The 5 best screen recording software and apps of 2022

With the rise in popularity of remote work in a post-COVID world, we are spending a lot of time at home. That means most people are spending a lot more time on their computers and gaming stations, making it all the more important that you have the right tools. 

We analyzed the market to bring you the best screen recording software for your needs, whether it is capturing that staff meeting or highlighting a new gaming technique. This is the best screen recording software of 2022.

Camtasia

Best screen recording software overall

Camtasia

TechSmith

Compatibility: Mac, Windows

Camtasia is a user-friendly screen recording software that includes a ton of video editing tools. It works with several formats, recording video calls, websites, and software with a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily perfect your recording. To give your video that extra touch, there are royalty-free assets available. When you are finished, your exported video easily works with YouTube, offering additional compatibility to simplify your life. It is easy to use for beginners with video tutorials to help you make how-to videos and demos that can help convert your customers. There are templates provided to help you get started, plus there is the option of adding special effects to your recording. It is a program that is super easy to navigate, thanks to provided themes and libraries, in addition to shortcuts and favorites for all of the tools and settings that you use the most. 

Camtasia subscription plans:

Plan

Price

Individual

$224.99

Education

$161.03

Business

$224.99

Government & Non-Profit

$201.74


Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Excellent library of templates
  • Plays nice with other tools

Cons:

  • Subject to bugs
  • Animation can be troublesome
  • Limited commands

Loom

Best screen recording software for online sharing

Loom

Loom

Compatibility: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows

Founded in 2015, today Loom is a screen recording software used by such giants like HubSpot, Netflix, and Lacoste, boasting a total number of 14 million users and 200 companies that use its services. Loom’s shining feature is that it includes several methods of recording, whether it is your screen, camera, microphone, or internal audio. Videos are automatically saved to the cloud for easy access when you need to view them later. This is a type of software that is designed for easy collaboration, offering viewers the option to interact with you through time-stamped comments and fun emoji reactions. You will also receive a notification every time there is viewer activity on your account, so you do not ever miss a comment. You can also access a mobile-friendly library on the go so you can access your videos even when you are not at your computer. Security controls keep you in control, too, giving you detailed viewer information so you can improve your videos over time. There is a free plan for the occasional user, or you can upgrade to a paid plan if you plan on staying busy. 

Loom subscription plans:

A 14-day trial of Loom Business is included.

Plan

Cost

Videos per person

Minutes per video

Free

$0

25

5

Business

$8/mo. per Creator

Unlimited

Unlimited

Enterprise

Custom

Custom

Custom

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Chrome extension
  • Added convenience features

Cons:

  • Requires strong, stable internet
  • Some audio issues reported
  • Limited recording under free plan

Movavi

Best screen recording software for Mac users

Movavi

Movavi

Compatibility: Mac, Windows

Movavi is a screen recording software that offers far more tools than the typical video editing app with movie and music editing, special effects, titles, and even slideshows. Still, it manages to remain user-friendly and easy enough for even young users to enjoy. It has an intuitive interface that is simple to navigate but does not compromise the powerful editing tools needed to create several different types of media.

Movavi is a photo editing app made up of several parts:

  • Clips: allows you to edit the videos you have on your mobile device
  • Picverse: for photo editing on your mobile device
  • PDFChefScanner: an easy way to add documents to your device by utilizing a mobile scanner right within your device.
  • Video Suite: is a full video editor that allows you to perfect your videos quickly and easily.
  • Video Editor Plus: for advanced editing tools

Movavi price: $89.95 with a 7-day free trial

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Chroma keying
  • Music editing tools

Cons:

  • Slower rendering
  • Limited compatibility
  • Not the best option for professionals

Nvidia ShadowPlay

Best screen recording software for gaming

Nvidia ShadowPlay

Nvidia

Compatibility: Windows

Nvidia ShadowPlay is a screen recording software option only for Windows users, but it is a powerful tool if you can use it. It is unique in that it is designed specifically to work with gaming, boasting the ability to preserve your game highlights, including those clutch kills automatically. ShadowPlay allows you the option to record gameplay at either 8K HDR at 30 frames per second or up to 4K HDR at 60 frames per second. The program is hardware accelerated, which means that it will not interrupt gameplay — even if you leave it running. You can make your own GIF from any ShadowPlay video with easy uploading to Google, Facebook, or Weibo. Grab a screenshot and enjoy up to 8K clarity with the option to upload to Facebook, Google, or Imgur. Or, if you are feeling social, go live with a broadcast available for Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch. 

