How to create a screen recording with OBS Studio


Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope

OBS Studio is free software for recording and live streaming video on your computer. It’s used by millions of streamers and video content creators around the world. It captures and composites media from multiple sources, such as the computer screen, webcam, and microphone, in real-time.

The following steps show how to record your computer screen and save it as a video file using OBS Studio.

Download and install OBS Studio

Go to the official OBS website and download the version of OBS Studio for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).

Run the installer. In the Auto-Configuration Wizard, you can choose Optimize just for recording, and leave the rest of the settings at the defaults. When installation is complete, open OBS.

The top pane of the OBS window displays a real-time preview of what would be captured using the current settings.

Recording with OBS

By default, OBS captures everything on your computer screen, including the OBS window. If you click-and-drag the title bar to move the OBS window around, you see an “infinity effect” as it captures itself in real-time.

Set the Scene

In the lower-left area of the OBS window is the Scenes panel. In OBS, a “Scene” is a combination of one or more media input sources.

OBS Scene panel

Click the Scene name to select it, and press Enter to edit it. Enter a descriptive name.

OBS Scene name

Press Enter again to save the name.

Configure your source

To the right of the Scenes panel is the Sources panel. The default source is Display Capture, which captures all or part of your computer screen.

OBS Sources panel

To change the settings, double-click the Display Capture source, or click it once to select it, and click the gear icon .

OBS Studio source properties

You can change which display is captured, or crop it to capture only part of the screen.

OBS Studio Display Capture settings

When you’re done, click OK.

Output settings

Next, configure the location of your recorded video files.

In the lower-right area of the OBS window is the Controls panel.

OBS Studio controls panel

In the Controls panel, click Settings.

OBS Studio Controls Settings

On the left of the Settings window, click Output.

OBS Settings, Output, Recording Path

Under Recording, for Recording Path, click Browse. Then, choose a location (such as your desktop or a new folder) where you want to save the video files on your computer.


There are other output settings you can choose, such as format and encoding bitrate. In this example, we’ve chosen mp4 as the Recording Format, and default settings for everything else.


The yellow warning text at the bottom of the Settings window helps explain the benefits and limitations of the settings you’ve chosen.

When you’re done adjusting your settings, click OK.

Record your video

In the Controls panel, click Start Recording to begin the recording.

OBS start recording

To stop, click Stop Recording. The video file is saved in the folder you chose as your Recording Path.

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