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Is there a way to do screen recording on Windows 7 without installing third party software? (Doing it with Microsoft software would be okay).

Specifically, I'd like to be able to run a program and generate a video file (for example, .avi) of the session. These would be short 30 second or so clips.


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up vote 28 down vote accepted

The closest thing I can think of is Problem Steps Recorder.

You can access it by clicking the Start button and typing "psr.exe" and hitting enter.

This tool will record each mouse-click and save it as an image, then compile everything into HTML (more specifically, a Microsoft MHT file). However this is not a video capture tool. As far as I know, there isn't one built-in to Windows.

You may look into downloading the free VLC player. With VLC, you can use your desktop as a capture device:

  1. Click Media
  2. Click Open Capture Device
  3. Choose Capture Mode: Desktop (at this point, you may want to set a higher FPS)

..and then stream it to a file:

  1. Click the arrow icon to the right of play, and click "Stream"
  2. Leave the default "Source: screen://" and click "Next"
  3. Select "File" in the dropdown and click "Add"
  4. Choose a filename then click "Next"
  5. Choose your encoding and then click "Next"
  6. Click "Stream"

Hope this helps.

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VLC for capturing screen is really annoying – Junior M Jun 29 '11 at 13:28
VLC is really a great option unless you need to track mouse movement and events and/or track multiple screens – Gatis Bergšpics Jun 19 '12 at 12:01
More information on screen capture with VLC:… – Ehtesh Choudhury May 16 '13 at 19:26
@Travis I tried this several times with different encoders. I have to uncheck "Activate transcoding" or they crash. – David Doria Mar 21 at 0:18


You asked for "without third party software". I suggest you Microsoft´s Expression Encoder 4. There´s a limited free version that captures the screen for 10 minutes.

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It's even better: With Expression Encoder 4 SP2, the time limit has been removed! – Henning Jun 23 '12 at 3:31
Get it here: – gentlesea Jul 24 '13 at 13:31

I've used CamStudio in the past. You could install it elsewhere, copy to a USB drive, and use it portably from there?

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You can use "Screenrecorder" which is a utility from Microsoft, based on Windows Media Encoder.

It's not included by default in Windows, but can be downloaded from this Microsoft Technet page.

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If the problem is specifically installing third-party software, you can use Remote Desktop to connect to your Win7 box from another PC that does have recording software installed, and record just the RD window.

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protected by Community Jul 23 '12 at 22:03

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