How To Screen Record On Mac With Audio

How To Screen Record On Mac

In the digital age, screen recording has become an indispensable tool for various purposes, from creating tutorials and presentations to capturing memorable moments from your favorite apps or games. If you’re a Mac user looking to harness the power of screen recording, you’re in luck! Apple’s macOS comes equipped with built-in screen recording capabilities that are both versatile and user-friendly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to screen record on your Mac, covering different methods, settings, and tips to help you capture exactly what you need.

How to Screen Record on Mac (for Free!)

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Understanding Built-in Screen Recording Features:

Using QuickTime Player:

QuickTime Player is a versatile application that not only plays media files but also offers a convenient method for screen recording on your Mac.

  1. Launching QuickTime Player:
    • To open QuickTime Player, navigate to your Applications folder or use Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Spacebar and typing “QuickTime Player” followed by Enter.
  2. Initiating Screen Recording:
    • Once QuickTime Player is open, click on “File” in the menu bar at the top of your screen.
    • From the drop-down menu, select “New Screen Recording.” This action will prompt a small recording window to appear on your screen.
  3. Configuring Settings:
    • Within the recording window, you have the option to customize various settings before starting your recording.
    • You can select your desired audio input source by clicking on the arrow next to the record button. This allows you to choose between recording system audio, microphone input, or both.
    • Additionally, you can enable or disable options such as showing mouse clicks in the recording by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the record button and selecting your preferences.
  4. Starting and Ending Recording:
    • Once you’ve configured your settings, click on the red record button within the recording window to begin capturing your screen.
    • To end the recording, either click on the stop button in the menu bar at the top of your screen or press the keyboard shortcut Command + Control + Esc.

Using macOS Built-in Screen Recording:

Starting with recent versions of macOS, Apple introduced a built-in screen recording feature accessible directly from the Control Center.

  1. Accessing Control Center:
    • To open the Control Center, press Shift + Command + 5 on your keyboard. This action brings up a menu at the bottom of your screen with screen recording options.
  2. Choosing Recording Options:
    • Within the Control Center menu, you’ll find options to “Record Entire Screen” or “Record Selected Portion.” Select your preferred recording mode based on your requirements.
    • You can also choose where to save your recordings by clicking on the “Options” button and selecting a destination folder.
  3. Starting and Ending Recording:
    • Once you’ve configured your recording options, click on the record button within the Control Center menu to initiate the screen recording.
    • To stop recording, either click on the stop button in the menu bar at the top of your screen or press the keyboard shortcut Command + Control + Esc.

Understanding the Differences:

While both methods offer screen recording capabilities, there are subtle differences between using QuickTime Player and the macOS built-in screen recording tool.

  • QuickTime Player: Provides additional options for configuring audio sources and displaying mouse clicks during recording. It’s ideal for users who prefer more control over their recording settings and want to fine-tune their output.
  • macOS Built-in Screen Recording: Offers a more streamlined approach directly accessible from the Control Center. It’s convenient for users who prioritize simplicity and want to start recording quickly without navigating through menus.

Advanced Tips and Tricks:

1. Utilizing Keyboard Shortcuts:

Keyboard shortcuts are efficient tools to streamline your workflow and expedite the screen recording process.

  • Start Recording Quickly: Instead of navigating through menus, use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5 to directly access the macOS screen recording options. This shortcut immediately opens the Control Center, allowing you to begin recording without any additional steps.
  • Pause and Resume: Sometimes you might need to pause your recording temporarily. While recording, press Command + Control + Shift + Esc to pause the recording. To resume, use the same shortcut again. This feature is particularly useful when you need to take a quick break or address an interruption without ending the recording session.

2. Customizing Recording Settings:

Tailoring recording settings according to your specific requirements can enhance the quality and efficiency of your screen recordings.

  • Adjusting Quality: QuickTime Player offers the flexibility to adjust the quality of your recordings. After launching QuickTime Player, go to “File” > “New Movie Recording.” In the recording window, navigate to “Settings” and select your preferred resolution and frame rate. Higher resolutions and frame rates result in sharper and smoother recordings, but they also consume more storage space and processing power. Experiment with different settings to find the balance between quality and file size that suits your needs.
  • Optimizing Audio: Good audio quality is essential for creating engaging and professional-looking screen recordings. If you’re using an external microphone, ensure that it’s properly connected to your Mac and selected as the audio input source. You can adjust microphone settings in System Preferences under “Sound.” Test different microphone levels to find the optimal balance between clarity and volume. For built-in microphones, ensure that ambient noise is minimized to improve recording quality.

