Why is my screen recording failing to save?

Screen recordings are a great way to create tutorials, demo software, and more. However, it can be frustrating when your screen recordings fail to save properly. There are a few common reasons why your screen recordings may not be saving correctly.

Quick Answers

Not Enough Storage Space

One of the most common reasons for screen recordings failing to save is not having enough storage space on your device. Screen recordings can take up a lot of storage space very quickly, especially for long recordings and recordings at high resolutions. Make sure you have plenty of free space on your device before recording.

Problem with Recording Software

Issues with the recording software itself can also lead to failed recordings. Try updating your recording software or switching to a different program. Restarting your device can also help resolve software issues.

System Errors

Sometimes screen recordings fail due to system errors or crashing. Restart your device and close other programs when recording to prevent system overload. Update your operating system and drivers as well.

corrupted Temp Files

Screen recording software often uses temp files to store recordings before they are saved. If these temp files become corrupted, the recording will not save. Clearing temp files and restarting the recording software can fix this.

Incorrect Save Location

Double check where you have your recording software set to save files. If the save location is incorrect or inaccessible, your recordings will fail. Update the save path to a valid, accessible location.

Lack of Storage Space

One of the most common reasons why screen recordings fail to save properly is a lack of storage space. Screen recordings require a large amount of storage, especially for long recordings and high resolution settings. For example, a 10 minute 1080p screen recording may require up to 300MB of storage space. If your storage device where you are saving the recordings does not have sufficient free space, the recording will not be able to save fully.

You may see error messages from your recording software like “Not enough storage” or “Unable to save recording” if this is the issue. Checking your storage space before recording can prevent these failed recordings. Make sure to have at least a few gigabytes of free space on your device for screen recordings. You can also lower the resolution settings in your recording software to reduce file sizes. Recording shorter segments instead of one long video can help as well.

Regularly clearing out old files and moving completed recordings off of your device to external storage can free up space for future recordings. Upgrading to a device with more storage may be necessary if you need to record lengthy, high resolution videos. Overall, one of the first things to check when your screen recordings won’t save is the free storage space on your device. Maintaining adequate free space will often resolve save failures related to insufficient storage.

Issues with Recording Software

Problems with the recording software itself can also lead to screen recordings failing to save properly. The software may have bugs or glitches that prevent it from saving recordings correctly. There are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to resolve software-related causes of failed recordings:

– Update your recording software to the latest version. Developers often release patches and fixes for bugs that may be causing issues with saving recordings. Updating can resolve these software glitches.

– Try restarting both the recording program and your device. Restarting can clear out any errors and reset the recording software to a working state.

– If the problem persists, try switching recording programs. Use a different program like OBS, Flashback Express, or Windows Game Bar to test if recordings save properly there. This can determine if the issue is isolated to just one recording program.

– Update your device’s operating system, drivers, and other system software. Outdated supporting software can sometimes conflict with recording programs.

– Try simplifying settings. Use common codecs and lower resolutions while testing to see if basic recordings will save correctly. Then add back settings.

– Check forums and help resources for your specific recording program to see if others have reported similar save issues. There may be fixes available.

– Ultimately, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the problematic recording software if other troubleshooting does not work.

With some trial and error, you should be able to resolve any software-related issues that lead to failed screen recordings. Being systematic about testing different programs and settings can help isolate the problem.

System Errors and Crashes

Unstable system performance is another common culprit behind screen recordings failing to save. Things like system crashes, errors, hangs, and excessive load can all interfere with the recording software’s ability to properly save your screen captures.

Some potential ways system instability leads to failed recordings include:

– The recording software or operating system crashes while recording or saving. The save process gets interrupted, resulting in lost footage.

– Too many programs running cause system overload, hampering the recording software’s performance. Complex recordings require plenty of processing power and system resources.

– Conflicts and errors with system drivers, background services, and other software can all negatively impact stability during recording.

– Buggy system software components that have compatibility issues with the recording program may crash or hang.

– Insufficient RAM or video memory can make screen recording performance unreliable.

There are a few steps you can take to maximize system stability for screen recordings:

– Close out any other unnecessary programs when recording to prioritize system resources for the recording software. This prevents overload.

– Disable unused background services and applications to reduce load and potential conflicts.

– Update all system software and drivers to the latest, most stable versions available. Outdated components often have bugs.

– Run system file checks and repair any identified issues to fix corrupt files.

– Upgrade RAM and video card memory if needed to meet minimum requirements.

– Maintain good ventilation and operating temperatures for optimal performance.

Addressing any identifiable system instability issues can significantly improve the reliability of your screen recording saves. While the occasional crash may still occur, proper troubleshooting and maintenance will prevent most system-related failed recordings.

Corrupted Temporary Files

Many screen recording applications utilize temporary storage files as part of the recording process before saving the final output video. If these temporary files become corrupted, it can lead to the final recording failing to properly save.

Temporary storage is used because directly writing enormous raw video data in real time to a single output file would be extremely system intensive. So instead, most recording software writes the raw capture data in smaller chunks to a temporary location. Once recording stops, these temp files are then compiled and encoded into the final video output file.

