How-To Geek

Record Videos of Your Desktop on Any OS for Free

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Sometimes screen shots just aren’t enough to explain how to do something or to show the steps you took to reproduce an error. There are a few tools available that will let you record your desktop but none are as easy, free, or cross platform as Screen Toaster.

Screen Toaster is a Java-based screen recorder that will work on any operating system that has Java and Flash player installed.

Record Your Screen

This may be something that doesn’t need to be said, but in order to record your screen with Screen Toaster you will need to have Oracle’s Java and Adobe’s flash player installed. Please download and install both pieces of required software first.

Next just go to Screen Toaster’s website (link below) and click “start recording”.

Allow the Java program to run when prompted.

Select options to record the full desktop or just part of it, and if you want to record with embedded audio or webcam feed.

The geek settings will also allow you to chose your playback speed and give you the ability to record a monitor on a remote computer with VNC.

Click record or push the shortcut key Alt+S.

Once the recording is done you will have options to re-record the audio, add captions, upload the video to YouTube or Screen Toaster, or download the video so you can have the file for further editing.

If you want to try the latest and greatest you can check out Screen Toaster beta. It provides better quality but doesn’t support all OS’s and features yet. The interface is a little different but it is still just as simple and just as free.

Screen Toaster

Screen Toaster beta record

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 09/20/10

Comments (16)

  1. Even Kristoffer

    Does it record sound output from the computer?

  2. John Tod

    I see a lot of articles about Microsoft Office but the avergae home user doesn’t need most of the stuff contained in Office. A cheap alternative is Open Office which is available from It is sponsored by Oracle. It was sponsored by Sun but I believe that Oracle bought out Sun.

    Its completely free to download and use. It includes compatible versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Database, Draw and Math. Files can be saved to a whole range of file types including Microsoft file types to send to co-workers or friends who have Microsoft Office.

  3. Doug

    LOL Did you read the article before asking this question.

    Yes it does.

  4. John

    Kristoffer just got served

  5. Roi

    FAIL at Kristoffer
    LOL at John

    Java FTW!

  6. im12

    53 second vid = 191kb?

  7. Bim-23k

    This is very nice. Does anyone know of a similar app that would let you zoom in and out while recording? for example when recording a power point presentation? I see a lot of these on Youtube but have no idea how it is done!.

    Thanks for this share!.

  8. Ivan

    Bim-23k,you can do that with Camtasia Studio.

  9. Brainfight

    I forget to say I had a crash , trying the Screen Toaster, I reported the issue ( during upload ) but the capture step was working fine ( and playback )

  10. Bim-23k

    Thanks a lot Ivan. i’ll give this a try.

  11. Chrome User

    Links broken or just don’t work with Google Chrome?

  12. muchaga

    u kud also use Debut Video Capture Software.its pretty neat

  13. Gideon

    Nice software, but the only drawback I have is that some of my clients do not have internet access and thus I would not be able to use this app. Shame!

  14. katefields

    I can’t seem to get the website to open, either by clicking the link or typing it in the address bar directly. I’ve tried both Chrome and IE. Not sure what’s up.

  15. Akabar

    I personally recommend Debut Video Capture. It has a free version and really neat with very simple UI.

  16. Jashaun

    Can you pause your recording then start again?

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