10 Best Screen Recorders (Free and Paid) for Windows in 2021

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world with 76% of desktop PCs and laptops running on Windows OS. The next popular OS that comes close is the macOS with a user share of 17%. It is safe to say Windows OS dominates the market and in fact, according to Microsoft, there are more than one billion devices running on Windows 10. Microsoft launched a native screen recorder from Windows 10 onwards, Gamebar but it does have very limited functionality and it is not something that you can use on a regular basis. Not just that the older Windows versions don’t have this as well.

This has led users to look elsewhere for their screen recording needs and this in fact has created a huge market for screen recording software. But not all of them are good, effective, and affordable for windows users to record their screen. In this listicle, we take a look at the 10 best screen recorders for windows and we classify them based on the features that they offer in their free and paid plans. 

10 Best screen recorders for Windows in 2021 (Free and Paid)

  1. Vmaker 
  2. Screen Rec
  3. OBS
  4. Bandicam 
  5. Loom 
  6. Icecreamsreenrecorder 
  7. Flashback pro/express 
  8. Movavi 
  9. Ashampoo Snap
  10. Apowersoft 

Vmaker

Vmaker screen recorder for Windows review 2021
Vmaker screen recorder for Windows

Vmaker is a modern-day screen recording tool for windows from Animaker Inc. Vmaker is simple, easy to use and operates at a lightning-fast speed. Vmaker operates smoothly and the videos that are recorded using Vmaker are uploaded, processed, and made available to the users in a matter of seconds irrespective of the recording time, be it hours, minutes or seconds.

 Additionally, Vmaker doesn’t take any disk space or slows down your windows PC and impacts system performance no matter what. This is quite a relief to windows users who have traditionally struggled with poor performance which were further made worse after installing and using heavy screen recording tools like Camtasia and Snagit.

Users can record videos upto a clarity of 4K HD, annotate on the screen while recording, highlight mouse clicks, choose frames and filters for the webcam overlay and so much more which makes the videos more engaging and interactive. The best fact about Vmaker is even the free plan user will be able to record videos for unlimited duration without any watermarks.

Once recorded, the videos are uploaded and made available on the Vmaker dashboard where users can edit the video, organize them into folders, share it with anyone on the internet by sharing the link. Users can also share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and directly upload on Youtube in just a single click. The application further lets you embed the videos on your site, set an auto expiry to your recordings as well. Vmaker is a true definition of a modern-day screen recorder that makes life a whole lot easier. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Unlimited screen and webcam recording on Windows 
  • Watermark free recording 
  • 15 GB cloud storage for free users and Unlimited storage for paid plan users 
  • Built-in video editor to trim and edit videos 
  • One-click social sharing across various platforms
  • Customizable filters and shapes with brand font and color 
  • Video embedding 
  • Frames and filters 
  • Screen annotate and mouse emphasis 
  • Video analytics 
  • Auto expiry of videos  
  • Folders and teams for effective collaboration 
  • Noise cancellation for smooth and clear recording 

If you’re looking for a light, easy-to-use screen recorder then Vmaker is the answer. Start recording unlimited videos for free. The advanced features further simplest your screen recording needs and you can upgrade as and when you feel like!

Other available versions of Vmaker: Mac, Android app, Ios app.

ScreenRec 

Screenrec screen recorder for windows review 2021
Screenrec screen recorder for windows

Screenrec is another new screen recording software in the market that has won over a lot of Windows users. Screenrec offers both screen recording and screenshots which is an added advantage for windows users. The creators promise ad-free recording and just like Vmaker, there is no recording limit or watermarks on the screen recordings done through Screenrec. Users can choose to save the videos locally as an MP4 video or decide to upload them on cloud storage offered by Screenrec. Screen annotation is very much possible on both screenshots and screen recordings and along with that users can decide whether to keep the video private or public. If you decide to keep it public then they offer instant social sharing as well.

