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How to run multiple instances of OBS on Windows 10

Some apps can run multiple instances e.g., Microsoft Word, Chrome, VLC Player, etc. By nature, these apps can run multiple instances without interfering too much with the other instance. The same cannot be said for all apps since running multiple instances of them might cause them to crash.

Multiple instances of OBS

A few years ago OBS did not support running multiple instances of the app. Now, it works almost out of the box.

  1. Download and install OBS.
  2. Open OBS using its desktop shortcut, or a Start menu tile.
  3. Open it again using the same method i.e., desktop shortcut or app tile on the Start menu.
  4. You will see a prompt telling you an instance of OBS is already running and if you accidentally launched a second one. Click the Launch anyway button to run the second instance of OBS.

Switch to run multiple instances

OBS supports multiple instances but if you’re unable to run them you can force the feature to work with a simple switch.

  1. Install OBS.
  2. Create a desktop shortcut for OBS.
  3. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Go to the Shortcut tab.
  5. Look for the target field and at the very end of the address, add one space.
  6. Enter the following after adding the space, and click OK.
--multi warning
  1. Use the shortcut to open OBS.
  2. Use it again to open a second instance of the app.
  3. You won’t see the prompt asking if you want to run multiple instances. Instead, it will simply open.

Recording multiple videos

The multiple instances are mostly independent of each other though you will find that they cannot record from the webcam since the device can only be used by one app at a time. You will be able to add sources and scenes to each instance that are separate from the other.

The settings that you most likely will not be able to set separately for each instance are the output and encoding settings.

OBS supports multiple instances on macOS and Linux. The switch that we’ve mentioned for forcing the app to run multiple instances can be used on both macOS and Linux as well.

Conclusion

OBS can run multiple instances and those two (or more) instances are capable of recording as well as streaming from your desktop. If you have trouble streaming, it may have to do with the service that you’re streaming to and how well it works when multiple instances of OBS are running. The more instances of OBS you run, the more strain it will put on your system.

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