3. Editing and Sharing Recordings:

Post-recording editing and sharing processes play a crucial role in refining and distributing your screen recordings effectively.

  • Trimming Recordings: After completing your recording, you may need to trim unnecessary sections or remove mistakes before sharing the final video. QuickTime Player offers basic editing functionalities, including trimming and cutting. Open your recording in QuickTime Player, select the portion you want to remove, and then go to “Edit” > “Trim” to delete the selected segment. Alternatively, you can use third-party video editing software like iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro for more advanced editing capabilities.
  • Sharing Options: Once you’ve edited your recording, it’s time to share it with your audience. macOS provides various sharing options, including email, messaging apps, and cloud storage services. You can upload your recordings directly to iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox for easy access and sharing. Additionally, consider sharing your recordings on social media platforms or video hosting websites like YouTube or Vimeo to reach a wider audience and garner feedback.

Certainly! Let’s delve into more detailed explanations for troubleshooting common issues encountered during screen recording on a Mac.

1. Low Frame Rate or Lag:

Low frame rate or lag during screen recording can negatively impact the quality of your recordings, making them appear choppy or sluggish. This issue often occurs due to the heavy usage of system resources by other applications running in the background. Here’s how you can address this problem:

  • Close Unnecessary Applications: Identify and close any unnecessary applications or processes running in the background that may be consuming significant CPU or memory resources. This includes web browsers with multiple tabs, resource-intensive software, or background processes. By freeing up system resources, you’ll allocate more power to the screen recording process, resulting in smoother playback and higher frame rates.
  • Monitor Activity Monitor: Use the built-in macOS utility called Activity Monitor to monitor system resource usage in real time. Activity Monitor provides detailed information about CPU, memory, disk, and network usage, allowing you to identify which applications or processes are consuming the most resources. Consider quitting or disabling resource-intensive applications to alleviate strain on your system during screen recording sessions.

2. No Sound in Recording:

When you encounter issues with sound not being recorded during screen recording sessions, it’s crucial to ensure that the correct audio input source is selected in your recording settings. Here’s how to troubleshoot this issue:

  • Check Audio Input Source: Before starting your screen recording, verify that the correct audio input source is selected in your recording settings. Depending on your setup, you may need to choose between recording system audio, microphone input, or a combination of both. Access your recording settings through QuickTime Player or the Control Center and ensure that the desired audio input source is selected.
  • Test Microphone Settings: If you’re using an external microphone, ensure that it’s properly connected to your Mac and recognized as the default audio input device. You can adjust microphone settings in System Preferences under “Sound.” Test your microphone by speaking into it and checking the input level meters to ensure that sound is being detected. Adjust microphone volume levels as needed to achieve optimal recording quality.

3. Large File Sizes:

Screen recordings with large file sizes can consume significant storage space and pose challenges when sharing or transferring files. To address this issue, consider optimizing your recording settings to reduce file sizes without compromising quality. Here are some strategies:

  • Opt for Lower Resolution: Lowering the resolution of your screen recordings can significantly reduce file sizes while still maintaining adequate visual quality. When initiating a screen recording, choose a lower resolution option in your recording settings to decrease the amount of data captured per frame. Experiment with different resolutions to find the balance between file size and visual clarity that suits your needs.
  • Shorten Recording Durations: Recording shorter segments instead of lengthy sessions can help minimize file sizes, especially if you only need to capture specific portions of your screen. Plan your recordings strategically to focus on essential content and avoid unnecessary footage. By recording shorter segments, you’ll create more manageable files that are easier to share, edit, and store.


By leveraging advanced setup options, keyboard shortcuts, and editing techniques, you can elevate your screen recording skills to new heights. Experiment with different settings, explore additional features offered by third-party software and keep refining your workflow to achieve professional-quality results. Whether you’re creating instructional videos, recording software demonstrations, or preserving memorable moments, mastering screen recording on your Mac empowers you to communicate ideas effectively and engage with your audience like never before. So, embrace the power of screen recording, unleash your creativity, and share your knowledge and experiences with the world!

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