How to fix “An encoder error occurred while recording”?

Did you change your Video card? Did you do some updates? Or just simply the following message shows up “An encoder error occurred while recording”? This error could be happened by many external factors, or just simply after some tweaking.

Don’t worry in this guide we go over several steps to solve this situation. Mostly this problem shows up, when your video card is crashed, after overclocking, or your CPU does not catch up with the power that it needs.

One way or another, with these steps you will exclude 99% of the errors, that can cause the problem.

0. Restart OBS & Windows

If you’re already familiar with HelpTechYou (or you just once in a while called your service provider ­čÖé ), then you know, that always the first step is simply a restart of the program. You can take a step further by rebooting the OS too.

With this solution, all of the running programs will stop. If some software hardly spinning your video card or CPU will stop as well. Maybe an old addon or script started running, along with starting OBS, then it’s ended too.

However reboot and restart are two great ways to start, many times this solution only works for a limited time period and it’s not the final solution. Let’s jump to the next one.

1. Update drivers & OBS & Windows

On HelpTechYou we always proclaim, that updates are crucial. Especially on hardware. One of the main problems, that causes the error is hardware issues. We saw in the past, the many Nvidia or AMD driver updates, make an awesome implementation, but it’s changed the working behavior, and OBS doesn’t know what to do about it. Then it’s crashed.

Therefore right now, the step is updating. Check OBS Studio (or Streamlabs OBS), drivers, which includes graphics card, chipset, and Windows too. For example, the display capture shows black screen can be solved by simply updating.

2. Turn off third-party recorders

The OBS encoder error problem is not happening by just update issues, but by external factors too. That’s mainly coming from a third-party recorder, which you may not know about. Until now. Current graphics manufacturers want to give an alternative to game capture, or streaming, by integrating capable software into the driver. That contains Nvidia and AMD too.

Turn off AMD Recording & Streaming

Let’s open up AMD Radeon, by right-clicking on the desktop. In the Settings, you will find Record & Stream. In these settings turn off all of the recording and streaming-related options.

turn off amd record & stream

In the preferences, you can turn off In-Game Overlay too. Lastly, if you’re annoyed by ALT + R (which, opens up AMD software), you can turn that off, at the Hotkeys tab.

turn off amd in-game overlay

Disable NVIDIA Highlights

Nvidia also has the option to capture games and in-game overlay. What you can reach inside the settings too. More than that, it has the highlights function too. Because it’s an Nvidia development, its recording service uses NVENC, graphics encoding. Make sure to disable both of them.

The encoder error probably will happen when you start COD games, like Warzone, and Nvidia wants to record the specific moments or the entire game. You can try to use OBS with x264 encoding, and use the Nvidia highlights option. But there’s a better solution, with OBS Instant replay, or simply with recording.

You will find the options, by pressing ALT + Z, which is an in-game hotkey. After that, in Settings -> Highlights, make sure it’s disabled.

Windows Game Capture

The Windows built-in function, the Game Capture going to be another reason, why your CPU, Video card, or RAM is eaten up. Press the Windows button, and start typing game capture.

disable windows game capture

After that, scroll down to “Background recording”, and turn off that.

Inside the Gaming Settings, you can disable Xbox Game Bar, or Game Mode too.

3. Addons & Scripts

Think through what you’ve installed in the last few days, weeks, or months. However, addons, scripts, and transitions are lifting up your stream quality, but they can cause conflicts. Especially poorly written transitions.

Change back your scene transitions, find out which extension is crucial for your stream. Start to delete, detach one by one to find out which hides the problem.

You should go and see the software as well, which you installed not long ago.

4. Reinstall OBS

Until this point, your problem should be solved, but if the previous steps don’t help you then the reinstall is needed. In some way, third-party software probably causes your problem. It can be Discord, Teamspeak, any stream-related program, but not limited to that.

Firstly, you can try to delete preference settings, which can solve the badly in-built sources.

If that does not help, uninstall OBS Studio, download the latest version of the software and install it. Between the two tasks, make sure to reboot your PC to make sure, every program is stoped.

5. Did you changed your video card? – Uninstall Driver

Are you currently changed your video card, updated to a new one, maybe to a new brand? Some previous drivers may be installed still, especially when you are changed from an Nvidia card to AMD or vice-versa. There’s no doubt, that one of the side software or some registry is still on your PC.

Uninstall all related software, if that’s not helping, then a third-party uninstaller may be needed. Like Revo Uninstaller Pro.

If that’s not helping either, then you should start your PC in Safe boot. Press Windows + R, or right-click on the windows icon, and start Run. Then type in msconfig.

After that, select the Boot tab, and at the Boot options, check “Safe boot”, and select Minimal.

Now you can reboot, your computer, which for now will start in minimal mod. In this setting, only just the principal processes will run, therefore any other software can be deleted. Before you reboot again your PC, make sure that the Safe boot option is unchecked.

An encoder error occurred while recording in OBS fixing guide infographics

Last steps

If nothing helps, please let me know in the comment section, but the last rescue of yours is to reinstall Windows and start again the whole process. It can be exhausting, but if you’re still facing the problem of encoder error, you may have a bigger problem in your system.

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