Recording Is Too Large? How to Screen Record at Smaller Size

Bianca Willis Bianca Willis Updated on Sep 9 , 2020 Tag:

For saving, sending or uploading online, screen recording too big in file size is really annoying, especially when you are or would be a common video producer…

Taking screencast is a new way of communication and makes life easier. Rather than demonstrating the same thing repeatedly or with long text-and-pic paper, representing this visual recording of computer screen gives both video makers and audiences the chance to showcase and watch with ease. That’s why screen recording is super popular among teacher & students, business partners, interdepartmental communication, as well as vloggers & common online surfers.

Screen Record at Smaller Size

However, as a newbie to screen video capture, you may encounter many unexpected problems regarding best screen recorder selecting, video quality, file size and post production. And now it’s turn to the file-size-centered topic. Since many customers are complaining online that their final recordings are too big in size, which may be (MP4/AVI) video or (WAV/MP3) audio format and come from different recorder programs, here this article will unveil the factors that determine media size, how to screen record at smaller size, as well as how to compress the recorded media.

# Record Screen Video at Small Size Guide
# Factors That Decide Video/Audio File Size
# How to Reduce Recorded Large Video/Audio


Part ONE: How to Screen Record at Smaller Size with RecMaster?

RecMaster is an easy and lightweight desktop screen recorder available for both Windows and Mac. With multiple recording modes and quality/size related options built-in, it enables customers to capture whatever happens on the monitor with reasonable small size while maintaining the high still quality. You can download it free here and follow the steps below to screen record as smaller size.

free download RecMaster for Windows free download RecMaster for Mac

Step 1. Install and launch RecMaster, then choose a video recording mode according to your requirement.

RecMaster main ui

Step 2 (IMPORTANT). Do keep the video format into MP4, quality to standard or high, frame rate to any among 20-30fps (depending on your content, 20fps is OK if there’s no fast motions during recording).

RecMaster settings for small video capture

Step 3. Do other settings on webcam, audio, recording time (if you want a scheduled capture), cursor effect, file saving folder, watermark and so forth. RecMaster for Mac also features saving the recording every xx hours or MB in case the file is too long or large.

Auto-split of Mac RecMaster

Step 4. Hit the REC or use hotkey (Alt+1 for Windows by default) to get the recording started. If you need to annotate something, click the pen icon on floating bar.

Step 4. Stop it with button or hotkey, too. From the recording list, you can preview, rename, edit or upload the small video to YouTube immediately. Also, you are free to share it with customers, students, coworkers etc. via email or chatting apps.

☛ File size examples of 1080P recordings of the same content made by RecMaster on Windows 10:

Duration Resolution Quality Level Frame Rate Format/Codec File Size Estimated Size of 1-hour
1 minutes 1920×1080 (Full Size) Standard 20fps MP4/AVC 1.76MB 105.6MB (1 min x 60)
Standard 20fps AVI/AVC 2.10MB 126MB
Standard 30fps MP4/AVC 1.53MB 91.8MB
High 24fps MP4/AVC 1.86MB 111.6MB
High 30fps MP4/AVC 2.36MB 141.6MB
High 30fps AVI/AVC 3.48MB 208.8MB
Original 60fps MP4/AVC 3.30MB 198MB
Original 60fps AVI/AVC 4.92MB 295.2MB
Original 60fps FLV 4.33MB 259.8MB

☛ File size of audio recording on Windows 10:

Duration Format File Size/Codec Estimated Size of 1-hour
1 minute MP3 0.93MB/MPEG 55.8MB
WAV 10.10MB/(Unpressed) PCM 606MB

Note: You can take the data in the table for reference when doing settings before recording. But the real recordings size may differ from recording contents and situations. To estimate the file size roughly, you can also get the benefit from the free media size calculators online.


Part TWO: Main Parameters Affecting Media File Size

Video first. There are roughly five elements that most consumer screen recorders give access to adjust and could impact the video size.

● Resolution: Video resolution simply refers to “width* height”. It is super easy to understand that the larger width and height, the bigger file size. Think about a 1-min 4K video vs. a 1080p video of the same duration…

● Duration: Obviously, the longer you record, the larger recording file you will get.

● Bit rate: Indicating the amount of bits that video processes per a unit of time or say second, bit rate influences both video quality and file size directly. Of course under different recording environments and for different usage, the required bit rate may vary from one to another. Many programs don’t offer setting for bit rate directly but the quality level instead.

● Frame rate: Frame rate, the frequency at which those consecutive images are shown, is known to decide the video fluidity. Actually, it also has effect on the size. Imagine a recording at 60fps vs. the same at 30fps, double frames per second certainly contributes to a lager file size.

● Codec & Format: Nearly all screen video recorders won’t output the raw footage but compress it to a relatively smaller one by processing. Encoding method is key point during this process, because there are a dozen of video codecs, most commonly knows ones include (QuickSync) H.264, (NVENC) H.265, MPEG, DivX/Xvid, VP8/VP9, and newly AV1. Different video codec has different compression ratio and also comes with different formats. That’s why they two are put together here. Usually DivX AVI recording is larger than H.264 MP4 file with other parameters the same.

Besides those mainstream parameters, some advanced screen capture tool may embed less-known options as well to more or less change the size number, for instance the (Bit) Rate Control, Keyframe Interval, and B Frames output settings of OBS Studio.

Audio then. Similar to video, its size is determined by audio codec/format, audio sample rate, bit rate and channel count. If you want to dig deeper into what they are, navigate to Wikipedia for more details.


Part THREE: How to Reduce the File Size of Recorded Video/Audio?

Drawing from the last part, you must know how to fix screen recording too large issue. As long as you choose to lower the value of either one or more parameters mentioned above properly, apply another codec with more compression ratio, the video will become smaller. Then what tool would you utilize? That’s exactly the video converter or video editor.

Set how HandBrake – the most popular open source video transcoder – reduces recording video file size for example:

Compress Large Recording with HandBrade

– You can change video formats in Summary, e.g. from source AVI to MP4.
– You can resize and crop the huge video under Dimensions.
– In Video section, you can switch the video codec to a high-compression one, like from H.264/DviX/MPEG to H.265, decrease the framerate value, lower the quality level, or type a fixed average bit rate to obtain a smaller video.

There is a plethora of free online and desktop media compressor software on the market you can turn to, HandBrake, Freemake Video/Audio Converter, VSDC Free Video Converter, Zamzar, VLC Media Player just to name a few.

Final Words

Have you understood why your recording is so huge? If yes, you must have idea on how to screen record at smaller size then. A warm remind from editor is that since file size, to some degree, has close connection with video quality, keep a well balance between them, and don’t pursuit the “absolute small size” while ignoring its quality loss.

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

Multiple recording modes make it easy to capture anything on screen.

Record 1080p or even 4K clips at 60fps to maintain the high quality still.

Flexible settings for mouse cursor effects, watermark and annotations.

Preloaded with recording scheduler, video editor. Allow one-click sharing.

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Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis started her copywriting career since 2014. As a tech editor with over 6 years writing experience, she has worked out hundreds of posts on multi-media solutions (video recording included), hot gadgets and troubleshooting tips.

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