Laptop? Black screen when capturing? Read here first.

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Jim

Jim
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For Windows 10 1909 update or newer:
Open Settings and search for "Graphics Settings". Select "Classic App" and browse to C:\Program Files\obs-studio\bin\64bit\obs64.exe (or wherever you have installed OBS). Click "Options" (example screenshot).

If you want to use display capture to capture your screen / desktop, select "Power Saving".
If you want to use game capture to capture a game or use the NVENC encoder, select "High Performance".

For Nvidia laptops on older Windows:
Go to the Nvidia control panel in Windows control panel, and go to 3D settings on the left. Then, on the right pane, select "Program Settings" and choose OBS Studio (obs64.exe) from the drop-down list (example screenshot).

If you want to use display capture to capture your screen / desktop, select "Integrated Graphics".
If you want to use game capture to capture a game or use the NVENC encoder, select "High Performance NVIDIA Processor".

I want to use the Intel QuickSync encoder:
Follow the above steps and set QSVHelper.exe to run on the the integrated GPU.

Further information:
If you are using a laptop, you may run into capture issues (black screen). This is because most laptops have more than one graphics adapter. Why do they have more than one graphics adapter? Because one is used for saving power (rendering your desktop / windows), and the other is used for performance (gaming). This is done to minimize power usage on the laptop, as laptops are designed to run on batteries.

Because of this, it can often cause capture issues. Your laptop may be drawing one image to the power saving GPU, and another to the performance GPU. However, in order for OBS to capture efficiently, OBS itself must be running on the same GPU as the image you wish to capture. If OBS is running on adapter A, and an image is being drawn on adapter B, you will get a black screen when trying to capture it.

Window capture and "compatibility mode":
  • If you cannot set the GPU (AMD laptops typically), or wish to cross-capture an image from the other GPU after that (example, league of legends lobby window), use window/monitor capture with the "compatibility mode" option enabled to force a capture. "Compatibility mode" requires a bit more CPU usage however.
  • Compatibility mode is not recommended for capturing games, but it basically guarantees a capture.
  • Game capture does not have a compatibility mode. Game capture must run on the same GPU as that you wish to capture.

I know it's annoying. I'm not happy that this is the case either. Unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can really do about it. This is just the way laptops are designed.
 
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