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How to Record Audio from Computer (Internal & External)

Try out the best recording software for Windows and Mac, and you can easily record internal audio on PC, audios on the Internet, and your voice.
author Carrie Murray
date Saturday, September 18, 2021

When it comes to the search for an audio recording tool on PC, the internet will always show you a lot of options. Finding a free, reliable, and easy-to-use audio recorder among them may be a time-costing task. If you are wanting to record audio from your computer and are stuck in multiple choices. It’s exactly the right place for you.

In this article, we will review and compare 4 popular audio recorders for PC, which perfectly work on different platforms including Windows and Mac. All of them are specially designed to meet your needs of recording your computer system sound, external audio sources, and even online media such as streaming audio, online lectures, interviews, podcasts, and others. Also, we will provide you with step-by-step guidance on how to record audios from the computer.

Read on and choose the best and suitable tool for recording audio from the computer.

Best Audio Recorder on PC for Windows and Mac (Recommended)

The first and top recommendation for recording audio on computer is FonePaw Audio Recorder. It is a straightforward recording tool that helps skip all complicated set-ups and enables you to directly record internal sound on computers and external audio sources. You can conveniently record your microphone sound once it connects to the computer. Besides, this audio recorder supports noise cancellation so you don’t have to worry that there will be damage to the audio quality of the recorded sound. It’s also very easy to set up recording audios from internal and external sources respectively or simultaneously.

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The Windows version also supports a highlight feature—schedule recording, which allows you to end an audio recording automatically at a specific time so that you don't need to be around the computer all the time. When the recording is ended, the recorded audio can be saved and converted to MP3, WMA, AAC, M4A audio files.

Beyond recording computer sound, this audio recording tool can serve as a convenient streaming audio recorder. You can use it to record streaming audio from Internet radio stations, music sites, video platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), record Skype/VoIP phone calls, and virtually every audio material.

tips Tips:

How to Record Audio from Computer with FonePaw Audio Recorder

STEP 1. Free download FonePaw Audio Recorder and install it on your computer.

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STEP 2. Launch the program and you'll find this intuitive screen recording tool is designed with three sections: Audio Recorder, Video Recorder, and Game Recorder. To record audios on the computer, simply select Audio Recorder.

STEP 3. Turn on System Sound button if you need to record the internal sound from computer. And turn on Microphone button when you need to capture your voice. Toggle on the two buttons if you need both. You may drag the slider to control the volume.

tips Tips:
  • If you are going to record the microphone sound, it’s recommended to turn on Microphone noise cancellation and Microphone enhancement to make your voice clearer in the audio output. Besides, it’s suggested to click on the settings icon and do a soundcheck beforehand in Preferences to guarantee a high audio recording quality.

FonePaw Audio Recorder

STEP 4. When you are ready, click the REC button to start recording.

The pop-up prompt window shows that you can also use hotkeys to control. Click Preferences, you can set and change keyboard shortcuts to the ones you like.

Notification of Recording with Hotkeys

STEP 5. During the recording, you can control the audio volume in real-time. To end the recording, click the rectangle icon.

Then just preview, trim (if you need), and save the audio recording to your computer.

Recording Audio from PC

tips Tips:
  • 1. If You need the recording to end automatically at a specific time, click the clock icon, and enter the expected duration of the recording. When the time is up, the recording process will stop and the program will save the recording automatically.
  • 2. You can decide on what format the audio file should be saved by going to More Settings> Output > Audio Format.
  • 3. If you accidentally quit the recording, you can relaunch the program to save the canceled project.

Formats to Save Recorded Audio

A Great Alternative: Audacity (Best for Recording Music on PC)

To record audio on Windows 10, a professional and popular alternative to FonePaw Audio Recorder is Audacity. It is an open-source and free audio recorder on PC that is perfectly compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. In addition to audio recording, this lightweight program also comes with options for editing audio. And while recording or editing audio, the sound will appear in waveforms helping you easily notice the noise and edit the unwanted parts.

Compared with FonePaw Audio Recorder, Audacity has the support for processing and mixing multiple soundtracks. Technically, you can record both your computer audio and microphone sound with Audacity. But if you have the need for recording multiple tracks, ensure that you have a sound card that has the ability to have multiple inputs simultaneously available for input.

