How to screen record on OBS Mac (or Windows or Linux)

If you are a first-time user of Open Broadcasting Software (OBS), this article will tell you everything you need to know to get started with recording on OBS for macOS, Windows or Linux.

This article is based on the following video, I'd recommend watching it if you prefer your instructions in video form. Otherwise, scroll down for step-by-step instructions on how to record with OBS.

Step-by-step: How to screen record on OBS

Step 1. Download OBS for Mac, Windows or Linux

You can download OBS from the official website:

Once you've done that, install it as normal:

  • MacOS: Double-click the DMG file to open it, then drag OBS into the Applications directory.
  • Windows: Double-click on the executable file and follow the install steps.
  • Linux: You will need to build the app yourself, for your distro. Relevant instructions can be found on the official OBS website.

Step 2. Launch Open Broadcasting Software (OBS)

On Mac, you can do this by pressing Cmd+Space and then typing "OBS". Highlight the app and press Enter to launch it. You can pin it to your dock to make it easier to find in future.

On Windows or Linux, find the app on your machine and launch it as usual. You can pin it to the taskbar to make it easier to find in future.

NOTE: If you are prompted with a pop-up asking if you want to configure OBS for recording or streaming, select the relevant option that suits what you will be using OBS for. If you're unsure, just select 'recording'. The changes it makes in settings are minor and it's not an issue if you click on the wrong one.

Step 3. Create your first OBS scene

Click on the plus (+) button below the 'Scenes' section to create your first scene in OBS. This is what will represent the recording window, and you need at least one scene in order to use OBS for recording or streaming.

Then provide a name for the scene. Any name works, e.g. "recording":

Step 4. Create your first OBS source

Each scene contains one or more sources, which is where the visual and audio elements that are shown in the scene come from, or are sourced from.

For example, this might be an application or game window, an entire monitor, a webpage, your device's camera, or something static like an image or text.

While the new scene that you created is selected, click the plus (+) button below the 'Sources' section to create your first source.

  • Display Capture: Captures an entire display, which works well if you have more than one monitor connected to your machine.
  • Window Capture: Works better for capturing a single application or game window, if you want to record only that app or game with OBS and do not want to show other elements (e.g. your desktop background).

Step 5. Resize sources to fit within your scene

If you find that you're only recording a corner of what you want to record, refer to the video for instructions on how to fix this :)

Starting at the 2:56 timestamp in the video linked above and lasting for about 30 seconds, you can see a demonstration on how to resize a source.

Step 6. Start recording with OBS

Hit 'Start Recording' on the right side of the OBS application window.

NOTE: If you notice an additional option in your copy of OBS, 'Start Virtual Camera', that is beyond the scope of this tutorial. However, you may be interested to know that it allows you to use your scene as a virtual camera for Zoom, Google Meet, or most other videoconferencing software.

Step 7. Stop recording with OBS

Hit the 'Stop Recording' button to stop, once you've finished recording. It will be in the same location as the 'Start Recording' button.

Step 8. How to find OBS recordings on Mac, Windows and Linux

If you have finished recording and you're not sure where OBS saved the file, there is a simple way to find OBS recordings on every platform, including Mac, Windows and Linux.

  1. Near where you found the 'Start Recording' button there is also a 'Settings' button (see the screenshot above). Click that to open the OBS settings.
  2. Make sure your Output Mode is set to 'Advanced'
  3. Click on 'Output' in the side menu
  4. Click on the 'Recording' tab
  5. View the 'Recording Path' and check that directory for your new file. Alternatively, you can change this path and all future recordings will be stored in that folder.

Watch the video on YouTube

Once again, if you would prefer a visual or video form tutorial on how to record your screen or gameplay on MacOS, Windows and Linux - you can also watch the video that this article is based on:

How to record with OBS on Mac, Windows and Linux (still valid in 2021)

Gaming Open Broadcasting Software Open Source Tutorial