How to Record Your Screen on Mac

Recording your Mac’s screen is a straightforward task. You can do it with a few clicks using two native methods or third-party software if you want more advanced tools.

How to record your screen using the Screenshot toolbar

Note: This method only records audio from your Mac’s microphone or any plugged-in microphone, not system audio.

  1. Pull up the “Screenshot toolbar” by pressing Shift + Command + 5 or using “Spotlight Search.”
Mac Spotlight Search
Press Command + Space to launch Spotlight Search and type “screenshot.”
  1. In the “Screenshot toolbar,” you can Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion.
Mac Screenshot toolbar
You can record your whole screen or a specific portion by cropping.
  1. Before hitting Record, make sure to set up the following by clicking on the Options button:
    • Save to
    • Timer
    • Microphone
    • Options
Mac Screenshot toolbar Options menu
Click on the Options button and set up your screen recording.
  1. Once your “Options” are all set, hit Record to start.
Record button on Mac Screenshot toolbar
Click on the Record button to start your screen recording.
  1. To stop screen recording, click the Stop Screen Recording button on the menu bar or “Screenshot toolbar.”
Stop Screen Recording button on Mac Screenshot toolbar
Click on the Stop Screen Recording button when you want to end your screen recording.
Stop Screen Recording button on Mac menu bar
Click on the Stop Screen Recording button on the menu bar to finish your recording.
  1. You should find the video file at the “Save to” location you picked before starting your recording and at the bottom right of your screen if you checked “Show Floating Thumbnail” under “Options.”

How to launch the Screenshot toolbar using QuickTime Player

Note: This method only records audio from your Mac’s microphone or any microphone plugged in, not system audio.

  1. Launch “QuickTime Player” using “Launchpad” or “Spotlight Search.”
Mac Launchpad search
Launch Launchpad from your dock and look for QuickTime Player.
  1. At the menu bar, click File and select New Screen Recording or press Control + Command + N. You should see the “Screenshot toolbar.”
QuickTime Player New Screen Recording button
Click on File and select New Screen Recording to start screen recording with QuickTime Player.

Third-party alternatives

OBS Studio

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio is a free and open-source screencasting and live streaming software. It’s available on Mac and has a simple user interface, making it easy for beginners to use.

Here’s how to record your screen using OBS Studio:

  1. First, download and install “OBS Studio.”
  2. Launch OBS Studio using Launchpad or “Spotlight Search.”
Launching OBS Studio using Launchpad
Open Launchpad and click on the OBS Studio app icon.
  1. Under Sources, click the plus “Add Source” button.
OBS Studio Add Source button
Under Sources, click the plus sign to add Display Capture.
  1. Select Display Capture.
OBS Studio add Display Capture
Select Display Capture to capture your Mac’s screen.
  1. In the next window, click OK.
OBS Studio new Display Capture
If you wish to rename your new source, replace “Display Capture” and click OK.
  1. If you want to capture only a specific part of your screen or a window, right-click on Display Capture under Sources and select Properties.
OBS Studio Display Capture Properties
To capture a specific part of your screen or a window, open the Properties window.
  1. Open the dropdown menu for Crop, pick how you want to crop, and click OK.
OBS Studio Display Capture Crop
Open the dropdown menu for Crop and select what part of your screen you want to capture.
  1. The display, window, or area you want to capture should reflect in OBS Studio.
  2. Once ready, click Start Recording under Controls.
OBS Studio Start Recording button
Under Controls, click Start Recording to begin your screen recording.
  1. If you wish to stop recording, click Stop Recording under Controls.
    • You can find where OBS Studio saves your recording by going into Settings under Controls and opening the Output tab. Next, look at the Recording Path in the Recording section. You can also change the path by clicking on Browse.
Where to find OBS studio recordings
Open Settings and go to the Output tab to see where OBS Studio stores your recordings.
OBS Studio Stop Recording button
To stop screen recording, click Stop Recording in the Controls tab.

Streamlabs Desktop

Streamlabs Desktop is another free and open-source software based on OBS Studio. The interface is almost similar to OBS Studio.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to record your screen using Streamlabs Desktop:

  1. First, download and install “Streamlabs Desktop.”
  2. Next, launch “Streamlabs Desktop” using Launchpad or “Spotlight Search.”
Launching Streamlabs Desktop using Launchpad
Open Launchpad and click on the Streamlabs Desktop app icon.
  1. Under the Sources tab, click the plus “Add Source” button.
Streamlabs Add Source button
Click on the plus “Add Source” button in the Sources tab.
  1. Click Display Capture or Window Capture and click Add Source.
    • Display Capture records everything on your screen.
    • Window Capture records a specific window you select.
Streamlabs Add Source window
In the Add Source window, select Window Capture or Display Capture.
  1. In the next window, click Add Source.
Streamlabs Add Source
After selecting what you want to capture, click Add Source. You can also rename your source in this window.
    • If you selected Window Capture, open the Window dropdown and choose which application you want Streamlabs to capture. Click Done.
Setting up Window Capture in Streamlabs OBS
Open the dropdown menu for Window and select the application you want to capture.
  1. The Display Capture or Window Capture you added should be under Sources.
Streamlabs added source
The new sources you added should reflect in the Sources tab.
  1. Once you’re ready to record, click the REC button. It should turn red to signify that the recording started.
Streamlabs Record button
Once you’re ready to record your screen, click on the REC button.
  1. When you’re finished recording, click again on the REC button.
Streamlabs stop REC
Click on the red REC button to stop recording.
    • You can check where Streamlabs Desktop saves your recordings by opening Settings, going to the Output tab, and checking the Recording Path under Recording. You can also change the path by clicking on Browse.
How to open Streamlabs Desktop Settings
Click on the gear icon at the bottom left of the Streamlabs Desktop interface to open Settings.
Streamlabs Desktop Recording Path
Go to Output and check the Recording Path.

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