Have you ever wanted to record something happening on your Mac? Perhaps you are watching a video, and want to grab a clip; maybe you are trying to show someone how to do something, and a video would make it so much simpler, or maybe you need to record some strange behaviour if an app or website isn't working as you would expect.

Luckily it's easy to record what is happening on the screen of your Mac - here is where we show you how. 

(Note: You can now use a new record screen feature in iOS 11 to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad, and anything that is playing, including YouTube video, you can find out how to do this here: How to record your iPhone screen).

1. Open QuickTime Player

1. Open QuickTime Player

It's easy to record what is happening on the screen of your Mac; all you need is QuickTime Player, which comes free with your Mac.

If it's not in the Dock, look in Applications in the Finder, press F4 to see if you can find it in LaunchPad, or simply search in Spotlight by pressing cmd-space bar and typing QuickTime.

2. Select New Screen Recording

2. Select New Screen Recording

Select New Screen Recording from the file menu or right click on the QuickTime Player icon in your Dock and choose New Screen Recording from that menu.

3. Choose recording options

3. Choose recording options

A Screen Recording box will pop up on your screen.

Click on the white down arrow to see more options.

You can choose whether to use the built-in microphone, or an external microphone for audio.

You can also choose whether your mouse clicks should show up.

4. Record the voiceover

4. Record the voiceover

If you want to record a voiceover while you are recording your video, click on the little triangle beside the record button in the Recording window to choose your sound source.

You could use your iPhone headphones to record yourself speaking, for example. Choose Built-In Microphone: External Microphone.

You will not be able to record audio from videos playing on your screen this way. We will cover capturing video from YouTube and other sources in a separate article. You can find out how to download YouTube video to your iPad here.

5. Part- or full-screen

5. Part- or full-screen

You can choose to record part of the screen or the whole screen.

If you just want to record part of the screen click the red record button. You will see a message that tells you to drag to record part of your screen, so drag a marque across the area you want to capture. Once you have the area selected, click the record button again. 

Alternatively you can record the whole screen. Just click on the red record button and then click the screen anywhere to begin recording.

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6. Stop recording

6. Stop recording

Once you are ready to finish recording, right click on the QuickTime icon in the Dock and choose Stop Recording from the menu.

7. Save your video

7. Save your video

Once you have captured everything you need, save the QuickTime movie. You'll be able to use this footage in iMovie and Final Cut Pro, and even share it straight to YouTube.

Other ways to record the screen on your Mac: ScreenFlow

Other ways to record the screen on your Mac: ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow 4, Telestream

Available on the App Store, £69.99

Create computer-based tutorial videos by recording your screen activity (along with narration), which you can then share online with friends and fans. This tool lets you record your screen and edit the result.

ScreenFlow also allows you to capture video from your iSight camera while it records screen activity—a clever inclusion that lets you connect visually with your audience rather than exist only as a disembodied voice.

Camtasia

Camtasia

Camtasia, TechSmith

Available on the App Store, £69.99

Camtasia for Mac is a full capture and edit solution that not only captures the action on your screen, but also (optionally) captures video from a built-in FaceTime (iSight) camera at the same time. Once captured, you can edit your production directly in Camtasia, theoretically taking your project from start to finish using just one application. Unfortunately, on the features front, Mac users aren’t getting all the bells and whistles of the Windows version.

Voila

Voila

Voila, Global Delight

Available on the App Store, £20.99

Voila captures screenshots or full-motion video. Video recording captures either the entire screen or a selected rectangular region. Unlike some other programs, Voila can record stereo audio and gives you a choice of frame rates. You can do simple trimming of videos in the editor, but it’s as full-featured editor as Screenflow or Camtasia.

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