How to Record on Webcam on Your PC or Mac

Use your built-in laptop camera to make movies

Man uses a laptop camera to record video.

Getty Images/Smith Collection

Online video is the lifeblood of the Internet, and advances in webcam technology make it easier than ever to record your own video. Gone are the days when you needed several thousand dollars' worth of expensive equipment to make a simple video. Here's how you can record using just the built-in webcam on your PC or Macbook.

How to Record Video on Your Mac Webcam

There are a lot of programs for the Mac that allow you to record video straight from your webcam, but for the sake of clarity we will focus on the main three: iMovie, QuickTime Player, and Photo Booth.

 How to Record Video in iMovie

To record from your webcam directly into iMovie, you first need to open the software.

  1. Click the "Import" button in the toolbar. It looks like a downward-facing arrow.

  2. On the left side of the screen under "Cameras," select "FaceTime HD Camera."

    Select Facetime HD Camera.
  3. Select the event you want to import (in other words, save) the video to from the drop menu in the center of the screen.

  4. Press the circular red button in the middle of the screen to begin recording. Press it again to stop.

  5. Press the "Close" button in the bottom right corner of the screen to shut down the recording window.

  6. Press "< Projects" in the top right corner of the window to save your movie and return to the main iMovie menu.

How to Record Video in Photo Booth

Photo Booth is a built-in application on most Mac computers and one of the easiest ways to record video. Here's how.

  1. Open the Photo Booth app.

  2. At the bottom right side of the screen, select the far-right icon. It looks like a film reel.

  3. Once you've chosen video, just press the red record button in the center of the screen.

  4. Press the button again to stop recording.

  5. Under the displayed image, you'll see every photo or video you have taken with Photo Booth. Select the one you want to export.

  6. Press the "Share" button in the bottom right of the screen and choose where to export it to.

How to Record Video in QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is a free, easy download that most people already have available to them. In addition to being a great tool for recording video, it can also play a huge variety of video formats. Here's how to record a movie of your own with it.

  1. Open Quicktime Player.

  2. Go to File -> New Movie Recording

    In QuickTime Player, select
  3. By default, this option opens the front-facing webcam on a Macbook. Once open, press the red button in the center of the screen to begin recording.

  4. Press the button a second time to stop recording.

  5. Save the file or press the red "X" in the top left corner to exit the screen. You'll be prompted to give the recording a name and choose where to save it.

How to Record Video on Your PC Webcam

The built-in webcam on your PC (or an inexpensive peripheral device) can also record video, although it will not be as high-quality as a dedicated camera. Here's how to do it on Windows 10. 

  1. Open the Camera app from the Start menu, or search for "Camera" in the search bar.

  2. The Camera app offers four options: take photo, record video, time-lapse, and configure settings for video resolution.

  3. Press the video camera icon to begin recording.

  4. Press the video camera icon again to end the recording. 

There are dozens of applications that allow you to record video on Windows, but the built-in Camera app is the most easily accessible. If you do not have Windows 10, you may need to find a third party application that allows you to record. VLC Media Player and FonePaw are both good options for Windows users.