How to Screen Record on Your Mac

by Ryan


  • To screen record on Mac, use the Screenshot Toolbar or QuickTime Player.
  • If you have a new Mac, you can screen record on the Screenshot Toolbar with a keyboard shortcut. 
  • QuickTime Player is great for older macOS versions, and screen records just as easily.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Say you want to capture something on your Mac screen — but a screenshot just won’t do it.

That’s when screen recordings come in handy. You can record a video of your Mac’s screen using either the Screenshot Toolbar tool, or the QuickTime Player app, both of which come pre-installed on your Mac.

How to screen record on a Mac using the Screenshot Toolbar

Again, remember that this method is only available if you’re running macOS Mojave or newer. If you’re not sure what version of macOS you have, read our article on how to check your macOS version and install any needed updates.

Once you’re ready to record:

1. Press Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard to open the Screenshot Toolbar.

A toolbar with a number of icons and options will appear at the bottom of the screen. You’re looking for the icons that have the record symbol (a solid circle) over them. One will record a video of your entire screen, and the other will let you select a specific section of the screen to record.

how to screen record on mac 1

The two options in the middle of this toolbar will let you screen record.

William Antonelli/Insider


2. Pick which recording type you want — and if you picked “Record Selected Portion,” highlight the part of your screen that you want to film — and then click “Record.” If you want to cancel a screen recording before it begins, press the Esc key. 

3. Your screen recording will start immediately, and capture everything on your screen (or in the selected section) and any audio playing. When you’re done, click the stop button in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

By default, your screen recordings will be saved to the desktop as .mov files. You can change this by opening the Screenshot Toolbar and clicking “Options” — see below for more details.

How to screen record on a Mac using QuickTime Player

This is the method you’ll want to use if you’re running an older version of macOS. If you go through these steps while running macOS Mojave or newer, it’ll just lead you back to the Screenshot Toolbar.

1. Open the QuickTime Player app on your Mac. You can find it in your Applications folder, or by searching for it.

2. Click “File” in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

3. Click “New Screen Recording” and wait for a dark gray recording window to appear.

Screen record Mac 3

Select the “New Screen Recording” option.

Devon Delfino/Insider


4. Click the red record button, then click anywhere on the screen to start a fullscreen recording, or drag your mouse to record only a specific section.

You can also click the arrow next to the record button to choose whether or not to enable the microphone, and if you’d like your mouse clicks to be highlighted.

macos high sierra quicktime screen recording

QuickTime will give you less options, but still lets you narrate the recording.

Apple


5. When you’re finished recording, click the stop button in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Once you stop recording, your new video will open in QuickTime automatically. From here, you can watch, edit, and share it.



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