How to Stream From a Desktop PC

If you’re a PC gamer, streaming to Twitch is a little different than streaming from your phone, tablet, or console. While you can stream to Twitch from the app on those devices, streaming to twitch from a desktop computer requires third-party software.

It can be confusing at first, but it’s actually pretty simple! To help you get started, here’s our guide on how to stream to Twitch from a desktop computer and the software we recommend using.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.


How to Choose Your Twitch Streaming Software

The first step in streaming to Twitch from a desktop is choosing your software. Twitch recommends several streaming software options, each with their pros and cons. For all of their differences, all of them have free options and except for Xsplit, all are available for both Windows and Mac.

Do a little research before picking your streaming software to make sure the one you choose is right for you and your Twitch goals. If you want to make a career out of streaming, or even start a side hustle, make sure you go with one that produces professional streams and videos.


TRUstreaming’s Preferred Streaming App

At TRUstreaming, our favorite way to stream to Twitch from a desktop computer is Streamlabs OBS, sometimes called SLOBS. 

In addition to producing professional-grade streams, what really sets Streamlabs OBS apart from other streaming software is the fact that it’s an all-in-one software. Where other programs require additional external tools and configurations, Streamlabs OBS does it all in one place. Best of all? It’s free!

It’s important to note that SLOBS is only available for Windows so if you’re a Mac user, make sure you can run Windows on your desktop before getting started.


Why We Love Streamlabs OBS

We mentioned that SLOBS does a lot of work for the streamer, but what does that actually mean?

  • It’s quick and easy to set up! You’ll be ready to stream just a few minutes after downloading.
  • Streamlabs OBS optimizes your stream by analyzing your internet speed and hardware for you. No more guesswork or shoddy streams.
  • In addition to analyzing your hardware and connection speed, SLOBS reduces your CPU usage while giving you the same video quality, or uses the same CPU usage to make your video look twice as good.
  • Streamlabs OBS lets you combine multiple windows like Twitch Chat, Twitch Dashboard/Video, Streamlabs Dashboard, OBS into one live view. No more clicking from window to window or tab to tab!
  • They have a huge library of free themes and overlays to customize your stream. Use these to create a signature style and a memorable experience for your viewers.
  • There are also several face masks (think photo filters like you’d find on Snapchat or Instagram) that incentivize people to donate. When you have face masks enabled, donors can choose which mask you “wear” with each donation.


How to Stream to Twitch From a Desktop Computer With Streamlabs OBS

Once you’ve downloaded Streamlabs OBS to your desktop, here’s how to stream to Twitch using it:

  1. When you open SLOBS for the first time, you’ll be asked to log in to your streaming account. You can log in with Twitch, Youtube, or Mixer. Since we’re going to stream to Twitch, log in using your Twitch account.
  2. If you already have an OBS Studio account, you can import your existing profile now. This is optional so if you don’t have an OBS Studio account or don’t want to import it, just click “start fresh.”
  3. At this point, you can choose the widgets that you want to use with Streamlabs OBS. Use widgets like chat box, donation goal, viewer count, and “the jar” to make your stream more engaging for viewers and to learn more about your audience. This is optional, so if you don’t want to add widgets right now, you can click “set up later” to skip this step.
  4. Next, SLOBS will analyze your internet speed and hardware to optimize your stream. We don’t recommend skipping this but if you want to do this later, you can skip it during set up and come back to it.
  5. Once you’ve finished these steps, you’ll be taken to your editor screen. If you’ve used OBS Studio before, this will look familiar. From here, you can go live, add scenes from other sources, or add your widgets to streams.


Level Up Your Streaming Career With Coaching from TRUstreaming

Now that you’ve downloaded Streamlabs OBS and you know how to stream to Twitch from a desktop computer, keep the momentum going with coaching from TRUstreaming. Our coaches have grown their own Twitch channels, cultivated their following, and are ready to help you do the same.

Whether you need help gaining momentum, improving production quality, bringing the hype, or building a community, we can help! Tell us about your channel and find your ideal coach today.