screencast screen recording on mac

I was recently streaming the Stanley Cup Finals and waiting for a new Apple commercial to air during the first period. Looking for a solution to record the TV ad, as it was not up on YouTube yet, I discovered a simple feature built right into QuickTime for recording your screen on Mac.

Forget using third-party software or other cumbersome tools for recording your screen, and read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to record your screen on Mac using QuickTime…

How to record a screencast of your Mac

Step 1: Open QuickTime.

Step 2: In the Menu Bar, click on File > New Screen Recording (^⌘N).

Step 3: Click on the red circular record button.

mac screencast

Step 4: Click to record the whole screen, or drag on the screen using your mouse to record a specific area.

Step 5: When you’re done recording, simply click on the Recording icon in the right end of your Menu Bar.

Step 6: At that point, you can save your recording to your computer.

If you are looking to record your iPhone screen instead, Apple has introduced a new feature in macOS that lets you record an iOS device with a Lightning cable in very similar fashion to this. There are also similar options available via AirPlay Mirroring if you have a jailbroken device.

This how-to is part of a series of quick tips here at iDownloadBlog. If this article helped you learn a new feature, we appreciate letting us know. If you have a how to idea you would like to see, feel free to share it in the comments section below. If we follow up with an article, we’ll give you credit.

  • Jason Duong

    Did not know about this feature, thank you very much!

  • Decio Arruda

    I’m gonna comment the following just to prevent everyone else from doing so:
    “OMG, I’ve KnowN that since 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    (btw, keep on iDB)

    • Joe Rossignol

      We should start selling t-shirts that say Keep on iDB.

      Edit: Or better yet, for giveaways.

  • Kaphotics

    Dont forget to download soundflower if you want any audio.


  • Nabil El Hajjouti

    ScreenFlow tho.

    • GuyWithTheThings

      For $99.99 tho.

      • Bailey Clark

        You can get cracked versions for free

      • White Michael Jackson

        quicktime is free

  • Very useful info. Can’t wait to see if it works. Thanks!

  • David Dire

    Nice feature. I was not aware.

  • Can you guys do a video on how to use ifttt with launch center pro? I’m so confused I just wanna be able to get notifications and open them drectly to your site when you post new articles

    • Joe Rossignol

      We’ll keep it in mind.

  • Is it just me or this uses a lot of CPU while recording??

    • Joe Rossignol

      It works fine on my Retina MBP, but I could imagine it using a lot of processing power on older Macs.

      • Bailey Clark

        QuickTime makes my Mac from late 2005 lag and crash

  • Marcus

    I have ScreenFlow and that has this same capability on my Mac. I think I might try this out again to see if I like it or not.

    • Yung J Styla

      does screenflow record audio?

      • GuyWithTheThings

        Yes. But keep in mind it’s $99.

      • Marcus

        I’ve had it for years and it’s worth the money.

  • Chris

    Quicktime may be built-in but ScreenFlow is much better for performance and it generates smaller file sizes.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Probably because Quicktime allows you to save a video differently for different devices so you end up with one high quality video and then convert and compress it as is necessary.

  • James Gunaca

    Does it record audio too?

    • Okhoo

      Yes you have to enable the option to use the microphone.

  • veggiedude

    I use Snapz Pro X by Ambrosia. It has many features, such as being able to capture the mic audio as well as the Mac audio (or to save without any audio included), show or do not show cursor, ability to follow cursor or stay stationary… etc.

  • Jason Dieter

    Great post.

  • TG

    I think its not the best way to record, especially the gameplay, it will ruin your fps

  • Knace

    Am I the only one having issue that quicktime automatically trims my video to 12 sec? I can record for 30 sec or 5 min but when I press stop, the only recording I’m left with is the 12 first seconds. Running late 2013 MBP with GM Candidate build: 14A379a.

  • Did not know about this feature, thank you very much!

  • Nelsoncolar

    While sceencasting is quick and easy with QuickTime, it doesn’t offer any advanced features such as highlight effects and multiple recording formats which more advanced solutions like Acethinker Screen Grabber do.