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macOS screen recording: How to record your screen on a Mac

Here are the best ways to capture what you are seeing in macOS screen, no matter which Mac or MacBook you have.

Elena Spencer Updated on Dec 16, 2022 6:25 PM

Summary: It's quick, easy and efforless to screen record macOS and even capture audio in screen recordings via Mac's internal microphone. Which tool you decide to use for the screen recording is depending on which macOS you have. If you wish to record system sound while recording macOS's screen, try the third-party dedicated Screen Recorder, which we've covered below.

There're several screen recording apps for capturing anything on Mac screen, regardless of your macOS version.

Recording a macOS screen to capture both video and audio can be helpful to Mac users in both their professional and personal lives. With screen recording, you can record a video of everything visible on the macOS screen, like apps, online courses & meetings, game clips, YouTube videos, and more. But how to screen record macOS?

You've come to the right place. macOS comes with the built-in Screenshot Toolbar that you can take to easily record what's happening on your screen. For you running on macOS version earlier than macOS Mojave, you'll readily use Apple's QuickTime Player app to take a recording of Mac's screen. Continue to read and figure out how to screen record in any macOS computer with the controls to start and stop, or pause and resume the recordings.

Screen record on macOS Mojave or higher using Screenshot Toolbar

macOS versions from Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, and newer Mac operating system all have the pre-installed screen record capabilities by invoking the Screenshot Toolbar utility.

Once you press Shift + Command + 5 on your keyboard to open the Screenshot Toolbar, you can either record a video of the full screen in macOS, or select a certain portion of the screen to record. Audio recording is also supported by Mac's internal microphone so you're able to capture your voice and add the narration or commentary to the macOS screen recording.

Step 1. Hit Shift + Command + 5 to launch Screenshot Toolbar

To run the macOS Screenshot Toolbar, press the key combinations together on your keyboard: Shift + Command + 5.

Step 2. Choose between "Record Entire Screen" and "Record Selected Portion"

Screenshot Toolbar will appear at the bottom of the Mac's screen, along with the two screen recording options located at the middle of the menu: Record Entire Screen and Record Selected Portion. Depending on your preference of recording the whole screen or a specific area of the Mac screen, you can choose:

    • Record Entire Screen: Click on it and the entire screen is highlighted automatically to be recorded.
  • Record Selected Portion: Click on this and you'll see an adjustable box letting you customize what you want to record on macOS screen by dragging the edges.

Tip: To cancel creating a recording on Mac, press Ese key before pressing Record button.

Screenshot Toolbar allows you to take a screenshot of Mac screen and record Mac screen actions.

Step 3: Enable recording audio simultaneously while recording the screen

Click Options next to the recording options, and check to turn on Mac's internal Microphone if you want to record sound when you're recording the screen.


  • Screenshot Toolbar screen recorder is not designed to record computer or system audio on any Mac, only your own voice and surrounding sounds coming out of the microphone. In case of recording both video and audio from macOS, try AppGeeker Screen Recorder below.

Make sure MICROPHONE is on so your voice can be captured in the screen recordings on the Mac.

Optional - Customize the screen recording in Options menu

  • Save to: You can specify where your recording will be saved onto macOS system, for instance, on your desktop for quick access, or in QuickTime Player for instant playback once the screen recording is ended, etc.
  • Timer: You can set up a countdown timer once you click to begin recording screen.
  • Show Mouse Clicks: Decide whether you need to capture your mouse clicks or movements during the macOS recording.

Step 4: Click Record button to start screen recording macOS

When you're pleased with your settings, hit the Record button on the far right of the Screenshot Toolbar to let the utility begin the macOS recording and capture whatever is currently on the screen, both video playing on the computer and audio from your microphone.

Step 5: Hit Stop Recording icon to end video recording

Once you have recorded all you want, click the Stop Recording icon from the macOS menu bar at the top to get the video recording ended. You will find the recorded files saved as .mov videos onto desktop by default. The file name is based on the date and time the video was recorded.

Screen record on macOS Mojave or earlier using QuickTime Player

With the older version of macOS, specifically earlier than macOS Mojave 10.14, you can use QuickTime Player and activate the New Screen Recording feature to record your screen.

If you Mac machine is running on the most recent macOS, you will be taken back to Screenshot Toolbar menu for the screen capturing task as soon as you click to enable the New Screen Recording in QuickTime Player.

1. When you're ready to record, open QuickTime Player on Mac. You can find it in your Applications folder.

QuickTime Player acts as a screen recorder in macOS Mojave or earlier.

2. From the menu bar, click File, then select New Screen Recording. This will introduce a recording window that will give you the option to record the Mac's screen, adjust the volume, enable microphone audio recording, and set to show mouse clicks in the video recording.

QuickTime screen recording includes the external audio from mic, not the internal audio in macOS.

3. To make macOS screen record with audio via QuickTime, click the arrow symbol next to the red Record button, and then tick Internal Microphone under "Microphone."

