Recording desktop audio

Audacity can record computer audio (including sound from YouTube, Spotify and more).

1. Select the loopback device

  • Click on Audio Setup and select Windows WASAPI as the Host

  • Select the output you want to use (the device you're using to listen) as the input. It will be marked with a (loopback) after it's name.

When using the (default) MME device, you may find a virtual microphone called Stereo Mix, What you hear or similar in it. This also will record your desktop audio.

2. Check if everything is set up correctly

Recording the desktop audio will record all desktop audio, including notification-pings, games, and Audacity itself (for example, other tracks in the timeline if you're using overdub). So unless you specifically want these noises, make sure to turn them off.

DON'T use software playthrough when recording desktop audio. Make sure it's off in the menu: Transport > Transport Options > Software playthrough (on/off) - The ✔️checkmark next to it must be turned off. You can turn off overdub here as well.

3. Record

Hit the record button to record your desktop audio.

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