Your Mac’s built-in screen recorder

Not sure when this feature got added, but since this was new to me, thought this was worth sharing.

Launch QuickTime Player (it’s in your Applications folder). Now select New Screen Recording from the File menu, or type control-command-N. A small screen recording window will appear, like so:


Click the little triangle on the right side of the window to adjust microphone and mouse click options. When ready, click the record button in the center of the window. Click and drag a section of the screen to record part of the screen or just click to record the entire screen. Once you do that, click to start recording. Click the stop button that appears in the menu bar to stop recording.

Pretty easy, and the end result is a QuickTime movie you can use anywhere you’d expect (iMovie, YouTube, etc.) Clearly not a method a pro would use, but if your needs are relatively simple, this is a great solution.

  • Ryan Simmons

    It’s been there since Snow Leopard. Well, that’s when I first found it! I admit, it is well hidden! Apple should document it more.

    • Yes, it has.

    • andrewi

      It was on the front page of the Quicktime X release, which was on the front page of the Snow Leopard release. I fail to see how it was slipped in. They aren’t automagically being sneaky just because you didn’t notice.

      • mark

        You’re right andrewi, this thing is magic. It’s amazing that Apple continues to slip this great features in without being noticed.

        • NULL

          WHAT?! I SEARCHED FOR HOURS TO FIN SOMETHING LIKE THIS AND HERE IT WAS ALL ALONG!!?!?!?!?!??! Thanks for bringing this up!

          • Exactly my story.

          • Aniruddha Joshi

            exactly my story… there is a time loop i guess

        • andrewi

          Not sure if serious or trolling. I would disagree most of the time but here looks like a rare example.

      • null

        You’re kind of a d-bag

        • Nathan Briggs

          yeah i agree, andrewi is a d-bag, people are expressing there shock it wasn’t there stop being a female body part beginning with T :’D

          • Chris Pickrell


      • That Guy Who Said That Thing

        You’re a dick.

        • Chris Pickrell

          Why? Because he was aware of something you weren’t?

          • Chris Schuck

            Normal comment that most people would make and stop there: “It was on the front page of the Quicktime X release, which was on the front page of the Snow Leopard release.”

            Being a dick: “I fail to see how it was slipped in. They aren’t automagically being sneaky just because you didn’t notice.”

            He’s being a dick because he’s being condescending.

          • Chris Pickrell

            No he’s not. He was being blunt. There’s a huge difference.

            Just because people didn’t know, doesn’t mean they’re being sneaky.

            He’s absolutely right.

          • Chris Schuck

            No, he was being a dick. I’m not the only one who interpreted his response in this way. Several others commented feeling the same.

            “It was on the front page of the Quicktime X release, which was on the front page of the Snow Leopard release.”

            This is being blunt. Right to the point, and giving information. Being “blunt” means being “straightforward” which he did with his first sentence.

            “I fail to see how it was slipped in. They aren’t automagically being sneaky just because you didn’t notice.”

            This is editorializing. This wasn’t a necessary phrase. The original comment didn’t even say that Apple was being sneaky, just that Apple should make it more obvious.

          • ithink andrewisatwat

            ya andrew is a fukstik.

      • Rubén Varela

        which would be a mod pro method to record video and audio from your screen?

        • andrewi

          Mod pro? The Quicktime method works for both video and audio. 🙂

          • Brian

            Not both at the same time, as far as I can see. And what a pity Apple didn’t think of allowing the recording to be stopped by pressing particular keys, rather than having to move the cursor to the menubar, which will be unnecessary included in the video as a result.

    • John Smith

      Fastsigns over everyone.

    • Scarlet Lord

      QuickTime is a convenient and nice screen recorder for Mac indeed. But I found that the video is in MOV file which couldn’t be played on my Samsung phone. I believe that there’re a number of people share the same problem with me. This post will be more instructive if the author can offer more choices for users. I happened to read an article which illustrates some other screen recorder for Mac. Maybe you will feel these tools workable as well. More info can be read here.

