How to record the screen on a Chromebook in two easy ways

How to record the screen on a Chromebook in two easy ways

Recording the screen on your new Chromebook is incredibly useful for tutorials or just to show something to a friend. Sometimes you might even need to record your screen for a presentation at work or school. Luckily, Chrome OS has screen recording functionality built-in. If you want more options, you can use some nifty third-party apps and extensions to precisely edit your recording.

The native screen recorder in Chrome OS is fairly new so you may not have used it before. Google just introduced this feature in Chrome OS 89. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how the built-in recorder works, plus provide the best third-party option for additional customization and editing.


Record screen on a Chromebook with Chrome OS screen recorder

Using the Chrome OS built-in screen capture functionality is the easiest way to record your screen on a Chromebook.

  • To get started, click the clock on the Shelf in the bottom-right corner to open the Quick Settings panel.
  • Next, click the Screen Capture button.

Screen capture option in quick settings

  • The Screen Capture toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Make sure the video icon is selected for screen recording. The camera icon can be used if you merely want to capture a screenshot instead of video.

Screen recording toolbar in Chrome OS

  • You may also want to turn on microphone access using the settings cog on the right. This will record audio with your screen recording, which is very useful for tutorials.

There are a few different ways you can record the screen. You can choose to record the full screen, partial screen, or a specific window. Let’s take a look at how each of these works.

Record full screen

Full screen recording click everywhere

If you want to record the full screen, choose the left-most icon in the middle of the screen capture toolbar. This option will record everything on your screen. To start the recording you can click anywhere on the screen.

Record partial screen

Partial screen recording selection

To record only part of your screen, you need to select the portion of the screen you want recorded. This can be as small or as large as you like, but keep in mind the video may look strange if you select too small an area. After you drag to select the desired area, click Record to start the recording.

Record a specific window/app

Record specific app

Occasionally, you might want to record only within a specific window or app. This is a great choice if you’re demonstrating a game or presenting at work or school with your Chromebook. To record a specific window, click the icon of the app you wish to record and you’re good to go.

Stop button in dock

In each case you’ll get a three-second countdown in the bottom right-hand corner of your dock. The recording begins immediately after the countdown ends. You can stop the recording by clicking on the red stop button in the right-hand corner of the dock. After you stop the recording, you’ll receive a notification that the screen recording is ready to view in your Downloads folder.

If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can also bring up the screen capture tool using CTRL+SHIFT+Show Windows. After bringing up the toolbar, the rest of the process is identical to the steps described above.

Record the screen on a Chromebook with Screencastify

Screencastify is a great Chrome extension for teachers and professors at high school or college level. It’s also perfect when you just want to take your screen recording to the next level for general tutorials. You can record your screen with picture-in-picture webcam support. This app is perfect for lectures or general tutorial videos if you make YouTube videos.

Unfortunately, you need a subscription fee for videos longer than 5 minutes. You can still use the app for free while recording longer videos, but they’ll be watermarked.

Screencastify Chrome extension

In addition to offering picture-in-picture with your webcam, you also get an array of editing options to easily crop, cut, blur, or add text to your recording. Edit features are also limited to 5 minute exports unless you upgrade.

Screencastify options

For educators looking to collect video submissions from their students, Screencastify also offers integration with Google Classroom to effortlessly collect assignments from your students. These submissions automatically save to Google Drive, have integrated privacy controls, and the instructor is notified for each submission made.

Screencastify pricing

There’s no doubt that Screencastify is the best third-party screen recorder for Chrome OS, but it’s fairly expensive. There are three separate upgrade options. The Record upgrade gets you unlimited recording, the Edit upgrade gets you unlimited editing and export time, and the Submit upgrade allows you to collect unlimited video submissions from students. These plans cost $49, $49, and $99 respectively. but there are education discounts that knock 40% off these prices.


When it comes to screen recording on your Chromebook, these are your best options. For simple recording, the built-in screen capture toolbar works very well. You can easily record short videos and upload them or share with friends. If you need more advanced editing functionality or want to embed webcam footage, Screencastify is the way to go. For teachers out there, definitely check out the Screencastify education discounts if you use Google Classroom and video assignments as part of your curriculum.

Feel free to drop any questions in the comments, and check out our Chrome OS settings guide for more tips on getting started with a Chromebook.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.

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