now. Especially, those of you who need a high fps, lag free game recording program. Mirillis Action! screen recorder allows streaming and real-time recording of Windows desktop in a superb HD video quality. With Action! you can record and stream your gameplay, web player videos, record music, capture screenshots, add webcams, microphone commentary… and more!

It has full functionality from recording screen video, console game-play or video from external device via USB or HDMI cable. Besides the basic features of a video-recording software, Mirillis Action also offers more advanced features like Chroma key, live streaming and YouTube/ FaceBook sharing options. Read our full review about this powerful game recorder here.

Key Features

  • Intuitive UI and simple to use.
  • Built-in recording manager.
  • Greenscreen Mode, record webcam or USB/HDMI capture devices.
  • Record game-play in HD quality and live stream to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Smashcast, Aliez and so on.
  • Record and upload directly to YouTube or Facebook.
  • Use fast, hardware accelerated video exporting with NVIDIA® NVENC, AMD APP or Intel® Quick Sync Video technologies.
  •  Add live audio commentary to your screen and gameplay recordings
  • Export video in various formats.

Best For

  • Record game-play and live streaming.

Pricing Detail

  • Free trial in 30 days.
  • Personal license – $29.95 lifetime.

5. Bandicam

Bandicam has been around for some years now. The program is designed to be a desktop video recording software for keen game streamers. It is lightweight, simple to use and free of lag. Using Bandicam, you’re able to record your full screen desktop, a locked application or video from your HDMI device. It’s quite similar to Mirillis Action screen recorder.

The only downside of Bandicam is that it will leave a watermark on your recordings when you use their free version. Read our full review to know why you should use it.

Key Features

  • Easy to navigate interface.
  • Various video recording modes such as recording games, recording screen and record HDMI, Console Devices.
  • Record webcam and audio in full high definition quality.

Best For

  • Record high FPS games and streaming movies.

Pricing Detail

  • Free to use without watermark.
  • License for 1 PC – $39 lifetime.

6. Apowersoft online screen recorder

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of online screen recorder. I’d prefer to download and install an offline program on my computer to use other than access a website to start a video recording each time. However, if you just need to record your screen occasionally, using an online screen recorder is a great option.

Among several web-based applications, Apowersoft free online screen recorder is one of the best options to use. This app is simple to use, no log in requirements, no download or installation need. Check out our review about Apowersoft online screen recorder here.

Key Features

  • No download is needed.
  • Accessible online and simple to use.
  • Record full screen, fixed area with audio and webcam.
  • Has real time drawing tool.
  • No watermark, no time limit.
  • Save video file or share directly to YouTube or Vimeo.

Best For

  • Record short tutorial video.

Pricing Detail

  • Free to use

7. OBS Studio

OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software Studio) is perfect screen recorder for games recording and streaming which can produce high quality results with all necessary features for capturing your desktop and webcam without watermark and time limit. It is 100% Free and Open Source. Our full review about OBS Studio is right here!

8. Screencast O Matic

Screencast O Matic is a small size and lightweight online recording application which allows you to capture video from your desktop with narration and share them directly on YouTube or Cloud. According to our test, Screencast O Matic offers exactly what they said on their website. By using their free version, you can record video up to 720p without watermark in 15 minutes. Check out our review about Screencast O Matic here.

9. Gilisoft Screen Recorder

Gilisoft is a safe, easy-to-use screen recording software with necessary features such as: full screen recording, partial screen recording, webcam video recording with system audio or microphone audio. It allows you to record full HD video (1920 x 1080 resolution) up to 30 fps. If you just need a simple software to record screen without any further editing needs then Gilisoft is not a bad choice. Here is the review about Gilisoft.

Gilisoft interface

10. Aiseesoft Screen recorder

Aiseesoft screen recorder is one of the most easy-to-use software for capturing videos and audios on your computer at high quality. Although its free version allows 2 minutes only.  Aiseesoft free screen recorder deserves to stand high in the best screen recorders lineup.

Aiseesoft Screen Recorder impressed us by logical and clear user’s interface and really like this software. However, the limitation on recording time at only 2 minutes make it get lower point from our reviewers. Added to that, it lacks of video editing features also make us disappointed. However, if you want to record short videos, this tool maybe the best choice for you. The interface is so easy that you only need a minutes to learn and start making your recording. When looking at paid version, the price for 1 license will be $39 at the time we wrote this review.

Our Recommendation?

Choosing which screen recorder to use depends very much on your needs and your budget. However, I hope this piece of information might be helpful for you.

  • The most lightweight, free and simple to use screen recording software for creating tutorial videos, product demos and training videos or even responsive e-learning courses has to be our #1 suggestion: ActivePresenter.
  • Apart from very expensive price, Camtasia is the best option for those who need both screen recorder and video editor with tons of effects and ready-set callouts and annotations.
  • If the offline software bother you, a great online tool like Apowersoft is the program you need to create screencast video and share it directly online without downloading.
  • For gamers, I would suggest you go for Bandicam or Mirillis Action Screen Recorder. Despite the fact that they are not free apps. In return, you can record your game-play with less lag and broadcast your recording live easily.

To help you easily access publisher’s official website, we’ve put access links under the name of each software for you. Don’t forget to follow us to receive more valuable post notifications in the future!

Good luck!

Editor’s notice: The information in this post was updated in February 11th, 2021.

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