Can OBS Stream & Record At The Same Time? (Explained)

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a free, open-source software for video recording and live streaming, with built-in support for platforms like YouTube and Twitch. It is also called OBS Studio and is compatible with popular operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux.

As with any streaming platform, the use of recordings is in high demand as this feature allows for easier reuse of the broadcast or stream.

If you have ever wanted to know how to record while doing a live stream in OBS Studio, it is all explained here.

Here’s If OBS Can Stream And Record At The Same Time:

OBS allows you to record your desktop or a specific window by using its built-in screen capture feature. There are two ways to do this using the game capture mode or by using the RTMP input plugin. In fact, you can even stream and record in different formats at the same time.

OBS editing videos

Use the Game Capture mode while playing a game or showing your screen during a presentation. Using the Window Capture mode to record any application on your computer screen.

If you’re streaming content from another source like YouTube or Twitch, you can use OBS’ RTMP input plugin to stream live video straight from within OBS itself. This way, you don’t need to rely on external software like Skype or Google Hangouts Chat (which many other streaming services still require).

Read this blog about can OBS record multiple video tracks?

How Do You Record A Live Stream With OBS?

To record follow these steps: 

  • To record a live stream in OBS, open OBS and click on Settings. Under Output, go to the Recording section. To manually record, click Start Recording.
  • To automatically record everytime you go live, go back to Settings and click General. Look for ”output” and check Automatically record when streaming.

Check here how to stream to Instagram with OBS.

Can I Trust That OBS Will Save the File Correctly?

Your OBS files are stored according to the Recording Path you set. By default, the OBS video recording path is typically the videos folder.

To find out where OBS Studio is saving your video recordings, open up the settings menu and go to the output tab. In the recording section, locate the Recording Path box and take note of what you see there. If you are satisfied with the storage location, you are all set.

However, if you want to set up a different recording path, click the browse button next to the recording path and select your new file destination. OBS will now record and store your videos in that location.

What File Format Should You Use?

While you are in the recording section of the output tab, you will see a box labelled “recording format”. It is set to the file format MKV.

MKV files are multimedia container formats. The initials are derived from the Russian word for “nesting dolls”.  The MKV container supports almost any audio and video format. That means it will allow a variety of audio, video and subtitles to be incorporated into one single file.

Another great choice of file format is FLV. FLV (derived from the words Flash Video ) is also a container file format used to transmit video or audio content via the Internet. It is one of the two different types of Flash video file formats, and is played using Adobe Air, or Adobe Flash player (version 6 or newer).

It is highly discouraged to save your live streams in mp4 format. It is not that the files are incompatible. The problem with the mp4 format in OBS Studio is that metadata for mp4 files are only written when the recording is complete.

This is a very important feature, because in the event of a crash, mp4 recordings will be corrupt. On the other hand, MKV or FLV files can be accessed through a free OBS feature called REMUX.

After your recordings are saved as MKV or FLV file formats, the remux feature allows you to later convert to mp4 format, if you so desire.

How to Remux Files in OBS Studio

To remux your records in OBS, open the OBS Studio application and go to the Files tab.  Select Remux recordings, and in the new window that opens, select your OBS file. Click on the three dots, then choose “remux”. Your file will automatically be converted to mp4 format.

What is the Resolution When OBS Is Recording A Stream?

The default resolution for video recording is set to 1920p x 1080p in OBS Studio. However, the ideal setup will depend on your CPU (central processing unit) and your GPU (graphics processing unit). Finding these ideal settings is a task for the OBS Auto-Configuration Wizard.

How Can The Auto-Configuration Wizard Help?

The Auto-Configuration Wizard can make recommendations based on your computer system and hardware. When it is your first time running the OBS Studio, the Auto-Configuration Wizard will be shown.

If this is not your first time using OBS Studio, the Auto-Configuration Wizard can be accessed by clicking on the Tools menu and then selecting it.

OBS auto-configuration wizard can automatically test your system. This is in an attempt to find settings that your personal computer can handle.

That means that the auto-configuration wizard can help with finding the best video recording resolution settings for your PC.

Can OBS Stream And Record At Different Resolutions?

In the world of video quality, a higher pixel value is always thought to be better. However, for streaming, things are not always as clear-cut.

That’s because lowering quality in one area, can sometimes help to improve the quality in another area. In the case of OBS Studio,  lowering the quality in the recorded video can improve the quality of the video in the live stream.

Setting The Base Resolution

In OBS Studio, the Output Resolution setting determines the resolution of your recorded video. But before you change the Output Resolution setting, open the OBS application and navigate to Settings.

From there, select the Video tab, then click on Base resolution. Set the Base resolution to your computer’s native resolution.

How Do You Find Your Computer’s Native Resolution?

If you are not sure about your computer’s native resolution, find it by right-clicking your desktop. Select “display settings”, then “scale and layout”. Look for the resolution drop-down box and make a note of the resolution listed there.

You can also access your screen resolution by heading to the start menu on your PC. In the search bar, type the words “display settings”, and you will see “scale and layout” and the resolution drop-down box as in the previous method.

Changing The Output Resolution Settings

Now you are ready to change the Output Resolution settings.

As was done before setting the Base Resolution, go to Settings then select the Video tab. From there, select Output Resolution.

The output resolution can be the same as the Base resolution, or it can be lower. For example, you can have a Base resolution of 1080 pixels, but the record (that is, your output) at 720 pixels.

Does OBS Store The Files Locally Or In The Cloud?

By default, files from the OBS Studio are stored locally in your “videos” folder.

To store files in the cloud, set up OBS to run in portable mode, then save the OBS folder in your cloud storage to sync them.

Running OBS studio in portable mode means all settings are saved in the OBS main folder. The settings include all profiles and all scene collections. With all settings stored in the OBS main folder, you can then copy the entire folder to a USB stick or another PC. From there, you can upload the folder to your favorite cloud storage.

Take note though, that file paths for sources such as images must be identical or your cloud syncing will not work.

How Much Space Do I Need to Do Live Recording?

At least 16 gigabytes of RAM (random access memory) are recommended for live recording in OBS Studio.

Because your CPU usage will increase while OBS is streaming and or recording, it is a good practice to close as many programs as possible. This is important even if you have a fast computer.

You can also take the workload off your CPU by using hardware encoders. The OBS project recommends hardware encoders for better performance. That’s because hardware encoders use a specialized component in the GPU to make video encoding more efficient.

What are hardware encoders?

Uncompressed video files are too large to be sent in real time for streaming. The solution is to compress these files first, and a hardware encoder does just that.

Hardware encoders are dedicated appliances for capturing, compressing, and delivering audio and video data to a destination. A live stream encoder will specifically deliver video across the internet or other area networks.


OBS Studio, or Open Broadcaster Software, is a powerful tool for live streaming and recording video from your PC. It has a variety of features that make it easy to stream, like automatic game capture and a built-in source browser, but it also has plenty of advanced options for seasoned users.

If you’ve ever wondered if OBS can stream and record then this article was hopefully for you. 

Read our blog about can you edit videos with OBS after recording?



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