Recording your desktop in Windows 8 using VLC

I recently encountered a situation where I wished to record my desktop – specifically, to document a discovered security vulnerability in a 3rd party system to assist the authors in resolving the problem…

I tried a few desktop recording applications that I had previously used without issue, but Windows 8, being the ‘new beast’ that it is, was proving to be a problem for these applications.  With varying degrees of failure, I set out for a quick and easy way to record my desktop – nothing fancy, just record…

Fortunately, a helpful YouTuber (vineet369) made mention of using VLC – something that I was not even aware was an option, despite many, many years of VLC use.  Here is the original thread, in case you are interested.

The following instructions are how I was able to accomplish recording my desktop – I am sure that there is likely more than one way to do this, but again, this was just the way that I went about it…

First, open VLC.  Next, press CTRL+C (or click File > Open Capture Device…).

On the dropdown list labeled ‘Capture Mode’, select ‘Desktop’.

Now, adjust your ‘Desired frame rate for the capture’ – I went with 30, but feel free to experiment to get the desired fluidity and file size that you desire…

Now, click the arrow next to the button labeled ‘Play’ and select ‘Convert’.

We are almost ready to record… You will want to specify the destination file name where it says ‘Destination file:’.

Finally, click ‘Start’ – you are now LIVE!


There are a lot of additional settings that you can tweak with on this, but this is the quick and dirty way to get recording – feel free to experiment and share your results!


Edit: I’ve posted a video here for those not too keen on reading: Desktop Recording in Windows 8 using VLC

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