How to Use OBS for Screen Recording

Screen Recording

Ready to level up your videos? OBS (Open Broadcast Software) is a powerful and completely free tool you should be using. It’s perfect for streaming, creating tutorials, or capturing anything on your screen with tons of options for customization. This guide will walk you through everything about how to use OBS for screen recording.


  • To export your recordings in MP4 format, make sure you select MP4 as the recording format in the Output settings. Do not use MKV, as it is not compatible with most video players. 
  • To record in high bitrate, set the video bitrate to at least 8000 kbps in the Output settings. This will improve the quality of your video, but also increase the file size. 
  • You will be able to learn how to record screens with OBS. 

But first, what is OBS? 

OBS is a free and open-source software that allows you to capture, mix, and broadcast video and audio from your computer. You can use OBS to record your screen, record for webcam, microphone, game, browser, or any other source that you can add to OBS.  

You can also use OBS for live streaming for free to platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and more. OBS supports various encoders, formats, and resolutions, so you can customize your video settings according to your needs and preferences. 

Download OBS here 

Now, How to Set Up OBS? 

After downloading OBS you will be greeted with this screen. 


When you open OBS for the first time, you will see a black screen. This is because you need to add some sources to specify what you want OBS to show. 

OBS lets you show different types of media at the same time. This feature allows streamers and content creators to combine various media elements, such as a webcam feed and a screen capture. 

Now That You Know What OBS Can Do Let’s Proceed With The Steps To Set It Up

Step 1: In this example, we will show you how to use the “Display Capture” feature. With Display Capture, OBS will capture everything on your screen, including tabs, windows, and other content. 


Step 2: Put the name of your display capture then press OK. Also ensure you tick the “Make source visible”. 


Step 3. You will then be prompted to choose the capture method and the display you want to capture. You can leave the settings as default. But if you have multiple monitors and you want to display a specific one, just change the monitor option under the “Display” selection. Also ensure Capture cursor is ticked. Then press OK. 


You should start by seeing your display. But you’re not done yet. You must set up the video format and its bitrate, so it gives higher quality output. 

How Do I Set Up My Video In The Best Practice Formats?

Step 1: On the lower left of OBS, click Settings and then go to Output. Follow the settings shown in the image below. 


Step 2: Your default settings should be different. Copy the settings highlighted in yellow box. 


Video Bitrate should be 8000kbps (8MBPS) the minimum for 1080p videos. Learn more about video bitrate here. 

udio Bitrate: 192-320kbps is good value especially if you’re recording your vocals in this screen recording. Learn more about audio bitrate here. 

Then go down the Recording tab and change the following: 

  • Recording format: from MKV to MP4. 
  • Recording Format: MPEG-4 (.mp4) 
  • Video Encoder: H.264 
  • Audio Encoder: AAC (Default) 

Step 3: One more thing… Under Settings > Video tab, you can adjust Base Resolution and Output Resolution. We recommend using the same dimension for both. If you are on a laptop, it will most likely show a different dimension like 1366 x 768. Just set them both to the same dimension. 

And for FPS value, 30 FPS should be the default. But you have the option to change it to a higher frame rate video so that your screen recording will look more smooth and high quality. 

Now you are ready to record with the best format and quality for your screen recording! 

Before recording, check the audio mixer to see if desktop audio and mic/aux show any activity when sound is played in your video or when you speak on the mic. 

If not, just click on the three dots on the right side of each item and try changing its mic source and desktop audio source. 


Now everything is set, Press “START RECORDING”, Minimize your OBS then move on your screen and do your thing! 

Important Note for Seamless Integration 

Pay attention to your video, audio and microphone sources. You may accidentally record the wrong window with Window Capture. Select the window that you are working on. 

Window Capture cannot capture pop-ups. It only records the main window. Use Display Capture instead. 

A pop-up is a small window on top of another window. For example, a menu pops up when you right-click on a file explorer. This menu is invisible on Window Capture mode. This applies to other apps with pop-ups too, which are very common. 

Always do a test recording to check if everything works as expected (video, mic and right-click pop-ups). This is how easy to to use OBS for screen recording

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