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4 Ways to record YouTube videos on Mac, iMac, MacBook

Recording videos off YouTube is possible and surprisingly easy. Here are multiple ways to record YouTube video clips on any Mac for playback offline.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Jan 7, 2023 3:21 PM

Quick tips for recording a video playing on YouTube with Mac:

  • You can record your movies on Mac YouTube with your computer's built-in screen recording tools: QuickTime Player app, Screenshot Toolbar opening with Shift + Command + 5.
  • To record YouTube videos using QuickTime Player and grab it to MOV files, open the app, click File > New Screen Recording, and then turn on the built-in microphone.
  • QuickTime's screen capture and Screenshot toolbar does not record your Apple computer audio, only the footage.
  • If you want to make a simultaneous recording of video and audio from YouTube on Mac - for private use or educational purposes, consider trying Screen Recorder for macOS.

It's possible for Mac users to record any stunning video while it's playing via YouTube.

If you see a video you like on YouTube, like an instructional video or How-to's, you might want to create a copy so you can keep it forever. Rather than searching for a YouTube downloader, you can record the video from YouTube platform on Mac. Getting a YouTube video recording for viewing offline is also useful if your Mac machine has a poor internet connection that the clip wouldn't actually play.

Thankfully, with QuickTime Player and Screenshot toolbar, you'll be able to quickly record and save YouTube videos to the Mac system, without adding any extension on the web browser. If you would like to capture live stream video with original audio and video quality, there's a solution. You can use the third-party Screen Recorder in macOS to take the video recording with sound on YouTube.

In this article, we'll go over the step-by-step detailed guidelines that will help you screen record a movie or a streaming video on Mac from YouTube channel, as well as talk about things to look out for when you're recording on YouTube.

The YouTube recordings are just only for educational purposes or personal use, such as commentary, research, teaching, news reporting or other nonprofit activities.

Table of Contents:

Is it legal to record a YouTube Video?

Best free YouTube recording software for Mac

How to record YouTube live streaming videos on Mac with sound

It's important to point out that while it may be possible to capture YouTube videos on Mac's screen, it's not always ethical or legal.

If you take the recorded YouTube sources even without permission of the copyright owner merely for self-use, not for commercial use, then this isn't a problem involving the violation of any copyright laws. But it can be considered immoral.

However, if you use the recorded video that is copywrite-protected in the project and upload it on your own YouTube channel to prompt the business, you'll get into a serious trouble with the law. Keep this in mind when you're think of recording in YouTube without permission of the copyright owner, and fair use the recordings.

It is also noteworthy that YouTube offers Premium service allowing user to download YouTube videos onto a computer, phone or tablet. The downloaded videos are available for watch offline for 30 days.

Best free YouTube screen recording software for Mac

While there are a number of free YouTube recorders that records videos in Mac, let's first look at the simplest solutions: QuickTime Player, Screenshot toolbar. No additional apps or extensions!

QuickTime Player application will be the primary app you use and you can find it through LaunchPad. The New Screen Recording option is designed to meets your need when you're attempting to make a YouTube video recording task.

If you're using a Mac with macOS Mojave or later, you can press Shift + Command + 5 to open Screenshot toolbar, then use the tools to YouTube videos in full screen, normal screen or mini-player mode.

Quick tip:

  • QuickTime Player and Screenshot toolbar utility are able to screen capture YouTube footage. By default, they won't record audio that you can hear from the video clip while playing, except your voiceover from Mac's mic.
  • If you need to record audio in YouTube recordings, you will need to turn on the built-in microphone before start capturing a video screen.

1. Recording using QuickTime Player

This technique may be useful for Macs running macOS versions earlier than macOS Mojave 10.14.

Step 1: Launch QuickTime on your Mac

You can either search QuickTime in Spotlight, or find it in Applications folder.

Step 2: Choose New Screen Recording

With QuickTime open, select File in the menu bar at the top of your screen, then choose New Screen Recording.

New Screen Recording in QuickTime allows you to record the YouTube screen and actions.

Step 3: Turn on Internal Microphone

If you wish to record your voice or other audio with screen recording for YouTube, click the arrow next to the Record button and tick "Internal Microphone" option. This will start a recording using built-in microphone in the iMac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air. The Mac Pro and Mac Mini do not have the integrated microphone so you have to connect one first.

Enable your Mac's in-built microphone will get the external voice captured.

