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Best Settings for Screen Recording

Best Settings for Screen Recording

Screen recording is a powerful way to share any information that you have on your screen with your viewers. Before you make your first screencast, these nine essential tips will help you create a quality screen recording that you’ll want to share. Watch the video, read the post, or do both! Either way, you’ll be well on your way to creating better screen recording videos.

Best Settings for Screen Recording

The Top 9 Screen Recording Tips That Will Make You a Better Creator

1. You can record anything on your screen

One of the benefits of screen recording is that if you can see it, you can capture it. Anything is fair game – PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, webpages, and everything else that shows up.

The downside of capturing your screen is that you can accidentally record unwanted notifications and popups – sometimes even your cluttered desktop.

Before you start recording, clean up the icons on your desktop. Turn off notifications and disable popups, too.

2. Have a plan about what you’re going to say

It’s easy to ramble when you record. Instead, have a plan.

An outline or script will help guide you through your recording, for a better final video. Write down as much as you need to stay focused. This could be as detailed as exact words, a general list of steps, or any other details that help you stay on point and ensure you don’t forget anything important.

3. Length can impact effectiveness

How long is the ideal screencasting video? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer – it depends. Short videos are great, but if you skip important information, viewers will be annoyed and unhappy.

On the other hand, if you make a long video that has way more information than viewers need, they’ll be bored and stop watching. To get the best video length, focus on the content itself. Include just enough relevant information and your video will be as short as it can be.

4. Audio quality matters

Sound can make a big difference in the overall quality of your screencast recording. Let’s face it folks – one thing that turns off viewers faster than almost anything else is bad audio.

The best way to record good audio is to plan for it before you even start recording.

Don’t use the microphone built into your computer

It’s convenient and works in a pinch, but it won’t give you the best results. Use an external microphone to increase the quality of your audio dramatically. Even an inexpensive USB mic will work.

Get rid of background noise

Your microphone can pick up any noise around you, including relatively quiet ones such as fluorescent lighting and HVAC units, as well as louder ones like your neighbor’s barking dog down the street.

Some screencast programs let you ‘clean’ this type of noise out of the recording afterward, but it’s much better to eliminate them in the first place.

Strategically place your microphone

Make sure it’s located where it can pick up your voice easily and your audience can understand you clearly.

5. Record an appropriate size

It’s easy to record everything on your screen, but you can end up with a not-so-great viewing experience. Instead, record only what’s important. Most screen recording programs let you record just a section of your screen so you can focus on details.

Avoid showing areas that distract, get in the way, or that just don’t help your video’s goal.

When you record a section of your screen, make sure the dimensions work wherever you’re going to host your video. Stick with standard ranges. Odd sizes – too tall or too wide – can leave your video with dark filler-bars on the sides or top when viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

If you’re not sure which size to record, it’s okay to include everything on your screen. It’s better to capture it all than to miss something important.

6. If you’re using webcam, make sure it looks good

Don’t underestimate the value of eye contact. Webcam footage builds credibility. Your audience can look into your eyes, see who you are, and more easily relate with your message.

Get yourself in a position to look good on camera. Pay attention to what’s behind you. If there’s something in the background you don’t want to be seen, move it or clean it up.

All that said, you don’t have to use a record your webcam. If you aren’t getting a good result, don’t use it. Your screencast recording can work without it.

7. Watch your mouse cursor

One element you’ll use in almost every screencast is the humble mouse cursor. It shows people where to look on the screen. It helps them follow along and see every movement to make sure they know where you are and what you’re talking about. The mouse cursor is important, so make sure you’re it’s as effective as possible.

Don’t circle things

Moving your mouse cursor around and around as if you’re talking with your hands is going to leave your viewers confused and unsure of where they should look. Instead, move your mouse cursor deliberately, and with purpose.

Don’t move at the speed of light

If you’re moving your mouse across the too fast, your audience won’t know where to look, struggle to follow along, and, ultimately, will stop watching your video.

8. If you can, cut out mistakes and unneeded content

Mistakes happen to the best of us. You’ll be recording, and your mouse will move to the wrong place, you’ll click on the wrong thing, or another unexpected thing will happen. It’s okay – it’s fixable.

Use a video editor to cut out any problems after the fact. Even if you don’t make any mistakes, there are other reasons to cut out content.

Not only does it help your video be more concise and to the point, but it also makes your end result seem more polished and professional.

9. Know where you’re going to share your video

Where to host your video is a burning question you should answer at the start of your video creation process. Decide where to put your video early-on, so you’ll know:

  • Which file type do you need?
  • What dimensions should your video be?
  • What information makes sense to include along with the video file?
  • How will I upload my video (manually or direct)?

The more you know up-front the better, as it helps you create a better video for your viewers.

Obs recording quality settings

How to get best-quality screen recording videos in OBS Studio

OBS – Open Broadcaster Software – has advanced features for both capture and streaming. But to get a smooth output, you must know how to set up OBS for recording.