However, if the temp files used during recording get corrupted before this encoding finishes, the final file may be unrecoverable. Possible reasons for temp file corruption include:

– System instability like crashes or forced shutdowns during recording.
– Hard disk errors or bad sectors in the temp storage location.
– Fragmented hard drive reducing performance of temp writes.
– Simultaneously reading/writing/editing the temp files before recording ends.
– Software bugs failing to properly write temp files.

To minimize temp file corruption problems:

– Set the temp directory to a fast, stable drive without fragmentation or bad sectors.
– Disable any software that may access the temp directory during recording.
– Ensure proper shutdown procedures to avoid interrupting temporary writes.
– Test hard drives used for temp storage with disk utilities to check for issues.
– Defragment drives periodically to avoid performance issues during writes.

Properly managing the temp data during recording is key for avoiding file corruption that will cause the final video to fail saving correctly.

Incorrect Output Save Location

A simple but common mistake that can lead to screen recordings failing to save is having the output location configured incorrectly in your recording software settings. If the recording program tries to save the final video file to a directory that is invalid, inaccessible, or write protected, the save process will fail.

Some examples of incorrect output locations that could prevent recordings from saving include:

– Typos or other errors in the folder path configured in recording settings.
– Setting the save folder to a removable drive that is missing or no longer connected.
– Permissions issues that prevent writing files to the specified directory.
– Specifying a save location that is full or exceeds storage limits.
– Attempting to save temporary working files directly rather than output recordings.

To avoid errors related to incorrect output location:

– Double check that the save path is configured correctly in recording settings and that the folder exists.
– Test saving a short recording to the configured location to verify write access.
– Pick save locations on fixed, internal drives rather than removable storage prone to disconnecting.
– Ensure recording user accounts have full permissions for the target save directory.
– Check available storage space in the save folder to avoid exceeding limits.
– Review software documentation to determine proper output location settings.

Taking care to choose a valid save location and test it initially will prevent many failed recordings due to simple path configuration mistakes. Just be sure to specify an accessible folder with sufficient permission and free space to store your recordings.

Other Potential Factors

While the issues covered above represent the most common reasons for screen recordings failing to save properly, there are a few other potential factors to consider as well:

– Hardware failure – Faulty hard drives or storage media, low memory, graphics card failure and other physical issues can lead to recording problems.

– Excessive CPU/GPU load – If other demanding software monopolizes resources during recording, the recording software may not function properly.

– User errors – Accidentally stopping a recording early, incorrectly configured settings, forgetting to hit record, or other mistakes may lead to failed recordings.

– Software conflicts – Some antimalware apps, firewalls, and security software can interfere with recording programs.

– Online connectivity issues – Cloud-based recording services may fail if internet connections aren’t stable.

– Insufficient permissions – Users may lack permissions to capture screen on certain systems due to security restrictions.

– Codec/container issues – Certain combinations of video codecs and container formats may have issues being read by media players.

– External capture device problems – Cameras, audio interfaces and other input devices connected for capture may have their own technical problems.

So while troubleshooting screen recordings not saving correctly, also consider these additional potential factors. Monitoring system resources, testing software conflicts, verifying user actions, checking codecs and connections, and inspecting hardware can help identify and isolate these less common problems.

Solutions and Best Practices

Based on the common problems covered, here are some solutions and best practices to prevent screen recordings from failing to save properly:

– Check available storage space before recording and maintain at least 10% free space on your drive after each recording. Recording to an external drive can provide extra capacity.

– Close unnecessary programs and disable background processes when recording to maximize system resources available to recording software.

– Keep your operating system and especially video drivers, codecs, and hardware updated to latest stable versions. Avoid beta software when recording.

– Use simple, widely compatible recording settings – MP4 video, AAC audio, H264 codec, 720p resolution or lower initially. Then increase quality as able.

– Configure recordings to save to a local drive on the system rather than external drives prone to disconnecting. Pick a disk with the most free space.

– Before long recordings, restart your device and recording software to clear any memory issues or instability.

– Know how to properly stop recordings before turning off your device or closing the recording program.

– If experiencing frequent crashes or failed recordings, check system RAM, drives, CPU and GPU for faults using system utilities.

– Search for screen recording customer support and forums related to your specific program for troubleshooting tips if needed.

Following proper troubleshooting steps to identify the root cause and applying best practices will help avoid losing those important screen captures. Just be sure to test recording short segments first before your most critical recordings.


Failing to save screen recordings correctly can be a frustrating issue with many causes. Storage limitations, software problems, system instability, temporary file corruption, incorrect save locations, and other factors can all prevent recordings from saving properly. Following a methodical troubleshooting process of checking storage space, software settings, system resources, temporary files, output locations, and hardware can help pinpoint the underlying problem. Applying fixes like upgrading storage, updating software, closing other programs, choosing stable components, and configuring proper file locations can resolve most save issues. With adequate troubleshooting and implementing recording best practices, you can successfully capture your important screen recordings. Just be sure to test saving short recordings before critical sessions and know how to properly start and stop recordings to avoid common user errors.