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How to Record Desktop Audio with Audacity

Oliva Eve
2024-04-18 16:37:55 • Filed to: Audio Recording

If you want to record audio on your PC or Mac, most people choose either Sound Recorder on PC or Voice Memos on Mac. But as useful as these tools can be, allowing you to use the microphone to record audio, they lack the necessary features to facilitate advanced audio recording and editing.

So, when most people want to record and edit high quality audio on their computers, their first thought is Audacity. This open-source audio recorder is a go-to solution for most people, especially because it is completely free to use. But most people find it challenging to use, with an interface that is bulky and not very easy to understand. In this guide, we will share with you how to record desktop with Audacity in a few simple steps. The processes we share here will help you easily record audio of any length, even if you have never used Audacity before.

Record Audio on Windows with Audacity

To record audio on your PC using Audacity, install the program on to your computer (it is available for free) and then make sure that the computer‘s internal microphone is working (you can also use an external microphone.) One Audacity is installed on your device, follow these steps;

Recording on Audacity with a Microphone

launch audacity

Step 1: Launch Audacity and then click on the recording devices tab located on the top-right of the screen with a microphone icon on it.

Step 2: A dropdown menu will appear, showing you all the available recording devices on your computer. Select the microphone that you would like to use for the recording. If you don‘t see the microphone, ensure that it is properly connected to the computer and turned on.

Step 3: Click on “Tracksat” at the top of the screen and then select “Add New” to choose the type of track that you want. For most simple projects, you can simply choose between “Mono” or “Stereo.”

Step 4: Now just click on the “Record” button to start the recording. You should see an audio graph of voice appear as soon as you hit record. If you want to, you can add a new recording using the “Shift + R” hotkeys on your keyboard.

Recording Computer (System) sounds using Audacity

recording audio with audacity

Step 1: Open Audacity and on the drop-down menu under “Audio Host,” choose “Windows WASAPI”

Step 2: Under “Recording Device” choose the system‘s default speakers and headphones. You may also need to click on the option labelled “Loopback.” This option may vary depending on type of sound card you have on your PC.

Step 3: Create a new track and then click on the “Record” button to start the recording and then start the game, video or whatever else that you would like to record.

Record Audio on Mac with Audacity

To record audio on your Mac using Audacity, you may need to install the program as well as additional plugins. The best one to use is a program known as Soundflower, a program that will allow you to route sound to other apps rather than the default speakers. Here‘s how you can record audio on Mac using a combination of Audacity and Soundflower;

Step 1: Begin by installing both Audacity and Soundflower on your Mac. Both of these programs are free to download.

Step 2: The next step is to configure the Soundflower app. To do that, click on “System Preferences” and then select “Sounds.” Click on the Output tab and then set the device for output sound as “Soundflower (2ch). Then open the Sunflower app and when you see the Flower icon in the menu bar, click on it and set “Soundflower 2ch” as the built-in output.

Step 3: Now open Audacity preferences and then under the “Device” section, choose “Soundflower (2ch).” In the recording section, choose “Software playthrough.” Click “OK” to save the selected preferences.

Step 4: Open the app whose audio you would like to record and then click on the “Record” button in audacity to begin the recording.

You should then be able to save the recorded audio in MP3 format.

Best Audacity Alternative to Record Audio - Bonus

Audacity is a great free way to record audio on your computer, but it can be a pain to use, particularly if you have never used it before. If you would like a far simpler way to capture both audio and video on your PC or Mac, Wondershare DemoCreator is a great choice. Not only is it very easy to use, but it is also one of the best ways to capture crisp-clear sound from the microphone or even system sounds.

The following are some of its advantages;

  • It has a complete editing suite
  • It supports a wide range of output formats
  • It can be used to add personalized annotations to the video
  • It has a very simple user interface
  • You can add webcam forage to the recording

It is also very easy to use, just follow these simple steps;

Step 1: Open DemoCreator and Configure the Settings

Run the program on your Mac or Windows system and then click on “New Recording” to begin the process.


This will open a number of options, check the audio settings, and make sure the system audio and microphone audio options are enabled.

Step 2: Start the Recording

When all your settings are as you need them to be, click on “Start Capturing” to begin the recording. You can also use the “F10” hotkey to begin the recording.


During the recording, you can press the “F9” key to pause or resume the recording as required.

When you‘re done with the recording, press the “F10” key again to stop the recording and the audio will be saved in the pre-determined folder on your computer.

democreator audio tracks

You can then open the video and use the built-in editor to edit the video and audio in numerous ways.

Audacity is one of the most popular audio recording tools in the market. It is completely free to download but most people find it rather difficult to use. If you are having trouble using Audacity, just follow the steps above to make use of the best audio recorder work for you and your projects.