How to Live Stream from a Windows PC to Twitch

Introduction

This guide will help you setup and retrieve your Twitch Stream Key, set up streaming software, and ready yourself for your first stream.
Before You Begin:
  • Be at your computer.
Twitch

Streaming Software

Windows 10 does not come with any pre-installed desktop streaming software that is compatible with social Live Streaming services.

In order to continue, you will need to have some sort of screencasting software installed and functioning on your computer. There are dozens of different packages available, each with different options, user interfaces, and features. Each is made by different companies or groups, and many are paid-for software, while some are free.

If you are more familiar, and prefer to use a different screencasting software suite, you may choose to use that package instead.

OBS

OBS

OBS is a free, open source software package designed to be very powerful, but relatively easy to use, to stream your desktop to a service such as Twitch.

1 Ensure you have a Twitch Account

In order to continue, you will need a Twitch account.

Check Your Twitch Account

It's easy to check if you already have a Twitch account your browser is already signed into.

This section is to help you check if you have a Twitch account. If you already know if you do or don't have an account, it is safe to skip these instructions.
  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type twitch.tv and press enter or return.
    Browser with address filled in and highlighted.
Already Signed On
Twitch Signed OnIf you are signed on, the purple bar at top will show your avatar and a few options on the right.
Not Signed On
Twitch Not Signed OnIf you are not signed on, the purple bar at top will show an option to sign in.

If You're Not Signed In But Have An Account

  1. Select Log In at the top right corner.
    Twitch page with Log In highlighted.
  2. Enter your Twitch Username and Password, then select Log in.
    Twitch Sign in with username, password, and Log in highlighted.

? Do you already have a Twitch Account?

  1. Yes, show me how to start streaming
  2. No, I need to create a Twitch Account

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This guide will help you setup and retrieve your Twitch Stream Key, set up streaming software, and ready yourself for your first stream.
Before You Begin:
  • Be at your computer.
Twitch

Streaming Software

Windows 10 does not come with any pre-installed desktop streaming software that is compatible with social Live Streaming services.

In order to continue, you will need to have some sort of screencasting software installed and functioning on your computer. There are dozens of different packages available, each with different options, user interfaces, and features. Each is made by different companies or groups, and many are paid-for software, while some are free.

If you are more familiar, and prefer to use a different screencasting software suite, you may choose to use that package instead.

OBS

OBS

OBS is a free, open source software package designed to be very powerful, but relatively easy to use, to stream your desktop to a service such as Twitch.

In order to continue, you will need a Twitch account.

Check Your Twitch Account

It's easy to check if you already have a Twitch account your browser is already signed into.

This section is to help you check if you have a Twitch account. If you already know if you do or don't have an account, it is safe to skip these instructions.
  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type twitch.tv and press enter or return.
    Browser with address filled in and highlighted.
Already Signed On
Twitch Signed OnIf you are signed on, the purple bar at top will show your avatar and a few options on the right.
Not Signed On
Twitch Not Signed OnIf you are not signed on, the purple bar at top will show an option to sign in.

If You're Not Signed In But Have An Account

  1. Select Log In at the top right corner.
    Twitch page with Log In highlighted.
  2. Enter your Twitch Username and Password, then select Log in.
    Twitch Sign in with username, password, and Log in highlighted.

The basic overview for streaming is:

