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Screen recording with QuickTime Player (MacOS)

The QuickTime Player video player and recording software is always installed in MacOS, so for Mac users it is a good option for screen recording. This explains how to find the program and how to start and end the recording of your screen.

Screen recording are perfect for education or to make a quick and simple way to show how to do something on your computer. It is a way to record your screen and show it.

Start up QuickTime Player

The QuickTime Player program is included with every MacOS installation (at least in 10.5 and later) and is a program commonly used to play video and audio, but it can also be used for screen recording. QuickTime Player can be downloaded and used on non-Mac operating systems , but this guide is written based on MacOS as it is pre-installed there.

To start QuickTime Player:

  1. Open Applications and select QuickTime Player
  2. Select New Screen Recording under the File menu

A small control panel called “Screen Recording” opens in the upper left corner of the screen. The control panel has only one button at start-up: the record button. Finer adjustments, such as selecting the microphone or the folder to which the recordings are saved, can be made in the menu that opens in the lower right corner of the control panel (small clickable triangle, see image below).

Screenshot showing screen recording settings in a menu in Quick Time Player.
Settings for screen recording in Quick Time Player. By clicking the triangle in the control panel, a menu is shown with the following options. Choose microphone (Microphone), Video quality (Quality) and save folder (Save to).

Record with QuickTime Player

When you click the record button, which is a gray circle with a red dot in it, a dialog box opens asking you to confirm that you want to start recording. The dialog also describes how to end the recording once it has started.

Screenshot showing button for Start recording in Quick Time Player.
The QuickTime Player dialog box asks you to confirm that you want to start recording. The dialog box informs that the box is hidden during recording and that you can turn off the recording by clicking on the button with a black square ("Stop Recording") or by pressing Command-Control-Esc on the keyboard. The box also has a button labeled "Cancel" to cancel and "Start Recording" to start recording.

The default setting is for QuickTime Player to record the entire screen in high quality and without a microphone. If you want other settings, this needs to be done before recording starts.

Finish the recording

When you have finished recording, click "Stop Recording" or use the keyboard command Command-Control-Escape. After the recording is completed, the finished video is saved in your home directory, ~ YOUR_NAME/Movies - unless you have changed the save folder.

The recorded video is of mp4 format and can be edited in any editing program.

Read more about Video editing .

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Last changed: Oct 13, 2021