How to Record Your Computer Screen (With Sound)

how to record your screen hero

Learn how to record your desktop screen with Snagit and Camtasia.

Imagine you need to show someone how to log in to an online account or how to use a feature in a product. You could write out an email. Or you could capture your screen and take a few screenshots.

But best of all might be recording your screen.

Screen recording, also known as a screencast, is perfect for creating: 

You can even record games or record presentations, or make a YouTube video.


What you’ll learn in this guide

In this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about recording your screen on your computer screen.

  • How to video record your screen
  • How to record short, quick recordings
  • How to record polished, professional-quality screen recordings
  • How to record your screen with sound
  • Keyboard shortcuts

Read our complete screen recording guides

How to Record Your Windows Screen

How to Record Your Mac Screen


Choose your screen recorder

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the screen recording software you’ll use. A

Snagit is great for simple, short desktop recordings, while something like Camtasia might be better for longer, more complex jobs.

However, recordings made with Snagit can be easily shared with Camtasia and assembled into longer, more complex videos there.

Today, I’ll show you how to record your screen with Snagit for simple recordings, and Camtasia for more polished videos.

Record your screen today!

Download one of our free screen recorder trials to quickly and easily record your computer screen.

Download a free trial

How to record your desktop screen (Use Snagit for short, quick recordings)

Short, simple recordings that won’t require much editing can be done with something like Snagit (which is what I use most of the time).

Snagit is great for screenshots and quick and easy screen recordings. It’s perfect for when you want videos that look great, but don’t take hours of editing time.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Choose what you want to record

Step 2: Record your audio or webcam

Step 3: Trim your video

Step 4: Save or share

When you have your video ready to share, use the Share menu to save the video or send it to the web.

How to record your computer screen (Use Camtasia for polished, professional-quality screen recordings)

Longer or more complex recordings may need more editing. Something like Camtasia will give you a full built-in video editing suite of tools you can use.

Camtasia even allows you to enhance the video by zooming in on areas of emphasis, highlighting your mouse clicks, adding text or graphic call-outs, and more.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Choose your recording options

Step 2: Choose the region you want to record

Step 3: Record your desktop with audio (if you want to)

Step 4: Edit your video

Step 5: Produce and share

How to record your screen with sound

To record your voice, select the microphone. And if you want to record the sounds that come from your computer, like the beeps and boops you hear, select the system audio option.

When you record your screen you can include typing the address into your browser and show all your mouse movements and clicks to let people see exactly where to go and how to get there.

You can include video and audio when you record your screen too. Use microphone audio to narrate your video from your computer’s built-in microphone or an external mic.

You can also record your system audio (that’s the sound that comes out of your speakers).

Are there keyboard shortcuts?

Yep! Here are a few of the top shortcuts for Snagit and Camtasia:

Snagit Hotkeys

Start Recording

  • Windows: Shift+F9
  • Mac: Control+Shift+Spacebar

Pause/Resume Recording

  • Windows: Shift+F9
  • Mac: Control+Shift+Spacebar

Stop Recording

  • Windows: Shift+F10
  • Mac: Control+Shift+V

To configure your own hotkeys for your keyboard, see Customize the Snagit Hotkeys.

Camtasia Shortcuts

Start/Pause Recording

  • Windows: F9
  • Mac: Command+Shift+2

Stop Recording

  • Windows: F10
  • Mac: Command+Option+2

To customize the shortcuts for your keyboard, see Customize Camtasia Shortcuts

Should I use a free screen recorder?

Maybe. You can use free apps like QuickTime (on Mac) or Xbox App (Windows), but, if you’re comparing different screen recording tools, make sure you get a screen recorder with sound recording and video editing options built-in.

The problem with many built-in screen recorders that come standard on your computer is that they limit you to just recording. And you end up needing extra tools and software just to edit and share your videos.

Quick tips!

  • Camtasia’s advanced (but super-easy-to-use) video editing capabilities allow you to add audio tracks after you record your screen. Whether you want to record your narration after the fact or want to add some music, you can do it!
  • Be prepared to record your screen a time or two to get what you want. Almost everyone messes something up along the way. But recording your screen is so easy, it won’t matter if you have to do it again.
  • Don’t get too hung up on making everything perfect. If you’re demonstrating a process, make sure the steps are clear and easy to follow. If you’re narrating, you can decide how many “umms” and “uhs” you can live with. It also depends on your audience.
  • Recordings meant for people outside your company probably need to be more polished than things you’re sending to one of your fellow employees.
  • We also have a full list of screen recording tips that you can use to get the best recordings possible.

Record your screen today!

Download one of our free screen recorder trials to quickly and easily record your computer screen.

Download a free trial

Frequently asked questions

How do I record my computer screen?

Screen recording is pretty simple. Once you have your screen recorder (we like Snagit and Camtasia) it’s as simple as 1. Record 2. Edit 3. Share.

How do I screen record with audio?

To record your voice, select the microphone. And if you want to record the sounds that come from your computer, like the beeps and boops you hear, select the system audio option.

How do you record your iPhone screen?

While Snagit and Camtasia can’t record your iPhone screen, TechSmith has a TechSmith Capture app that lets you quickly and easily record your iPhone screen. After you download the app: Step 1. Enable screen recording on your iOS device. Step 2. Set up your screen recorder. Step 3. Record your screen.

How do I record a presentation with narration?

While there are a number of ways to record a presentation, my favorite way to record a high-quality presentation in PowerPoint with audio and video is Camtasia.

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