Learn how to record and capture your Chromebook's screen.

How to capture and record your Chromebook’s screen – fast and easy

So, you want to record your Chromebook’s screen while you do something.

Thankfully, this is very easy to do.

 

Recording your screen serves many purposes, including:

  • Record a tutorial or guide
  • Hold a conference (CEOs)
  • Give a presentation (students)
  • Delivery a sales pitch (startups)
  • Tutor a student (teachers)
  • Give a walkthrough of your business plan (managers)
  • Show off a mockup of your website (developers)
  • Or even just play some Minecraft or Runescape gameplay (gamers)

You can record your screen with ease using apps available on the Chrome web store.

Chrome OS doesn’t have any screen recording software built-in natively, so we’ll have to use an app. There are many apps that advertise screen recording, but only a handful actually work well (and that are free).

 

How to record your Chromebook’s screen

In this tutorial, we’ll use the app called Screencastify. It’s pretty much the most popular screen recorder for Chrome OS on the store and works wonders compared to other similar apps, although they’re not all bad.

Screencastify has both a paid and free version. The free version lets you record up to 10 minutes per video and 50 videos per month. You also can’t do a few other things like export your videos as .MP4 and certain editing tools are locked. There’s also a small watermark on your videos. Given that these may be some less-than-favorable features, you can still record your screen with excellent quality.

Screencastify had the best quality out of all the apps I’ve tried thus far, so it’s the one I’d recommend if you want to capture your screen without messing around with options, lag, or terribly quality recordings. You can also use on-screen tools, such as markers and color adjustments. The free version has a plentiful assortment of features that should be fine for most users looking to record a screen session on their laptop.

However, if you don’t mind these limitations, then you’re good to go. If you need some of these features, consider purchasing the app, or hunting down another one. Most apps don’t offer these features anyway. It’s unlikely there’s one that does everything in good quality, and is free. (If you happen find one, let me know in the comments.)

Regardless, you can get by using the free version without having to pay for it, as it works for most intents and purposes. Not to mention it integrates and works perfectly with Chromebooks. So no issues there.

So, without further delay, here’s how to capture record your Chromebook’s screen with ease and in a pinch.

 

Step 1: Get Screencastify

Screencastify records your Chromebook's screen with excellent quality and saves your recordings locally.
Screencastify records your Chromebook’s screen with excellent quality and saves your recordings locally.

First, we’ll download Screencastify from the Chrome web store. Click on the “apps” button in the top left of your bookmarks toolbar in your Chrome web browser, and search for it in the store. Or you can simply click here to download and install it to Chrome.

Feel free to read the reviews about the app if you’re the paranoid type (like me). You can do this on the app page and see that it’s reputable and trusted by many. This is good enough for me.

Step 2: Launch Screencastify

You can launch the app by pressing the Finder key (the magnifying glass). This is where the “Caps Lock” key usually is on a traditional QWERTY keyboard. AFter you press the key, you may see it in your apps library, or you can search for it using the search bar. Either way, just launch the app.

 

Step 3: Record your screen

After you launch the app, you can choose whether to record your entire screen or a single tab. Go ahead and play around with the settings and set your preferences using the options menu. Get familiar with it and mess around a bit. I can’t provide specific instructions as everyone is using it to record for their own project, so set it up to record best for whatever you’re doing.

For example, if you’re recording a presentation, you may want to set it to record your entire screen and then have the video saved to your local disk as an MP4 file for easy viewing later.

Or if you’re recording a gameplay video for a YouTube Let’s Play, you may want to record the screen and export it to YouTube using the exporter function.

Whatever you’re recording, adjust the settings to your liking. If you don’t know what you’re doing, search for help online, or just leave it as default.

 

Step 4: Export or save your recordings

After you’re doing recording, Screencastify will automatically save your video as a .GIF or .MP4 file to your local disk so you can easily retrieve it later. You can also export it to YouTube with a single click, though I wouldn’t do this as I’d personally verify everything about the recording before I publish it on YouTube. But that’s just me.

You can also save it to your Google Drive account directly as well so you can access and view your recordings from your smartphone, tablet, other computer/laptop, or even your TV.

 

Screen recorder alternatives

Opentest is another screen recorder that's completely free to use compared to Screencastify.
Opentest is another screen recorder that’s completely free to use compared to Screencastify.
  • Opentest is a decent screen recorder that allows you to share your screen via URL. So it’s basically like Google Hangouts or Skype, where you can share your screen with someone else. It has the ability to record your front webcam, screen, or tab only. The good part is that it’s 100% free- you can record unlimited video and export it anywhere as you’d like. I Just found that the quality wasn’t as good as Screencastify. Give it a try if you need a free screen recorder for your Chromebook. If this is what you’re looking for, check out and download Opentest.

 

Viewedit is also completely free to use and is geared for conferencing as it can record from your webcam on your Chromebook as well.
Viewedit is also completely free to use and is geared for conferencing as it can record from your webcam on your Chromebook as well.
  • Viewedit is another screen recorder that can record and share your screen simultaneously. It’s mainly used for real-time communication, such as tutoring, presenting, or conferences. Although it can record video and save it, I found that it’s geared towards sharing video with others in a live session. It’s basically like Skype or Google Hangouts, just like Opentest. The best part is that if you’re looking for a screen sharing app for your Chromebook, Viewedit is a good choice. You can even share your screen and webcam at the same time, which is a cool feature. It’s also 100% free to use as well. Check out Viewedit.

Well, that’s about it. I found Screencastify the easiest app to use for recording the screen on my Chromebook. There were other apps I tried, but they were either very limited or had horrible quality. Some even lagged it like crazy because they were resource hogs. But if you happen to find a better screen recorder, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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