4. Hit the red Record button, then click anywhere on the macOS screen to begin a full-screen recording. Or you can drag your mouse to select an area of the screen to record.

5. When done, hit the Stop button in the menu bar to finalize the recording with video and your own voice narrating the recording. Alternatively, press Command-Control-Esc (Escape) to stop recording.

Once the video is captured, QuickTime will open the recording automatically. You can view the entire screen recording, edit it and share it.

How to get macOS screen recording with audio (internal & external)?

While it is reassuring that Apple prioritizes privacy and security precaution, the company's dedication to it can make macOS record screen with computer audio quite difficult.

Both the preinstalled Screenshot Toolbar and QuickTime Player can record your voice with the screen recording, but do not capture the audio playing on the macOS. For instance, audio from the YouTube videos, voice from online meetings, courses or interviews, or the soundtrack from music videos won't be captured, only the footage in the video. Don't Miss: How to Record Audio or Music from YouTube

All-in-one screen recorder for macOS – Screen record on any Mac with both audio and video

If you're having trouble getting an audible screen recording in macOS with internal audio, you may have better luck using the Screen Recorder, which includes both video recording and audio recording options to capture the screen and internal sound, microphone audio at the same time (or separately.)

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

The software is a useful tool available on all versions of macOS in any Mac. It's a comprehensive and easy-to use solution for capturing all screen activities happening on the computer without downloading any other extra plugins.

Furthermore, it gives you flexible controls to record the screen by capturing both video and audio, customize screen video format to more popular MP4, schedule the screen recording, add visuals or highlights during recording, edit the resulting video file, share the videos to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, etc. You can also record yourself by turning on your webcam in the screen recordings for video creation.

Regardless of the macOS version you're running, the recording process is exactly the same. You have access to unlimited screen recordings if you have enough storage space on Mac.

  • Fire up macOS Screen Recorder once it's installed.
  • Choose Video Recorder tab from the main interface. In case you need to create webcam recordings, the Webcam Recorder tab will satisfy your needs.
  • You'll come to a screen with a handful of recording options that you can customize how your screen video recording looks like. You can take a video of entire macOS screen or of the specific part. You can also make a macOS screen recording with system audio, and with microphone audio.

  • Pick the full screen or selected screen you wish to capture as well as the type of sound you wish to added to your recording.
  • Press REC button to begin recording screen with macOS instantly and capture anything that you can see or hear from the system. The floating bar comes with the buttons letting you pause and resume recording easily, and draw and add annotations to the screen recording in the real-time. This is handy feature when it comes to record how-to tutorials, presentations, and other types of informative videos.
  • When everything has been captured as expected, click the Stop Recording button (a solid square) at the top-left of the floating bar. Right after that, the software gives you the ability to play the video you captured and test the sound.
  • Click the Save button. The video will be saved into your desired folder on Mac.

Bonus for screen recording with AppGeeker Screen Recorder in macOS:

If you click the tiny gear icon located right above the Microphone tab (in Step 2 of this part), you can configure the recording settings.

Location of output files: You can select where the video file will be saved on your Mac after you finished recording on macOS.

Video format: Default to MOV, but you can change to MP4, M4V, GIF for moderate playback.

Read Also: How to Unlock When iPad Is on Security Lockout Screen

FAQs for macOS record screen

Does macOS has a screen recorder?

Yes, macOS has come included the screen capture apps. In macOS version higher than macOS Mojave, you can take advantage of the Screenshot Toolbar to record screen and add narration.

  • Press Shift + Command s+ 5 to open Screenshot Toolbar.
  • Choose the option labeled with a record dot to start the recording: Record Entire Screen, Record Selected Portion.
  • Click Record to get everything and audio captured.
  • To stop macOS recording on its screen, click the Stop button in the top menu bar.

The owners whose Mac is running the earlier macOS need to launch the native QuickTime Player and activate New Screen Recording to complete the screen recording affair.

How do I record a Mac screen without QuickTime?

QuickTime screen recorder works on macOS that is earlier than macOS Mojave and to creating screen recordings:

  • In QuickTime Player's menu bar, click File > New Screen Recording.
  • Hit the red Record button.
  • Click on anywhere of screen and the recording should begin immediately. Or drag to select only a portion you wish to capture.
  • Press Stop button from the menu bar at the top.

Can I record the screen with sound on Mac?

Yes, but a third-party audio device like Soundflower working with QuickTime or Screenshot Toolbar is required.

  • On macOS System Preferences, choose Sound > Output, and the select Soundflower 2ch.
  • Open QuickTime, then click File > New Screen Recording.
  • Click arrow icon next to the red Record button, then from the expanded dropdown, choose Soundflower 2ch under Microphone.
  • Hit Record button.

If you don't prefer to fiddle with too many settings, then consider try AppGeeker Screen Recorder. We've also covered the easier ways to screen record video and audio on a Mac.

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