Why record your live streams? The biggest reason is that you can repurpose the content. Creating other content types, like a podcast, from recorded videos can help you reach new audiences without having to develop the content from scratch. Additionally, saving your broadcasts to watch on-demand means audiences can explore and view your content whenever they want.
If you want to record your live stream, there are more than a few ways to do it. Regardless of the recording method you choose, the process is super easy, as it requires no special knowledge.
💾 How to record live streaming video
There are three ways to record live streamed videos: via streaming video capture software, with the help of built-in screen capture tools, and through a streaming service like Restream.
1. Live stream screen recorders
Live stream screen recorders are applications that capture the activity happening on your screen — or in any window, for that matter. Software like Camtasia, Movavi, FlashBack Pro and OBS Studio all have decent screen recorders.
After you download, install and launch your screen recorder, you can adjust important settings. Most of the software options allow you to capture images or videos with the sound either enabled or disabled. You can also choose the recording video format, which is typically .mp4 or .avi — two of the most popular formats that combine both good quality and compression. Finally, you can select the recording area on your screen and start recording your live stream.
Important: Although most of these programs are free (or freemium) and safe, some may try to install unnecessary and even potentially harmful additional software on your computer. They may also collect and sell your personal data. So always vet software before installing it, and don’t give away your personal info.
Here’s how to use a popular live streaming software, OBS Studio, to record your live stream:
- Download and install OBS Studio and go through the setup wizard.
- Open the program and navigate to Settings.
- Click Output and scroll down to the Recording section to review your recording settings. You’ll see that OBS saves recordings in the FLV file format by default.
- If your broadcasts are prone to crashing mid-stream, leave the recording setting as FLV. The FLV file will help you recover if this happens. If you leave the format as FLV, you’ll have to use another tool such as Handbrake to convert the recording file to MP4.
- If your broadcasts are usually stable and not prone to crashing mid-stream, change the recording setting from FLV to MP4 in OBS Studio.
- After you review your recording settings and set up your stream, click the Start Recording button on the main OBS Studio dashboard.
- When you want to end the recording, click Stop Recording.
2. Built-in screen capture tools
With the help of these built-in screen capture tools, you can easily record live streams. Here’s how to do it.
How to record a live stream on a PC
To do a screen recording on a PC running Windows 10, you can use the Game Bar feature to record clips of screen activity. It’s primarily for capturing gameplay but you can use it for other applications as well. Note that this method only works for Windows 10. If you have another version of Windows, you’ll have to use OBS or Restream to record your live stream.
- Open the app you want to record and close your other windows.
- Press the Windows + G keys on your keyboard to open up the Game Bar control panel.
- In the Capture window, click the Camera icon to take a screenshot. Click the Record icon to start screen recording. You can also press Windows + Alt + R to start recording.
- A Capture Status window will appear once you start recording, with the timer, Stop button, and a Microphone toggle on/off button. You can turn your microphone on to record commentary or off to eliminate background noise. Internal sounds from your PC are captured automatically in your recording.
- Press the Stop button to stop the recording. You can also press Windows + Alt + R again.
- Once the recording stops, a pop-up will appear saying Game clip recorded. Click on the pop-up to access the recording or navigate to the Captures subfolder in your Videos folder in File Explorer.
How to record a live stream on a Mac
If you want to capture a live video on a Mac, you don’t need additional software. You can use the built-in screenshot and screen recording tools in macOS — but only if you have Mojave or later versions.
- To open the recording app, press Shift + Command(⌘) + 5. A small control bar will appear on the bottom of the screen. Choose whether you want to record a portion of the screen or the full screen.
- If you want to capture only a portion of the screen, drag and resize the box that appears to the section of the screen that you want to record.
- To start recording, click the Record button on the control bar.
- To stop recording, click the Stop button on the control bar.
- To retrieve your video file, click on the preview in the bottom right corner of your screen.
3. Recording live streams with Restream
Restream is a go-to streaming solution that allows streamers to easily broadcast and share their live content across multiple streaming platforms. You can use Restream as a live stream recorder in two ways. Keep in mind that these methods are for streamers, not viewers. You cannot use Restream’s recording tools to record someone else’s live stream.
Automatic recording in Restream Studio
The first method for recording live streams with Restream is automatic — you don’t have to do anything. Whenever you go live using Restream Studio, we save a recording of your stream. After you’re done streaming, you’ll see four options in the Video Storage section on your Restream dashboard:
- Download only the audio
- Download the full MP4 video
- Play your video directly inside Restream
- Export to Descript, Google Drive or Dropbox
You can download these recordings to repurpose them later and transform them into podcasts, teasers or highlights to post on social media. As a streamer, you can share the best moments with your audience and attract new viewers.
If you want to repurpose the audio from your stream as a podcast, you can also activate the split-track recording feature in Restream Studio before going live. Then, after the stream ends, you’ll see the option to download separate audio tracks for each stream participant.
You can record up to 20 hours per stream session, and your recordings are stored for at least 15 days or up to 30 days, depending on your subscription plan.
Record-only mode in Restream Studio
Another way to turn Restream Studio into a live stream recorder is with the record-only feature. With this tool, you can use all of Studio’s awesome features without having to broadcast on any platforms. We’ll still save your video in Video Storage, with the same download and export options you get with recorded live streams. The record-only mode in Restream Studio lets you test drive your stream before going live to see how you look on camera, if your lighting needs adjustments, if your mic is set up properly, etc.
To use the record-only feature, simply click the Record Only option on your Restream dashboard.
Pro tip: You can use Restream’s record-only mode to film your video, then export and edit it to perfection. You can upload the edited video to Restream Events and schedule it to go live on Facebook, YouTube and more.
Although many platforms let you save your live streams after the session is over, you can usually only download these files if you’re the owner of the channel or stream. Luckily, more convenient options exist. They are:
- Download a third-party live stream screen recorder, like Movavi, Camtasia or OBS Studio.
- Use the built-in software available on your PC or Mac.
- Record your live streams with Restream.
For more info on how to record your live streams using Restream, check out our help articles:
Or contact the Restream Support team via our 24/7 Live Chat. Recording streaming video has never been easier!