Screen Recording with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)

This will allow you to record your screen to capture a video from the internet when downloading is not possible. 

Steps needed to complete recording:

  1. Download and Install OBS
  2. Set up OBS in Privacy & Security (only the first time you install and launch OBS)
  3. Configure OBS with a scene that records your web browser
  4. Press play on the video in the browser and press record in OBS
  5. Stop the recording in OBS

OBS retains the settings (scenes) that were originally set up.   So the next time you launch OBS everything will be set up and ready to go again to record anything that is shown in the web browser. 

Download and install OBS

OBS is available for Windows and Mac computers (and Linux, too)

--  These instructions were made with Mac users in-mind but the process is the same for Windows users.

For MacOS users,  you will have a choice between macOS (Intel) and macOS (Apple Silicon), depending on which processor your computer uses.

For MacOS users only:

Upon first launch of OBS, you will need to allow OBS access to Screen Recording within the Privacy and Security settings on your Mac.  

When first launching OBS the Review App Permissions window will appear and you will need to click the box - Open Screen Recording Preferences.


The Screen Recording preference window will pop up and you will need to flip the switch next to OBS.  This will allow OBS to record your screen. 


OBS will need to restart before the change for the Screen Recording is allowed.  Simply close OBS and relaunch the program. 

Next, the Auto-Configuration Wizard will appear and ask if you want to optimize OBS for live streaming or recording.  

Change this setting to - Optimize just for recording, I will not be streaming.

Click - Next.

The next screen in the Auto-Configuration Wizard will set the base resolution. Keep the default setting of Use Current (1920x1080) and FPS - Either 60 or 30, but prefer 60 when possible. 

No changes are needed in this window.  Just click Next to complete the OBS setup. 

The final window in the Auto-Configuation Wizard is informational.  It simply list the ideal settings for OBS to use based on your current computer.  

Click Apply Settings to complete the set up. 

Now that OBS is installed and configured, you need to modify a few of the default settings. After launching OBS, click on OBS Studio and then Preferences.

Click on OUTPUT

Then under Recording Format, change the setting to MPEG-4 (.mp4)

-- mp4 files are the most universal video file format and can be played by all computers.

While still in the OUTPUT settings, you can change the quality/file size of the recorded video.   If you need the file to be a smaller file size you can choose High Quality, Medium File Size.  Otherwise, choose Indistinguishable Quality, Large File Size for the best looking video. 

All other default settings are good. 

Click OK when finished.

OBS starts with one SCENE already selected.  You will only need one scene for this task.  You will, however,  need to add a source to the default scene. 

Click on the PLUS icon in the Sources window to add the needed source for recording your screen. 

After clicking the PLUS icon, choose macOS Screen Capture from the pop up menu. 

From the pop up window,  keep Create new checked.   You can rename this new scene source now or just keep it as macOS Screen Capture

Click OK - a new window will pop up for you to define the properties for this new source.  

Choose the following settings:

Method: Application Capture

Display: This option will only appear if you have a dual monitor workstation.  If you have more than one monitor you will need to choose one of them and then always make sure you place the browser on that monitor when capturing. 

If you only have one monitor then you will only see Method and Application as choices for the source properties.

Application: Choose the browser you will use to play the video

-- Under the Application menu, you will see all the open applications you have running on your computer at that time.   Look through the list and find the browser.  Choose it as the Application source.


Finally,  Make sure the RED display box is extended out to the corners of the OBS display window.  Depending on the resolution of your monitor, you might have black bars on the left and right sides of the display window.  

You can use the pixel (px) guides on the OBS display window to make sure the window is centered in the middle of the screen.  Just ensure that the pixel number is the same on the left and right side of the screen. 

OBS is now all set up and ready to record anything that happens in the browser window.

OBS will retain all the preferences you just set.  You will not have to do anything to OBS the next time you launch the app.  You will just go straight into recording your screen. 

Now that OBS is all set up.  

Open the web browser (and if you have dual monitors, make sure you have moved the web browser to the display in which you told OBS to record), and navigate to the video you want to record. 

This example is a video from YouTube.  The browser will appear in the OBS display window. 

You will want to play the video in FULL SCREEN mode in the browser.  This will ensure that the video fills up the entire screen.   

Click on the FULL SCREEN button on the video.  

This example is from YouTube. 

Finally,  click the START RECORDING button in OBS.  Then, on the browser, click the play button on the video.  

The video will need to play in real time to record. 

During the recording you can see a red recording indicator showing it is recording, and you can also see the timecode of how long the recording has recorded. 

When the video has ended, click the Stop Recording button.  

OBS will stop recording and the video will be saved in the default location on your computer. This is typically in the users Movies folder.    

Want to change where the videos are saved? 

You can change the default location of the saved recordings in the OBS preferences window.

OBS Studio → Preferences → Output → Recording → Recording Path