      • Huzpah

        You can easily use a free video converter like Handbrake or Miro to convert to other video formats.

      • Ragamuffin23

        You can export to other formats.

    • Rubén Varela

      what would be a mod pro method to record video and audio from your screen?

  • Brian Mauter

    It is nice; I’ve used it. However, if you need to edit, ScreenFlow can’t be beat.

    • ghjk

      Yes. True True. However, you can input the footage into iMovie and trim it there.

      • emma

        if you go to edit you can trim it on quicktime

  • Popura_Taneshima

    I’m using it to explain some InDesign trick for my friends. And I’m aware this feature since Snow Leopard. Maybe because not many people using Quicktime as their standard video player. I’m using MplayerX because it’s capable reading mkv container *cough cough.

    • MikeSoertsz

      MplayerX is a primary source of malware on Mac by the way. Prepare yourself for many random and annoying pop-up tabs.

  • Winski

    These guys just keep slipping stuff in that can have a MAJOR impact on the user and it goes fundamentally un-noticed – even for pros… Amazing…

    • andrewi

      Wait, screen capture is amazing. So what is iMovie? Magical?

      It was on the front page of the Quicktime X release, which was on the front page of the Snow Leopard release. I fail to see how it was slipped in. They aren’t automagically being sneaky just because you didn’t notice.

  • JeffB

    It was added to QuickTime X. It was well documented as one of the features of the new version of QuickTime

  • yummyyummyfly

    If I’m not mistaken, it doesn’t add voice or sound to the screen recording. That might be why Apple doesn’t promote it too much.

    • Jimy

      You can use SoundFlower to add audio to these captures:

      • Wille

        Simple fix to complete the audio-video package, thanks!

    • jej233

      You can click on the arrow in the screen recording box and select built in microphone and it will record your voice

    • andrewi

      It was on the front page of the Quicktime X release, which was on the front page of the Snow Leopard release. I fail to see how it was slipped in. They aren’t automagically hiding it just because you didn’t notice.

  • It’s always so lush to explain something to a new Mac user that I’m tutoring, then when he or she feels like it’s too much, you just re-explain it by recording it into a video. They’ll watch the video later on and remember how to do it.

    And they appreciate how easy it was to just launch QuickTime Player, select the microphone, record the screen and it’s saved to the Desktop.

    It’s cute stuff and more people should know about it. Now, if only they added “Default audio recording” without having to have Soundflower installed..

  • Grabilla

    Thanks for this data. The screen recorder software is extremely good for capture graphical image along with video clip with your screen.

  • kadi

    dose it even work `? how do i download it

    • Julio

      Does it not come on your mac?

  • PrincessRou

    how to download it?

  • Thank you Thank you so much for sharing this. i got a new web cam and I was able to make a movie with screen sharing but I couldn’t find any preferences for choosing how I was going to include audio recording. Duh – ciick the little down arrow.

    I am making some short training videos for my sales team and this has been very helpful

  • Julio


    • Julio

      Oh, ok never mind, thx!

  • Sagar

    Thanks for the help. It fulfilled my requirement.

  • sonicfan2002

    only one problem no audio plus it acts funny when you play games that require you to use the keyboard only

  • MakeSomethingHappen

    I have been searching for a MAC screen recording system. I’m on a PC right now and cannot check. So, I have a question for the community. If I am having a video chat (call) with someone will it record the livestream of both parties?

    • kevin


    • Jimmy

      Is the livestream on your screen?

      • Forgive me. This is a delayed response. Thank you Jimmy for trying to help me. Yes the livestream is on my screen. I demoed telestream and it seemed to work ok.

  • Raymond Link

    Lol I never knew, thanks so much!

  • JC Pressdee

    When I record the sound echos. What should I do?

    • Make sure the volume slider is set to 0 / lowest so that you do not actually hear what you are recording. that will cause feedback.

  • payton

    its not there

  • Pearl Herbert


    • Jinu

      Did it also break the Caps Lock key on your keyboard?

