free computer screen video capture tools

Hi expert,

Normally I use commercial software like Camtasia Studio or Adobe Captive to create video tutorials of my computer screen.

I was wondering is there any free online tools or free software out there that you know of that will allow you to create a video screen capture of my computer screen just like the software I mentioned above let you do?
Who is Participating?
Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
Four ideas for you:

(1) I use the free version of WisdomSoft's AutoScreenRecorder:

It works very well and I don't have a need for the features of its Pro (paid) version, but if I did, I think that the $49.95 price is reasonable, and based on the quality of the free version, I wouldn't hesitate to go for the Pro version. Here's a comparison matrix of the Free vs. Pro versions:

You can decide which one satisfies your needs. Of course, you may as well start with the free version and see if it works for you. That's what I did and I have been very happy with it.

(2) FFVideo is free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording from screen, audio, webcam, microphone, and other devices. It uses the [ffmpeg] screen-capture-recorder as its recording engine:

[ffmpeg] provides for a number of output formats, including MP4. It is also free, open source and available at SourceForge:

(3) CamStudio is also free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording all screen and audio activity, creating industry-standard AVI video files. It also has a built-in streaming Flash producer to convert the AVIs into SWFs. If you have any problems with it, take a look at the Issues section at its own website:

(4) Problem Steps Recorder is free, built into Windows:

However, AFAIK, there's no control over what part of the screen it always records the entire fact, multiple displays, if you have them. I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but in my case, I have two large monitors in an extended desktop configuration, and Problem Steps Recorder records everything on both of them, which I usually don't want. I'm typically interested in just one program (window) being recorded and AutoScreenRecorder Free can do that. It allows the recording area to be a specified rectangle, an object/window, the active window, or the full screen (but not multiple monitors). The Pro (paid) version has even more control over the recording area (including a non-rectangular area and multiple monitors).

It all comes down to which product meets your exact requirements. Regards, Joe
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.