How to Record Your Screen on Mac?

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The Ultimate Guide to Screen Record on Mac: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Are you tired of struggling to capture important moments on your Mac’s screen? Whether you’re a content creator, educator, or simply someone who needs to demonstrate a process or troubleshoot issues, screen recording can prove very useful to you. With it, you can easily record tutorials, videos, photo slides and much more!

In this blog post, we’ll guide you step-by-step on how to record your screen on Mac, empowering you to effortlessly capture tutorials, presentations, or your gaming triumphs. We’ll also discuss the apps you can use as well as how you can ensure a secure experience.

Want to improve how you use your Mac, learn the secret tricks and increase your productivity? Check out our ultimate macOS guide! You can also extend the many uses of your Mac by learning how to mirror iPhone to Mac!

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Introduction to screen recording on Mac

Screen recording on a Mac offers a multitude of benefits for various purposes. It allows you to capture everything that happens on your screen, including video playback, presentations, software demonstrations, and even gameplay. With screen recording, you can create engaging tutorials, share insightful presentations, or document important information for future reference.

To truly expand your screen recording capabilities, you may also want to explore screen sharing options on your Mac. This allows you to seamlessly transmit your screen to a larger display, such as a TV. If you’re interested in learning more about screen sharing your Mac to a TV, check out our detailed guide on screen sharing Mac to TV and take advantage of a free trial.

Built-in screen recording tools on Mac

A MacBook with Settings open

To get started with screen recording on a Mac, you have access to a built-in tool called QuickTime Player. This versatile application not only plays media files but also includes a screen recording feature.

It’s a convenient option for basic screen recording needs and is available on every Mac. However, if you require more advanced functionalities, such as editing options or customizable settings, third-party software solutions might be a better fit.

QuickTime Player Screen Recording

QuickTime Player, the native screen recording tool on Mac, offers a straightforward way to capture your screen activity. To record your screen with QuickTime Player, follow these simple steps:

1 | Open the application and navigate to the “File” menu.

A screenshot showing how to turn on screen recording  on QuickTime player

From there, select the “New Screen Recording” option, and a small recording window will appear on your screen.

Start screen recording on QuickTime Player

Once you click ‘New Screen Recording’, a panel will show that will show you available screen recording options.

A screenshot showing a screen recording panel on QuickTime Player

You can customize settings like microphone input and capture the entire screen or a specific portion of it.

QuickTime Player How To Stop Screen Recording

To stop screen recording on QuickTime Player simply click the recording button on the right side of the Dock or the use the key combination “Command + Control + Esc”.

A screenshot showing how to turn off screen recording on QuickTime Player

The video file will immediately show on your Desktop.

QuickTime Player Screen Recording With Sound

QuickTime Player also allows you to record audio alongside your screen capture. You can choose to record the system audio, capturing the sounds produced by your Mac, or enable the microphone to add voice narration or external audio input. Once you finish recording, you can save the file in a desired format and easily share it with others.

While QuickTime Player provides a basic screen recording solution, it does have its limitations. It lacks advanced features such as video editing capabilities, annotation tools, or the ability to record from multiple sources simultaneously. If you require these features or more control over your screen recordings, you might want to explore third-party screen recording software options for Mac.

Third-party screen recording software for Mac

Beyond QuickTime Player, there are several third-party software options available that provide more robust features and functionalities for screen recording on a Mac. These software solutions offer a range of additional tools, such as video editing, annotation, customizable capture settings, and more.

ScreenFlow

One popular choice among Mac users is ScreenFlow, a comprehensive screen recording and video editing software. ScreenFlow allows you to capture your screen, audio, and camera simultaneously. It offers advanced editing features, including transitions, annotations, and the ability to add text or graphics to your recordings. Furthermore, you can export your recordings in various formats and easily share them on different platforms.

MacBook computer and a keyboard with Shift, Command and 5 keys highlighted.

Camtasia

Another widely used option is Camtasia, a powerful screen recording and video editing software that provides a user-friendly interface. Camtasia offers a wide array of features, including multi-track editing, visual effects, and customizable cursor effects.

It also provides a library of pre-built assets, allowing you to enhance your screen recordings with professional-looking elements. With Camtasia, you can create engaging videos by combining screen captures, audio recordings, and webcam footage.

When choosing third-party screen recording software, consider your specific needs, budget, and ease of use. We recommend that you explore the features, trial versions, and user reviews of different software options before making a decision.