      • Alphanilla

        LMFAO@Jinu!!!! Jinu I think we would be fast friends if we ever are lucky enough to cross paths. God Bless ya!

      • p3ace

        technically he only has to press it twice

  • How bizarre, I don’t have the option of ‘New Screen Recording’ there. There’s a few options, but all of them say you need the pro version. (Likewise control-command-N, the Mac just beeps at me – the error noise). Damn

    • Nevermind, I seem to have two Quicktime Players, it’s only on one! Thanks for this 🙂

      • UWS_CA

        You’re hot.

        • MikeSoertsz

          Good God man.

  • Jack

    i like this screen record but the problem is that this does not work on my macbook pro but it works on my mac

  • Eric Rosenfeld

    This would be great if QuickTime were a good application, but it isn’t. It plays and records things jerky, skipping many frames.

  • Raghavendra Kulkarni

    SUUUPEERRR…. Thanks alot

  • Sthapan

    I never knew. Thank you!

  • meilssa

    is this a good download

  • KT

    If I am watching a video stream on my iMac can I record that?

  • KMack


  • disqus_HeFcJ9ch4i

    I’m going to use this on youtube.

  • Ramūnas Jurgilas

    It is brilliant what you can found on internet! 😉

  • Marco Crolla

    thanks man, im going to use this see how i get one!

  • jeffw00

    yes. the built-in screen recorder of Quick-Time Player is nice and easy. But for someone who’d like more features, it’s not good enough.

    Find The Best Screen Recorder for Mac:

  • Joseph

    its slow it lags alot

  • gj,d

    lav u man

  • CuppyCaik

    why can’t i simply FRICKIN’ FIND THE APPLICATION FOLDER D: a mac PC is harder to use then i thought..

    • I feel your pain. I’ve had my MacBook for three years now and still don’t love it.

      To find the applications folder, hover over your bar that has internet browsers, iPages, iPhoto, etc. Go to the blue folder with a big A on it. Click on it and scroll down until you see the QuickTime logo which I believe is a bright blue Q. Click on that to open it so it appears in the above mentioned navigation bar.

      Once it’s open and active, go to FILE at the top of the page and choose SCREEN RECORDING (or whatever else you want it to do.)

      Good luck!

      • Jimmy

        Use spotlight.

        Spotlight is your friend.

  • I used this many times in the last year with great results. However, the past couple months QuickTime stops recording before I stop. Three times now it has even caused my Macbook to crash and restart. I’m not super happy with QT at the moment. During the times it starts recording and then stops itself, it won’t let me save the video either os close the program without Force Quit.

    Any thoughts on how to prevent this? Is there another way to record a short video based on screen capture?

  • I used this many times in the last year with great results. However, the past couple months QuickTime stops recording before I stop. Three times now it has even caused my Macbook to crash and restart. I’m not super happy with QT at the moment. During the times it starts recording and then stops itself, it won’t let me save the video either os close the program without Force Quit.

    Any thoughts on how to prevent this? Is there another way to record a short video based on screen capture?

  • Just what I was looking for.

  • MiKaBe

    Any idea how long you can capture video for using this tool??

  • Does not record system audio. Probably worth mentioning…


    • Lord Blackout

      Macdonna, you look soo goood.

  • Kevin

    I can use it, but the problem is it records my voice as well!!! how can I capture a film on my screen while the ambiant noise is stopped?

  • Mrs. A

    Does it record sound also? I am at work and can’t try it right now but need to do a screen recording with my voice over for a project.

  • John

    What is the longest movie you can make off screen recording

  • Angela

    This is amazing! I searched for days, to be honest, because i wanted to make some videos on mine craft. <3

  • Peter

    Someone use this with Yosemite? Cuz i dont get any sound in it; tried to capture a you tube video and the image is great but there is no way i can get sound, so if some can help me out with this…

  • kevin

    i got no sound? help please

  • james

    how do you get to it?????????????

