How to screen record on a Chromebook

The quickest way to screen record on a Chromebook is to press ctrl + shift + show windows, then select the video camera icon. There’s much more to Chromebook’s built-in screen recording features, so read on for more details.

Being able to record your screen has become an essential tool for teachers, students, and professionals of all kinds. Thankfully, the Chrome OS 89 update allows Chromebook users to screen record from the comfort of their own desktop. No external apps or chrome extensions required.

The update gives Chromebooks a built-in screen recording feature that can be accessed from your shelf or by using a keyboard shortcut. And it's just as quick and easy to use as screen capture.

What’s the difference between screen record and screen capture?

Think of screen capture as taking a still picture of your desktop, whereas screen record allows you to take a video recording. Additional features allow you to record audio along with video. You can also take a partial, full screen, or window recording.

What are the different types of screen recording?

There are several options you can choose from while taking a screen recording—all of which are available from your Chromebook’s Quick Settings panel.

  • A full screen recording is a video of the entire screen
  • A window screen recording is a recording of the window you are currently working in
  • A partial screen recording captures a video of a part of the screen

Where’s the show windows button?

In order to start screen recording by using a keyboard shortcut, you’ll need to find the show windows button.

Look at the top row of unique Chromebook keys on your keyboard. Find the key that looks like a rectangle with two vertical lines on the right side. It should be located towards the middle of your top row. That's the show windows button. Now, you're ready to go.

How do you screen record on a Chromebook?

  1. Press ctrl + shift + show windows.
  2. A toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Click the video camera icon.
  4. Click anywhere on your screen to start recording. A countdown will appear and the video will start recording once a red record button appears on the shelf.
  5. To stop recording, click the red record button.

Note: You'll notice several options in the screen capture toolbar. Hover your mouse over each icon for more information on what it does.

How do you screen record by using Quick Settings?

You can also access screen record from Quick Settings. The Quick Settings panel is located on your desktop shelf where the time, battery life, and WiFi connection icons are housed. Click anywhere in that area to open your Quick Settings > Screen capture.

How do you record full screen?

This option records everything on your screen, including your shelf.

  1. Press ctrl + shift + show windows.
  2. In the screen capture toolbar, click the video camera icon. It’s the second icon from the left.
  3. Look at the three icons in the middle section of the toolbar. Select full screen, it looks like a box made of a dashed line.
  4. Start recording by clicking anywhere on your screen.
  5. To stop recording, click the red record button on your shelf.

How do you record a partial screen?

This allows you to select and record a portion of your screen.

  1. Press ctrl + shift + show windows.
  2. In the screen capture toolbar, click the video camera icon.
  3. Look at the three icons in the middle section of the toolbar. Select partial screen, it looks like a box made of a dashed line with a plus sign in the corner.
  4. Click and drag the crosshair icon to the area of your screen you would like to record.
  5. Click Capture to start recording.
  6. To stop recording, click the red record button on your shelf.

How do you record a window?

This final option allows you to record a window. It will not include your shelf, desktop, or other open windows. However, it will show open tabs at the top of your screen within the window you are recording.

Pro tip: To keep your screen recording looking clean, close out all other tabs before you hit record. Another option is to record a partial screen to avoid recording personal information or clutter you don’t want other people to see.

  1. Press ctrl + shift + show windows.
  2. In the screen capture toolbar, click the video camera icon.
  3. Look at the three icons in the middle section of the toolbar. Select window, it looks like a solid outline of a small window.
  4. Click anywhere to start recording.
  5. To stop recording, click the red record button on your shelf.

How do you record audio?

Use your Chromebook's built-in microphone to add audio to your screen recorded videos. To do so, simply press the settings icon from the screen record toolbar. Select record microphone. Then continue to screen record as usual.

  1. Press ctrl + shift + show windows.
  2. In the screen capture toolbar, click the video camera icon.
  3. Click the gear icon.
  4. Toggle the record microphone setting to the right.
  5. Start recording by using any of the methods above.

Where are Chromebook screen recorded videos saved?

Chromebook automatically saves screen recordings to your downloads folder as WEBM files. They are accessible via your downloads folder, in the notifications pop-up tab, or in your tote.

How do you access screen recordings from the downloads folder?

Follow these steps to find where your videos are saved in the downloads folder.

  1. Open Launcher. This is on your shelf, and it looks like a dot inside a circle.
  2. Select Files.
  3. Go to My Files > Downloads.

All screen recordings are automatically saved in your downloads folder. The file name will be "Screen recording" followed by the date and time the video was taken.

If you can't find it, select "Date Modified" so that the most recent file is on top. If you recently took your screen recording, it will be the first file listed.

You can also find your screen recording by heading to My Files > Videos.

How do you access screen recordings from the notifications tab?

Alternatively, you can access your screen recording by clicking on the notifications tab. It's a small pop-up window that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen for ten seconds after a video is taken. The notifications tab gives you the option to show where your video is saved, or to delete it.

  1. Click Show in folder
  2. Double-click your screenshot to view it

How do you access screen recordings from the tote?

The tote is a brand new storage space on your shelf, right next to your Quick Settings panel. You'll find a small preview circle of your most recent screen recordings waiting for you there. Click on the preview to take you directly to where the file is saved.

Can you use Chromebook’s built-in screen recorder if you have an older version of Chrome OS?

Yes, if you have an older version of Chrome (OS 88 or earlier) you can use Chrome Flags screen capture.

Flags are Chrome's experimental features. While they may cause some glitches in your user experience, many Flags are in the testing stages before being rolled out in future updates.

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Copy and paste this into your browser: chrome://flags#screen-capture
  3. Select Enabled from the drop-down menu
  4. Restart Chrome
  5. Take a screen recording using any of the methods above

How can you edit screen recordings?

Unfortunately, you can't edit video files using Gallery, Chromebook's photo viewer and editor, like you can with screenshots. Your best bet is to use one of the following apps and extensions that serve as both screen recorders and video editors:

How can you convert a WEBM file to an MP4 file?

Another downside to Chrome's built-in screen recorder? It'll save your video as a WEBM file, which isn't always ideal. Thankfully, you can convert your screen recordings to MP4 files by using extensions like Video Converter.

How do you upload videos to Google Drive?

Need to save or share your screen recordings for future use? Upload Chromebook screen recordings to Google Drive just like any other file. You can use one of the two options below.

Option One

  1. Open Launcher.
  2. Select Files.
  3. Click My Files > Downloads.
  4. You'll see your video file listed on the right, and a Google Drive tab listed on the left. Drag the screenshot to the Google Drive tab.

Option Two

  1. Go to your Google Drive.
  2. Click New in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Select File Upload. This will automatically open up your downloads folder.
  4. Choose the screen recording you want to upload, then click Open.

Chromebook screen recording cheat sheet

The next time you need to record your desktop—whether it’s for business, school, or for sheer entertainment value—remember the following shortcuts.

  • Keyboard shortcut: Press ctrl + shift + show windows
  • Quick Settings: Click Quick Settings > Screen capture

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