However, the cloud storage is restricted to a mere 2GB in the free plan which is something you need to keep in mind. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Unlimited watermark-free screen recording 
  • Screenshot capability 
  • Cloud storage, although 2GB only 
  • Option to keep videos private or public 
  • Collaboration with teammates through collections 

Screenrec screen recorder supports Widows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Other available versions of ScreenRec: Linux

OBS Screen Recorder for windows 

OBS  for Windows review 2021
OBS Screen recorder for Windows

OBS is an ever-popular name in the screen recording arena for some time now. Being an open-source software that is completely free and its live-streaming capabilities make OBS the go-to screen recorder for Gamers, Streamers, and YouTubers OBS lets to record screen, camera, or both for unlimited duration without any watermarks. 

The best thing about OBS is that Windows users can easily choose between live streaming and normal recording easily. Users can also choose scenes which is nothing but audio and video sources including webcam, microphones plus the screen tabs, watermarks. Users can also switch between scenes and add transitions for the same, mix audio and do a lot more from one interface. Users can also choose the recording quality, FPS, and aspects ratio along with the possibility of adding text and logo to the recordings. 

The recordings are saved in .MKV file and the same need to be remuxed to MP4 before you can use the recording. The recorded file is only saved locally and not on the cloud which means longer recordings will take up huge disk space. OBS also requires a lot of time to get used to and is exactly not user-friendly, it might be even overwhelming for first-time users with so many options, controls, and settings to get used to. 

If you’re looking for a fully functional screen recorder then OBS project could be worth your investment in terms of getting to learn how OBS functions. However, if you’re looking for light and quick usage then OBS might not be the right choice for you.

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Unlimited watermark-free screen recording 
  • No recording limits 
  • No cloud storage 
  • Customized hotkeys and settings for recording 
  • Live streaming functionality 
  • Multiple scenes, audio mixing, and transitions 
  • Custom logo and text for branding 
  • Takes up disk space and might slow down the system

OBS screen recorder supports Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10

Other available versions of OBS screen recorder: Linux, and Mac

4. Bandicam Screen Recorder 

Bandicam screen recorder for windows review 2021
Bandicam screen recorder for windows

Bandicam is another screen recorder which has been in the market for quite some time. Bandicam is a windows exclusive screen recorder that offers a lot of features and benefits for windows users because of its versatility. Users can record screen, meetings, gameplay, and much more with Bandicam screen recorder. 

Bandicam promises that you can record videos for 24 hours without any trouble, however, the file size remains a concern as Bandicam too just like OBS saves the video locally. 

You can download bandicam from their official website and enjoy a free 30-day trial. During the trial, you’ll be listed as an unregistered user, however, you can experience pretty much all features except that there will be a recording limit of 10 minutes and all videos will have a default Bandicam watermark. 

Users can choose between two recording modes, Gaming mode and device recording mode. Users can additionally take screenshots as well. There is an option to alter the FPS of the screen recording, schedule recording, auto-complete recording, screen annotation, and mouse emphasis which makes it an attractive screen recorder for various use cases. 

You can become a registered user by paying the one-time lifetime access fee. Bandicam is in the mid-stage and can’t be classified as a traditional recorder but also cannot be termed as a modern screen recording option as it lags in a lot of areas with the key being cloud storage, unlimited watermark-free recording. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Additional functionality to take screenshots
  • No cloud storage 
  • Restricted recording in free plan with recording limit and watermark
  • Customized hotkeys and settings for recording 
  • Screen annotation, mouse emphasis, and cursor actions
  • Autocomplete screen recording 
  • Bulk recording files
  • Autocomplete recording and prefixed post-recording task 
  • Takes up disk space and might slow down the system

Bandicam screen recorder supports Windows Vista, 7/8/10 (Both 32/64-bit)

Other available versions of Bandicam screen recorder: No other version available

Loom for Windows

Since launching in 2015, Loom has gone on to make a name for itself in the screen recording market quickly emerging as the go-to screen recorder tool. One thing that makes Loom to stand out is its ease of use. Anyone can start recording videos in a matter of seconds. It's that easy. Loom is also available in multiple versions making it compatible with all your devices other than Windows.

