How to Screen Record on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Screen recording has become an increasingly important tool for both personal and professional use. Whether you need to create a tutorial, record a presentation, or capture a video call, screen recording can be a crucial aid. And if you’re a Mac user, you’re in luck: macOS comes equipped with built-in tools that allow you to easily record your screen. However, not everyone is aware of these tools, and even those who are may not know how to access all of the settings and features available to them. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about screen recording on a Mac – from using QuickTime Player to customizing your settings, to exploring third-party software options. With our step-by-step instructions and tips for success, you’ll be well on your way to creating high-quality screencasts in no time.


Screen recording has become an essential tool for many Mac users who need to create video tutorials, presentations, or record gameplay. In today’s digital age, where visuals have a significant impact on how people consume information, screen recording is an efficient way of sharing knowledge and ideas.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the steps of screen recording on a Mac using both built-in tools and third-party software. We will share tips and tricks that can help you create high-quality videos with ease, even if you are new to screen recording.

Whether you are a teacher, marketer, gamer, or content creator, screen recording can help you communicate your message effectively and engagingly. With our step-by-step guide, you will learn how to capture your screen, customize your settings, and add audio and other elements to your recordings.

So, let’s get started and discover everything you need to know about screen recording on your Mac device.

Why Screen Record on a Mac?

Screen recording on a Mac has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. With the rise of remote work, online tutorials, and digital marketing, screencasting has become an essential tool for many professionals. Here are some reasons why you should consider screen recording on your Mac:

Screencasting for Tutorials and Presentations

One of the most common uses of screen recording software is creating tutorials and presentations. Whether you’re teaching a new software program, demonstrating a new product feature, or presenting a proposal to a client, screencasting allows you to share your knowledge and expertise with others in a clear and comprehensive way.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Screen recording is also a valuable tool for improving communication and collaboration among team members. Instead of trying to explain a complex concept or process over email or chat, you can simply create a screen recording and share it with your colleagues. This saves time and improves understanding, as everyone can see exactly what you’re referring to.

macOS Integration and Compatibility

Mac users have the advantage of built-in screen recording software, QuickTime Player. It’s simple to use and compatible with other macOS apps. The screen recording feature also works seamlessly with other creative tools such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, and Logic Pro X, allowing creators to integrate screen recordings into their videos, podcasts, and music compositions.

Increased Engagement and Reach

Screen recording can also help improve engagement and reach for your content. By adding visual aids and demonstrations, your content becomes more engaging and easier to understand. This can lead to increased views, shares, and overall reach for your content.

In conclusion, screen recording on a Mac is a versatile and powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways. From tutorials and presentations to improved communication and collaboration, screencasting offers many benefits and advantages. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start exploring the world of screen recording on your Mac.

How to Screen Record on a Mac with Built-In Tools

Using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is a versatile media player that Apple has bundled with its Mac operating system for many years. However, it’s not just a media player – it’s also a powerful screen recording tool that enables you to record your entire screen or a selected portion of it. In addition, QuickTime Player allows you to record audio along with your screen capture.

To get started with using QuickTime Player to record your screen, open the app and select “File” from the menu bar. Click “New Screen Recording” from the dropdown list. A small window will appear on your screen with the option to “Record Entire Screen” or “Record Selected Portion”.

If you choose to “Record Entire Screen”, simply click anywhere on the screen to start recording. If you want to record only a specific portion of the screen, drag your cursor across the area you want to capture. Once you’ve made your selection, click the “Record” button to begin your screen recording.

In addition to video, QuickTime Player can also record audio from your built-in microphone or an external microphone. To do this, click on the little arrow next to the red Record button and select your audio input source.

When you’re ready to stop recording, either press the “Stop” button on the top menu bar or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Control + Escape. The video file will be saved to your default location, which is usually the desktop.

Overall, QuickTime Player is a great option for those looking to quickly record their screen without downloading any additional software. It’s easy to use and offers basic recording features such as screen recording and audio recording. However, it may lack certain customization options, such as adjusting frame rate or adding annotations to your recording.

Customizing Your Screen Recording Settings

Customizing Your Screen Recording Settings

Customizing your screen recording settings can significantly enhance the quality of your video and make it more engaging for viewers. Here are some ways to customize your settings for a successful screen recording:

Frame Rate

The frame rate determines how many frames per second (fps) are captured in your video. A higher frame rate will result in a smoother video, but it also requires more processing power. The optimal frame rate for most screen recordings is 30 fps. However, if you’re recording fast-moving content such as gaming, you may want to increase the frame rate to 60 fps.

