How to Screen Record on a Mac

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

Record your screen on a Mac using hotkeys:

  1. Press Shift, Command, and 5.
  2. Select the recording option.
  3. Hit the Record button to start recording.

You can also try Movavi Video Suite.

There are many situations in which you might like to record the screen on your Mac. To do this, you'll need to learn how to screen record on a Mac. This guide covers desktop screen recorders for Mac and built-in recording tools.

There are many ways to record a video on your Mac. Depending on your needs, you may choose the program with extra options such as editing recorded videos or a simple tool with only one purpose. Look at the table below to get more info.


Best for


Users who want to screen record without downloading any extra programs

Users who want to easily capture video from their Mac screens

Beginners and advanced users who want to record a screen on a Mac

Show more

Special pick: Movavi Video Suite

Our special pick from the table above is Movavi Video Suite. Able to record both video and audio, including external audio via a microphone and system sounds directly through your Mac, this is one of the most reliable and versatile Mac screen recorders you can use. It's ideal for capturing any screen activities, and it's very easy to use, even for beginners.

How to record your screen on a Mac with hotkeys

Best for: Users who want to screen record without downloading any extra programs

Can you screen record on a Mac without downloading anything? You definitely can! It is possible to use Mac's own built-in recorder and hotkeys to start recording on the fly whenever you want to, without any extra downloads or installations needed.


  • A quick and efficient method

  • No need for extra downloads

  • Completely free


  • Doesn't allow you to easily capture system audio

How to record the whole screen

  1. Press the Command + Shift + 5 keys at the same time on your Mac's keyboard.

  2. Select the Record Entire Screen option in the pop-up toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Press the Record button to start recording your entire screen.

  4. When you're ready to end the recording, click on the Stop icon (a square inside a circle) at the top of the screen. You may also press the Command + Control + Esc keys to end the recording.

How to record a part of the screen

  1. Press the Command + Shift + 5 keys on the keyboard to bring up the recording toolbar.

  2. Press the Record Selected Portion button to record a specific portion of the screen, or click on the icon that is further to the right, which shows a dotted line and allows you to click and drag out to cover an area of the screen you want to record.

  3. Press the Record button to begin the recording process.

  4. When you've finished recording, click on the Stop icon at the top of the screen or use the Command + Control + Esc shortcut.

How to record a screen with a microphone audio

  1. Press the Command + Shift + 5 keys to bring up the recording menu.

  2. Choose whether you want to record the entire screen or a section of the screen, following the instructions listed in the previous sections.

  3. Click on the Options button to access extra settings. You can then select which audio source you want to record audio from, such as an external microphone or the device's built-in microphone.

  4. Press the Record button to start recording screen Mac with audio.

  5. Press the Stop icon or press Command + Control + Esc together to stop screen record.

How to screen record on a MacBook with QuickTime

Best for: Users who want to easily capture video from their Mac screens

Another option for how to screen record on a Mac is to use the built-in QuickTime Player application. This app is usually used for playing media files, but it can also be used to make them and edit them, too, and it works for capturing video from your Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, or other Mac OS X device. If you also want to use QuickTime as audio recording software for your Mac, pay attention that the program doesn’t capture microphone audio. 


  • No need to download or install anything extra

  • Free and easy to use

  • Can also play and edit your recordings


  • Can only capture external audio

How to use QuickTime Player

  1. Open the QuickTime Player application on your Mac device.

  2. Press File, then click on New Screen Recording. This will open the Screenshot and Recording tools.

  3. You can click on the various icons to capture the full screen or part of the screen.

  4. You can also click on the Options menu to adjust options, like setting up a timer or choosing an audio device to record external audio with your recording.

  5. When you're ready to start capturing, press the Record button.

  6. When you're finished recording, press the Stop icon at the top of the screen, or use the Command + Control + Esc hotkeys shortcut hotkeys shortcut to stop screen recording.

