How Tos

How to Screen Record on Mac

How to Screen Record on Mac
Image Source: The Mac

Picture this: you’re trying to explain a complex process to a colleague, demonstrate a software glitch to tech support, or preserve a once-in-a-lifetime moment unfolding on your Mac screen. In situations like these, the ability to record your screen is an absolute lifesaver. But for many Mac users, the process of screen recording remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Fear not, intrepid Mac enthusiast, for we’re about to demystify the art of screen recording on your trusty Apple computer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through not one but two built-in methods for capturing your Mac screen with ease. Whether you’re a tech-savvy pro or a newbie navigating the world of screen recording, you’ll find a method that suits your needs and skill level.

So, grab a cuppa, settle in, and let’s dive into the fascinating world of screen recording on Mac!

How to Screen Record on Mac
Image Source: Apple Support (NG)

Method 1: Harnessing the Power of Screenshot Utility

First up, we have the Screenshot Utility, a built-in tool that’s just a keyboard shortcut away. This method is perfect for those quick-and-dirty recordings when you don’t need a bunch of bells and whistles. Here’s how to make it work for you:

Step 1: Summon the Screenshot Utility

The secret to conjuring up the Screenshot Utility lies in a simple keyboard shortcut: Shift + Command + 5. Hit those keys, and a small menu will materialize at the bottom of your screen, ready to do your screen recording bidding.

Step 2: Choose Your Recording Destiny

The Screenshot Utility menu presents a smorgasbord of options for capturing your screen. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the two recording icons:

  • Record entire screen: This icon, which looks like a full rectangle, will capture everything happening on your display.
  • Record selected portion: If you only need to capture a specific area of your screen, this icon (a rectangle with a dotted line inside) is your go-to.

Step 3: Refine Your Recording Area (Optional)

If you opted for the “record selected portion” option in step 2, now’s the time to click and drag your cursor to select the area you want to record. Be sure to choose wisely; your recording will only capture what falls within this selection.

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Step 4: Customize Your Recording Settings

Before you hit record, take a moment to fine-tune your recording settings. Click the “Options” button in the Screenshot Utility menu to access a treasure trove of customization options:

  • Show mouse pointer: Want to include your mouse cursor’s every move in your recording? Make sure this box is checked.
  • Include microphone audio: If you plan on narrating your screen recording, you’ll need to check this box. You can also choose which microphone to use from the drop-down menu.
  • Save to: Specify where you want your screen recording to land once you’re done. No one likes a lost recording!

Step 5: 3, 2, 1…Record!

You’ve set the stage, chosen your options, and now it’s time for the main event. Click the red “Record” button, and watch as your screen recording springs to life!

Step 6: Wrap It Up

Once you’ve captured all the footage you need, it’s time to stop the recording. You have three ways to do this:

  1. Click the stop button in the menu bar (it appears during recording).
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut Control + Command + Esc.
  3. Click the red recording icon in the menu bar (which transforms into a stop icon while recording).

And there you have it! Your screen recording will be saved as a .mov file in the location you specified earlier. QuickTime Player (or any compatible video player) can help you view, edit, and share your masterpiece with the world.

How to Screen Record on Mac
iTop Screen Recorder

Method 2: Unleashing QuickTime Player’s Potential

For those who crave a bit more control over their screen recordings, QuickTime Player is here to save the day. This method allows for scheduled recordings, window-specific captures, and even the ability to record screens from external devices (with a little extra hardware). Let’s break it down:

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Step 1: Fire Up QuickTime Player

Head over to your Applications folder and give QuickTime Player a double-click to launch it. It’s time to get this screen recording party started!

Step 2: Navigate to the File Menu

See that “File” menu option up in the QuickTime Player menu bar? Give it a click to reveal a drop-down menu full of possibilities.

Step 3: Select “New Screen Recording.”

From the drop-down menu, choose “New Screen Recording.” QuickTime Player will promptly present you with a small recording window, ready to capture your screen at a moment’s notice.

Step 4: Customize Your Recording Settings

Before hitting record, take a moment to explore the recording settings available in QuickTime Player. Click the down arrow next to the record button to reveal a menu of options:

  • Record: Choose whether you want to record the entire screen, a specific window, or the screen of an external device connected to your Mac (if applicable).
  • Microphone: If you want to add a voiceover to your screen recording, select the microphone you’d like to use.

Step 5: Start Recording

Once you’ve dialed in your settings, it’s time to get rolling. Click the red record button, and QuickTime Player will start capturing your screen according to your specified preferences.

Step 6: Stop Recording

When you’ve captured all the necessary footage, you have three ways to stop the recording:

  1. Click the stop button in the recording window.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut Control + Command + Esc.
  3. Click the record button again (it will have changed to a stop icon during recording).

Step 7: Trim and Save

After you stop the recording, QuickTime Player will automatically open your freshly captured video. Take advantage of the built-in editing tools to trim or make any necessary adjustments. Once you’re happy with the final product, save your screen recording as a .mov file, ready to be shared with the world!

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FAQs About Screen Recording on Mac

Before we wrap up this epic guide, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions about screen recording on Mac:

1. Can I record audio from my Mac’s internal speakers?

Unfortunately, neither the Screenshot Utility nor QuickTime Player can directly record your Mac’s internal audio. However, you can use third-party software like Soundflower or Loopback to create a virtual audio output, which can then be selected as the audio source in QuickTime Player.

2. How do I record my iPhone or iPad screen on my Mac?

To record your iOS device’s screen on your Mac, you’ll need to connect it via USB and trust the computer. Then, open QuickTime Player, select “New Movie Recording,” and choose your iOS device as the video and audio source. Hit record, and you’re all set!

3. What’s the maximum recording length for screen recordings on Mac?

There’s no built-in limit to how long you can record your screen on a Mac. However, the duration of your recordings will ultimately be limited by your available storage space. Keep an eye on your disk space, especially for longer recordings.


With these two built-in methods for screen recording on Mac, you’re now equipped to capture your screen like a pro. Whether you opt for the simplicity of Screenshot Utility or the granular control of QuickTime Player, you can create high-quality screen recordings that will elevate your tutorials, demos, and more.

So go forth, intrepid Mac user, and record your screen with confidence! The world is waiting to see what you’ll capture next.


About the author

Ade Blessing

Ade Blessing is a professional content writer. As a writer, he specializes in translating complex technical details into simple, engaging prose for end-user and developer documentation. His ability to break down intricate concepts and processes into easy-to-grasp narratives quickly set him apart.

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