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How to record system audio on Mac

For some reason, you may need to record your Mac's system audio. Here's an introduction about several effective internal audio recorders for Mac and how to use them respectively.

Emma Levine Updated on Jan 4, 2023 10:04 AM

There're a few reliable system audio recorders for Mac users to capture sound from computer.

  • The native recording tool on Mac, QuickTime Player, allows for system sound recording only when a plug-in like Soundflower is added to the computer.
  • The AppGeeker Screen Recorder is an all-in-one solution for recording system audio in a quick and easy way. You can also record external sound clearly at the same time.
  • Audacity is another professional sound recorder that enables you to record internal audio in high quality and various formats according to your needs.

Different options are available for you to record system audio on your Mac easily.

Oftentimes when you surf the Internet on your Mac, you may come across an amazing song on YouTube, an important sound clip on Spotify, or perhaps an embedded recording on an integrated website, but not offered the option of downloading the source. In these cases, an appropriate audio recorder can be a lifesaver for you to record audio from your Mac.

Related: How to record a song on your computer

You have various choices to record system audio on Mac, covering the built-in recorder QuickTime Player, the one-stop solution AppGeeker Screen Recorder, and the open-source audio recording tool Audacity, etc. The following is the elaboration on the steps of each tool referred to above. If you are looking to record system audio on your Mac via a suitable audio recorder, just keep on reading.

Table of Contents

Use QuickTime to record internal audio on Mac

All Mac models come with the built-in QuickTime Player straight out of the box. However, it is rather troublesome, as it is unable to record system audio directly unless an additional tool like Soundflower is installed on Mac.


  • If you need to record system audio and your sound from microphone simultaneously, QuickTime Player will not be helpful in this case. You'll have to resort to the AppGeeker Screen Recorder or Audacity.

Before using QuickTime to record internal audio from Mac, you need to download and install the plug-in Soundflower on your computer; then go to System Preferences > Sound > Output, and change the audio source to Soundflower (2ch).

An add-on needs to be set up as the sound output for your Mac before recording audio from the computer.

After this simple set-up, you may follow the steps below to record system audio on Mac via QuickTime Player.

Step 1. Launch QuickTime Player. You can find it in the Applications file, or search it on the Launchpad instead.

Step 2. Open the Audio Recording window. At the top menu bar, click on File and select New Audio Recording from the pull-down list. The Audio Recording window will show up then.

On QuickTime Player, go to File > New Audio Recording to bring up the Audio Recording window.

Step 3. Set up the recording audio source. In the pop-up window, hit the down arrow next to the Record button to open the Options menu. Select Soundflower (2ch) here. You can also decide the audio quality before the recording.

Select the right microphone and the desired audio quality for the following internal audio recording.

Step 4. Start the system audio recording. Hit the Record button, and play whatever audio on your Mac. You are now getting every sound from the computer recorded now.

Step 5. Stop the recording when you're done. After recording the targeted sound, click the Stop button in the window. Later you can replay, trim, rename or add tags to the audio file before saving it in the m4a format.

If you are interested in using QuickTime to record screen and audio, you can find more details in this article: How to use QuickTime to record screen and audio.

Record Mac's system audio on Screen Recorder

Unlike QuickTime Player, the AppGeeker Screen Recorder is able to record system sound in a straightforward way, sparing you the trouble of adding a plug-in to your Mac. It's such an incredible recorder that it offers various options to record audio (internal and external), videos or webcam on your Mac. Besides, it is wonderfully easy to use with a great layout that both beginners and advanced users will appreciate. Let's see how to use it step by step below.

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Step 1: Launch the AppGeeker Screen Recorder

Download and install the recording software on your Mac. Run it on the desktop, and select Audio Recorder on the navigation menu.

Step 2: Adjust the settings before recording system audio

Enable System sound in the middle of the window. If you have specific requirements on the audio format, you can alter the output settings by clicking the gear icon.

Tip: Alternatively, you can switch on Microphone as well if you want to record both system and microphone audio on your Mac.

Step 3: Finish the audio recording from your Mac

Hit the large REC button in the right, and the audio will begin recording after the countdown. Once done, click on the Stop button to end the recording.

Step 4: Save the recorded audio file

You may replay the audio and trim it simply in the tool. After modifications, it can be saved in the customized format. Or you can Re-Record an audio if not satisfied.

System audio recording on Mac by Audacity

Another option is using Audacity to record computer audio from Mac. It is a capable audio recorder that performs basic functions like recording, editing, and merging audio. While the user interface might seem outdated, it should work well enough for simple use.

Similar to QuickTime Player, the extra tool Soundflower is also required if you use Audacity to record Mac audio. You may review the discussed part above to set up Soundflower as the audio output in the Mac settings. With the sound source adjusted accordingly, check out these steps to capture system sound on Mac via Audacity.

  • Open Audacity.
  • Go to Audio Setup > Recording Device, and select Soundflower (2ch).
  • Start the audio recording by hitting the Record button.
  • Press the Stop button if you finished recording.
  • Edit the recorded audio to match your preference.
  • Save the file from File > Export > Export Audio.

Learn more: How to screen record a video with audio on a Mac


1. Can I record internal audio on Mac with QuickTime?

Yes. As long as you install a plug-in on your Mac and do a bit of set-up in prior, you can use QuickTime Player to record system audio from the computer. Here's how to:

  • Install and open the plug-in Soundflower. Then go to System Preferences, select Sound, and choose Soundflower (2ch) in Output.
  • Launch QuickTime Player. Select New Audio Recording from File.
  • Select Soundflower (2ch) in the Microphone list.
  • Hit Record to start the recording, and hit Stop to terminate it after capturing what you want. Then export it from File > Export.

2. How do I record system audio and microphone on Mac?

By use of the AppGeeker Screen Recorder, you can record internal sound together with external sound directly on your Mac without  bothering yourself to download extra software and adjust the sound settings.

3. What recorder can be used to record screen with internal audio on Mac?

  • QuickTime Player
  • AppGeeker Screen Recorder
  • OBS
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
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