Users can Sign up/Sign from the official Loom website and choose to install the native windows application or if you are not keen on downloading the native app then loom offers a chrome plugin for you to record videos. 

Loom is the ideal definition of a modern-day screen recording tool for windows, users can record in a few clicks and the videos are uploaded on the cloud and made available in a matter of seconds from where users can share them across with ease to anyone with internet access. Some of the other cool features including reactions, comments, screen annotation, filters, and more.

Loom however over the days restricted their features offered in the paid plan. Users can now record only 5 minutes in the free plan and can access just the recent 100 screenshots and screen recordings. To access older files you’ll have to pay up or delete a few of your existing videos. 

Loom is one of the best screen recorders for windows if you take out the recording limit but however with the five-minute recording limit it falls flat as any other features stand next to if there is a limit in the recording duration. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Additional functionality to take screenshots
  • Restricted recording in free plan with recording limit and file access
  • Reactions, comments on the player page
  • Screen annotation, mouse emphasis, and cursor actions
  • Social sharing 
  • Team collaboration with shared, public, and private library 


Here is a comparison between Vmaker and Loom 

Loom for Windows supports Windows 7 or above (64-bit only)

Other available versions of Loom screen recorder: Mac, Ios app, Android app, and Chrome Extension.

Icecream apps screen recorder 

Icecream apps for windows review 2021
Icecream apps screen recorder for windows

Icecream apps screen recorder for windows is another interesting solution that makes our list. Icecream apps are known for their host of tools that are very effective and reliable. One such tool from their suite of offerings is the icecream apps screen recorder. 

The screen recorder comes with some power-packed features including schedule recording, screen annotations, custom logo, video editor, multiple recording file formats, and much more. The recordings are default saved locally in the device making it a traditional screen recorder as users need to keep a tab of the recording file size and much more. 

The free plan offers just five minutes of free recording and comes with a default watermark making it unfit for professional use. The videos are also available only in WebM file format. Users need to switch to the pro plan by paying the one-time fee to remove these restrictions. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Additional functionality to take screenshots
  • No cloud storage 
  • Restricted recording in free plan with recording limit and watermark
  • Customized hotkeys and settings for recording 
  • Screen annotation, mouse emphasis, and cursor actions
  • Bulk recording files
  • Video editor
  • Custom logo
  • Last recording area
  • Takes up disk space and might slow down the system

Icecream apps screen recorder supports Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Other available versions of Icecream apps screen recorder: Mac and Android App.

Flashback screen recorder: 

Flashback pro and express screen recorders for windows review 2021
Flashback screen recorder for windows

Flashback screen recorder dates a long way back and has been an ever-present name in the screen recording industry. Flashback screen recorder just like  Bandicam is a windows only screen recorder. After various versions, Flashback is now available in two versions. Flashback Express and Flashback Pro. Flashback Express is the light version that is completely free whereas Pro is the paid version that comes with a powerful editor and some other handing additions. 

Although there are two versions, one thing to note is that even the free or Express version of Flashback screen recorder offers unlimited recording without watermarks. You can add commentary as well in the express version and have the video saved in MP4, AVI, or WMV formats. 

The Flashback pro version is available on a thirty-day trial and offers a full editing suite that lets you edit videos with ease and also adds sound effects, transitions, text, and images. Not just that you can also save in multiple formats. Users have the ability to try it out and if not switch back to the express version which is still a good solution as it offers unlimited recording without watermarks. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • No cloud storage 
  • Unlimited recording even in the free plan without recording limit and watermark
  • Customized hotkeys and settings for recording 
  • Full editing suite in the pro version 
  • Commentary option 
  • After effects in the pro version 
  • Takes up disk space and might slow down the system

Flashback screen recorder for windows supports Windows 7 / 8 / 10 both the 32 and 64 bit versions

Other available versions of Flashback screen recorder: No other version available.

Movavi screen recorder 

Movavi screen recorder for windows review 2021
Movavi screen recorder for windows

Movavi is another screen recorder that is available in multiple formats and offers various options for the user in terms of not just recording but also editing and converting recorded videos. Movavi screen recorder comes in Windows and Mac versions. 

