5 Best Free Screen Recording Software for Windows

Screen Recording software is a extremely useful utility to create presentations, help documentation, game video records, video lectures online video records, or even for trouble shooting problems of your PC, by recording the problem in a video file to share with an online system administrator. Although there are several paid programs used to make complex screen capturing for professional use, there are still some good free ones out there in the wild.

Screen Recording Sofware Windows

We have made all the research and testing for you, to present you with the 5 best truly free screen video recorders that are ad free, trial period free, malware free, and needs no registration – install and use them with confidence. Having said that, if you find any of the below listed software making non-sense after a period of time, probably after future program updates, let us know in comments below.

1. SRecorder

We have reports that this program contains malware. We take utmost care when we review new software, and Srecorder was clean when we tested it, but seems like it is one of those programs which launches as a good one, and then converts to a malware program in upcoming updates. So we will have to take off the download link for now. 

Short review: Simplistic, No advance features, No built-in video editor, Easy sharing via social sites and direct server upload, runs smoothly even on age old Windows XP PC. 

Long review: SRecorder is one of the best free screen capturing utilities that has a simple no-frill modern interface, and can record high quality video and audio of the capturing area.  By default settings of the program, it snaps to the right of the desktop, and can be accessed by clicking on it or from its taskbar icon. It gives with an option to record with audio or without audio.

SRecorder Interface

SRecorder Interface

Area that need to be captured can be be specified by simple drag, followed by an option to “Record with sound” check box. Then hitting the red button starts the video recording within the area indicated.

SRecorder Screen Area Capture

SRecorder Screen Area Capture

After the capture is complete, the video can be saved to any location on your computer, and can be shared on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

Video Save and Share Options

Video Save and Share Options

It also gives option to upload the video to the Srecorder server. The link to the ready file is saved to the clipboard, which can be later pasted into a internet browser for opening. I tested this option, and found it to be working great. For those who make a lot of records, can use the button History to find the necessary file. Right-click the program icon located in the tray to go to the History menu.

History of Records

History of Records

Video gets recorded with varying bitrate MP4 video, but fixed 128Kbps bitrate, 2 Channel MPEG audio.

Works with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

2. SCREEN2EXE

Short review: Lots of features, high-end features like video editing, records mouse movements and zooming, system resource hog, buggy interface.

Long review: Don’t go by its name, although it sounds like those scary screen savers that bring in tons of adware, this one is nothing like that, it is a genuine, clean and packed with great features for screen capturing.

SCREEN2EXE Interface

SCREEN2EXE Interface

The screen capture should be indicated in the program interface, it displays the screen size at the bottom of the program’s window. At the right side of the window some handy features like Screen Capture FPS rate, and audio option can be controlled. FPS rates include options Slow, 1FPS, Normal, 2FPS, Quick, 4FPS, and Fast, as fast as it can. After recording is finished, it gives options to edit the video where annotations and special effects can be added. It even has the ability to delete unnecessary frames that are same to minimize video file size.

Screen2exe Video Options

Screen2exe Video Options

Its built-in video editor is packed with advance features that lets to add annotations, image overlay, zoom, add mosiac, add delay, trim clip, and even audio re-dub option.

Screen2exe Video Editor

Screen2exe Video Editor

Finally, several ways of finishing the video, it gives several ways to save the video, including self executable exe file that plays the video without the need of any media player, or flash file (SWF), Flash Video (FLV), Windows video (AVI), or MP4 format.

Save Options

Save Options

Download SCREEN2EXE

Works with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

3. Debut Video Capture (Free Non-Commercial Version)

Short review: Lots of features, advanced video capture features, video effects – contrast, brightness, color, filter, time lapse video recording, digital zoom with the mouse scroll wheel, add captions, and more. Several steps to complete even a simple task, Longer learning curve due to mash up of features.

Long review:  The company, NCH Software is offering its Debut Video capture software free for home users only. The software is feature rich and stable, but due to several options spread over in its UI, it may take longer time to learn using it for some users. Like other video capture software, this one too has all the ways of screen capture, including full screen, region, and window. Apart from capturing video, this program has the ability to apply several cool video filters like black and white, negative, and sepia. Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma control comes in handy while dealing with photography videos.

