How to record video on Mac in 2024: the ultimate guide.

Elevate your video creation with expert tips and tricks

As Mac continues to be a staple in many professional and creative fields, knowing how to record your screen and capture video is becoming more important for sharing content. In this guide, we demystify the process, showcasing both basic and advanced methods for screen recording.

As you read on, you’ll discover the built-in capabilities of Mac, explore third-party software options like, and uncover tips to elevate the quality of your recordings.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, this all-encompassing guide will empower you to make the most out of your Mac's video recording capabilities.

Video recording on a Mac isn't rocket science, but it does require an understanding of the hardware and software you’ll need to produce the quality of content you want to record.

Hardware and software requirements


Most modern Macs have got the basics covered. But if you're aiming for that Hollywood sparkle (or at least YouTube fame), you might want to gear up a bit with an external microphone that doesn't make you sound like you're in a tin can. Also, consider an HD webcam, so you don’t look like you’re taking a selfie with your grandma's flip phone. Last but not least, if you plan on movie recording the next Lord of the Rings trilogy, you'll want a Mac with enough storage and muscle (aka processor and RAM) to handle it.


Your Mac comes with some nifty built-in tools—like QuickTime Player and Screenshot Toolbar—that cover all your basic editing needs. But sometimes, you need a little more editing flexibility to create an eye-catching masterpiece. Want customizable backgrounds that aren’t obvious? Higher resolution so viewers can actually see what's on your entire screen? Apps like are packed with features for everything from professional-grade presentations to those casual 'just chatting' sessions.

How to record a video on Mac: a step-by-step guide

Recording video on your Mac can be accomplished using several built-in methods. These straightforward steps will guide you through each process.

Using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player, a versatile tool available on all Macs, is more than just a media player. To record your screen:

  1. Launch QuickTime Player and navigate to 'File' > 'New Screen Recording'.

  2. A screen recording window will appear, offering options like selecting the microphone to record audio and determining whether to show mouse clicks in the recording.

  3. Press the 'Record' button. You can choose to record the entire screen or drag to select a specific area.

  4. To stop recording, click the stop icon in the menu bar. Save the file to your desired location.

Using Screenshot Toolbar

For those of you with a Touch Bar, the Screenshot Toolbar is a quick and efficient way to record a portion of your screen:

  1. Press Shift-Command-5 to open the toolbar.

  2. You'll see options to 'Record Entire Screen' or 'Record Selected Portion'.

  3. Click 'Options' to select where to save your recording, set a timer, and choose other preferences.

  4. Click the record button to start and stop the recording from the menu bar or by pressing Command-Control-Esc.

Advanced screen recording options

For those seeking more advanced features than what Mac's built-in tools offer, third-party software can be a game-changer, offering enhanced capabilities for professional-grade recordings.

Using mmhmm for Screen Recording

mmhmm stands out with its sleek interface and powerful features, making it a breeze to record your screen while offering advanced functionalities. It's particularly beneficial for creating engaging presentations or tutorials, thanks to its ability to integrate dynamic backgrounds, interactive slides, and even live stream capabilities. Here’s how to use mmhmm for screen recording:

  1. Download and install mmhmm.

  2. Open the app and set up your camera and microphone.

  3. Customize your background and add any presentations or additional media you want in your recording.

  4. Hit the record button, and utilize the live editing features to enhance your presentation.

  5. Save and export your recording in a preferred format.

Tips for high-quality screen recording

Frame rate and resolution

The smoothness and clarity of your video heavily depend on the frame rate and resolution. A frame rate of 60 frames per second (fps) can give you a fluid, natural-looking video, especially important in fast-paced content. As for resolution, 1080p is a standard for high-definition video, but if your Mac supports it, 4K resolution provides even more detail and clarity. Paying some attention to resolution and frame rate could give your video the extra polish sure to impress your audience.

Audio settings

When you record your screen, good audio quality is as important as video quality. Use an external microphone for clearer sound and try to record in a quiet environment to minimize background noise. In your recording software, check the audio settings to ensure the correct input source is selected and adjust the levels to avoid peaking or recordings that are too low.

How to edit your recorded video

Once you've recorded your video, editing is the next step to polish and refine your content. iMovie, available on all Macs, is a user-friendly option for basic editing tasks. Here’s a quick guide to editing in iMovie:

  1. Open iMovie and create a new project.

  2. Import your screen recording.

  3. Use iMovie’s intuitive interface to trim clips, add transitions, insert text, and adjust audio levels.

  4. Experiment with iMovie’s built-in filters and effects to enhance the visual appeal of your video.

  5. Once you're satisfied, export your edited video in your desired format.

Third-party editing options

Adobe Premiere Pro: A professional tool for filmmakers and video editors.

mmhmm: Record your video in mmhmm and easily edit within the app itself, streamlining your workflow. It offers tools to trim your video, adjust slides, and modify visual elements, all within the same interface used for recording.

Camtasia: Ideal for creating educational content with screen recording and interactive elements.

Common issues and troubleshooting

Even with the best setup, you might run into some hiccups while recording on Mac. Here are some common issues and their troubleshooting steps to help you resolve them.

Issue: Audio not being recorded

  1. Check if the correct microphone is selected in your recording software's settings.

  2. Ensure the microphone's volume is adequately adjusted and not muted.

  3. If using external microphones, verify that they are properly connected and recognized by your Mac.

Issue: Poor video quality

  1. Verify the resolution settings in your recording software. Higher resolution settings like 1080p or 4K yield better quality.

  2. Close unnecessary applications to free up your Mac’s resources, enhancing recording performance.

  3. Check for software updates for your Mac and the recording application, as updates often include performance enhancements.

Issue: Screen recording stops unexpectedly

  1. Ensure there is enough storage space on your Mac to save the recording.

  2. Check if your Mac is set to sleep or screen saver mode during recording. Adjust these settings in System Preferences.

Issue: Audio and video out of sync

  1. Restart your recording software and try recording again.

  2. If the issue persists, try a different software or update the current one.

  3. Check if external audio and video hardware are properly synchronized.


Q: Can I record internal audio from my Mac during screen recording?

A: Yes, you can record audio internally, but you may need to adjust your Mac’s audio settings or use specific screen recording software that supports this feature.

Q: How can I reduce the file size of my screen recordings?

A: To keep file sizes manageable, record at a lower resolution or frame rate. Additionally, most video editing software offers options to compress and optimize video files for easier storage and sharing.

Q: What video formats can I save my recordings in?

A: Common formats include MOV and MP4. The choice of format can depend on your recording tool and intended use of the video.


Why you need to know how to record video on Mac

Understanding how to record video on your Mac is essential in today's digital age. Whether it's for creating instructional content, recording meetings or webinars, or capturing gameplay, knowing how to properly record your screen is an invaluable skill.

Mac's versatility in screen recording and editing makes it a preferred choice for many professionals and creatives, and knowing how to record on Mac can enhance your productivity and open up new avenues for content creation and sharing. From educational purposes to professional presentations and personal projects, the applications of screen recording on a Mac are vast and varied––making it an essential skill in your stack.

Armed with this knowledge, you're ready to tackle any recording task that comes your way. Whether it's for work, study, or just for fun, the power to create the content you want to record is now in your hands. Remember, Mac has got the basics covered, so if you’re not looking for anything fancy, you’re good to go. But, apps like mmhmm, paired with an external microphone and HD webcam will skyrocket the quality of video you can produce.

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