Record screen on Mac without QuickTime Player

If you’re looking to record your screen on a Mac without using QuickTime Player, there are alternative third-party screen recording software options available. One popular and feature-rich application is OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software). Here’s how you can use OBS Studio to record your screen on a Mac:

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  1. Download and Install OBS Studio: Visit the OBS Studio website and download the Mac version of the software. Once the download is complete, open the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install OBS Studio on your Mac.
  2. Set up a Screen Capture Source: Launch OBS Studio and create a new scene by clicking on the “+” button in the “Scenes” section. Then, click on the “+” button in the “Sources” section and select “Display Capture” or “Window Capture” depending on your recording preferences.
    • Display Capture: This option allows you to record the entire screen or a specific display connected to your Mac.
    • Window Capture: This option lets you record a specific application window or a specific portion of the screen.
    Select the appropriate option, name your source, and click “OK.”
  3. Configure Screen Recording Settings: Once you’ve added the screen capture source, a preview of your screen should appear in the main OBS Studio window. To adjust the screen recording settings, click on “Settings” at the bottom right corner of the OBS Studio interface.
    • Video Settings: Under the “Video” tab, you can customize the base and output resolutions, as well as the frame rate for your screen recording.
    • Audio Settings: In the “Audio” tab, you can select the audio device for recording, such as your Mac’s built-in microphone or an external microphone.
  4. Start Screen Recording: After configuring your settings, return to the main OBS Studio window. To start recording, click on the “Start Recording” button at the bottom right corner. OBS Studio will begin capturing your screen based on the chosen screen capture source and settings.
  5. Stop and Save the Recording: To stop the screen recording, click on the “Stop Recording” button in the same location where the “Start Recording” button was. OBS Studio will prompt you to save the recording to a location of your choice on your Mac.

OBS Studio provides extensive customization options and additional features, such as the ability to add overlays, stream live, and more. However, when using OBS Studio, we found it to have a steeper learning curve compared to QuickTime Player. This is due to its advanced functionalities. According to our experts, if you’re only looking for a simple screen recording feature, QuickTime Player will suffice.

10 Best Ways to Screen Record On Mac

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Let’s go through 10 reliable and tested methods you can use to record the screen of your Mac:

  1. QuickTime Player: QuickTime Player is a built-in application on Mac that offers basic screen recording functionality. It’s easy to use and provides decent recording quality. Simply open QuickTime Player, go to “File,” and select “New Screen Recording.”
  2. OBS Studio: OBS Studio is a powerful and free open-source software widely used by gamers and professionals for screen recording and streaming. It offers advanced features like custom scenes, overlays, and audio mixing.
  3. ScreenFlow: ScreenFlow is a popular paid application specifically designed for screen recording on Mac. It offers a user-friendly interface, professional editing tools, and the ability to capture high-quality audio and video.
  4. Camtasia: Camtasia is a comprehensive screen recording and video editing software. It provides a range of features, including multi-track editing, transitions, annotations, and effects. While it comes at a cost, it offers a robust set of tools for creating professional-looking recordings.
  5. Snagit: Snagit is a versatile screen capture and recording tool that allows you to capture screenshots, record videos, and edit them with various annotations and effects. It offers a simple and intuitive user interface.
  6. Cloud-based services: Cloud-based screen recording services like Loom, CloudApp, and Screencast-O-Matic provide convenient options for recording and sharing your screen. These services often offer additional features like instant sharing, cloud storage, and collaboration capabilities.
  7. Capto: Capto is a feature-rich screen recording and video editing tool. It offers a wide range of recording options, including full screen, specific regions, and webcam capture. Capto also provides video editing capabilities such as annotations, transitions, and audio enhancements.
  8. Movavi Screen Recorder: Movavi Screen Recorder is a user-friendly screen recording software that allows you to capture your screen, webcam, or specific application windows. It offers editing features like trimming, cropping, and adding captions to your recordings.
  9. iShowU: iShowU is a versatile screen recording tool with multiple editions catering to different needs. It offers options for recording specific windows, custom areas, or the entire screen. iShowU also provides real-time editing features, allowing you to enhance your recordings as you go.
  10. ScreenFlick: ScreenFlick is a straightforward screen recording tool with a focus on simplicity and performance. It offers adjustable frame rates, audio capture, and the ability to choose specific screen areas for recording. ScreenFlick also includes basic editing options like trimming and cropping.

Does screen mirroring record screen?

A senior developer from AirBeamTV explains it likes this:

Our screen mirroring apps do not actually record the screen content. Instead, they utilize the “Screen Recording” technology on iOS to access and transmit the screen images. Rather than creating a permanent recording, these apps generate a temporary video stream that is promptly sent to the TV. Once played, the TV discards the stream, ensuring that no content is stored or recorded.

Screen mirroring refers to the process of replicating the display of one device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer, onto another display device, such as a TV or projector. It allows you to view and interact with the content from one device on a larger screen in real-time.

A screenshot of a pop-up window on Mac Monterey asking user to allow Mirror for Chromecast to screen record

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I record my screen on a Mac using QuickTime Player?

