4 Ways to Record YouTube Live Stream: Use Soft- or Hardware Easily

How to record YouTube live stream? You are suggested to do this on computer with software or hardware method.

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With the increasing popularity of live streaming, more video platforms, as well as social media, video game and online shopping ones have joined the livestreaming party gradually and made efforts to enhance the user experience. As the second most popular social site (Facebook is the first-most) and the the #1 video-sharing site worldwide, YouTube, since the roll-out of YouTube Live in 2011, has achieved more than 2 billion users and still a growing number of live streamers, among which 60% of the YouTube’s top 100 live streams took place within the recent two years.

Then no matter you are a broadcaster or a common live stream audience, when encountering some important, significant, memorable or funny live streams, how to record YouTube live stream on your computer or mobile? See the two methods showing below.

Method 1: Use Archive Function of YouTube [for Streamers Only]

Nowadays, to bring live streamers more convenience, nearly all mature living streaming platforms would provide the archive feature to help them record the live show for further sharing or simply storing as a privacy asset. YouTube is not an exception. When you are beginning a live content via YouTube Live, regardless of topic, resolution and quality, the achieve will automatically save it and then display it in your YouTube Studio, not immediately but after a short of time, say several hours after the live streaming. 

Archive can be your top choice for keeping a YouTube live stream file, but you’d know that:

  • This feature only supports recording your YouTube living performance less than 12 hours. That said, if you’re going to hold a longer presentation, you can’t get a full recorded video at last.
  • The archived file is only available for a short period of time. If you don’t save it manually to other place, like cloud or local space, when it goes expired, you are unable to access it anymore.

Official post: Archieve Live Stream – YouTube Help

Method 2: Use Screen Recording Software to Record YouTube Live Stream [for Both Streamer s and Viewers]

As is mentioned above, archive is only for streamers for capturing live content that lasts no more than 12 hours. Then what if you want to live broadcast a longer show? Or you are just a normal live stream audience, and want to keep the whole part or certain moments for local storage?

In my point of view, seeking help from a screen recorder is the most convenient way to go. Mobile users could turn help from built-in recorder (although you will get a no-audio live video at 95% chance because most gadgets now have no right to record system sound at all) or paid ones like AZ screen recorder. And average PC users can rely on freeware OBS Studio or solid shareware like Bandicam and TechSmith’s Snagit or Camtasia. Doing screen recording mission on computer is more suggested than on mobile because PC is not only more powerful but also has more generous space to store the high quaity recording.

Paid screen recorders do are easier to handle, especially for newbies. You don’t need to go over the official guide or YouTube video tutorials before starting the screencasting, but only follow the no-brainer workflow to make YouTube live stream capture start and end effortlessly.

In general, nearly all desktop screen recorders enables you to select target screen section to record, define the audio source and volumn, enable pause and resume, customize the capture format and quality, as well as do some basic edits like trim and annotating. Let’s take how Bandicam works on Windows computer for example here:

  • I install Bandicam on my Windows 10 based laptop from HP. I won’t record any live streaming on my Android phone beause it’s so slaggy.
  • Before the YouTube live stream, I launch Bandicam and choose Fullscreen as my target recording mode.
Bandicam Three Record Modes
  • Unser settings, I choose MP4, 1920×1080 16:9, 30FPS, H254 CPU, quality 80…
  • When the live streaming is on, I watch it at full screen and press F12 (the default hotkey of Bandicam to start / end recording) . It also has schedule recording feature, wit which we can set the time of live show beforehand and have software start to record automatically at the right time.
  • Since the live stream I watch is a little bit long, I didn’t record it all but only keep some important parts in the recording. When the live streaming is over, I press F12 to process and export the recorded video immediately.

Way 3: Use YouTube Video Downloader [for Viewers to download the live video published on the channel]

If the live broadcaster uploads the live archieve filel or the recording captured by other tools on his or her channel, you can downloa the video to local hard disk with YouTube downloading software like Y1TS online downloader, youtube-dl (a command-line program), 4K Video Downloader, Savefrom Online Video Downloader, VLC (a media player with recording live streaming feature) and so on. Usually, such kind of programs will give you multple video format/resolution/size options to choose according to the actural requirement, say MP4 1080p and MP3 196kbps.

Way 4: Use YouTube Live Stream Recorder Hardware [for Streamers with Advanced Equippments]

If you have set up a DVD recorder or VCR and connected it to your computer, you can still record the YouTube live stream video and burn it onto the DVD or VCR easily. Although few people do it in this way, you can have a try if you plan to keep the recorded live stream from YouTube permanently.


You must know exactly on how to record YouTube live stream video, and feel free to save whatever YouTube live stream for further playback and personal usage, say live game battle, live music concert, live sports events etc.



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