Mouse Clicks

If you’re demonstrating a software or website, it’s essential to show mouse clicks on your screen recording. Most screen recording software allows you to highlight mouse clicks with a colored circle or a halo effect. You can also adjust the size and color of the effect to make it more visible.

Audio Input

When recording a screen video, it’s vital to capture high-quality audio. Most screen recording software allows you to choose between recording system audio and microphone audio. System audio records the sound from your computer, while microphone audio records your voice or any external sounds picked up by your microphone.


Choosing the right microphone is crucial for capturing clear audio in your screen recording. If you’re using an external microphone, ensure that it’s positioned correctly and test the audio levels before starting your recording. If you’re using a built-in microphone, try to minimize background noise and speak clearly.


Some screen recording software allows you to record your webcam along with your screen recording. This can be useful if you want to create a picture-in-picture effect or if you’re recording a tutorial where you need to appear on camera. Ensure that your webcam is positioned correctly and that the lighting is adequate.

In conclusion, customizing your screen recording settings can make a significant difference in the quality of your videos. By adjusting your frame rate, highlighting mouse clicks, selecting the right audio input and microphone, and using your camera effectively, you can create engaging, professional-looking screen recordings.

Tips for a Successful Screen Recording

When it comes to screen recording on your Mac, there are a few things you can do to ensure a successful recording. Here are some valuable tips to consider:

Clean Up Your Desktop

Before starting your screen recording, take some time to clean up your desktop. Remove any unnecessary icons or files that may be distracting to your viewers. A cluttered desktop can be overwhelming and can detract from the focus of your presentation.

Close Any Unnecessary Apps

To prevent any interruptions or distractions during your screen recording, make sure to close any unnecessary apps. This will help free up system resources and ensure a smoother recording process. You don’t want your viewers to hear notifications popping up or see pop-up windows while watching your recording.

Use a High-Quality Microphone

Your audio quality is just as important as your visual quality. Invest in a high-quality microphone to ensure clear and crisp audio. Remember, viewers are more likely to stick around and engage with your content if the audio quality is good. Make sure to test your microphone before recording to ensure it’s working properly.

Rehearse Your Presentation

To avoid stumbling over your words or getting lost during your presentation, rehearse beforehand. Practice makes perfect, and the more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become. Rehearsing also gives you the opportunity to identify areas where you need to improve and make necessary adjustments before recording.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of creating a successful screen recording that engages your viewers and delivers your message effectively.

How to Screen Record on a Mac with Third-Party Apps


ScreenFlow is a popular screen recording software that offers a wide range of editing capabilities, annotation tools, and export options for Mac users. With ScreenFlow, you can easily record your screen, add effects, edit your videos, and share them with others.

One of the standout features of ScreenFlow is its editing capabilities. It allows you to trim clips, add transitions, and apply audio and video effects to your recordings. You can also layer different media types, such as images, text, and audio, to create engaging content. In addition, the timeline view provides an intuitive interface for precise editing and sequencing of your clips.

Another useful feature of ScreenFlow is its annotation tools. You can use text, shapes, and callouts to highlight important elements in your recording and provide additional context for your viewers. This can be particularly helpful when creating educational or instructional videos.

Finally, ScreenFlow offers a variety of export options to help you share your work with others. You can choose from multiple file formats, including MP4, MOV, and GIF, and optimize your videos for various devices and platforms. You can also upload your videos directly to YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia, making it easy to share your content with a wider audience.

Overall, ScreenFlow is a powerful tool for anyone looking to create high-quality screen recordings on their Mac. Its editing capabilities, annotation tools, and export options make it a versatile and user-friendly option for content creators of all levels.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a popular open-source software that is widely used for live streaming and video recording purposes. One of the key features of OBS Studio is its multi-platform support, which makes it accessible to users on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

One of the benefits of using OBS Studio is that it is free to use, making it an attractive option for those who are just starting out with live streaming or video recording. Additionally, OBS Studio is known for being highly customizable, allowing users to tweak settings and get the most out of the software.

Another advantage of using OBS Studio is its capability for live streaming. Whether you’re looking to stream on platforms like Twitch or YouTube, OBS Studio supports various streaming services and platforms. With its intuitive interface and advanced settings, OBS Studio makes it easy for users to set up and start streaming.

In terms of performance, OBS Studio is known for being resource-friendly, ensuring a smooth and seamless experience for both content creators and viewers. The software also supports plugins and extensions, providing users with additional functionality and customization options.

