How Long Can You Screen Record? The Complete Guide

You can probably instinctively imagine that there's some limit to how long you can screen record, but what exactly is that limit? How long can you screen record for before you are cut off? In this post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the limits of screen recording.

How long can you screen record?

To answer the question of how long you can screen record, we need to talk about the various limits that can be placed on screen recording. Those are software, platform, and hardware limitations. Each of these presents a different set of constraints that you'll need to work within.

Software limitations

While you won't likely find a commercial screen recorder that artificially limits how much you can record, very few of the best free screen recorders have no time limit. Some of them are only intended to grab quick clips and limit you to as little as 5 minutes' worth of recording. If you want to ensure that you'll have no time limits getting in your way, look for the screen recording features in commercial tools like VideoStudio.

Platform limitations

Even if your software lets you record from now until the end of time, no platform is going to let you post a video that is millennia-long. Granted, that's not a particularly restricting limitation. But the point still stands, if you are going to be hosting your video somewhere, there are going to be limits on how long they'll allow that to be. Those limits could be as little as a few minutes for sites like Instagram or several hours for sites like YouTube. Either way, you need to know the limitations of your chosen platform and plan on spending some time editing for conciseness in the event that you go over.

Hardware limitations

Finally, we come to hardware limitations. The reason you can't upload a millennia-long video to your favorite video site is the same reason you can't record one in the first place: video takes up space. Eventually, you are going to run out of space. The exact amount of space a video takes up depends on the compression codec that is used in recording it, but the factors that determine size are universal. The higher the resolution of the video, the more space it will take to record. The higher you set the quality level on the video, the more space it will take to record. Obviously, longer videos also take up more space.

Most hard drives these days are large enough that this isn't a problem for reasonably sized videos, but it's worth keeping an eye on your hard drive space before and after recording until you get a feel for how much space is used by your software at your chosen settings.

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Editing for conciseness

Aside from live streams, you will rarely find any screen-recorded video that hasn't been edited. When many people think of editing video, they think of arranging scenes or added titles, transitions, and other effects. But what if your screen recording doesn't have any of that? Does it still need to be edited? Most of the time, yes. Especially if you have gone over the length allowed by your platform of choice, editing a video is also about making something that is more interesting for the viewer to watch.

People don't want to watch a video if half of it is the presenter using filler words or staring in silence as they try to figure something out. Even the best presenters mess up at times, and removing those mistakes is another way editing can make a video easier to watch and more concise.


As you can see, you are usually more limited by the software and target platform when it comes to screen recording time than you are by the hardware. Unless you have a tiny hard drive, you shouldn't find yourself worrying too much about running out of space. Although, if you keep a lot of screen recordings around, it's certainly something to keep an eye on.

You won't have to worry about software limits when you screen record with VideoStudio. The software's built-in screen recording tool can handle both microphone and system audio and lets you record with no time limits.

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