March 18, 2024

How to record a YouTube video: A guide for all devices

If you want to record a YouTube video for personal use or fair-use repurposing, here are the steps to get started.
March 18, 2024

How to record a YouTube video: A guide for all devices

If you want to record a YouTube video for personal use or fair-use repurposing, here are the steps to get started.
March 18, 2024
Elise Dopson
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
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Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

To say YouTube dominates the video sharing industry is an understatement. YouTube statistics show that more than two billion users upload over 500 hours of video every minute, resulting in a wealth of content you can use to put off editing blog posts about recording YouTube videos.

You may even find a video or two you’d like to save to your hard drive for rewatching or repurposing. But there are some complexities around recording YouTube videos—like whether it’s legal to download them and how you’re allowed to use them. This guide gives the answer, alongside step-by-step tutorials to record YouTube videos on a PC, iPhone, or Android device. 

Can you record YouTube videos?

Before you start recording someone else’s YouTube videos, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using them legally. Anyone can record a YouTube video for personal use—like if you’re a student recording an educational YouTube video to watch while offline. 

The lines get a little blurry when you’re recording someone else’s content to use in your own YouTube videos. Some kinds of video are protected by copyright laws, and while you can’t reupload the entire video back to YouTube, you may be able to repurpose it according to the platform’s fair use policy:

  • “Some activities that may qualify as fair use include criticism, commentary, and news reporting. Fair use aims to promote freedom of expression.”

A common example of this kind of fair use is “react” videos, where someone watches a video for the first time and films their reaction, with the video playing in a separate frame for viewers to see.

If you’re recording YouTube videos for a reason that’s in-line with this policy, you’ll need a screen recorder that’s compatible with your device. If the video’s sound is important, check that your video recorder can also capture audio. Then, set your device to Do Not Disturb mode so your screen recording won’t be interrupted by notifications.

📹 Assemble your toolstack: Live stream software: What it is and which ones we recommend

How to record a YouTube video on PC

The process for recording YouTube videos differs depending on the device you’re using. Here are tutorials on how to do it using a Mac or Windows PC. 

‎How to record YouTube videos on Mac

Step 1: Choose a screen recording software. MacOS has a built-in application called QuickTime Player that allows you to screen record. Advanced tools like OBS, Zoom, and Descript’s online screen recorder also work on Mac. The latter gives you premium features like automated transcriptions, captions, and filler word removal. 

Step 2: If you’re recording audio, choose the microphone source. 

Step 3: Choose your video source. Some tools allow you to record your full screen or an individual window. Select whether you want to record yourself on your Mac webcam, iPhone (by connecting it to your Mac using Apple Continuity Camera), or an external camera alongside the screen. 

Step 4: Start recording using the settings you just configured.

Step 5: Press the Stop button and locate the video file on your Mac. This is usually in your Downloads or Desktop folder.

Image of Descript dashboard preparing to record a video

How to record YouTube videos on Windows

Here are six simple steps to capture YouTube video content on a Windows 10 PC:

Step 1: Find a video recorder that’s compatible with Windows. Descript has a Windows version, though you can also use native applications like the Windows Game Bar or the Windows Camera app. 

Step 2: Choose what you want to record. Whether you want to record your screen with audio or without—and with a webcam or without—choose that option in the Windows recording tool you’ve selected. If you’ve chosen Descript, open the app and press the record button. 

Step 3: Record your YouTube video by playing it on your browser (i.e. Chrome).

Step 4: Stop recording and find the saved video file on your computer

Image of Windows Game Bar preparing to record a video

How to record YouTube videos on mobile devices

Prefer to record videos on your smartphone? Here’s how to record content for your YouTube channel using an iPhone or Android. 

How to record YouTube videos on iPhone

You don’t need third-party tools to record videos on iOS. Here’s how to use Apple’s built-in video capture software to record YouTube content. 

Step 1: Enable screen recording on iPhone. Go to Settings, find Control Center, and drag the screen recording feature up to the Included Controls section. 

Step 2: Open the YouTube app and find the video you want to record.

Step 3: Swipe down from the top middle of your iPhone screen to open the Control Center.

Step 4: Press the screen recording button and close down the Control Center before the countdown timer ends.

Step 5: Play the YouTube video while the screen recorder is active.

Step 6: Locate the recording in your iPhone Photos app. 

