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How to record audio from an app on Windows 10 with Audacity

Recording audio input is easy; all you need is a mic. Laptops have mics built-in and you can connect external mics to them as well if you’re looking to record better audio. What’s slightly complicated is when you need to record audio from an app. If you try to record the audio that’s coming from the speakers through your mic, you are going to have poor audio quality. Fortunately, if you have Audacity, it’s really easy to do.

Record audio from an app

Download and install Audacity. You need to set up sound settings on Windows 10 so that Audacity can record audio from an app. To do that, open the Sound settings in Control Panel. If you’re on Windows 10 1903, you might need a little help finding them.

Once you have the Sound settings panel open, go to the Recording tab. Make sure the Stereo device is enabled. If you don’t see it, right-click the devices and select the option to show disabled devices. If the device still does not appear, you may need to install Realtek drivers, or update them.

Once the audio device has been sorted, you can start recording. Open Audacity. You will see two dropdown as indicated in the screenshot below. Open the first one, select ‘Windows WASAPI’. In the next one, the one for the mic, select ‘Speakers/Headphones (loopback)’.

Once you’ve done that, click the Record button on Audacity. Go to the app you want to record audio from and play the audio. Make sure that no other app is playing audio. It’s also a good idea to silence system sounds on Windows 10. You can enable Focus Assist for as long as you’re recording or you can silence system sounds from the Volume Mixer.

When you’re done recording, click the Stop button and use the File>Export. You can save the recording to any of the supported file formats. You will find that there is no static or atmospheric noise in the recording.

Be warned that recording is a resource heavy task. If your system starts to lag, it may effect the audio that’s playing. Any lag or choppiness in the audio will be recorded as it is. It will not self-correct in Audacity.

It goes without saying that you should not use this method to pirate audio content. It’s really helpful if you need to transcribe audio content, or if you need to edit video and have lost the original audio file.

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