Balance your settings

To optimize for the best recording settings for OBS, you’ll need to pre-configure specific settings that apply to every recording. These base settings help you capture with better quality overall and should remain as a default.

To configure these settings, access the Settings menu by clicking File > Settings. A window will appear that lists options to change settings in a variety of categories like OutputAudio, and Video.

We’ll use these categories to:

  • Set your video capture parameters
  • Set your video recording parameters
  • Set streaming parameters for your screen recording

Auto-configuration tool

An auto-configuration tool will pop up when you first open OBS Studio. From here, you can adjust the settings to match the specs on your computer. But if you need to further adjust your settings – as shown in the sections below – you’ll return to the Settings menu.

Follow the instructions in each category to optimize for the best OBS recording settings in any situation.

Set video capture parameters

You can improve the quality of your videos by clicking the Video category from the Settings menu. Here, you’ll find options that allow you to capture the smoothest videos possible within the platform. Adjust the following settings for optimal capture recording performance.

1. The Base (Canvas) Resolution

Represented by width × height, this resolution represents the dimensions of your capture area. It’s best to match it to the settings on your monitor, but you can also create a custom capture window. 1920 × 1080 is standard 1080p HD recording.

2. Output (Scaled) Resolution

The resolution for your output (Scaled) doesn’t have to match the resolution for your capture (Canvas). But to create better quality videos, it’s best to do so. For optimal playback on a specific platform, make sure your resolution settings are compatible. If not, you’ll want to adjust your settings to match the platform’s upload standards.

3. Common FPS (frames-per-second)

FPS – also known as frame rate – determines how many frames per second your video will record. This affects the quality of your video, as more frames give you a smoother picture. 30 FPS or 60 FPS are the top settings based on your storage capacity.

60 FPS has a higher recording bitrate and takes up more storage. But if you want your viewers to experience no lag while watching gameplay videos and other high-quality content, this is the best option.

4. Downscale filter

When your resolution output is smaller than your recording, the video must downscale to match the size. That’s the task for this filter. Lanczos provides the highest quality downscaling, but not every computer can handle this filter. Therefore, we recommend sticking to Bicubic, unless your system can handle Lanczos.

Set your video recording parameters

Click Output from the Settings menu. From here, you can choose either Simple or Advanced to change a wide variety of output settings.

There are no actual parameters for this section, as everyone has different recording needs and systems. But we’ll explore those settings in the sections below.

For now, click the dropdown menu next to Recording format and select MP4. It’s the most commonly used video format to date.

Set streaming parameters for your screen recording

The best OBS settings for recording

The section above provides a default list of settings you can use in most recording or streaming situations. Now we’ll explore each Settings category, so you’ll know how to use the best OBS settings for recording based on your project.

General settings

The General tab within the Settings window has settings that affect your experience of the platform. There’s nothing on the menu that affects the quality of your audio or video. Explore these settings and see what might be helpful in your video creation process.

Output settings

We saw this menu earlier, but let’s take a closer look. This menu allows you to customize the encoding and format settings for your videos and streams. To start, click Advanced under the Output Mode dropdown menu and use these OBS high-quality recording settings:


To create a video, you need the program to encode the information in the video into a specific format. And your graphics card determines how fast your system can encode that information.

Many articles on ‘How to optimize OBS for recording’ state that you should use the NVENC H.264 setting. And they’re right because this setting creates the highest quality videos and streams.

But this setting requires an NVIDIA graphics card you may not have installed in your system. That’s why we recommend the x264 as the default recorder.

If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, use the NVENC H.264 setting, and you’ll definitely see a difference when recording or streaming games.

Rate Control

The rate control setting tells your system how you want to allocate the bitrate you’re using. CBR puts out consistent, quality video clips, doesn’t stress your motherboard, and gives you complete bitrate control.

However, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card installed, then CQP is the setting with the highest quality. Just know that this setting puts out large video files, and is mainly used by those recording videos in 4k.


You can always set custom bitrates to match the quality of the video you want to put out. Just remember that when you increase the bitrate, you increase the size of the file. If you have the storage space, you can set a high bitrate like 16,000 for full HD recordings to get a crisp video.

But if you’re recording videos for tutorials or conferences, and potentially only playing back in 720p, you can lower things down to 3,500.

Video Settings

Both Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution depend upon your output needs. You can always match the settings to the size of your monitor to get the full screen, but you don’t have to. However, this is best practice to get the highest quality video output. Remember to set your bitrate to either 30 or 60 FPS.

Audio Settings

Under Audio, most of the default settings are fine for any standard video. Just be sure that you set the platform to get your audio from the correct source.

If you’re using your computer’s internal audio output, then select Default next to Desktop Audio. And if you’re using an external mic, then select your mic from any of the four Mic/Auxiliary Audio options.

Using advanced settings for OBS

The last two settings categories are Hotkeys and Advanced. Hotkeys doesn’t really affect your video output, so let’s look at Advanced. Here, you’ll want to incorporate the following settings for high-quality videos:

  • Set your processing priority to Above Normal.
  • Set the renderer to Direct3D 11.
  • Set your color settings to NV12, 709, and full.