Get QuickTime

How to record a screen with Movavi Video Suite

Best for: Beginners and advanced users who want to record a screen on a Mac

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 48 reviews

Movavi Video Suite is a reliable and effective app for people who want to know how to record your screen on a Mac or how to screen record on a MacBook. With this app, you can easily record streaming videos on your Mac, capture webinars and online calls, or create video tutorials. The program also offers simple editing tools you can use to trim files after recording.


  • Very easy to use

  • Offers many features like webcam capture and editing tools

  • Works with both internal and external audio


  • Watermark will appear on videos when using the free version

How to use Movavi Video Suite

  1. Download the program and follow the installation instructions.
    Download Movavi Video Suite

  2. After you launch the program, the sidebar will appear. Press the icon with the video camera. Use the cursor to resize the capture frame and position it to record a particular area of the screen.

  3. By clicking on the REC button, you can start to record the screen on a Mac. There are hotkeys to help you control the recording process: ⌥ ⌘ 1 to pause and resume and ⌥ ⌘ 2 to stop to record screen activity on a Mac. You can also change these hotkeys if you wish; to do this, go to the Settings menu.

  4. Last but not least is the process of editing and converting the result. Using the white marker, you can select unnecessary parts of the capture and cut them out with the Scissors button. To complete the editing, delete the selected pieces by clicking the Trash Can button.

  5. Now hit the Export button to save the result. Choose the format for the recording – popular video formats like MP4 and MOV are available. If you want to record a GIF on your Mac, simply choose the GIF format. Don’t forget to name the file and choose the folder, so you don’t lose the recording. Complete the process by hitting the Save button.

How to record a screen with OBS Studio

Best for: Users who are interested in content creation or streaming

TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5

OBS Studio is a free and open-source app that you can use to screen record Macbook, iMac, or any other Mac device. This app is used by a lot of YouTubers, streamers, and content creators, thanks to its versatility. It offers a range of features that advanced users can take advantage of while filming to make unique, custom videos and presentations. OBS lets you capture screen and record sound on your Mac, including system sounds and microphone audio.


  • Free and open-source

  • Lots of features and functions for users to experiment with

  • Trusted by many content creators and professional streamers


  • The interface can be quite confusing and overwhelming for beginners

How to use OBS Studio

  1. So, how do you use OBS Studio to film your screen on a Mac? First, download the application to your computer from the official OBS site.
    Download OBS Studio

  2. Install the application, following the instructions to complete the process. Once the program has been installed, you can open it up.

  3. Note the Sources box in the bottom-left section of the screen. You should click on the + icon at the bottom of this box and then click Display Capture. A menu will appear with the list of monitors you have. You can then click on the main display you want to record from.

  4. You can add additional recording sources to the Sources box, if desired. For example, you may add a webcam source if you want to record a video of yourself, and you can click on Audio Sources to add a range of audio sources, like external microphones or system audio, to record sound.

  5. Once your sources have been added, you can use the Settings menu to adjust settings and choose where your recordings are to be saved to. Then press the Start Recording button in the bottom right to begin the recording process with OBS Studio.

  6. You can pause the recording at any time using the Pause button in the bottom left and then press Stop Recording when you've finished. The recording will be automatically saved to your system.

How to record a screen with ScreenFlow

Best for: Users who want an all-in-one video creation, editing, and sharing tool

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

If you're looking for a professional-grade app for screen recording, video editing, and video creation, ScreenFlow might be the best way for you to screencast on a Mac. This high-end app is made for experienced users and offers a wide range of features, as well as iOS recording, a stock media library, professional animations, and more.


  • Lots of advanced features

  • Can be used to record on iOS devices, too

  • Produces high-quality recordings with both video and audio


  • One of the most expensive screen recording apps available

How to use ScreenFlow

  1. The first step of using ScreenFlow to record your Mac's screen is to download and install the ScreenFlow app from the official site.
    Download ScreenFlow

  2. Once the program has been installed, open ScreenFlow. A window will appear that lets you select the video and audio you wish to record. Configure the parameters accordingly.

