This one was inspired by the question Windows Software to constantly record the last X minutes of audio entering the microphone?

I am working in QA (quality assurance) and it happens now and then that it's unclear which steps have led to a failure. When I found a failure, I'm trying to reproduce it and once reproduced, I either have simple steps to write down in prose text or I'm recording the screen session with Camtasia Studio or CamStudio.

However, sometimes I'm not able to recall exactly what I did, so I am looking for a software that

  • constantly records my Windows Desktop
  • has multi-monitoring support
  • keeps the last n minutes in memory (I'd need ~5 minutes at least)
  • keeps the recording in memory only (no disk activity)
  • on a trigger (hotkey or similar) saves the screenshots to disk

Ideally, the recording would be configurable to save computer power, e.g.

  • take a screenshot whenever the mouse was clicked
  • otherwise take a screenshot every .5 seconds (and not as fast as possible)

It does not necessarily need to

  • compress the data to save RAM
  • save as an AVI file or similar. Plain PNGs is fine. I can use FFmpeg or whatever to make it a video
  • capture DirectX, Flash and other stuff. Just normal 2D desktop is enough

A short check on memory usage gives: ~3 fps * 2 monitors * Full HD resolution * 3 byte/pixel * 5 minutes = 10 GB of RAM. Something in that range is acceptable.

I know about NVidia Shadowplay but it won't work for me (and I'm not sure whether it would be in-memory only).

  • Could use a RAMDisk to make Shadowplay write to RAM ;)
    – SEJPM
    Jun 4, 2017 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


I had pretty much the same requirements. Have a software who can run on not that powerful of a system and record last X minutes of my activity and save on hotkey pressed.

After searching a lot I found a great free opensource solution which does much more than the recording of last X minutes which I can recommend - OBS Studio.

It has a feature called Replay Buffer (Menu File / Settings / Output) which constantly records the selected screen, application, display and much more and saves it on a press of a hotkey. Once activated, you get another button called "Start Replay Buffer". The replay buffer is limited to a maximum of 6 hours (entered as 21600 seconds) and 8 GB of RAM (entered as 8192 MB).

New button for starting the replay buffer

OBS also allows you to record anything you'd like and also allows you to directly stream, but I am not using these options.

  • I tried out OBS Studio based on this recommendation. It’s working great. It has a limit of 6 hours or 8GB of RAM usage. I tested it last night. My dual 1440p monitors at 10 FPS uses about 4GB of RAM to fill the 6 hour buffer. One thing that’s odd is that it can record my full 5120x1440 desktop but when it saves it out, I have to downscale it a bit. It threw an error when I tried to set the output to the same resolution. Could be something with my setup though. Other than that its working really great! Feb 7, 2021 at 19:38

Looking for the same thing I came across this: My Screen Recorder Pro. http://www.deskshare.com/video-screen-capture.aspx

So far it seems to be what I need. Similar to shadow play but recording desktop activity of last X minutes. Not sure if it has multi monitor support though.

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