Still, you may prefer some solutions that don’t require downloading extra software. The following parts will show you how to record computer audio with some built-in tools on Windows and Mac.

How to Use Stereo Mix to Record Sound from Windows 10 (No Download)

We all know that Windows 10 computer has a built-in Voice Recorder, and disappointingly, the recorder can only record sound from the microphone. But once you enable the Stereo Mix option on your PC, you can record the sound on your computer system as well as the sound that comes out of your speakers.

What is Stereo Mix

Stereo Mix, also called "What you hear", is the name of the output stream after all channels have been mixed. Sound drivers on your computer probably support Stereo Mix, however, the option is usually disabled by default on most Windows (Windows 10/8/7). By enabling the Stereo Mix option, Voice Recorder can record system sound on your PC through Stereo Mix instead of microphone.

tips Note:
  • Some Windows PC may not come with the Stereo Mix option. In this situation, we suggest using third-party audio recording software on PC such as FonePaw Audio Recorder and Audacity mentioned above if you want to record computer sound.

How to Enable Stereo Mix

STEP 1. Right-click audio icon in your system tray and choose Sound from the list to open Sound panel.

Open Sound Control Panel

STEP 2. Under the Recording tab, right-click Stereo Mix, and click Enable.

Enable Stereo Mix

STEP 3. To ensure that your audio recorder uses Stereo Mix instead of Microphone to record computer sound, set Stereo Mix as your default input device.

tips Tips:
  • If you don't see the Stereo Mix option, the option could be hidden. Under the recording tab, right-click the blank area and make sure Show Disabled Device and Show Disconnect Device is checked.

How to Record Audio on Windows 10

The biggest highlight of the Voice Recorder app on Windows 10 is that you can directly record internal audio on PC without the need to search and test a program. In most situations, Voice Recorder for Windows 10 can serve as a reliable PC sound recorder to capture audio. When recording sound or music, you can add markers to highlight important moments. The built-in voice recorder also gives the option to flexibly pause the process.

Here's how to record audio with Voice Recorder on Windows 10.

STEP 1. Launch Voice Recorder on your PC. You can right-click the Windows icon and use Search to locate the recorder.

STEP 2. The Windows Voice Recorder is super intuitive and simple-to-use. Just click the mic icon in the middle to start recording the audio that is playing on your computer.

Windows Voice Recorder

STEP 3. When the audio you need to record stops, click the blue button again to end recording.

Recording Computer Audio with Voice Recorder

How to Record Audio from Mac with QuickTime Player on Mac

If you are using a Mac computer, you can also record audio from a Mac computer in a simple way: by using QuickTime Player on Mac OS.

STEP 1. Launch QuickTime Player on your MacBook or iMac.

STEP 2. On the top, click File > New Audio Recording, which will open the audio recording panel.

Start Audio Recording with QuickTime

STEP 3. On the audio recording panel, you may adjust volume and audio quality. Click the red Record button to start recording audio on your Mac.

Record Audio on Mac

STEP 4. Click the Record button again when you feel like stopping the sound recording.

However, QuickTime Player can only record system audio and streaming audio on your Mac through microphone. To record the sound as it is outputting from your Mac's speaker, you can download Soundflower for Mac to help.

A Comparison Between Third-Party Audio Recorders and Built-in Tools

You may review this summary table to decide which audio capturing program can meet the best of your needs.

Third Party Screen Recorder

Built-in Tools

FonePaw Screen Recorder


Windows 10 Voice Recorder

QuickTime for Mac


1. Intuitive interface and clear settings; 
2. Multiple output formats;
3. Noise cancellation;
4. Basic editing features

1. Free to use;
2. Advanced audio editing tools;
3. Different sound effects

1. No installation required;
2. Sleek interface;
3. Simple to use

1. No installation required;
2. Multiple functions


It has free trial limits

Complicated interface

Cannot record internal audio

No audio editing tools

With these helpful tools, you don’t have to hold up a smartphone but simply launch an audio recording app to record the sound coming from your computer.

Screen Recorder
Screen Recorder
Capture every loving moment of your screen on Windows and Mac!