  3. Press the Record button. A timer will count down and the recording will start.

  4. When you want to stop recording, click on the ScreenFlow icon in the top right section of the screen and press Stop Recording.

  5. The full ScreenFlow menu will then open up with your recording file ready to be edited and saved.

How to stop recording with hotkeys and QuickTime

If you're recording your screen using either hotkeys or the QuickTime Player, the method to stop your recording is always the same. All you need to do is press the Stop icon, which looks like a square inside a circle and appears at the top of your screen. As soon as you click on this icon, the recording will end and you can then save it to your device for editing, sharing, and playing.

How to edit recorded videos in QuickTime Player

Once you've recorded videos of your Mac's screen, you may want to edit them. You can do this with the help of QuickTime Player. Here's how to do it.

  1. To get started, open the QuickTime Player application.

  2. Press File and open the video that you want to edit.

  3. Click on the Edit button to access the editing menu. From here, you can make use of various editing features and functions to make adjustments to your clip.

  4. If you want to rotate or flip your file, click the Rotate/Flip buttons in the editing menu. You can turn the video left or right, or flip it horizontally or vertically.

  5. If you want to trim your file, click the Trim button and adjust the beginning and end lines to isolate the part of the recording you wish to save. Then press Trim to confirm.

  6. If you want to split a video into multiple clips, move the red line to the section where you want to split and press the Split Clip button. Your clip will split into two.

  7. When you've finished editing, press the Done button and then go to File > Save to save your new video.

Tips on recording a screen

Before you start recording your screen to make videos, it's a good idea to do some preparation. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that whatever you want to record is finalized and ready to start, such as a presentation you want to show or a program you're making a tutorial for.

  • Write down some notes to remind you of important points you want to cover in your video.

  • Rehearse your video or presentation several times before starting the recording.

  • Try to ensure that you record in a quiet space when using a microphone, as you will want to try and minimize any background audio.

  • If you make a mistake that needs to be edited out, pause for a moment before continuing. This will make it easier to find and edit the section out.


Hopefully, this guide has helped you find out more about how to screen record on a Mac, as well as highlighting some of the best methods to capture both video and audio from your device. If you're not sure which tool to use, here are some factors to think about:

  • Ease of use: Try to find a method or app for screen capture that is easy to use and matches with your own abilities and experience levels.

  • Features: Make sure you use an app or method that has the features you need, which may include the option to record just part of the screen or the ability to record internal audio on a Mac.

  • User reviews: Read through user reviews of different pieces of software to find out what people think about them and which ones are worth trying out.

  • Support: It's also wise to find an app that has strong customer support options, like detailed guides and friendly live chat help systems, in case you have any problems.

Movavi Video Suite

Everything you need to create and edit multimedia files

Frequently asked questions

How do you screen record on a Mac?

You can use your Mac's own hotkey combinations to start screen recording using a built-in tool:

  1. Press the Command, Shift, and 5 keys at the same time.

  2. Choose to record either the whole screen or a section of it.

  3. Use the Options menu to configure your recording and choose to record sound, if needed.

  4. Press the Record button to start and press the square in circle icon at the top of the screen to finish.

How do I record my screen with sound on a Mac?

You can use Movavi Video Suite to record screen on your Mac with audio.

  1. Download and install Movavi Video Suite.
    Download Movavi Video Suite

  2. Open the program and click Screen recording. Choose your capture area.

  3. Press the Speaker button for system audio and/or the Microphone button for microphone/external audio.

  4. Press the red Record button to start and press Stop when you're finished.

How do I record my Mac screen without QuickTime?

There are various ways in which you can capture your Mac screen without having to use QuickTime. You can download and use a recording app such as Movavi Video Suite, ScreenFlow, or OBS Studio. Another option is to record using hotkeys.

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