Step 4: Start recording a YouTube video playing currently on your web browser

Click the Record button, then open your streaming YouTube video, and click anywhere on the screen to kick off the recording. If you just want to capture just the area where the video is playing on, simply drag to select the player portion to record.

Entire YouTube page has been recorded. Preview the new video on your Mac.

Step 5: Stop screen record and save as MOV video file to Mac

When you're ready to stop recoding screen of YouTube video, click the Stop button in the macOS menu bar.

After you end the recording, the recorded video will open immediately. Select File > Save to specify a name for the recording and choose your desired location to save the video.

The recording output as an H.264 format MOV with an AAC sound track.

That's it! Your favorite video in YouTube has been recorded on Mac computer. Enjoy it offline anytime anywhere.

2. Recording via Screenshot toolbar: Shift + Command + 5

Beginning with macOS Catalina, Apple lets you creating a video recording of your Mac's screen in Screenshot toolbar, including the ability to capture any YouTube video you're interested in. Once you open the Screenshot toolbar utility, recording a video off YouTube is as easy as highlighting the full screen on YouTube web page or just the player.

Open a video you want to record from YouTube. Hit Shift + Command + 5 hotkeys to invoke the Screenshot toolbar along with the controls for screen capture and record. For the recording purpose, you need to choose Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion.

In macOS Catalina or later, you can use the Screenshot Toolbar for YouTube capturing.

From the Options menu, you can enable your Mac's microphone to capture your audio & surrounding noise, as well as set to turn on Show Mouse Clicks while recording.

Click Option > [your Mac] Microphone to capture a YouTube video with your own sound.

Now, start playing the YouTube movie, and click Record to start YouTube recording task on your Mac. To stop the process, click the Record button on the menu bar.

These two native YouTube recorders for Mac are great in case don't need the system audio because both tools lack the ability of capture the sound off the YouTube. The YouTube recordings will end up with Mac microphone audio and surrounding audio or noise.

How to record YouTube live streaming videos on Mac with sound

If you love to live stream videos, and find YouTube recording no sound via QuickTime Player and Mac's Screenshot toolbar, then a video streaming recorder is aimed at you. All the best YouTube recording software for Mac offer ways to capture live streams with HD quality, from videos to popular movies and songs. Here, we walk you through two simple programs for recording content (video and audio) from YouTube on a Mac so you can continue to enjoy your favorite videos on the computer.

AppGeeker Screen Recorder - record video & audio from YouTube

Screen Recorder is an amazing desktop application for macOS & Windows that allows users to record screen and whatever you're doing in an app, website, video streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, etc., and most importantly, have no lag on the recording at all. The new recording would be access in Mac-supported video formats: MOV, MP4, M4V, GIF; just make your selection before recording.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

The main interface offers 4 tabs for recording tasks: Video Recorder, Webcam Recorder, Audio Recorder, and Screen Capture. For recording a YouTube video on Mac together with audio, the Video Recorder comes in help.

Upon clicking on the Video Recorder tab, you will have options to capture entire YouTube page on the web browser or certain portion, and set to turn on the system sound with one click so the audio embedded on the YouTube video could be recorded. This isn't the case in QT Player and Screenshot toolbar utility. If you need to record your own voice for narrations, you can turn on microphone. When everything is done, you'll be able to watch your captured YouTube video in the Preview window and make some edits on it.

Follow these steps to record media from YouTube on Mac to watch offline or do some edits later. The footages and audio from the YT video, as well as all activities happening on the YouTube page will be recorded without compromising the original quality.

1. Once the Mac Screen Recorder is installed, fire it up. On the window that opens, choose Video Recorder tab.

A tip: the software will keep your video screen recording in its library forever unless you delete it locally from your computer. Clicking on "Recording history" at the bottom should you see the YouTube recording.

2. Then, go to YouTube platform and open the video you want to record.

By default, the program will capture the entire screen, system sound and microphone audio. If you want to record only the area on the YouTube page where the video is playing on, simply click on "Custom" and then use your mouse to drag to select that portion.

Make sure "System Sound" is always turned on so the sound from the audible video could be captured.

3. Next, make some recording settings for output according to your preferences.

Click on the tiny Gear icon which is located at the top of "Microphone" tab, and then you will see that the full-featured software puts together the tweaks for Recording, Mouse, Hotkeys, Output in the Preference panel.

