How to Record Audio from Computer

When it comes to the search for a free and reliable audio recording software tool, the internet will always offer various options. They can be specially designed to meet your needs of recording your system sound or external audio sources and even online media such as streaming audio, online lectures, interviews, podcasts, and others. This article will introduce several different computer sound recorders that perfectly work on different platforms including Windows and Mac. Read on and choose the best and suitable tool to record audio from the computer.

Best Computer Audio Recorder for Windows PC and Mac (Recommended Method)

The first and top recommendation for recording audio on the computer is Movavi Screen Recorder. It is a straightforward tool that helps skip all complicated set-ups and enables you to directly record internal sound on computers and external audio sources. You can conveniently record your microphone sound once it connects to the computer. Besides, this audio recorder supports noise cancellation so you don’t have to worry that the sound quality of the recorded sound coming from your computer will be affected significantly. Either you can choose to record audio from one of the sources or record both internal and external sound simultaneously.

The Windows version also supports schedule recording which allows you to end a recording automatically at a specific time so that you don’t need to be around the computer all the time. The recorded audio can be saved and converted to MP3, WMA, AAC, M4A audio files when the recording is ended.

Beyond recording computer sound, this audio recording tool can serve as an easy-to-use streaming audio recorder. You can use it to record streaming audio from Internet radio stations, music sites, video platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), record Skype/VoIP phone calls, and virtually every audio material.

As a function built into the three-in-one recording software, you can utilize the program to record computer screens with audio, record gameplay, and take screenshots.

How to Record Audio on Computer with Movavi Screen Recorder

Step 1. Free download Movavi Screen Recorder and install it on your computer.

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Step 2. Open the program and click “Screen Recorder”.

Movavi Screen Recorder

Step 3. Turn on the System Sound button if you need to record sound from the computer. And turn on the Microphone button when you need to capture your voice. Toggle on the two buttons if you need both. You may drag the slider to control the volume.

capture your computer screen

If recording with Microphone, please turn on Microphone noise cancellation and Microphone enhancement to make the original sound clear. Besides, click on the settings icon and move to soundcheck in Preference to test the audio effect.

customize the size of the recording area

Step 4. When you are ready, click the REC button to start recording. The recorder will prompt a window showing that you start or stop recording with hotkeys. (You can click Change Hotkey to change keyboard shortcuts to the ones you like).

Step 5. During the recording, you can control the audio volume in real-time. To end the recording, click the rectangle icon. After finishing the recording, you can save the recording file to the MP3 format.


  • If You need the recording to end automatically, click the clock icon, and enter the expected duration of the recording. When the time is up, the recorder will stop and save the recording automatically.
  • You can decide on what format the audio file should be saved by going to More Settings> Output > Audio Format.
  • If you accidentally quit the recording, you can relaunch the program to save the canceled project.

save the recording videos and audios

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Best Alternative: Audacity (Best for Recording Music on PCs)

A professional and popular alternative to Movavi Screen Recorder is Audacity. It is an open-source and free audio recorder that is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. In addition to recording, this lightweight program also comes with options for editing audio. And while recording or editing audio, the sound will appear waveforms so you can easily notice the noise and edit the unwanted parts.

Compared with Movavi Screen Recorder, Audacity has the support for processing and mixing multiple tracks. Technically, you can record both your computer audio and microphone sound with Audacity. But if you have the need for recording multiple tracks, ensure that you have a sound that has the ability to have multiple inputs simultaneously available for input.

Still, you may prefer some solutions that don’t require downloading extra software. The following parts will show you how to record computer audio with some built-in tools on Windows and Mac.

How to Use Stereo Mix to Record Sound from Windows 10 (No Download)

We all know that Windows has a built-in Voice Recorder, and disappointingly, the recorder can only record sound from a microphone. But once you enable the Stereo Mix option on your PC, you can record the sound on your computer as it comes out of your speakers.

What is Stereo Mix

Stereo Mix, also called “What you hear” is the name of the output stream after all channels have been mixed. Sound drivers on your computer probably support Stereo Mix, however, the option is usually disabled by default on most Windows (Windows 10/8/7). By enabling the Stereo Mix option, Voice Recorder can record system sound on your PC through Stereo Mix instead of the microphone.

Note: Some Windows PC may not come with the Stereo Mix option. In this situation, we suggest using third-party software such as Movavi Screen Recorder and Audacity mentioned above if you want to record computer sound.

How to Enable Stereo Mix

Step 1. Right-click the audio icon in your system tray and choose Sound from the list to open the Sound panel.

Open Sound Control Panel

Step 2. Under the Recording tab, right-click Stereo Mix, and click Enable.

Enable Stereo Mix

Step 3. To ensure that your audio recorder uses Stereo Mix instead of Microphone to record computer sound, set Stereo Mix as your default input device.

Tip: If you don’t see the Stereo Mix option, the option could be hidden. Right-click the blank area under the recording tab,  and make sure Show Disabled Device and Show Disconnect Device are checked.

How to Record Audio on Windows 10

The biggest highlight of the Voice Recorder app is that you can directly record internal audio on a PC without the need to search and test a program.

Step 1. Launch Voice Recorder on your PC. You can right-click the Windows icon and use Search to locate the recorder.

Step 2. The Windows Voice Recorder is super intuitive and simple to use. Just click the mic icon in the middle to start recording the audio that is playing on your computer.

Windows Voice Recorder

Step 3. When the audio you need to record stops, click the blue button again to end the recording.

Recording Computer Audio with Voice Recorder

How to Record Audio from Mac with QuickTime Player on Mac

If you are using a Mac computer, you can also record audio from a Mac computer simply: by using QuickTime Player on Mac OS.

Step 1. Launch QuickTime Player on your MacBook or iMac.

Step 2. On the top, click File > New Audio Recording, which will open the audio recording panel.

Start Audio Recording with QuickTime

Step 3. On the audio recording panel, you may adjust volume and audio quality. Click the red Record button to start recording audio on your Mac.

Record Audio on Mac

Step 4. Click the Record button again when you feel like stopping the sound recording.

However, QuickTime Player can only record system audio and streaming audio on your Mac through a microphone. To record the sound as it is outputting from your Mac’s speaker, you can download Soundflower for Mac to help.

With these helpful tools, you don’t have to hold up a smartphone and launch a recording app to record the sound coming from your computer.

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