  • Thank you! This is awesome!! I appreciate you sharing this 🙂

  • Kevlaraz

    big thanks

  • Iamaguest

    Ok. im getting a macbook pro for christmas, and i was gonna do a christmas animal jam video. and i was thinking: “I do need a camera for recording, but itll turn out bad 🙁 ” untill i saw this. You have really helped me out. Thank you 😀 .

  • Flamey

    It wouldn’t Pick up my Voice how could i make it pick it up?

  • edward

    fuck u all

  • ShmickMick

    Bloody awesome!

  • Zack

    My Quiktime player does not load up it takes ages and doesn’t come up! PLEASE HELP ME

  • thing

    One problem, My quicktime player won’t startup….

  • sbakbhddeXD


  • KIKI

    how do u do this

  • Silerthin Prath

    Doesn’t record sound….

    • Install SoundFlower, a free app that allows you to patch your audio through it to record it in QuickTime Player.

      Sound Out -> Soundflower -> QuickTime Player.

  • Christel

    Does anybody know if it’s possible to record one hour?

  • bmh

    Thank you. That was very helpful

  • coolmanoz07

    i kind of wreked my recorder where can i get a new one?? its a problem with the mic.

  • Jørgen Møller Larsen

    Thanks for sharing this hidden gem! Just what I needed to make a simple demo to a friend. Dead simple – and free!

  • Niko Meulemans

    cool and how do you record the voice?

  • nikck

    for me the sound doesnt work

  • Sierra N.

    Mine will not open! What do i do!

  • fuckbag

    suck fuckbags

  • fuckbag

    dicks sang with dick all day trying to fuck


    hey i already knew this

  • erin

    how do u get it

  • erin

    im confused


    this does NOT record SKYPE

  • Bella

    Hi there This is great and free BUT it records in 4:3 aspect ratio. And many of you will face an issue after your first upload to youtube (if thats what youre doing) If you are using iMovie 10.7/higher to edit that movie, you will have to use the crop tool to fill and live with 2 black bars on the side. Otherwise if you fit the screen, it will cut off the difference (top and bottom), since iMovie is now 16:9 aspect ratio. There is no known work around for this issue. This usually sucks if you are going to screen capture stuff from your ipad/iphone and post it to youtube.

  • Björn Kapunkt

    Thanks for the nice explanation. Now does anyone know if it is possible to hide the mouse pointer from the recording? Best would be to see it while recording but not having it show up in the resulting video. In case anybody is wondering why I need this specific behaviour, it is for creating a gameplay video for an app that I am running on an emulator. And an app video with a mousepointer might look strange.

  • WranglerVinny

    Great tool… however, it doesn’t record audio… it records audio from your speakers which is being picked up by your mic. It needs some work.

  • angeli

    how do i record i am so confused

  • Amy

    Thanks for this — very helpful.

  • Adam

    where is it i can’t find it on my version of quicklime player 7? doesn’t show screen recorder and if i click on the others it says i have to buy the pro version

  • Rashi Verma

    Finally I found your amazing blog. It is truly a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Great job.!! recording app

  • louise

    how do you acces it?

  • Bobby

    I would say if you are wanting to record things like long gameplay videos then it is not very good. the longer it records the more memory it takes up to run, slowly but surely crashing your mac! then when you restart it gives you the first 15 mins it autosaved. Cannot solve this issue as there are no options to do so, it’s ok for small videos I will give it that.

  • Just made the move to Mac from PC today and was pleasantly surprised by just one more feature. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • emeraldfrog

    how do i download it?

  • Emilie Jensen

    Can u guys help me record on a PC mac recorder? Cuz I can’t find somewhere where I can!

  • availablespace

    I find a Video Grabber Mac alternative called Allavsoft for Mac which has all the functions and features of the Video Grabber.

    You may free download it at

  • Max A Mas

    Great Feature!

  • Thanks!!!!

  • pinma

    My quicktime player was blank when i opened it

    • benley123

      open quick time once its open it is blank yes but hover mouse over the quick time app in bottom dock an two finger click the options will show up for the app and screen record make new movie ect , click on screen record ,which will open the record box like in this post ,if want audio ,click the arrow for audio options,and it will show you there the options to capture audio ,even apps like ,boom2device will show up for audio capture if you have it installed

  • Sadorkable

    Okay question: does it just record your screen or can it record audio from external devices too?

