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How to capture a video of Mac screen in easy steps

It's easy to capture a video of your Mac screen using the built-in tools on macOS as well as some helpful screen recording apps. Here's how to quickly capture your screen on a Mac.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Feb 1, 2023 5:22 PM

Quick answers on how to capture screen videos on Mac:

  • To quickly take a video of your Mac's screen, just use the Shift + CMD + 5 shortcut to open the native Screenshot Toolbar for screen recording on macOS Mojave and newer.
  • If you're using an older version of macOS, the QuickTime Player, which comes pre-installed on all Macs, lets you video capture your screen with easy clicks.
  • You can also use 3rd-party apps like Screen Recorder to capture video of your entire Mac screen or a specific part, and add narrations or system sounds to your screen recording.

It's possible to capture screen videos on any Mac with any macOS version.

Sometimes, you'll want to capture details from your Mac screen, but screenshots can only save the content in a still picture. This is where the screen recording comes in.

In fact, Apple has made it easier for Mac users to record their screen through the built-in video capture tools like the Screenshot Toolbar hotkeys and the QuickTime Player app, both of which are capable of capturing Mac videos on your screen.

Read more: How to Record YouTube Video on Mac

Additionally, there are many feature-packed recorders in the market, allowing you to video capture your screen on any Mac with simple clicks. Whether to record business meetings or educational content, you can always find the best option to capture a video of your Mac screen easily.

Table of Contents:

How to screen record on Mac with shortcut: macOS Mojave or later

Expanded in macOS Mojave and newer versions of macOS, the Screenshot Toolbar includes a screen recording feature that lets you capture videos of your Mac or MacBook screen with just a few clicks. And you can activate this handy tool by simply pressing the keyboard shortcut Shift + CMD + 5.

What's more, you can also configure the following settings through the Options tab before starting to capture screen on your Mac:

Quick settings to customize capturing options in Screenshot:

  • Save to: Select a place on your Mac the video capture will be located to.
  • Timer: Set a timer of 5 or 10 seconds so your recording begins after that.
  • Microphone: Add microphone audio to your video capture while screen recording on Mac.
  • Others: Choose whether to show floating thumbnail when the recording ends. Let it remember your last selection or not. Record your mouse clicks if you need.

Configure recording settings from the Options list in Screenshot Toolbar.

Capture the entire screen or a selected portion on Mac

1. Hold Command + Shift + 5 keys at the same time to initiate the Screenshot Toolbar on macOS Mojave or newer.

2. Choose Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion to capture full screen or a certain section of your screen.

Select the whole screen or a specific area on your Mac to capture screen content.

3. Click on Options to adjust more recording settings.

4. Click the Record button to start video capturing your Mac screen.

5. Hit the Stop icon in the top menu bar or press CMD + Control + Esc keys to end recording.

When you're done, the video capture of your Mac screen will be saved to the selected location as an MOV file automatically.

How to video capture Mac screen on all macOS versions

Another option you will want to use is the QuickTime Player if you haven't upgraded your Mac system to macOS Mojave or above. It comes pre-installed on all versions of macOS, enabling you to capture a video on any Mac screen and make simple editing instantly.

Don't miss: How to Record Screen and Audio with QuickTime

If you're using macOS Mojave or a newer version on your Mac, the QuickTime Player will bring you back to the Screenshot Toolbar controllers.

1. Open the QuickTime Player in Launchpad or from Applications folder.

2. From the top menu, check File and select New Screen Recording.

You can also access New Screen Recording by pressing Control + Command + N keys.

3. Click the drop-down arrow to select an internal or a connected microphone to capture your microphone audio while recording.

Select a source microphone and adjust other options in the drop-down menu.

4. You can also adjust other settings in the Options list, like changing the storage location, using a timer, showing your mouse clicks in recording and more.

5. Press the red Record button to start capturing your Mac screen.

6. Click the Stop button at the top and the recording will end immediately.

If QuickTime is not allowed to capture content from your Mac screen, here's how to fix:

  • On your desktop, head to Apple icon > System Settings at the top.
  • Select Privacy & Security from the left sidebar.
  • Choose Screen Recording and turn on the option next to QuickTime Player.

