How to Record Sound Played on Windows 10 PC

In most cases all you need to record on your Windows PC is your voice. But what to do if you want to record sound that are played on your computer? In this guide you will find steps to configure Windows 10 to capture all audio including sounds played in browser, audio and video players, sound in games, system events, etc. Maybe, some of you will say “Why capture if you can download the sound?” The answer is “sometimes we can’t download or even find some audio effect, rare music track or interview as a file”. One day you will find this guide useful.

How to Record (Capture) All Sounds Played on Windows 10 PC

Here is how I configure my audio settings on Windows 10 PC when I need to record sounds or music played in Google Chrome browser, audio or video player program:

  • Open the sound settings.
    In Windows 10 (have version 1909 as of writing the guide) right-click the sound icon and select Open Sound settings:Open Sound Settings Windows 10 version 1909
  • Click the Sound control panel link in the top right corner of the Settings app: Sound Control Panel Windows 10 Settings 1909
  • Activate Stereo Mix.
    By default it is turned off in Windows 10, if I’m not mistaking.
    Enable Stereo Mix in Recording Devices Windows 10
  • Set Stereo Mix as default recording device.
    Right-click it and click Set as Default Device
    Stereo Mix Set as default device
  • Set speakers as default output device. 
    I don’t yet understand why, but on my PC the sound capturing doesn’t work until I switch the playback from the headphones to the speakers. So, go to the Playback tab, right-click Speakers and select Set as Default playback device: Speakers set as default device
  • Restart Chrome or another program which you are going to record sound from.
  • Restart the recording app. Usually, I use Sound Forge to capture audio stream from PC. And I need to restart it for changes in audio routing to take effect.
  • Click the record button in the program that you use for capturing audio.
  • Play the sound in Chrome (or another program).
    Sound Forge recording music played in Chrome
  • Click Stop and save the file as mp3, .wav or any other format suitable.

This will capture the entire audio stream (everything) that your sound card is currently playing back.

Related: How to Switch Sound Output Between Headphones and Speakers on Windows 10

Afterword

Warning! Don’t be surprised if you find speech recognition like Google Translate or online dictation tools not working after you changed the default recording device. You should revert the setting to fix that. Just go to Recording devices, right-click Microphone and select “Set as Default device”. Now you should be able to use Google Translate and similar tools again.

Please, tell us in the comment section if this guide was useful. Additional information is also welcome. Good luck!

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