Screen recording on a Mac

The best ways to capture your screen with MacOS
There are hundreds of screen recording options for Mac computers these days. We've tested and collected the tools that are quick, easy and pleasant to use. Most of these tools allow you to create screen recordings with audio (e.g. your voice) as well.

Note: The following options work on any computer running MacOS (i.e. MacBooks, iMac, etc.)
Mac on-screen recording with Shift + Command + 5
Source: Apple Support Center

Target audience

General-purpose, anyone who rarely records their Mac screen and doesn't need a specialized tool.

Setup

None. This option is built into all Macs with MacOS 10.14 or higher. You can check which MacOS you have here. If you have an earlier version of MacOS, you can use QuickTime option instead (see below).

Downsides

Large file size, No option to upload and share the video via a link.

How to record your screen with Shift + Command + 5

  1. Press the following key combination at the same time "Shift + Cmd + 5".
  2. Using the displayed icons, choose if you want to record the whole screen or only part of the screen.
  3. If you want to make a screen recording with audio (e.g. voice annotation), select "Options > Mac microphone".
  4. Hit "Record".
  5. Stop recording by clicking the "Stop recording" icon in the menu bar on top of your screen.

Tips and tricks

Tip #1: After you stop the recording, the thumbnail will appear in the bottom right corner of your screen. If you need to quickly share the video, you can drag and drop this thumbnail into Slack, GMail or other software. This option is convenient if you just need to share your screencast without saving it on your Mac.

Tip #2: To edit the video, click on that thumbnail and hit the Edit icon in the top right corner of the popup window.

Tip #3: To highlight mouse clicks (which is very convenient for the viewer), select "Options > Show mouse clicks".

Tip #4: If you need to make a GIF out of your screen recording, use a free online service for that (e.g. this one).
QuickTime screen recording for Mac with audio
Source: Apple Support Center

Target audience

General-purpose, users of older MacOS versions who rarely record their screen and don't need a specialized tool.

Setup

None. QuickTime is built into all Macs.

Downsides

Large file size, No option to upload and share the video via a link.

How to record your screen with QuickTime Player

  1. Launch QuickTime (Applications > QuickTime Player). You can also click on the Magnifying glass icon in the Menu bar on top of your screen and type QuickTime.
  2. A window to select a file will appear. Close it by clicking "Cancel".
  3. In the menu bar on top of the screen select "File > New screen recording".
  4. If you need to annotate your screen capture, click the Down arrow next to the red "Record" button and select "Mac microphone".
  5. Click "Record".
  6. Drag your mouse to select the area of the screen you want to record. If you need to capture the whole Mac screen, just click anywhere.
  7. Stop recording by clicking the "Stop recording" icon in the menu bar on top of your screen.

Tips and tricks

Tip #1: To edit your screen recording, go to the menu bar on top of the screen and select "Edit > Trim".

Tip #2: To make a GIF out of your screen recording, you can use a free online service, e.g. this one.
Mac screen capture for QA, PMs, Engineers and Customer Support

Target audience

QA Testers, Software Engineers, Product Managers, Customer Support.
See demo recording here.

Setup

Install Bird Eats Bug Chrome extension here.

Downsides

Currently no option to record your voice alongside the video.

How to record your screen with Bird Eats Bug

  1. Click on Bird Eats Bug extension icon in the top right corner of your Chrome window.
  2. Enable Bird Eats Bug on your domain - privacy first.
  3. Click "Record this tab".
  4. Click Bird Eats Bug extension icon again to stop and review the recording locally.
  5. Upload your screen recording, copy link and share it on Slack, E-mail, Jira, etc.

Tips and tricks

Tip #1: If you want to record the whole screen, click "Options" button next to "Record this tab".

Tip #2: Customer support teams can communicate issues to Engineers/PMs to reduce unnecessary communication and resolution time.

Tip #3: Bird Eats Bug notifies you about application and network errors on the page. That way you can catch bugs earlier.

Bird Eats Bug alternatives

4. Loom

Mac screen capture with audio and camera for Sales and Marketing
Source: Loom

Target audience

Sales, Account Management, Marketing, Remote teams

Setup

Sign up here to install Loom Chrome extension or Desktop app.
See demo recording here.

Downsides

The number of various recording settings can be overwhelming if you just want to make a quick video. The video is being uploaded while you record, which can be a privacy concern for some people.

How to record your screen with Loom

  1. Click on the Loom extension in the top right corner of your Chrome window.
  2. Choose the settings for your video: Screen recording (Full screen/Current Tab/Off), Camera (On/Off), Audio: On/Off
  3. Click "Start recording".
  4. Once you're done, you can stop the recording with the green button in the bottom left corner. Alternatively, click the Loom extension icon again.
  5. Click "Copy link" and share it on Slack, E-mail or other service.

Tips and tricks

Tip #1: By default, you will receive an e-mail when somebody watches your video. You can turn off this option in Settings.

Tip #2: Loom has a limit of 25 videos on a free tier. However, you can archive/delete your old videos to make the free tier last longer.

Loom alternatives

The following tools offer very similar functionality as Loom:

5. Gifox

Mac screen capture with GIF
Source: Gifox

Target audience

General-purpose, anyone who needs to create a GIF for Slack, E-mail, website, etc.

Setup

Download Gifox Mac app here.

How to record your screen with Gifox

  1. Click on the Gifox icon in the menu bar on top of your screen.
  2. Choose the area of the screen you want to record. Use the icon in the top left corner of Gifox popup window.
  3. Click "Start recording".
  4. Hit "Stop" button when you're done.
  5. By default the screen recording will be saved to your Mac.

Tips and tricks

Tip #1: If you use Google Drive / Dropbox apps on your Mac, you can change the destination folder for Gifox recordings respectively. That way your recording will be synced automatically.

Tip #2: You can also record a specific application window. Open Gifox and click the 2nd icon in the top left corner.

Tip #3: In Settings you can specify, how many frames per second Gifox should capture. That way you can balance between the size of the GIF and how smooth the playback is.

Gifox alternatives

  • GIPHY Capture Kepture
  • Make a screen recording with Shift + Command + 5 or QuickTime Player, convert it into GIF with an online service (e.g. this one)

Other

If you are looking for screen recording tools with extensive editing options, you can check out the following ones:

Spend less time on bugs

Made on
Tilda