It's easy to get the optimal configuration for your Mac to record the YouTube video. In the Output section, you can choose your video format to MOV, MP4, M4V or GIF, video codec to H.264 or HEVC, video quality to Middle or higher level, as well as the frame rate to 30fps or 60 fps.

4. Now, click the REC button, and when the countdown reaches to one, start playing your YouTube video. The utility has everything showing in the YT recorded together with the audio. It's all that simple.

The widget shows how long you've recording for. The Edit icon on the right side offers multiple editing tools for adding some texts and highlights on the video recording while capturing.

5. The final step is to end the YT recording. Click the red Stop icon. A preview window of the new video will open, allowing you to view the recording, clip it, and save it on Mac.

OBS Studio

Yet another effective free YouTube video recorder for Mac is OBS! It's also helpful for someone who wants to live stream video or have HD quality video in MacOS, but you need to grab the learning curve before making a video recording on YouTube platform. Here's how to do it.

First, set up with OBS.

  • Download the OBS Studio on your Mac, and install it.
  • Run OBS and Auto-Configuration Wizard should open. Follow the instructions to set up settings that is optimized for your computer. You can always modify the settings.
  • Add a scene. OBS will do this after launching. If not, click the "+" icon in the Scenes box at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Display Capture option. Right next to Scenes, it's the Sources box. Click "+" icon and select Display Capture from the options menu.
  • In the pop-up window, add a title and hit OK.
  • Right after that, the window of "Properties for Display Capture" should open where you can change the capture method and display (if you have multiple monitors.) Click OK.
  • Now, set the output. Navigate to Controls panel and select "Settings." When a window appears, click "Output" from the sidebar and then specify a destination folder, recording quality (High), recording format (MOV, MP4, MKV, etc.)

Second, start recording a YouTube video.

Now, you are ready to make the Mac's screen recording on YouTube. Hide the OBS app.

  • On your browser, open a YouTube video you want to record.
  •  Hover on the top of the MacOS menu bar, and choose "Start recording". Once you're done, choose "Stop recording."
  • After you ended the recording, open the directory where you choose to store the video file, and ensure that your new recording for YT video is there.

Optional - Convert from MOV to MP4 video format

In case you opt for MOV as the output format for the recording in the first step, and you'd like to convert .mov to .mp4 on Mac, OBS have a converting tool to do that.

Back to OBS application, choose File > Remux Recording. Browse to the MOV video recording as a source and click Remux button. It can only convert to MP4.

Happy Mac video recording in YouTube!

Now that you know how to screen record on Mac for YouTube, you'll find recording and grabbing audio and video much more effortless. AppGeeker's Screen Recorder and OBS are cool recorders that makes capturing YouTube videos entire possible and straightforward.

You can also use Mac QuickTime Player and Screenshot toolbar to record video off YouTube and external audio from microphone. This can be useful if you just want to extracting the footages from the video.

FAQs on macOS screen recording YouTube video

1. How do I record a YouTube video with sound on Mac?

An easy and free way to record screen on Mac for YouTube is to use Mac QuickTime Player. But it can record the video and microphone audio (if it's turned on) with no system sound track.

Here's how to use QuickTime to record YouTube screen on the Mac, iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air:

  • Go to youtube.com and search for the video you wish to record.
  • Start QuickTime.
  • Choose New Screen Recording under File in the menu bar.
  • Tun on the internal microphone from the drop-down icon.
  • Hit Record and start playing the YouTube video.

2. How to record audio from a YouTube video on Mac?

Apple QuickTime Player is good at recording the screen of a Mac but the internal sound coming out of the computer is not captured. That mean while a YouTube video is playing on macOS, the audio in the video would be left out, just any scene displaying on the video captured.

If you want to capture only the audio from the video off YouTube, then there's a solution. You can use AppGeeker's Screen Recorder to achieve an audio recording affair.

After you launch the software, choose Audio Recorder. You'll have options to capture your system sound or microphone audio. Make sure to switch ON the toggle for System sound. If you need to record your voice on mac over a YouTube video, turn on Microphone. Then, hit Rec button.

3. How to screen record YouTube on MacBook Air, Pro?

The best way to record YouTube videos for free on a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is to use QuickTime's New Screen Recording feature.

For MacBook running on macOS version higher than macOS Mojave, use the Screenshot toolbar utility instead. It can be invoked the Mac screen record & capture tool by pressing three keys together: Shift, Command, 5.

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