Note: When you're video capturing your Mac with Screenshot Toolbar or QuickTime Player, you can record your microphone audio at the same time. Also, if you're looking to include the internal system sounds into your screen recordings, the following feature-rich tools can be helpful. Also see: How to Record Computer Audio on Mac

How to capture a video of Mac screen with audio

Fully compatible with all macOS computers, the effective tool Screen Recorder from AppGeeker is capable of capturing your Mac screen and audio simultaneously or separately. You can record your screen videos, capture internal sounds and microphone audio, and show your face on the screen using a webcam. All these can be done with just a few clicks.

Even better, you can schedule recordings to capture video from your Mac screen, add annotations while recording, track mouse movement, and record webcam video at the same time. Once you're done recording, you can make immediate editing and save the screen capture on your Mac in a variety of popular video formats.

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for Windows | for macOS

Step 1: Open Screen Recorder on your macOS, and enable Video Recorder mode.

To capture video of your Mac screen, use the Video Recorder mode.

Step 2: Select a capturing area and adjust recording preferences.

  • Choose full screen or a selected section / window.
  • Select system sound or microphone, or both to capture audio into your screen recording.
  • Click the Output icon at the top to decide video format, quality, location and more.

If you want to show yourself on your Mac screen while recording, enable the Camera option.

Step 3: Click the REC button on the right to start screen capturing.

You can add annotations on your screen or take screenshots while video capturing.

Step 4: When you're done, use the red Stop square or press the default hotkeys CMD + Ctrl + S to stop screen capturing.

Step 5: Preview, edit, and save the video recording to your Mac.

How to capture screen video on Mac using third-party apps

OBS - Open Broadcaster Software

OBS is an open-source and cross-platform video creator which offers a variety of settings and options for video recording and livestreaming. It can help you capture screen videos and audio on your Mac and edit recordings with its advanced features like audio mixer, scene transitions, and more.

To use OBS for screen recording on macOS, you need to figure out the different parts on its interface, which is not that user-friendly, especially for new users without much screen recording and video editing experience. But if you're looking for a full-featured video maker for Mac, you can't go wrong with it.


  • Free download and installation on macOS
  • Wealth of features for video and audio editing
  • Available to customize recording settings


  • Challenging to figure out the interface

Screen Recorder

One of the best desktop video capture apps is the Screen Recorder. You can use it on basically any Mac with any version of macOS. It's very helpful for video tutorials, meeting notes, reaction videos, online courses, and much more. Best of all, you can take a video of your Mac screen that includes everything you want, such as your webcam video, system sounds, on-screen annotations, and microphone audio.


  • Straightforward interface and easy to use
  • Deliver various formats and high-quality output
  • Support picture-in-picture screen recording
  • Able to capture both internal and external sound on Mac
  • No watermark


  • Basic editing options only

Simply use an appropriate video recording app which works best for you.

FAQs: Mac Screen Capture

1. How to take a video of my screen on Mac?
There are two recording options, the Screenshot Toolbar and QuickTime Player, both of which come pre-installed on macOS and can help you take videos of your screen:
First, open QuickTime Player on your Mac. (Or press Shift + CMD + 5 if you're using macOS 10.15 and later.)
Choose to record your full desktop, or just a selected portion.
Click on Options to select a source microphone for audio capture and choose where you want to save the recording file.
Start recording by hitting the Record button, and stop it by clicking the Stop square.
Trim the recording and save it on your Mac as an MOV file.
2. What's the shortcut for screen recording on a Mac?
If your Mac is running macOS Mojave or a newer version, simply hold Command-Shift-5 simultaneously on your keyboard. This will open up the Screenshot Toolbar controllers on your screen.
Then you can select a recording area or your full screen to record content from. Start capturing by clicking the Record button. Once you're done, use the dark-gray square in the upper-right corner to stop recording.
3. Why can't I screen record on my Mac?
If you're are unable to take screen videos, make sure that you grant the permission to screen record on your Mac. To do that, simply navigate to Apple menu > System settings. Scroll down to choose the Privacy & Security option. Then click Screen Recording. In the program list, enable or disable the screen recording option for each app.
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