How to Record Video on Mac: Quick Guide

If you need to record video on your Mac, you have several easy and built-in options at your disposal. Whether you want to create tutorial videos, capture gameplay, or record a meeting, Mac’s built-in features make it simple. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through every step of the process.

Using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is pre-installed on all Mac computers and provides a straightforward way to record video.

Open QuickTime Player

Firstly, to begin recording, open QuickTime Player from your Applications folder.

Once QuickTime is open, you will see the application’s main interface.

Start a New Recording

Next, click on the “File” menu in the top bar and select “New Movie Recording.”

A new window will open, displaying a live feed from your webcam.

You can adjust the recording settings by clicking on the small arrow next to the record button.

Choose Your Microphone and Camera

In the settings menu, you can choose which camera and microphone to use for recording.

Select your desired devices from the drop-down lists.

For a higher quality video, you can also adjust the recording resolution.

Begin Recording

Once you have everything set up, hit the red record button in the middle of the window to start recording.

You can record for as long as you want or until your disk space runs out.

When you are done, click the stop button to finish the recording.

Save Your Recording

After stopping the recording, a preview window will open where you can review your video.

Go to the “File” menu again and select “Save.”

Choose a location on your Mac to save the video and click “Save.”

Screen Recording with QuickTime Player

Besides recording video from your webcam, QuickTime Player also allows you to record your screen.

Start a New Screen Recording

Open QuickTime Player and go to the “File” menu again.

This time, select “New Screen Recording.”

A small recording toolbar will appear on your screen.

Select Recording Options

Click on the small arrow next to the record button to open the settings menu.

From here, you can choose whether to record the entire screen or just a portion of it.

You can also select your audio input if you plan to record narration.

Record Your Screen

Once you have selected your preferences, click the red record button.

If you chose to record a portion of your screen, select the area you want to capture by dragging your cursor.

When you’re ready, start the recording.

To stop, click the stop button in the menu bar.

Save Screen Recording

After you finish recording, the video will appear in a preview window.

You can review the video before saving it.

Go to the “File” menu and select “Save,” then choose a location for your file.

Using the Screenshot Toolbar

Starting with macOS Mojave, you can use the built-in Screenshot Toolbar for screen recordings.

Open the Screenshot Toolbar

Press Shift + Command + 5 on your keyboard.

This will open the Screenshot Toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

From here, you have options for capturing still images or recording videos.

Select Video Recording

In the toolbar, you will see options for recording the entire screen or a selected portion.

Click on either button depending on your needs.

Recording Options

Click the options button in the toolbar.

Here, you can choose where to save your recording, set a timer, and decide whether to show the mouse pointer or clicks.

Begin Recording

Once you’ve selected your preferences, click the record button.

If you chose a selected portion, drag your cursor to define the area you want to capture.

Click “Record” to start.

To stop recording, press Command + Control + Esc or click the stop button in the menu bar.

Save and Edit

After recording, a thumbnail of the video will appear in the corner of your screen.

Click on it to open the preview, where you can trim or share the video.

If you close the preview, the video will be saved automatically to your chosen location.

Recording with iMovie

If you require more advanced editing capabilities, consider using iMovie, which is also free for Mac users.

Open iMovie

Launch iMovie from your Applications folder.

Create a new project by clicking on “Create New” and selecting “Movie.”

Import Video

To record video, click on the “Import Media” button.

From the list of devices, select your camera.

You should see a live feed appear in the preview window.

Record Video

Click the “Record” button to start capturing video.

You can record as long as you want.

Click “Stop” when you are finished.

Edit Your Video

Once your video is recorded, it will appear in the media library.

Drag it to the timeline to begin editing.

Here you can trim, add effects, and do more advanced video editing.

Export Your Video

When you are satisfied with your video, click on the “File” menu and select “Share” then choose “File.”

Set your export settings and click “Next.”

Choose a location to save your video and click “Save.”

Additional Tips for High-Quality Video

For the best results, consider the following tips.


Ensure you have adequate lighting.

Natural light is best, but you can also use lamps and other light sources.

Avoid lighting from behind as it can create unwanted shadows.

Sound Quality

Use an external microphone if possible.

The built-in microphone may pick up background noise.

Make sure to record in a quiet environment for the best audio quality.

Framing Your Shot

Ensure your face is well-centered in the frame.

Position the camera at eye level for the most flattering angle.

Consider your background as well; a clean, uncluttered background is usually best.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

If you encounter issues, there are some steps you can take to resolve them.

No Audio

Make sure your microphone is correctly selected in the recording options.

Check your Mac’s system preferences to ensure the microphone is working.

Lagging Video

Close any unnecessary applications to free up system resources.

Ensure your Mac has sufficient disk space available.