How to Use VLC Media Player for Screen Recording, Capture and Streaming

Vlc Media Screen Capture Recording

Screen recording tools come with different functionalities and unique features. While some might be premium, you’ll have to let go of a few bucks to use them, others are totally free. Sadly if you’re not screen recording professionally yet, or your company doesn’t have the funds to get a paid recording tool, it can be quite difficult to a good tool that can give you what you need.

Well, that’s why we’ve published this article. We will be explaining how to use VLC Media Player for screen recording. VLC is a free and open-source multimedia software, often used to play obscure media files.

Apart from the regular player we’re all familiar with, VLC can also be used to record screens either from desktop, TV, or webcam. Without wasting much time, let’s get to know how to use the screen recording feature of this software. We’ve also added some troubleshooting guides if you’re already using it, but facing some challenges.

NOTE: If you install VLC via the Microsoft store, you need to visit the app’s official website and re-install the windows in order to use the Screen capture feature on the VLC version 3.0.12

Steps to Set up VLC for Screen Recording


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Step #1

Launch VLC and click on ‘Media’ in the top right corner. A drop-down menu will appear, click on ‘Open Capture’. Alternatively, you can press ‘Ctrl + C’.

Step #2

On the next window, click on “Capture Mode”, you will see the three available recording modes; Direct Show, TV-digital, and Desktop. Select one based on your needs. You can as well initiate the function by pressing CTRL + C for capture mode and CTRL + S for streaming mode. 

The Direct show will record any image displayed on the screen from a webcam, the TC-digital option is used to record the screen from a TV tuner, while the Desktop option will record anything directly displaying on your monitor/desktop. Ideally, you would want to choose the Desktop option because that’s what will allow you directly record your screen and anything you want.

Step #3

After selection, the other options will be activated, then you choose the desired frame rate. It comes with 1.00 f/s as default, but you would want to set it to 30.00f/s or higher. However, keep in mind that the higher the frame rate, the better the quality, and the larger the recorded file.

Step #4

Click on the drop-down menu beside the ‘Play’ button and select ‘Convert’ to choose the file format and path you want the recorded video to be saved in.

You can select the file type to be saved by clicking on the dropdown menu arrow beside ‘profile’. For the file path, click on the ‘Browse’ button beside Destination.

Step #5

Now it’s time to edit the output format for optimal performance. You usually would want to choose the profile ‘Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)’ — it gives the best performance. Now on customization, leave ‘Encapsulation’ on ‘MP4/MOV’, if that’s not your default, select it. On ‘Video codec’, select ‘MPEG-4’. When done, click the ‘Save’ button on the bottom right corner.

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You might as well use any other settings for output, but if you’re new to video recording and production, you should stick with the above settings as they should work perfectly for you.

Step #6

Finally, click the ‘Start’ button to record your screen.

VLC’s recording features are designed in a way that it doesn’t automatically minimize when you click ‘Start’, you’ll have to do that yourself. Same way, there’s no keyboard shortcut to stop recording, you’ll have to open it up from the taskbar to stop recording.

Stopping screen recording can either be done by right-clicking and clicking ‘Stop’ or with the payback button at the bottom. The output video will be saved in the file path you chose earlier. When you stop recording, you can go there for a preview.

Troubleshooting Guides for VLC Screen Recorder

Being a free multimedia tool, there’s bound to be some unexpected hiccups at some point. We can’t complain much either, after all, it’s free open-source software. Well, we’ve looked at some of the problems people face when using the VLC screen recording feature, and equally highlighted possible solutions.

·         VLC Recording Screen without Audio

This the most common issue people face when using VLC as a screen recorder. It’s because when you choose “Desktop” the software captures the screen only, leaving the audio out.

There’s no straightforward way of handling this, first try updating the software, but if it continues while still using the settings above, you should opt for another screen recording tool like OBS Studio or Vidmore.

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·         VLC Recording Audio without Video

This issue is often common with older versions of the program. Confirm first if the output file is set to video format, not audio. If the issue persists, get an updated version of the software. The issue can also arise when you try to record DVD or MKV files, so check that out as well.

·         VLC Recorder Skips the First Few Seconds before Recording

You can easily solve this by using the command line to start recording instead of the button.

·         VLC Playbacks doesn’t Show the Mouse Pointer

The VLC screen recording feature captures the screen only, without the mouse clicks, highlights, and pointers. To show these, you’ll need to download the ‘Mouse Pointer Plug-in” for VLC.

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