Using QuickTime to Record on a Mac

Most people know QuickTime as the default video player on every Mac, but this staple app has a few very useful, lesser-known tricks up its sleeve. Specifically, QuickTime Player has the ability to create simple, high quality audio recordings, video recordings (via the built-in iSight camera or an externally connected camera), or screen recordings.

Audio Recording
To create an audio recording, open QuickTime Player, then choose FILE, NEW AUDIO RECORDING. An audio recording window will open.


Click the white triangle to the right of the window to choose an audio input source, like the built-in microphone, and to set the quality of the recording. To begin recording, click the red circle in the middle of the window. Click the same button, which will change from a red circle to a black square while recording, to stop.

Video Recording
To create a video recording, choose FILE, NEW MOVIE RECORDING. A window will open that shows a preview of the camera view. The same recordings controls are located near the bottom of the window.


Click the white triangle for the same audio input and quality options, and also to choose which camera to use for video capture (if an additional camera is connected).

Screen Recording
QuickTime Player’s screen recording function has a few more options available that the other two. To create a screen recording, choose FILE, NEW SCREEN RECORDING. A screen recording window will open.


Click the white triangle to set the audio input source. In this menu, you can also choose to SHOW MOUSE CLICKS IN RECORDING, which will make an expanding black circle show around the cursor in the video whenever the mouse is clicked.

Click the red circle to begin recording, and two options will be listed on the screen: Click anywhere on the screen to begin recording the entire screen, or click and drag a marque around a particular area of the screen to begin recording only within that area.

When recording, the screen recording window will be hidden, so it will not be a part of the recording. To stop recording, click the stop button that appears in the menubar while recording.

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After the audio, video, or screen recording is finished, choose FILE, SAVE to save it.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant