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How to Screen Record on Mac

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You can screen record on your Mac by following a few easy steps.

Apple’s macOS software comes with a screen recording feature which is extremely useful if you want to send someone a tutorial, a bug you’re dealing with on your current version of iOS or even highlights from an app or game.

The screen recording controls on Mac aren’t front and center so a lot of you, particularly those new to macOS, may not know how to find or use them.

So if you just switched to a Mac from a Windows computer or a Chromebook, or you’ve simply forgotten how to screen record on Mac, we’re going to show you how. Once you do it a few times you should have the process committed to memory.

Here’s how to screen record Mac on macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, or macOS Mojave.

How to Screen Record on Mac

You don’t need to download an app to screen record on Mac. You can record your screen using the macOS Screenshot toolbar or the macOS QuickTime Player. First, we’ll show you how to screen record using the Screenshot toolbar.

In order to bring up the Screenshot toolbar on you Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Press Shift, Command, and 5 together.
  2. The Screenshot toolbar will popup on the bottom of your Mac’s screen.
  3. The three icons on the far left are for screenshots. Ignore those. You’ll be using the icons in the middle of the toolbar. They have a shaded circle within another circle.
  4. One option will allow you to record the entire screen while the other will let you record a selected portion of you screen.
  5. Pick the option you want, if you want to record a selected portion of your screen you’ll need to drag to select the desired area, then click Record.
  6. To stop recording, you need to click the Stop Recording button in the same toolbar.

You can use the macOS Screenshot toolbar to record your screen.

After you stop recording, you’ll see a thumbnail of your video appear in the bottom right corner of your display. If you want to quickly save the video, swipe the thumbnail to the right. Or, you can do nothing and it will save automatically.

You can also click the thumbnail to open up the recording so that you can make edits. You can also drag the thumbnail to other locations like the Trash or an email.

Control-clicking the thumbnail will bring up additional options.

In the screenshot above you’ll notice an Options drop-down menu next to the Record button. This will allow you to change your recording settings before you capture your footage.

You can change where your clips are automatically saved, you can set a timer, and you can select whether you want to use the Mac’s built-in microphone or not.

You can also select if you want to see the floating thumbnail of your clip, save your selections in the tool for next time, and you can choose if you want to show a black circle around your pointer when you click in the recording.

You can also use Apple’s QuickTime player to record your Mac’s screen. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open up the QuickTime Player from your Applications folder.
  2. Now click File.
  3. Choose New Screen Recording from the menu bar.
  4. You will then see either the same Screenshot toolbar from the instructions above or a Screen Recording window if you’re using older Mac software. If you use a Screen Recording window, check out Apple’s guide.

It’s important to note that some applications may not allow you to use screen recording due to copyright or privacy issues.

If you’re interested in recording your iPhone’s screen, check out our guide. The screen recording process is a lot different on Apple’s iOS software.

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