How to capture screen using the free tool - Windows Media Encoder

Ever wondered how you can capture the activities on the screen to a video file? Here is how: In this example you are going to learn how to record your activities in Internet Explorer using the free screen capture utility from Windows called the Windows Media Encoder:

  1. Download and install Windows Media Encoder.
  2. Install and make sure that your mic is working. If you have a webcam the mic might be part of it. In any case you can test your mic using "Sound Recorder" available under "All Programs" > "Accessories" > "Sound Recorder".
  3. Start Internet Explorer and go to the site where you want to be when you are starting to capture the screen. Here instead of Internet Explorer it could be any program or tool that you want to capture the activities from.
  4. Start "Windows Media Encoder", the program that you installed during the first step. When you start it you should see the following screen:
    New Session
    Select "Capture Screen" and hit "Next"
  5. Select "Region of screen" and check "Capture audio from the default audio device" and hit "Next"
    Screen Capture Session
  6. At this point you have to select the area of the screen that you want to capture. Click on the Arrow Button and press alt tab to show the Internet Explorer. Then click and drag and select the area within the Internet Explorer screen that you want to capture. Remember once you are done with this step do not move the Internet Explorer's position on the screen until you are done with the capture.
    Screen Region
  7. In the next screen select/enter the name of the file to which you would like to save the captured video. Hit "Next".
    Output File
  8. Here select "Medium" which is more optimized for web downloads. You may choose any setting you want.
    Setting Selection
  9. The next screen lets you enter the attributes of the video. Enter whatever you think is appropriate.
    Display Information
  10. Review the settings in the next screen and you can hit Finish to begin capturing the video.
    Settings Review
    At this point you can start your activities with Internet Explorer and start narrating to the mic. When you are done switch to "Window Media Encode" and hit the "Stop" button to stop capturing. Its recommended that you do this a few times before you can produce a quality video.

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Visitor Comments

    We use this tool for all our screen capturing requirements. Here is an idea which works - next time when you want to show a demo of a product record the video the first time you demo it and use the recorded version second time onwards. We do this all the time and it work great. Once of the benefit of the recorded video is when audience ask questing about a previous screen just move the scrollbar's arrow back.

    Tip: After recording the video memorize the minute/seconds of the key screens. This will help you quickly move forward or backward when necessary.

  1. ted
    Jan 27, 2009
    Thanks for this article! Capturing screen using a free tool...good job...tried it and its working like a charm!