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How to record system audio on MacBook - for all macOS

You may find recording system audio on a MacBook is not easy. This recording guide outlines how to record system audio on MacBook (Pro, Air) in a few clicks.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Mar 3, 2023 2:36 PM

Page details on how to record MacBook's system audio:

  • The internal audio recorder for MacBook - QuickTime Player helps you easily record the system audio on your MacBook.
  • For recording system audio MacBook, you'll have to install Soundflower and set it up as the audio source via Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound > Output.
  • In QuickTime, chick File > New Audio Recording to open audio recording window, from which you can record your system sound coming from computer on MacBook.
  • To figure out how to record internal audio on a MacBook without Soundflower, third-party Screen Recorder is a wise option. It records computer audio and microphone, as well as video in high quality.

You'll find several simple audio recording software tools for your MacBook and get the internal system sound recorded.

Do you want to learn how to record system audio on MacBook easily?

MacBook has a built-in audio recording app integrated with QuickTime Player, and to get it capture internal audio from your MacBook, you need some extra steps on setting up Soundflower audio drive.

To ease the process of recording MacBook system audio without Soundflower plugin, you might Google for the audio recorders for your MacBook. Here are different recording options that you can take to record your internal sound on the laptop.

Table of Content

How to record system audio on MacBook with QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is ideal for MacBook users looking to take an audio recording. It's the built-in MacBook internal audio recorder that comes preinstalled on every machine.

Basically, this free recorder works smoothly to record computer screen and audio together, as well as record audio from your microphone or external devices. If you need to record the internal or system audio on a MacBook, you have to install Soundflower and have it configured correctly.

How to capture system audio from MacBook with QuickTime Player

After you download and install Soundflower app on your MacBook, do the following:

Step 1: Change macOS audio output device to Soundflower

On your MacBook, click Apple menu > System Preferences (or System Settings), then click Sound.

Under the Output tab, choose Soundflower (2ch) as your computer's audio output source. This will reroute the internal audio to QuickTime during the recording process.

Head to Sound Output Settings in System Preferences and set Soundflower (2ch) to get system audio to record.

Step 2: Select File > New Audio Recording in QuickTime Player app

Open QuickTime, and to audio record system sounds, navigate to File > New Audio Recording.

To make recording of audio from your MacBook in QuickTime, click File on the menu bar and choose New Audio Recording.

Audio Recording window should now pop up, along with a red Record button, an inverted triangle Options menu, a volume control and a file size monitor of the recording.

Step 3: Choose Soundflower (2ch) from audio recording options

Important! Before recording, you need to click the inverted triangle Options menu, and then check Soundflower (2ch) from the list for your audio recording MacBook, rather than your Internal Microphone.

You can also configure the recording quality. High-quality recording results in a 44100 Hz AAC audio file; and Maximum-quality recordings generate uncompressed AIFF-C audio in large file size.

From Options menu, make sure to highlight Soundflower (2ch) to audio record internal sound.

Step 4: Click Record button to start recording your system audio for your MacBook

When everything looks good, hit the red Record button to kick off the system sound recording process. A Stop button will be visible at the menu bar while the audio recording is in progress.

As soon as you start recording, play the audio within any app so the in-app audio from MacBook can be captured in the recording.

Step 5: Hit Stop button to stop the system audio recording

When your audio has been recorded, click the Stop button from the menu bar.

You can then play the recorded audio track in QuickTime Player. To get your recording to save onto your MacBook's storage, click File > Save, then rename the file and choose a save folder.


  • After recording system audio in QuickTime on MacBook, you have to go to System Preferences > Sound > Output and revert the audio drive to the default settings.
  • If you need to capture your audio from microphone, you don't have to use Soundflower.
  • QuickTime Player's built-in audio recorder cannot record internal and external audio at the same time in your MacBook.

How to record system sound on MacBook via AppGeeker Audio Recorder

Recording the system audio on MacBooks through QuickTime is limited to individuals using Soundflower. In other words, you can't record system audio if you have not installed Soundflower app on macOS, which can be frustrating. However, there's an actual workaround to this restriction; you can use AppGeeker Audio Recorder to have your computer audio recorded without any plugin.

It's a piece of stable and feature-rich screen and audio recording software that includes separate recorders for video, internal audio, audio from microphone or external gears, and webcam video. Regarding audio recorder toolkit, you can capture internal sound or/ and external sound in a few simple clicks. There're also options for adjusting audio format of your recording and the audio recording quality, scheduling the recording, as well as clipping the recorded audio file, so you can get high-quality system audio recordings for different purposes.

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With an intuitive interface, all users could easily record system audio for MacBook. Here's how.

1. After installing this MacBook system audio recorder, run it.

2. From the initial screen, click on "Audio Recorder."

3. On the next screen, enable the "System Sound" toggle for recording MacBook's internal audio. If you wish to add your own voiceover in the audio recording, make sure "Microphone" toggle is switched on.

To modify the recording options like format, quality or saving path, click the small "gear" icon right above the "Microphone" toggle and access Preferences window to fulfill your task.

4. When ready, hit REC button to record audio from computer on MacBook. There's a 3-2-1 countdown appears on the screen. Once it reaches to zero, start playing the audio file on your machine, and the recording utility captures that audio.

