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Say you want to capture something on your Mac screen — but
a screenshot just won’t do it.
You need something more dynamic, or maybe you need to show subtle changes or you just want to save a video without the hassle of downloading it.
That’s when screen recordings come in handy. You can screen record on your Mac using the built-in QuickTime Player app. You can also adjust screen size and use audio in your recording with QuickTime’s screenshot toolbar.
Here’s how to do it.
How to screen record on a Mac computer
Open QuickTime Player in Applications, click on File in the top menu bar, and select New Screen Recording from the drop-down. Then click Options in the screenshot toolbar to adjust the screen size and audio you want to record.
Here’s a full step-by-step guide:
Click the Finder in your dock located at the bottom of your Mac desktop.
Click on the Applications tab in the left sidebar and double-click the QuickTime Player to launch it.
Go to “File” in the toolbar at the top of your screen.
Click “New Screen Recording” and wait for a new recording window to appear.
Quick tip: You may need to grant QuickTime access to record your screen in your Mac’s System Preferences. If that’s the case, a pop-up window will appear prompting you to allow the app to record your screen’s contents under the Privacy tab of your “Security & Privacy” settings. In the screenshot toolbar towards the bottom of the screen, click the solid-line screen icon to select your entire screen.
Your cursor will turn into a camera icon. You can now click anywhere on the screen to begin recording. You can also click the “Record” button in the QuickTime Player control toolbar to begin recording.
To stop recording, press the record icon in the top bar of your screen. QuickTime Player will save your recording to the location you specified.
How to record a select portion of the screen on your Mac
Open the QuickTime Player app on your Mac.
Click “File” in the app’s top bar and select “New Screen Recording.”
In the screenshot toolbar towards the bottom of the screen, click the dashed-line screen icon.
A cropped window will appear on your screen. Adjust its size or move it to a different location on-screen to select the portion of your screen you want to record.
Click the “Record” button to the far right in the QuickTime control toolbar. If you want to cancel a screen recording before it begins, press the Esc key.
To stop recording, press the record icon in the top bar of your screen. Your recording will automatically save under the filename format “Screen Recording date at time.mov” but you can change the file name after it’s saved.
How to screen record on your Mac with audio
Open QuickTime Player. Click “File” in the top bar and select “New Screen Recording.”
In the screenshot toolbar at the bottom of the QuickTime Player screen, select “Options.”
Under the greyed-out “Microphone” heading, select “Macbook Pro Microphone” or any of the other listed microphone options you see.
Once the mic type has been selected, click the “Record” button in the control toolbar to begin recording your screen with sound.
When you’re finished recording, press the record icon in the top bar of your screen. QuickTime Player will save your recording to the location you specified.
Quick tip: You can open your saved screen recordings in QuickTime Player, iMovie, and any other downloaded apps capable of editing or viewing videos.
Tips and tricks to screen record on Mac with QuickTime Player
The QuickTime Player app’s screenshot control toolbar lets you decide how and what you want to screen record. The “Options” menu, in particular, offers an array of settings.
Here are a few you can choose from — and what they’ll do for you:
Save to: You can determine the location on your Mac that your video file automatically saves to once you end the screen recording.
Timer: Determine whether your screen begins recording as soon as you hit “Record” or whether there’s a time-delay of five or 10 seconds.
Show Floating Thumbnail: A floating thumbnail can appear on your screen after you’ve finished recording, which is helpful if you want to quickly rename a file or change where it’s saved.
Remember Last Selection: You can have QuickTime Player remember the exact screen record settings you used the last time by enabling this feature.
Show Mouse Clicks: This will add a black circle to your cursor during the recording to make it clearer where your pointer is on screen.
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