Image of iPhone with Control Center and Screen Recording annotated with red box

How to record YouTube videos on Android

To record a YouTube video on an Android device, you’ll need a smartphone that’s running on Android 12 operating system. 

Step 1: Add the screen recorder button to your Quick Settings.

Step 2: Open the YouTube video you want to record.

Step 3: Swipe down from the top of your Android phone screen and locate the screen capture tool. 

Step 4: Press the Start button and choose whether you want to record audio, then wait for the countdown to end.

Step 5: Play the YouTube video and press Stop Recording when it ends. 

Step 6: Find the recorded YouTube video in your Photos app. 

Image of user preparing a screen record on Android phone

The easiest way to repurpose YouTube videos

As we mentioned above, you can’t upload YouTube videos made by other people to your own channel. But you can repurpose them in your own videos if you’re doing things like criticism, commentary, and news reporting. That’s where Descript comes in.

Thousands of creators rely on Descript’s all-in-one YouTube video editor to benefit from:

  • Subtitles from an automated transcription with <95% accuracy  
  • Remote recording functionality to record YouTube videos with guests 
  • Record your screen, audio, and webcam simultaneously—without a watermark
  • Remove distracting background noise with AI tools like Studio Sound
  • Publish videos directly to your YouTube channel 

Get started today and record your first YouTube video with Descript’s free plan—where all premium features come as standard. 

‎How to record a YouTube video FAQs

What apps do YouTubers use to record?

YouTubers record content for their channel using video recording tools like Descript (which doubles as a video editor), QuickTime Player, and Windows Game Bar.  

How do you make a YouTube video for free?

  1. Open Descript’s video recorder
  2. Choose what to record: audio, your screen, or webcam
  3. Write a video script
  4. Record your YouTube video
  5. Edit your content 
  6. Export the file in MP4 format
  7. Create a YouTube channel 
  8. Upload videos to YouTube
  9. Promote your new video

Can you record audio from a YouTube video?

You can capture YouTube audio using a screen recording tool that has sound recording capabilities, such as Descript or QuickTime Player. This is legal as long as it’s for personal use or you’re repurposing it for commentary, criticism, or news reporting.

What is the best free screen recorder for YouTube videos?

Descript is the best free screen recording software for YouTube. It has a Windows and Mac app, works in a desktop browser, and has built-in video editing software to trim your screen recorded YouTube video in post-production.

Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer, creator, and fierce Descript user. She's also the co-founder of Peak Freelance.
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How to record a YouTube video: A guide for all devices

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To say YouTube dominates the video sharing industry is an understatement. YouTube statistics show that more than two billion users upload over 500 hours of video every minute, resulting in a wealth of content you can use to put off editing blog posts about recording YouTube videos.

You may even find a video or two you’d like to save to your hard drive for rewatching or repurposing. But there are some complexities around recording YouTube videos—like whether it’s legal to download them and how you’re allowed to use them. This guide gives the answer, alongside step-by-step tutorials to record YouTube videos on a PC, iPhone, or Android device. 

Can you record YouTube videos?

Before you start recording someone else’s YouTube videos, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using them legally. Anyone can record a YouTube video for personal use—like if you’re a student recording an educational YouTube video to watch while offline. 

The lines get a little blurry when you’re recording someone else’s content to use in your own YouTube videos. Some kinds of video are protected by copyright laws, and while you can’t reupload the entire video back to YouTube, you may be able to repurpose it according to the platform’s fair use policy:

  • “Some activities that may qualify as fair use include criticism, commentary, and news reporting. Fair use aims to promote freedom of expression.”

A common example of this kind of fair use is “react” videos, where someone watches a video for the first time and films their reaction, with the video playing in a separate frame for viewers to see.

If you’re recording YouTube videos for a reason that’s in-line with this policy, you’ll need a screen recorder that’s compatible with your device. If the video’s sound is important, check that your video recorder can also capture audio. Then, set your device to Do Not Disturb mode so your screen recording won’t be interrupted by notifications.

📹 Assemble your toolstack: Live stream software: What it is and which ones we recommend

How to record a YouTube video on PC

The process for recording YouTube videos differs depending on the device you’re using. Here are tutorials on how to do it using a Mac or Windows PC. 

‎How to record YouTube videos on Mac

Step 1: Choose a screen recording software. MacOS has a built-in application called QuickTime Player that allows you to screen record. Advanced tools like OBS, Zoom, and Descript’s online screen recorder also work on Mac. The latter gives you premium features like automated transcriptions, captions, and filler word removal. 