5. To stop your recording, click the red Stop button. Then this audio recording program will display the recorded sound on its preview window, letting you play the audio, or trim the unnecessary clip.

Once done, click Save button. your audio file listed on the recording list. You can locate it on your MacBook or share it over to streaming sites.

How to record internal audio from MacBook using Audacity

Audacity is another pick to record system audio on MacBook (or Windows or Linux). It's a free system audio recorder MacBook for audio-only recordings, and you can use it to record live audio and external audio through a microphone or mixer. However, it lacks the ability to record MacBook's audio unless the Soundflower has been configured to reroute the system sound to be recorded. This is the same case in QuickTime and other audio recorders when you tend to start an internal audio recording in macOS.

The application ships with an editor and helps you easily editing your sound recording. Once all done, export the recording at multiple audio formats to your laptop.

Check how to record system audio on MacBooks:

  • Go to MacBooks' System Preferences, choose Sound > Output, and then click on Soundflower (2ch) to grant Audacity macOS to record system audio.
  • Launch Audacity audio recorder and editor tool.
  • On Audacity window, click Audio Setup > Recording Device > Soundflower (2ch). Once the plugin Soundflower (2ch) is selected, it'll appear on the toolbar.
  • Soundflower is required to set into system audio recorder MacBook to capture internal audio or sounds.

  • Hit the red Record button and play the audio file you want to capture. Audacity will now recording internal sound on your MacBook.
  • When you're ready to finalize the recording, click the Stop button.
  • To export the audio recording project locally, click File > Export. You can choose to save to the most popular MP3 format working for the MacBook.
  • After getting your internal audio recorded, you need to manually store it to any folder in your computer.

How to record computer audio MacBook via Easy Audio Recorder Lite

Designed for beginners with a user-friendly layout, Easy Audio Recorder Lite is a rather basic system audio recording app for all MacBooks. Once you install it on your computer, you can open it and attempt to record any kind of audio - internal audio from system and external audio coming out of inbuilt/ external microphones & headphones. Note: To make it effective when you're going to record system sounds on a MacBook without background noises included, you have to set up Soundflower as well.

Follow the short guide on how to record system audio free on the MacBook regardless of the macOS version.

1. Make sure your laptop audio output has been changed to Soundflower (2ch).

2. Fire up Easy Audio Recorder Lite, then click the Cog icon at the top to open Recording Settings window.

3. Under Input Device menu, check Soundflower (2ch) in Recording Settings. You can assign the sample rate, channels and file format for your audio recordings. Click OK button to save your changes and close the window.

4. Now click the red Record button in the middle to start your internal audio recordings in MacBook. You can pause your recording if needed.

5. When the recording process is completed, press the Stop button. The audio file will be readily accessible in the folder of your choice. You can quickly locate it by clicking Go to file location in the Recording Settings window.

[Related: How to Record Computer Audio on Mac]

How to record MacBook system audio with OBS Studio

The free and open-source OBS has been developed for capturing video and audio together from many kinds of sources. This means that when gamers or streamers have need of recording the internal sound from the MacBook, he/ she can't record the audio in a single file, but to record the audio in a screen recording. This isn't convenient at all if you need an audio-only recording.

[Don't Miss: How to Record Gameplay on Mac or MacBook]

On macOS 13 "Ventura" or later, you can use OBS Studio 28+ to record the audio in a directly manner without Soundflower. Here's how to screen record MacBook with system audio:

  • In OBS, click "+" in the Scenes panel to add a scene.
  • Then click "+" from the Sources and choose "Audio Output Capture."
  • In the Audio Mixer, you can adjust the volume of the Desktop Audio to hear what you're recording. If you don't want your microphone voice recorded, click Mic/Aux to mute it.
  • Click Start Recording button under the Controls panel on the far right.
  • When you complete the recording, click Stop Recording button.

The finished screen recording with system audio will be saved to the default MKV video file.

Overall, OBS Studio being able to record MacBook screen with internal audio is not as flexible as AppGeeker Screen and Audio Recorder doing that.

FAQs - Record system audio MacBook

How can I record internal audio and external audio on MacBook?

Most of free audio recorders, like QuickTime, Audacity and Easy Audio Recorder Lite, gain no options to simultaneously record system audio and external sounds like microphone voice. Only one type of audio can be captured at a time.

Does MacBook have a built-in system audio recorder?

MacBook built with video and audio recording feature in QuickTime Player, but the fact is that it can only record audio from external sources, not from the computer inside. In order to make it a macOS system audio recorder, you need to install Soundflower to work with QuickTime Player.

How to record system audio in QuickTime?

You can create system audio recordings on your MacBook Air & Pro with QuickTime Player:

1. In QuickTime, go to menu bar and choose File > New Audio Recording.

2. Click the down-arrow and select Soundflower (2ch) you've set up as audio source.

3. Press red Start Recording button to begin recording your internal system sound.

4. When you're ready to complete the recording, click Stop Recording button to save the recorded audio files on your MacBook.

How to record internal audio on MacBook screen while recording?

Before you start recording, you need to set up Soundflower (2ch) on your MacBook for the internal audio. Then:

Open QuickTime, click File and select New Screen Recording. Next, click the arrow next to the Record button to expand recording options. From the list, choose Soundflower (2ch). Go back and hit Record button. That's done.

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