  • UltimateKillerYT

    It’s so leggy when record Minecraft. not too good for gaming…

  • Dhiraj

    Just open QuickTime -> File -> New Screen Recording….

    It should work perfectly

    If you need help still you can watch the video :

    The video shows with audio and without audio recording

  • Yasmeen ❄
  • Benjamin Drolet

    this is so helpful thanks

  • Why does apple hide things like this? This is extremely usefully

  • Joyce

    Does it not record sound?

    • Joyce

      Never mind! Found it

      • Michael Overholt

        How did you get sound to record Ms. Joyce?

  • I had no idea! Thanks so much for sharing

  • gen

    i can’t find it help omg

    • Michael Overholt

      go to Applications in your Finder window and look for QuickTime with the big blue “Q”

  • Maix Periyon

    how about sound does it capture the sound too?

  • Michael Overholt

    I have tried using this recorder. What about sound, or is my system in need of some serious cleaning?

  • Thank you!

  • TheSoil

    Thank you very much mate!

  • bsdshell

    thx for sharing

  • William J. Egnatoff

    Very useful, especially if one wants to use a camera (in my case a USB microscope) with audio. Photo Booth recognizes the camera, and QT can then record the the Photo Booth window together with the audio. Quick and easy. The result can then be saved and edited in iMovie. (It would certainly be preferable if iMovie would recognize the camera directly, but QT gives a workaround.)

  • Give us iShowU

    Like everything shipped on a mac… Half good half shit

  • sdfasd

    its so laggy

  • sdfasd

    i don’t like it

  • Alex Gian

    please someone help me i just got my mac today so I’m a newbie I’m on the quicktime player now what do i do?

  • Alex Gian

    is it the image capture thing? cuz i can’t click on it

  • Marko

    Thank you very much for this tip! Saved my day (and time).

  • Rumpel Stiltskin

    I want to say thanks for sharing. I have looked at googlechrome extensions, and other downloads, they all want something, be it money, or advertising, and I had it here hiding from me all along. Thanks for sharing, very much appreciated, and to all the smart asses that are commenting shit, like Andrewi. youre just looking like complete dickheads. or closer to f#ckwits.

  • You seriously deserve an award for this! Been trying, for the past 2 days to get my PowerPoint slide to appear in iMovie with the animations to use as an intro for my YouTube vids. THIS SAVED ME! No sound, but that’s an easy fix with editing! THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!!

  • steven

    where is it

  • Denish

    This is great! Thanks!

  • DaveTheMan

    Thaks for that

  • kisoth srinathan

    wow wow Thank a lot 🙂

  • Kandy Kat

    oh. wowwwww! thank you so much that just saved me soooo much time!!!!!! omg!!!

  • mere

    How can I record my audio while I am doing a screen recording?

  • Never thought about that. Thank you mate.

  • pojda

    I always forget about this awesome feature.

    Thank you a lot for sharing this! 🙂

  • The best thing about this screen capture to video is it fills disk space extremely efficiently. For example, I just made a 1 minute video and it used 15M of disk. The other video program on my computer only used 2M, lame.

  • Hey guys! What is the keyboard shortcut to stop the screen recording?

  • OMG – thankyou!

  • Loui Sa’ad

    Much appreciated buddy, never knew about it .. thank you so much

  • Ronald Court

    Thank you, thank you! I searched for a screen movie capture thingy for mac, for quite a while, then discovered you! If you had a one time option to contribute, I’d gladly send $5.

  • G B

    Thanks. Can this capture audio? My test did not.

  • José Leandro

    Can Quicktime record videogame content from a PS4?

  • Works 4 me in 2016

  • Pat D.

    I just get terrible feedback when I open my microphone. Any suggestions ?

  • freafas fsdf


  • zayda

    ugh its not coming on!!!!!!! really!!!!! it dosen’t work for my animal jam videos

  • For the screen recordings I don’t save, do they get saved somewhere on the computer? How do I find those to delete them? thanks.