Users can record videos without any limitations in the free version however the videos will be marked with a watermark making them look clumsy. There is also no video editor and you need to get the Movavi video editor suite to edit your videos. 

Movavi have rebranded in 2021 and have added a lot of features which makes it an interesting option to consider. The app comes with a one-time license fee and seems to be affordable but the free version is of pretty much no use with a watermark right in the middle of the video. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Unlimited recording without recording limit but with a watermark
  • Recording scheduler 
  • Capturing system and microphone audio separately 
  • Screen annotation and mouse emphasis 
  • Multiple file formats 
  • Upload to google drive, share on Youtube, Whatsapp, Telegram, and Email.
  • Upload on cloud 
  • Screen recording editor and converter separately

Movavi screen recorder for windows supports Windows® XP*/Vista/7/8/10

Other available versions of Icecream apps screen recorder: Mac 

Ashampoo screen recorder 

Ashampoo screen recorder for windows review 2021
Ashampoo screen recorder for windows

Ashampoo Snap is another Windows-only screen recorder that has been long-existent. The 20 million+ downloads are a testament to the same. Ashampoo Snap comes with a one-time license cost and has loads of exciting features including screen annotations, OCR, 4K HD recording, user-defined hotkeys, and a lot more. 

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • No free version available 
  • 4K HD recording
  • Supports screenshots as well
  • OCR to convert image to text 
  • Screen annotation and mouse emphasis 
  • Multiple file formats 
  • Upload to google drive, share on Youtube, Whatsapp, Telegram, and Email.
  • Upload on cloud 
  • Full video editor 

Ashampoo snap screen recorder for windows supports Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Other available versions of Ashampoo Snap screen recorder: No other version

10. Apowersoft screen recorder 

Apowersoft screen recorder for windows review 2021
Apowersoft screen recorder for windows

Apowersoft screen recorder is from Apowersoft who offer a lot of tools apart from the Apower REC screening recording software for Windows. One thing about sites that offer multiple tools is that they try to separate essential features and upsell. Apower is quite different and offers a fully functional video editor, ApowerEdit free with the ApowerRec.

ApowerREC offers some very interesting features that include schedule recording, follow recording, editor and screen annotation features. Follow recording allows Windows user to automatically to set recording once they open an app and stop the recording when the app is closed. This could come handy for apps like Zoom and other apps that you might use regularly.

However the free plan falls flat as it offers just 3 minutes of free recording and comes with a watermark making it not possible to use the recordings for professional use.

TL;DR; Features and Summary: 

  • Multiple recording modes
  • Supports screenshots as well
  • No unlimited watermark-free recording
  • Schedule and follow recording
  • Screen annotation and mouse emphasis with spotlight recording mode
  • Multiple file formats 
  • Full video editor 

The nonfriendly free plan makes us list ApowerRec in the listicle of the top 10 best screen recorders for Windows in 2021.

Apowersoft screen recorder for windows supports Windows 7, 8 and, 10.

Other available versions of Apowersoft screen recorder: Mac app and android app.

Few of the other windows screen recording tools that came close to making our list of top 10 screen recorders for Windows in 2021 are listed below. The list includes Screencastomatic, TinyTake, Ezvid, Flashback, Filmora DC wondershare, Snagit, Active presenter, Flashback pro/express, and Acethinker. 

We hope that this comprehensive list of screen recording software for windows and the detailed comparison will help you decide on the perfect screen recorder for your Windows device. 

Do let us know in the comments below if we have missed any other screen recorder which you think should be on the list. We’ll check the same out and add it the next time we edit this blog.

Few other listicles that will help you decide on the best screen recorder:

Best screencast software
Best screen recording software for Mac
Seven Types of Screen Recording Videos and Where it’s Being Used
10 Best Free & Paid Screen Recorders To Checkout In 2021
How To Do Screen Recording Videos? 10 Step Guide With Tips & Tricks
Best free screen recorders without watermarks
Five Screen Recorder Worth Checking Out for Creating Youtube Videos

Vmaker screen recorder