How to record your screen on a Mac

While I'm sure there are a plethora of third-party applications that you can download to do this, why add something to your computer that would potentially slow it down when the functionality is already built-in? The ability is already built straight into the Quicktime app on your Mac. That's right! The same application that allows you to watch videos on your computer also allows you to record your screen. It's remarkably simple, and best of all — free!

How to use the Mac Screen Recorder

The functionality to record your screen using Quicktime is only built-in to Mac OS 10.6-10.9 (and I'm assuming later).

  1. Start by launching Quicktime (found in Spotlight or in the /Applications folder)
  2. From the top menu, select “File –> New Screen Recording”

  1.  To the left of the giant red “record” button, there  is a little while triangle that drops down to give you various options. From here, you can choose the default microphone that you wish to use (I use the built-in mic on the Mac, as I don't have anything better). You can also choose whether to show mouse clicks or not.

  1. Once you have all the options set, click the big red button to begin. To stop recording, you can either press **Command + Control + Escape**, or you can press the little “stop” button in the task bar at the top:

  1. Once you stop the recording, a “Save as…” dialog box opens automatically, and you can name your file whatever you'd like. It'll be saved in a .mov format by default so you can edit it in iMovie or wherever, but you can also export it in a different format if you choose.

Ultimately, I think the best feature of all of this is the fact that Quicktime is completely out of the way as you're doing your recordings. The program vanishes completely so that it's unobtrusive and doesn't get in your video. The first time I recorded a video, I wasn't quite sure how to end the recording. It's a really great feature, and best of all, you don't have to download any other programs. The capability is already there!