Nvidia Shadowplay price: Free

Pros:

  • High-quality broadcasts
  • Highlights feature
  • Excellent for recording gaming

Cons:

  • Limited compatibility
  • Can lag
  • Complaints about lack of support

OBS Studio

Best free screen recording software

OBS Studio

OBS

Compatibility: Linux, Mac, Windows

OBS Studio is a versatile screen recording software program that works with a variety of formats and comes without a fee. This allows you to mix and match several different forms of media, including screen captures, images, text, Internet windows, and webcams. With Studio Mode, you can preview each individual scene before you begin to piece it all together. There is no limit to the number of scenes you can switch between, plus there is a special modular UI tool designed to rearrange the video until you find the perfect layout for your needs. Audio delivery is outstanding, thanks to an Intuitive audio mixer with included extras like noise suppression and VST plugin support — perfect your video with the Streamlined Settings tool that allows you to polish the final product. 

OBS Studio price: Free

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Great compatibility
  • Broadcasting capabilities

Cons:

  • Subject to lagging
  • Cumbersome setup 
  • It can be confusing to new users

What is the best screen recording software?

The best screen recording software is one that combines functionality with easy navigation. Cost is an important factor, too, to ensure that it is an affordable tool that is accessible. Our list of the best screen recording software in 2022 is a fantastic place to begin your search.

Screen recording software

Price

Trial

Camtasia

$224.99

30 days

Loom

Up to $8/mo.

14 days

Movavi

$89.95

7 days

Nvidia ShadowPlay

$50.95+

30 day money-back

OBS Studio

$0

N/A

Which is the right screen recording software for you?

Camtasia is ZDNet’s top choice, but one size doesn’t fit all. If you find yourself overwhelmed in your search for 2022’s best screen recorder, these are our expert recommendations to help you find the right one for you. 

Choose this screen recording software…

If you want…

Camtasia

Screen capture with professional video editing

Loom

Basic tools with online sharing

Movavi

Screen capturing on Mac OS

Nvidia ShadowPlay

To work on Windows with Nvidia

OBS Studio

A budget-friendly option

How did we choose these screen recording software options?

When looking for the best screen recording software, there were a number of factors that we considered that could also be a help to you when shopping for the perfect software. 

  • Tools: Whether it is a tool to help you with screen captures or one that perfects your audio, the kind of tools that a program offers is important in order to ensure that you can create the type of video you want.
  • Editing: Consider the kind of edits that you would like to make. While some programs allow you to simply edit video length, others may give the option to add music, subtitles, or special effects.
  • Sharing: Once your project is complete, it is time to share. Some programs may allow you to share via an online link, while others may offer a broadcasting feature that lets you go live for your viewers.
  • Compatibility: Most programs work with a variety of different platforms, but not all do. While some only work with Windows, others may restrict their services to Mac. Be sure to check system requirements before choosing the best screen recording software for your needs.
  • Cost: Budget is a concern for most users, which is why we consider cost in our analysis. Some apps do not charge anything for their services, while others can cost $100 per year or more.   

What is screen recording software?

Screen recording software is a program that allows you to capture items on your screen. You can use editing tools to add text, rearrange clips, and add special effects to make the best video or presentation possible.  

What is the difference between a desktop screen recorder vs. online screen recorder?

Online screen recorders operate very similarly to a desktop screen recorder, except that it requires an Internet connection to record. Desktop screen recorders do not require an Internet connection.

Are there alternative screen recording software and apps worth considering?

In our search, we found many other options that may be worth your consideration. These are some of the programs that almost made our list of 2022’s best screen recording software:

While you are on your computer, consider our top picks for 2022’s best gaming PC, best budget gaming laptop, and the best computer in 2022!

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