  1. Setup your Encoding Software.
  2. Add your stream information to Twitch.
  3. Go live with your stream.
This guide is designed to give you a basic overview to the process of streaming. You will most likely want to further customize exactly how you use your streaming software, as well as the exact options chosen on YouTube.
  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type twitch.tv and press enter or return.
    Browser with address filled in and highlighted.
  2. Select your avatar in the top-right corner, and select Settings.
    Twitch User Menu with Settings highlighted.
  3. Select Channel and Videos near the top.
    Settings page with Channel and Videos highlighted
  4. Under Stream Key & Preferences, for Primary Stream key, select Show.
    Primary Stream key with Show highlighted.
  5. You will be reminded to not share your stream key with anyone, and that no one should ever ask you for this information. Select I Understand.
    Stream key warning with I Understand highlighted.
  6. Make note of your Stream key. You will need it to setup your streaming software.
    Your stream key is yours and yours alone. Do not share it with anyone, nor show it live on a stream. Anyone who has this code can go live on your Twitch channel, and you will be responsible for any content they share.
  1. Open OBS Studio.
    OBS
  2. The first time you launch OBS Studio, you'll be asked if you want the program to automatically configure. Select Yes.
    Auto-Configuration Wizard with Yes highlighted.
    If you wish to re-launch the auto-configuration wizard, select Tools > Auto-Configuration Wizard.
    Tools menu with Auto-Configuration Wizard highlighted.
  3. You'll be asked how you wish to use OBS primarily. Select Optimize for streaming, then select Next.
    Usage Information with Optimize for streaming and Next highlighted.
  4. For Base (Canvas) Resolution select Use Current. For FPS, select Either 60 or 30. Then, select Next.
    Video Settings with Use Current, Either 60 or 30, and Next highlighted.
  5. For Service, select Twitch, then select Use Stream Key.
    Service selection with Twitch and Use Stream Key highlighted.
  6. Enter your Stream Key, place a check for Estimate bitrate, then select Next.
    Stream Information with Stream Key, Estimate bitrate, and Next highlighted.
    The Stream Key will appear as dots. This is to help keep you safe from people seeing it as you enter your key. Always keep your Stream Key secret.
  7. OBS will perform a test of your system to determine the best quality with minimal impact on your stream as possible. Once complete, select Apply Settings.
    Setup complete with Apply Settings highlighted.
  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type twitch.tv and press enter or return.
    Browser with address filled in and highlighted.
  2. Select your avatar in the top-right corner, and select Settings.
    Twitch User Menu with Settings highlighted.
  3. Select Channel and Videos near the top.
    Settings page with Channel and Videos highlighted
  4. On the left, select Live under Dashboard.
    Channel Dashboard Menu with Live highlighted.
  5. Under Stream Information, give your stream a Title, enter a Go Live Notification, enter a Category and Tags for your stream, then select Update Information.
    Stream Information with Title, Go Live Notification, Category, Tags and Update Information highlighted.
  1. Return to OBS. Under Controls, select Start Streaming.
    OBS
    Controls with Start Streaming highlighted.
  2. A few moments later, the status bar at the bottom of OBS will start providing information about the health of your stream.
    OBS status bar
    Dropped Frames
    If your computer can't keep up with encoding, your Internet connection isn't quite fast enough, there's congestion on the Internet between you and the streaming server, or the Ingest server is very busy, you may see that your stream drops frames. Some dropped frames are fine, but if there's a large percentage of dropped frames, it may indicate you need to decrease quality or change other settings.
    LIVE
    How long you've been live and streaming for.
    REC
    If you've chosen to record, how long you've been recording your screen for.
    CPU
    How much CPU or how much of your computer's processor is in use at a given moment. This also gives an estimate of how many frames per second, or FPS, you're streaming at.
    Color Square
    The colored square gives a simple, at-a-glance view of the health of your stream, green, yellow, or red.
    kb/s
    How much upload bandwidth you're using for your stream at a given moment.
    At this point, anything and everything shown on your screen is being broadcast, live, to anyone who chooses to tune in.
    Do not show any sensitive information, such as banking, passwords, stream keys, etc. or they will be taken.

Stopping Stream

  1. When you are done streaming, select Stop Streaming in OBS to end your stream.
    OBS
    OBS Controls with Stop Streaming highlighted.

In Your Browser

  1. Open your preferred browser and in the address bar at the top, type twitch.tv and press enter or return.
    Browser with address filled in and highlighted.
  2. Select Sign Up in the top-right corner.
    Twitch page with Sign In highlighted.
  3. Create a Username and Password. Enter your Date of Birth and Email address, then select Sign Up.
    Twitch account sign up with Username, Password, Date of Birth, Email and Sign up highlighted.
  4. After answering a Capcha, you will be asked for a 6-digit verification code.
    Twitch sign-up asking for 6-digit verification code.

In Your Email

  1. Check your Email. You will receive a message from Twitch with a 6-digit verification code. Make note of that 6-digit code for the next step.
    Email from Twitch with 6-Digit code highlighted.

In Your Browser

  1. Enter the 6-digit Verification Code you received in your email.
    Verification code with entry fields highlighted.
  2. You will be asked to choose at least three topics on Twitch that interest you. Scroll through the list of topics, and select three or more that sound interesting to you, then select Next at the top.
    Topic selection with Next highlighted.
  3. You will be shown a series of channels in the topics you picked. If you like, you can follow them to be notified when those streamers are online. when done, select Done at the top.
    Follow channels with Done highlighted.
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