Step 2: If you’re recording audio, choose the microphone source. 

Step 3: Choose your video source. Some tools allow you to record your full screen or an individual window. Select whether you want to record yourself on your Mac webcam, iPhone (by connecting it to your Mac using Apple Continuity Camera), or an external camera alongside the screen. 

Step 4: Start recording using the settings you just configured.

Step 5: Press the Stop button and locate the video file on your Mac. This is usually in your Downloads or Desktop folder.

Image of Descript dashboard preparing to record a video

How to record YouTube videos on Windows

Here are six simple steps to capture YouTube video content on a Windows 10 PC:

Step 1: Find a video recorder that’s compatible with Windows. Descript has a Windows version, though you can also use native applications like the Windows Game Bar or the Windows Camera app. 

Step 2: Choose what you want to record. Whether you want to record your screen with audio or without—and with a webcam or without—choose that option in the Windows recording tool you’ve selected. If you’ve chosen Descript, open the app and press the record button. 

Step 3: Record your YouTube video by playing it on your browser (i.e. Chrome).

Step 4: Stop recording and find the saved video file on your computer

Image of Windows Game Bar preparing to record a video

How to record YouTube videos on mobile devices

Prefer to record videos on your smartphone? Here’s how to record content for your YouTube channel using an iPhone or Android. 

How to record YouTube videos on iPhone

You don’t need third-party tools to record videos on iOS. Here’s how to use Apple’s built-in video capture software to record YouTube content. 

Step 1: Enable screen recording on iPhone. Go to Settings, find Control Center, and drag the screen recording feature up to the Included Controls section. 

Step 2: Open the YouTube app and find the video you want to record.

Step 3: Swipe down from the top middle of your iPhone screen to open the Control Center.

Step 4: Press the screen recording button and close down the Control Center before the countdown timer ends.

Step 5: Play the YouTube video while the screen recorder is active.

Step 6: Locate the recording in your iPhone Photos app. 

Image of iPhone with Control Center and Screen Recording annotated with red box

How to record YouTube videos on Android

To record a YouTube video on an Android device, you’ll need a smartphone that’s running on Android 12 operating system. 

Step 1: Add the screen recorder button to your Quick Settings.

Step 2: Open the YouTube video you want to record.

Step 3: Swipe down from the top of your Android phone screen and locate the screen capture tool. 

Step 4: Press the Start button and choose whether you want to record audio, then wait for the countdown to end.

Step 5: Play the YouTube video and press Stop Recording when it ends. 

Step 6: Find the recorded YouTube video in your Photos app. 

Image of user preparing a screen record on Android phone

The easiest way to repurpose YouTube videos

As we mentioned above, you can’t upload YouTube videos made by other people to your own channel. But you can repurpose them in your own videos if you’re doing things like criticism, commentary, and news reporting. That’s where Descript comes in.

Thousands of creators rely on Descript’s all-in-one YouTube video editor to benefit from:

  • Subtitles from an automated transcription with <95% accuracy  
  • Remote recording functionality to record YouTube videos with guests 
  • Record your screen, audio, and webcam simultaneously—without a watermark
  • Remove distracting background noise with AI tools like Studio Sound
  • Publish videos directly to your YouTube channel 

Get started today and record your first YouTube video with Descript’s free plan—where all premium features come as standard. 

‎How to record a YouTube video FAQs

What apps do YouTubers use to record?

YouTubers record content for their channel using video recording tools like Descript (which doubles as a video editor), QuickTime Player, and Windows Game Bar.  

How do you make a YouTube video for free?

  1. Open Descript’s video recorder
  2. Choose what to record: audio, your screen, or webcam
  3. Write a video script
  4. Record your YouTube video
  5. Edit your content 
  6. Export the file in MP4 format
  7. Create a YouTube channel 
  8. Upload videos to YouTube
  9. Promote your new video

Can you record audio from a YouTube video?

You can capture YouTube audio using a screen recording tool that has sound recording capabilities, such as Descript or QuickTime Player. This is legal as long as it’s for personal use or you’re repurposing it for commentary, criticism, or news reporting.

What is the best free screen recorder for YouTube videos?

Descript is the best free screen recording software for YouTube. It has a Windows and Mac app, works in a desktop browser, and has built-in video editing software to trim your screen recorded YouTube video in post-production.

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