  • sparkypi

    Never knew about this, love it after first try. Great for people who don’t plan on keeping their computer for long. Thanks for telling us!

  • dan

    Hi guys, using this for work at the moment and its nice and simple to use. Unfortunately this works both ways, I’m using a Saffire interface with one xlr input, it doesn’t seem like quicktime gives you an option for inputting in stereo or mono, and its defaulting to stereo, sending my microphone voiceover into the left channel only. Would anyone be able to suggest a quick fix for this in quicktime, or do I need some more sophisticated software? Its a shame if quicktime lacks this because its great otherwise! any input and advice would be awesome thanks guys.

  • Melissa Sue Lang

    anyway to do this without using your mic? Because the mic picks up on all the outside sounds as well.My only source of input is my internal mic…anyway to change that on a mac?

  • Jay “Jaybee” Bryant

    I found this article on a search and I am grateful I did! I learned something new. Thank you!

  • Anns

    What if the little screen doesn’t pop up. It’s just a square. For me at least

  • azoreseuropa

    No, Quicktime require usb. All you need is Apowersoft iPhone Recorder and its free fully. No usb need. Just bluetooth and airplay will be ready. NICE! Try it!

  • henrik

    WONDERFUL – thank you very much from berlin-germany for this help!!!

  • Nelsoncolar

    Quicktime can record iPhone and iPad screen now, free and easy, no need jialbreak. To get better quality video like 4K or HD video, I’d recommend Acethinker iPhone Screen Recorder.

  • Pinnapples Master


  • Isaac Perez

    Macbook Air student Rochester School for the Deaf.

  • Hollyhat

    A little bit off track but is there a way I can record myself using the built in camera while watching something in iMovie. I would like to commentate on a scene from a film using sign language while watching the film so the timing is right. Any suggestions?

  • Pavel

    Thanks a lot!

  • Sofia Van Weerdenburg

    Umm i’m gonna download this one day maybe i’ll try! =|

  • Joe Borza

    Class, thanks. Been looking for something like this for a while.

  • All American Male

    Wow, this is crazy!

  • Rishikesh Agrawani


  • Isaac Perez

    Macbook Rochester School for the Deaf

  • Ksenia Emelyanova

    OMG thank you for this article! I have been using mac for 2 years – well it’s time to discover it’s features, lol.

  • so many ios 10 users are troubling to install airshou screen recorder app on iOS 10 latest version without jailbreak.. so one of my friends has written a step by step guide on Install AirShou iOS 10.1.1 No Jailbreak required.

  • Bethan Lewis

    Great instructions – thanks you!

  • Mishell Mims

    how do we record?

  • Mellisa Milles

    Awesome! I use this: to record screen on my PC but I needed analternative for my Mac computer. So thank you very much for the help 🙂

  • zeven

    Hi Dave, When we swiped to the next screen (swipe between full screen apps), does the first screen still recording on the cropped section?

  • Jesso


  • Abdullah Al Asif SEO – Auckland Web Developer and SEO expert

  • Thanks!

  • Francine C. Sheen

    Valuable information. Thanks for the sharing. It’s quick and easy to screencast with QuickTime, but it doesn’t offer any advanced features such as highlight effects and multiple recording formats with more advanced solutions like Acethinker Screen Grabber Pro does.

  • Shirley J Mintz

    Quicktime may be built-in but Acethinker Screen Grabber pro is much better for performance and it generates smaller file sizes.



  • Elsa Is Elsa

    Wow! Fantastic!!! Thank you for this. I had no idea!!

  • Julia Hüller

    Thank you sooo much!!! So easy and helpful!!!

  • Alibek Churin

    thanks, that was helpful. at last, a free solution from California

  • Tanzila Mehwish

    People who are trying to record audio on mac can get guidance from was helpful for me…

  • elaincarey

    The best screen recorder for Windows that I want to share to those who don’t use a Mac is TuneFab Screen Recorder.