Debut Video Capture - Video Effects

Debut Video Capture – Video Effects

Annotations can be added with special effects including background color, fonts, and stroke color.


Debut Video Capture - Annotations

Debut Video Capture – Annotations

Video output presets are available for video output, and what more, it also packs tonnes of sound format encoders and compressors. Advance users who exactly know what output they need, can utilize these features to avoid post video processing.

Video Encoder Options

Video Encoder Options

For the zooming needs, debut video capture can perform digital zoom with the mouse scroll wheel, and zoom-to-mouse feature focuses the recording window on the cursor. Other cool features include time lapse recording, recording from devices such as network IP cam, webcam, and ability to schedule recording.

Debut Video Capture - Schedule Capture

Debut Video Capture – Schedule Capture

Download Debut Video Capture

Works with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

4. eLecta Live Free Screen Recorder

Short review: Minimalistic design, very less memory consumption, high quality video and audio recording, file save before start of video capture makes it highly reliable.

Long review: eLecta Live screen recorder is a light weight, ultra low memory consumption software that can run on any low configuration PC without problems. It has the basic screen capture modes including full screen recording and screen area selected recording. Apart from that, it can record from webcam or from the eLecta live session, and a watermark can be added in the form of text or an image.

eLecta Screen Recorder

eLecta Live Screen Recorder

One great reason for this programs is its reliability due to saving the file before the start of video recording. Most of the other programs reviewed here saves the file after the capture is completed understandably due to video editor mode, hence it becomes vulnerable to crash due to large video size, and the whole file is lost.

eLecta Screen Recorder Features

eLecta Screen Recorder Features

Download eLecta Live Screen Recorder

Works with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

5. Active Presenter

Short review:  professional screen capture, lots of high-end features, export to various video formats including AVI, MP4, WMV, WebM,and MKV, Lossless audio and video codecs in MKV container for further editing, pack as SCORM packages and publish to any SCORM-compliant LMS, automatically generate appropriate annotations for each action, and more. Big learning curve due to its pro quality approach.

Long review: Active Presenter is not just a little screen capturing utility, it’s rather a pro software for making high quality presentations and training materials, hence don’t get surprised when you see option “New Project” at start up of program.

Active Presenter

Active Presenter

For even making a simple screen capture, one needs to make a new project and use the preset capture profiles.

Active Presenter Projects

Active Presenter Projects

Full Motion Recording (FMR) profile is nothing but the video capture mode with demonstration by using annotations. As usual a full screen as well as custom size window options are available along with audio.

Acive Presentation - Full Motion Recording

Active Presentation – Full Motion Recording

The main work zone of the programs complex interface reminds you of a typical video slideshow program consisting of several features, including a detailed story timeline for frame by frame video editing, adding Zoom and Pan effects, slide background color control, etc.

Active Presenter Work Area

Active Presenter Work Area

It can automatically generate appropriate annotations for each action, and comments including closed captioning can be added with several beautiful shapes. Special gesture effects can be added to the video along with highlight and spotlight effects too. Advance audio sync, video and overlays can also be done within this interface.

Active Presenter - Annotations

Active Presenter – Annotations

If that is not enough, it can apply interactive fields to the presentation, such as mouse click, text box, key stroke, Fill in the Blanks, sequence, essay, and several others.

Active Presenter - Interaction Features

Active Presenter – Interaction Features

After all the polishing to the video presentation, the “Export” menu gives ways to publish it. It can be exported to video formats including AVI, WMV, MPEG4, and WebM, or flash video (FLV), MS Word, Powerpoint, or even a into PDF.

Actve Presenter - Export Options

Actve Presenter – Export Options

Download Active Presenter

Works on Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.

  • shekhar

    Hi, list seems to be good , I am using the Srecorder, will try other and comment

    • Kiran Kumar

      Cool. Srecorder is a simplistic and light-weight program which gets basic screen capturing jobs done.

  • m

    I’ve installed srecorder today (from their webpage) and it came bundled with adware – malware…

    • Kiran Kumar

      Thanks for notification. Seems like the program started as a good one during launch and later converted to a malware oriented program. We will remove the download link until the developer resolves the problem.

  • Dennis carsic

    I have used Active Presenter on early edition on WinXP and it was the BEST Video and Audio in sync so I hope this version will be the same on Win10