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How to Screen Record on Chromebook

How to Screen Record on Chromebook

Like most operating systems, the Chromebook OS has functions that allow you to record your screen. These can then be shared with others for a variety of purposes.

A Chromebook’s out-of-the-box capturing capabilities even allow you to take clips of a portion of your screen or even specific windows.

Whatever your needs may be, below you’ll find everything there is to know about recording your Chromebook’s screen.

Why Screen Record on Your Chromebook?

Screen recordings can serve many purposes on any device, and Chromebooks are no different. The most common use is for troubleshooting. From error messages to unexpected OS behaviors, capturing them as they happen on your screen to share with a support person can help speed up fixing whatever’s ailing your device.

Using a Chromebook’s screen record tools can also help in various situations that call for visual aids. For instance, if you’re trying to demonstrate to an audience how a particular function of your company’s product works in motion, you can record yourself using it and add the recording to a presentation.

Finally, screen clips can be used to build step-by-step instructions, especially when teaching others how to use certain apps. IT professionals, digital educators, and other computer-based professionals can cut down on assisting more digitally illiterate people by sending them videos instead of written instructions.

No matter the purpose, Chromebooks have two ways of accessing their capture tools.

How to Screen Record Using the Quick Settings Menu

You can turn on a Chromebook’s Screen Capture tool via the Quick Settings menu, located on the far right of the bottom bar. It’s the space where you find the WiFi and battery indicators as well as the time.

screen capture from quick menu

After selecting it with your mouse, a small menu will appear, and the icon for the Screen Capture tool will typically be fourth in the bottom row. Select it to turn on Screen Capture. You’ll know you’ve done this successfully when the screen blurs slightly and a menu pops up at the bottom.

This menu is set to screenshotting by default. You need to click on the switch located on its left side with the two camera icons to switch to recording. You’ll know you have activated screen recording when the switch moves to the right, turning the recording camera icon blue and the regular camera icon grey.

switch to recording

If you want to record a specific part of your Chromebook’s screen, you’ll need to select the middle icon, then click and drag across the portion you want to capture. The third icon allows you to choose specific windows to screengrab, which is perfect for taking clips of apps.

whole portion or window capture

Finally, the left icon allows you to record your entire screen. After selecting it and clicking anywhere, you’ll begin recording the whole screen. You’ll know you’ve done this successfully when the menus disappear, and a short countdown begins on screen.

recording countdown

If you initiated the recording by accident, you can press the Esc key on your keyboard to halt the countdown and terminate the screengrab.

stop recording

Once you are done recording, you can stop and save your clip by selecting the red circular icon that appears on the bottom right side of your taskbar, to the left of where you see your WiFi indicator and time. A notification will pop up to show that your recording was done.

capture notification

Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts for Screen Recording

You can access the Screen Capture method using the following keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows

After that, you can follow the same instructions as above to record your entire screen, a portion of it, or a specific window. You can also use the same methods to halt the recording countdown and stop the recording.

How Can I Record My Microphone While Screen Recording?

Chrome OS allows you to capture your voice through your microphone while recording your screen. By default, it’s disabled. To enable it, use one of the two above methods to access the Screen Capture menu. Then, select the cogwheel icon. From here, you can choose which mic you want to use through the Microphone portion of the menu.

enable microphone

You will know you have enabled your mic from the blue tick that appears on its right. To disable microphone recording, simply go back to this menu and select Off.

Where Can I Find my Screen Recordings on Chromebook?

The files all go to the same location, no matter which option you use to capture videos of your Chromebook’s screen. You can find them in the Downloads folder, which you can reach through the file manager.

change folder

This default folder can also be changed. You can do this by accessing your Chromebook’s Screen Capture menu through any of the above methods and selecting the cogwheel icon. At the bottom of the menu that appears, you’ll find the option to choose the destination folder for your recordings. This option also pins folders so you can save individual ones for different purposes. A blue checkmark indicates the selected folder.

By default, Chrome OS outputs screen recordings in WebM format. This lightweight file can be played almost anywhere, so it’s ideal for sharing. If you need to use a different format, you’ll need to convert the file using a converter app or website.

Yannis Vatis

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.

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