How to Record Your Screen on a Chromebook

Illustration for article titled How to Record Your Screen on a Chromebook

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Google is adding a built-in screen recording feature for all Chromebooks in the coming weeks. The new tool lets users capture video of their device’s screen without the need for additional apps or external hardware.

The screen recorder should prove useful for all users, but Google says it implemented the tool specifically for educational settings: Teachers can use it to prepare presentations, and students to record lectures.

The feature will roll out to Chromebooks in the coming weeks as part of Google’s planned March 2021 Chrome OS update. Google doesn’t mention a specific release date, so it could be a few weeks before it’s ready for your device—but you can try it out early if you opt into the Chrome OS beta. Here’s how to do that:

  1. On your Chromebook, go to Settings > About Chrome OS > Additional details.
  2. Under the “Channels” section, change your channel to “Beta channel.”
  3. Click “Change channel.”
  4. Update and restart your Chromebook when prompted.
  5. After the reboot, open Chrome and go to chrome://flags/#screen-capture.
  6. Enable “Screen capture test” from the drop-down menu, then reboot.

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You can now use the Chrome OS screen recording tools:

  1. Press CTRL + SHIFT + Overview to open the recorder.
  2. Drag your mouse to adjust how much of the screen you want to record.
  3. Press the record button when you’re ready. A countdown timer will appear. Once it reaches zero, it will start capturing video of whatever’s on-screen. A red recording icon will display in the taskbar while the recording is in progress.
  4. Click the Stop button to end the recording.

Those who don’t want to join the ChromeOS beta can install Chrome browser extensions like Vidyard or Screencastify while waiting for the stable channel patch. Both have limitations, so you’ll probably want to switch over to the built-in Chromebook screen recorder once it’s available, but they’re decent stop-gaps in the meantime.

Vidyard offers a free version that allows you to record up to an hour per video, though you’re able to make as many recordings as you want. Screencastify has a five-minute cutoff for all videos, but you can record, edit, and export as many videos as you want for free (as long as you have free space on your PC).

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