How to record your screen on a Mac

Whether you want to save a video of what’s playing on your screen, share what you’re looking at with friends, or film a tutorial, recording your Mac’s screen can come in handy. Luckily, Macs have this feature built in (your iPhone does as well), letting you record part or all of your screen.

It also lets you record external audio — anything coming in through your mic — but the Mac’s built-in options don’t let you record internal audio. For that, you’ll have to download a third-party app, like Soundflower. You can, of course, turn on the external mic and turn up the volume, but this won’t give you great audio.

One more caveat: some apps, like Apple’s built-in DVD Player, will block you from doing any screen recording.

You can record your screen through QuickTime Player for all versions of macOS up to Mojave, but in newer versions of macOS (Mojave and Catalina), there’s a separate app called Screenshot which lets you record your screen. We’ll go through using that first, then cover the steps for using QuickTime.

RECORD YOUR SCREEN IN MACOS MOJAVE OR CATALINA
Press Command + Shift + 5 to open Screenshot.

  • A control bar will appear at the bottom of your screen. You can use it for grabbing still screenshots or for recording a video of your screen.
  • Click on “Options” to set your preferences. You can switch on your microphone, for example, set a timer, and choose where the recording will be saved.
  • To record the whole screen, click on the button that shows a screen with a solid outline and a circle in the corner.
  • To record a section of your screen, click on the button that shows a screen with a dotted outline and a circle in the corner. Part of your screen will be highlighted and you’ll see dotted lines marking what you’ll be recording. You can resize or move that window.
  • When you’re ready, click “Record.” If you’re recording your whole screen, you can click anywhere on the screen to start recording.
  • To stop recording, you can either press the stop button in the right corner of the menu bar at the top of the screen or press Command + Control + Esc. You can also press Command + Shift + 5 to pull up the Screenshot bar at the bottom of the screen and hit the stop button in the center of that bar.

RECORD YOUR SCREEN WITH QUICKTIME PLAYER

If you have macOS Mojave or earlier, you can use QuickTime Player to record your screen. (If you’re using macOS Catalina, opening up QuickTime Player and clicking “New Screen Recording” will automatically open up the Screenshot app, as above.)

  • Open up QuickTime Player.
  • Click on File in the top menu (or, if QuickTime is in your dock, right-click on the icon) and select “New Screen Recording.”
  • You’ll get a pop-up window labeled “Screen Recording.” Click the arrow next to the record button for recording options, like choosing to record audio from your computer’s external mic or to show your mouse clicks.
  • Click the red record button.
  • To record the entire screen, click anywhere on the screen.
  • To record a section of the screen, click and drag the cursor to create a window (you can resize or move it if you wish) and then click the “Start Recording” button in the middle of that window.
  • To stop recording, either click on the stop button in your top menu bar or press Command + Control + Esc.
  • Either way, QuickTime will open the video for you to view and edit.