OBS Studio is a free and open-source program that is used by millions across the world for recording screens and broadcasting. Though it is a free program, the features it has are almost equal to paid alternatives. You can record windows on your PC and stream it on the internet simultaneously or you can create tutorials using OBS studio. OBS Studio can be used in many ways for recording and broadcasting once you get used to it. Some users are complaining that OBS Studio captures a small window instead of the full screen on their PC. In this guide, we have a few solutions that can fix it.
OBS Studio captures a small window instead of fullscreen
If you see OBS Studio capture only a small window instead of the full screen, you can follow the below methods to fix it.
- Select the full screen manually using Display Capture
- Set the correct Base Resolution
- Set OBS to High Performance in GPU settings
- Enable Compatibility mode
- Reinstall OBS
Let’s get into the details of each method and fix the issue.
1] Select the full screen manually using Display Capture
When you see OBS studio recording only a small window instead of the full screen, you can make capture the whole screen using the Display Capture option in it. When you capture on OBS using Display Capture, the entire screen will be captured without leaving anything.
To enable Display Capture to record full screen on OBS, click on the + (add) button in the Sources panel. Select Display Capture from the Source options you see there.
It opens a small Create/Select Source window. Name the source to Full Screen or leave it as Display Capture. Then, click on OK to create the source as Display Capture.
Then, it will open the Properties for Display Capture window. You can leave it as it is as it captures the full screen without you changing anything. You can uncheck the button beside Capture Cursor if you don’t want to capture the cursor. Click on OK to complete adding the source.
Display capture source will be available in the Sources panel until you delete it manually. Now, when you click on Start Recording on the OBS window, it will select the Display Capture as the source automatically and record full screen until you add some other source.
2] Set the correct Base Resolution
The other reason for the OBS to record a small window instead of a full screen might be due to the wrong resolution you may have accidentally set. You need to change the resolution to your display resolution to make it capture the full screen.
To set the correct Base (Canvas) Resolution,
- Click on Settings at the bottom right of the OBS window.
- Then, select the Video tab.
- Change the Base (Canvas) Resolution to the highest resolution available to match your screen resolution like 1920×1080 or whatever your display resolution may be.
- Once you are done with that, click on Apply and then OK to save the changes.
Now, OBS will capture the full screen when you start recording.
3] Set OBS to High Performance in GPU settings
If you have two Graphic cards on your PC and you face this issue, that might be due to OBS running on the graphic card that is less powerful and does not support high quality or resolution capture. You need to set OBS Studio’s preferred graphics processor to the powerful one.
To select the preferred graphics card for OBS studio,
- Right-click on the Desktop and select Show more options.
- Then, select NVIDIA Control Panel to open it.
- Click on Manage 3D settings on the left side panel.
- Now, select the Program Settings tab.
- Select OBS Studio under the Select a program to customize section.
- Click on the drop-down menu under Select the preferred graphics processor for this program and select High-performance NVIDIA processor.
- Click on Apply to save the changes.
See if it has fixed the issue.
4] Enable Compatibility mode
There might be other recording or screen capture programs running on your PC. That may be prioritized to capture a screen or window. It can also be the cause of OBS Studio capturing only a small window. To fix that, you need to enable compatibility mode for OBS Studio.
To run OBS studio in compatibility mode,
- Right-click on the OBS Studio shortcut on the desktop or on the Start menu and select Properties.
- Click on the Compatibility tab.
- Check the button beside Run this program in compatibility mode for, under the Compatibility mode.
- Click on Apply and then OK.
5] Reinstall OBS
If none of the above solutions fixed the error, you need to uninstall OBS Studio from your PC and delete the leftover files of OBS Studio. Then, download the latest version from OBS Studio’s official website and install it on your PC.
These are the different ways using which you can fix when OBS studio is capturing only a small window instead of the full screen.
Why is OBS not capturing my full screen?
You might have selected a window or a small resolution. Or the default source in the Source panel might be a window. When you click on Start Recording OBS might be taking that window as the source. You need to set Display Capture as your source, change the Base (Canvas) resolution, set OBS studio to high performance, or reinstall OBS studio if nothing works.
How do I capture my whole screen with OBS?
You can capture the entire screen using the Display Capture option in OBS Studio. You need to set Display Capture as a source of recording in the Source Panel by clicking on the + (add) button there. After adding Display Capture as the source of the recording, you can start recording or capturing the entire screen in OBS studio.
Related read: Fix OBS Studio keeps crashing on Windows PC.