Overall, OBS Studio is a powerful open-source software that offers a lot of value to content creators and live streamers. Its multi-platform support, live streaming capabilities, and ease of use make it a top choice for anyone looking to get started with creating and sharing content online.


Camtasia is a popular screen recording and video editing software that provides users with a plethora of features to create professional-looking videos. One of the standout features of Camtasia is its built-in video editing tools, which allow users to edit their recordings right within the same platform. This means no need to switch between different software programs, which can save time and hassle.

In addition to the built-in video editing tools, Camtasia also offers a library of customizable templates, making it easy for users to add text, callouts, and other elements to their videos. These templates can be customized to match the brand or style of the user’s project, providing a cohesive look and feel.

Furthermore, Camtasia has some impressive animation options, making it easier to add engaging visual effects to your videos. Users can choose from a range of animation options, including zooms, pans, and fades, to bring their videos to life and make them more interesting to watch.

Overall, Camtasia is an excellent choice for anyone looking for screen recording and video editing software with robust features. The built-in video editing tools, library of customizable templates, and animation options are just a few of the many features that make Camtasia a valuable tool for content creators, educators, and businesses alike.

Other Free Screen Recording Software

Other Free Screen Recording Software

Aside from the built-in screen recorder and paid software options, there are several free screen recording tools available for Mac users. Below are some of the most popular:


Loom is a free screen recording tool that enables you to capture and share videos instantly. With Loom, you can record your entire screen, an application window or a specific tab in your browser. The software also allows you to add your webcam feed to your recordings, as well as drawing and text tools to annotate your videos. Loom’s video library feature enables you to access all your recordings easily and share them with others.


Screencast-O-Matic is another free screen recording software that offers both online and desktop versions. With the desktop version, you can record your screen and webcam simultaneously, as well as edit your recordings with their simple editing tools. You can export your recordings in various file formats and even upload them directly to YouTube or other video-sharing platforms. With the online version, you can record up to 15 minutes of video per recording, making it ideal for quick tutorials or demos.


Bandicam is a screen recording software that offers a free version for non-commercial use. With Bandicam, you can record your screen, gameplay, webcam feed and audio simultaneously. The software also provides editing tools to trim your videos and add effects such as mouse click highlighting. Bandicam’s output options include MP4, AVI and image files.

Icecream Screen Recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder is a free screen recording software that allows you to capture any area of your screen or take screenshots. With Icecream Screen Recorder, you can record audio along with your screen, as well as add annotations to your videos. The software also provides a task scheduler so you can set your recordings to start and stop automatically. You can export your recordings in various file formats, including MP4, AVI and WebM.

In conclusion, these free screen recording software options provide Mac users with additional choices for capturing on-screen content. While they may not have all the features of paid software, they can still be useful for quick demos, tutorials or personal projects.



Screen recording on a Mac is an essential skill for many professionals, particularly those who work in tech or creative industries. Whether you need to create a tutorial video, record a presentation, or capture gameplay footage, there are multiple tools and techniques available to help you achieve your goals.

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the different ways to screen record on a Mac, including using QuickTime Player and third-party software like ScreenFlow, OBS Studio, and Camtasia. We’ve also discussed the benefits of screencasting, such as improved communication, increased engagement, and enhanced learning outcomes.

However, while screen recording can be a powerful tool, it’s important to remember that it’s not always necessary or appropriate. In some cases, a simple screenshot, text-based tutorial, or live demonstration might be more effective.

Moreover, it’s crucial to consider ethical and legal considerations when creating screen recordings, especially if you’re working with sensitive information or personal data. Always obtain consent from any participants before recording, and ensure compliance with data protection laws and company policies.

In conclusion, screen recording on a Mac is a valuable skill that can help you communicate more effectively with your audience and achieve your professional goals. However, it’s important to use this tool responsibly and appropriately, keeping in mind the ethical and legal implications. With practice and patience, anyone can become a successful screencaster and leverage this technology to enhance their creativity, productivity, and impact.
Screen recording on Mac is an essential skill for anyone who wants to create video tutorials, record presentations, or capture important moments on their computer screen. In this blog post, we’ve explored both built-in and third-party options for screen recording on a Mac, including QuickTime Player, ScreenFlow, OBS Studio, Camtasia, and other free software. We’ve discussed various recording settings, tips for successful screen recording, and the benefits of using screen recording software. By following our step-by-step guide, you can easily learn how to screen record on a Mac and produce high-quality videos. So, whether you’re a teacher, a content creator, or a business professional, screen recording on a Mac is a tool that can enhance your productivity and help you communicate effectively with your audience. Give it a try and see how it can take your work to the next level.

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