QuickTime Player is a built-in application on Mac that allows you to record your screen. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open QuickTime Player from the Applications folder or by searching for it in Spotlight.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “File” and select “New Screen Recording.”
  3. A small recording window will appear on your screen. Click on the red “Record” button to start recording.
  4. You can choose to record the entire screen by clicking anywhere on the screen, or click and drag to select a specific portion to record.
  5. If you want to include audio, click on the small arrow next to the record button and select your preferred audio source (microphone or system audio).
  6. Once you’re ready, click the “Record” button, and QuickTime Player will start capturing your screen and audio.
  7. To stop the recording, click on the “Stop” button in the menu bar or press the “Command + Control + Esc” keys.
  8. After stopping the recording, you can save the file by going to the “File” menu and selecting “Save” or pressing “Command + S.” Choose a location and a name for your recording, then click “Save.”

QuickTime Player is a simple and free way to record your screen on a Mac, making it ideal for basic screen recording needs.

A screenshot showing how to get to the screen recording settings on Mac with macOS Monterey

Can I record the audio from my computer while recording the screen on a Mac?

Yes, you can record audio from your computer while recording the screen on a Mac. QuickTime Player allows you to choose between recording system audio or using a microphone to capture external audio. Here’s how:

  1. Open QuickTime Player and start a new screen recording as mentioned in the previous answer.
  2. Before clicking the “Record” button, click on the small arrow next to it.
  3. You will see options to select the microphone and audio source. To record system audio, choose “Internal Microphone” or “None” if you don’t want to record audio.
  4. If you want to include external audio, connect your microphone to the Mac and select it as the audio source from the options.
  5. Once you’ve selected the desired audio source, click the “Record” button to start the screen recording with audio.

Remember to speak clearly into the microphone if you’re providing narration or commentary during the screen recording.

How can I record a specific portion of the screen on a Mac?

If you only want to record a specific portion of your screen on a Mac, you can easily do so with QuickTime Player. Here’s how:

  1. Launch QuickTime Player and choose “New Screen Recording” from the “File” menu.
  2. In the recording window that appears, click and drag to select the portion of the screen you want to record. You can resize the selected area by dragging the corners.
  3. Once you have selected the desired portion, click the “Record” button to start capturing that area of the screen.
  4. Proceed with your screen recording as usual, and when you’re finished, click on the “Stop” button in the menu bar to end the recording.

By selecting a specific portion of the screen, you can focus on recording only the relevant content without capturing the entire screen.

A screenshot showing how to get to the screen recording settings on Mac with macOS Ventura

Can someone screen record without you knowing?

Yes, it is possible for someone to screen record without your knowledge. There are various methods and software available that can enable covert screen recording on a computer or mobile device.

These tools can be used for legitimate purposes, such as monitoring computer activity in certain professional or educational settings. However, they can also be employed for malicious activities and invasions of privacy.

It’s important to be cautious and take measures to protect your privacy, such as keeping your devices secure, performing regular scans with reliable antivirus software, and being mindful of the applications you download or grant permissions to.

If you suspect unauthorized screen recording or privacy breaches, it is advisable to consult with professionals such as authorized Mac service specialists. They will be able to get your Mac running again.

How do I know when someone is screen recording my Mac without my permission?

Detecting when someone is screen recording your Mac without your permission can be challenging, as most screen recording methods are designed to be discreet. However, there are a few signs you can look out for that may indicate unauthorized screen recording:

  1. Sudden performance issues: If you notice a significant decrease in your Mac’s performance, such as slow response times, lag, or freezing, it could be a sign that a screen recording software is running in the background.
  2. Unusual CPU or GPU activity: Monitor your Mac’s Activity Monitor or Task Manager for any abnormal spikes in CPU or GPU usage, especially when you’re not running resource-intensive applications. Excessive activity may indicate screen recording.
  3. Unfamiliar background processes: Keep an eye on your list of running processes or applications. Look for any unfamiliar or suspicious software that could potentially be used for screen recording.
  4. Unexpected pop-ups or notifications: If you encounter unexpected pop-ups, notifications, or changes in your system settings, it could be a sign that screen recording software has been installed on your Mac.
  5. Unusual network activity: Monitor your network activity for any significant data transfers or suspicious connections that could be associated with screen recording software transmitting recorded data.
  6. Changes in file storage: Check for any new or modified files in your system’s storage that could be related to screen recording activities.

If you suspect someone is screen recording your Mac without permission, it is recommended to perform a thorough scan for malware using reliable antivirus software. Additionally, consult with a professional or contact appropriate authorities to address the situation and ensure the protection of your privacy.

Can I edit my screen recordings on a Mac?

Yes, you can edit your screen recordings on a Mac using various software options. While QuickTime Player provides basic screen recording capabilities, it has limited editing features.

What does screen recording do on a Mac?

In conclusion, mastering the art of screen recording on your Mac opens up a world of possibilities for content creation, education, and communication. With the step-by-step instructions, top tools, and expert tips provided in this guide, you now have the knowledge and resources to effortlessly record your screen on Mac like a pro.

Whether you’re capturing tutorials, presentations, or sharing memorable moments, record screen on Mac and unleash your creativity with confidence. Start recording today and elevate your digital storytelling journey to new heights.

Discover More:

MacOS Guide

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