How to optimize OBS for recording

How to set up OBS for game recording

To record gameplay, you’ll click the + sign under Sources and select Game Capture from the menu. From here, you can choose whether you want to record your full screen or a specific window.

If capturing a window, be sure that your Base (Canvas) Resolution matches the resolution in the game’s window. And be sure to visit your Audio settings if you’re using an external mic for narration.

free screen recorder for PC

3 Best free screen recorder free

The best free screen recorders help you capture everything on your screen and convert it to video. If you need to record assets for work, education, games streaming, and YouTubing, or you just want a free screen recorder for gaming, there’s plenty of great tools available that won’t cost you a penny. 

1. OBS Studio

If you’re looking for free game recording software, OBS Studio is easily the best free screen recorder for you. Unlike the hugely popular FRAPS (which only lets you record for 30 seconds at a stretch unless you’ve bought a license, and applies a watermark to the resulting footage), OBS Studio is open source, and completely free to use without restrictions.

OBS Studio supports both streaming and recording in high definition, with no restrictions on the number or length of your creations. You can stream live to Twitch or YouTube gaming, save projects and come back to them later, or encode your footage in FLV format and save it locally.

Because OBS Studio can record directly from your graphics card, it’s able to screen capture games running in full-screen mode (many other screen recorders can only record if the game is windowed), with customizable hotkeys to control the recording. OBS Studio can also make full use of multi-core CPUs for improved performance and can record at 60FPS (or even higher).

It might take a little while to set it up exactly how you want, but the incredibly powerful OBS Studio is by far the best free screen recorder for gaming.

2. FlashBack Express

OBS Studio is our favorite free screen recording software, but Flashback Express comes an extremely close second. Despite being a free version of a paid program, FlashBack Express is a free screen recorder for PC without a watermark. And it won’t impose time limits. 

The screen capture tool is packed with features and tools that rival many premium programs. Its interface is less intimidating than OBS Studio, so if you’ve never used a free screen recorder before, it’s an excellent choice.

You can record from your whole screen, a window, a selected area, or a webcam. Once you’ve finished, your recording will appear in a simple editor, where you can crop and trim it to suit your needs, then export it to YouTube, an FTP server, or your PC.

That’s all fairly standard fare for a screen recorder, but take a minute to dive into Flashback’s advanced options. You’ll find a wealth of thoughtfully designed settings that will make your desktop captures look truly professional. The free screen recording tool for PC can automatically obscure passwords entered on-screen, replace your silly wallpaper with a plain one, hide messy desktop icons, and highlight your mouse pointer to make it easier to follow. There’s also a dedicated gaming mode that lets you define the number of frames recorded per second.

There’s no limit on the length of your recordings unless you choose to set one, which can be useful if there’s a chance you might accidentally leave the recorder running. You can also choose to break long recordings up into chunks – a brilliant touch that helps you avoid creating huge, unwieldy files. Your recordings won’t be watermarked, either.

Following a recent update, Flashback Express can export in WMV, AVI and MP4 formats, eliminating the need for a separate video converter, and it no longer requires a free license key for activation – just install the recording software and you’re ready to start capturing footage.

FlashBack developer Blueberry Software has also released free game recording software FBX(opens in new tab). This recorder captures HD in-game footage, with hardware acceleration for AMD and Nvidia cards, and Intel CPUs.

3. Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

If you want to record a presentation, software demonstration, or tutorial, give Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder a try. This browser-based tool may not be suitable for games, but it’s the best free screen recorder for any other tasks.

The first time you use Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder, you’ll be prompted to download a small launcher application. You’ll then be provided with a control bar packed with more options than you’ll find in most desktop screen recording software. You can capture footage from your desktop or a webcam, and record audio from your PC, microphone, both, or neither.

You can record the whole screen, select an area manually or choose one of the preset resolutions – ideal if you’re recording a clip for YouTube, for example, and don’t want to use a separate video editor to resize it later.

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder also offers customizable keyboard shortcuts for speed and convenience. You can choose whether or not to include the cursor in the recording and take your pick from a range of output formats including MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, and many more. You can even add annotations during screen recording.

Once you’re done, you can save the recording as a video file or GIF, upload it directly to YouTube or Vimeo, or send it to Google Drive or Dropbox. You can also edit the clip. Selecting this option will download an additional component – Apowersoft Video Editor – which lets you make simple adjustments before exporting your video in your preferred format. A truly exceptional tool.

Note that the ‘Download desktop version’ button links to a program called Apowersoft Screen Recorder Pro. This is a trial version of a premium application and is more limited than Online Screen Recorder.


By Screen Recording for Fun and Profit, you can make money by recording short videos of your own. This activity can be fun and profitable, providing you with a great way to have some fun while making some extra money. If you are interested in screen Recording for Profit, be sure to learn how to do it properly so that you can make the most of your experience.


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