Recording desktop audio

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

Video tutorial for Windows

1. Select the loopback device

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

Select Windows WASAPI in Audio Setup > 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.

Select the loopback option for the device you want to record audio from.

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.

Selecting Stereo Mix as an alternative to record 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 βœ”οΈcheckmark next to it must be turned off. You can turn off overdub here as well.

3. Record

Hit play to ensure audio is playing and then the record button to record your desktop audio.

Ensure audio is playing first when recording desktop audio as although WASAPI can record a silent audio stream it can’t record when there’s no audio stream.

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