How to Record Video on Your Mac

It's easy to take a video on a Mac

woman recording video on mac computer

praetorianphoto/Getty Images

Recording video on your Mac is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. There are several included apps help you learn how to record video on mac, be it your screen or your built-in camera. Today, we're here to teach you a few different ways to record video through the various apps on your Mac.

How to Record Video on Mac Using QuickTime

QuickTime is a bare-bones video recording application pre-installed on your Mac.

  1. Open QuickTime through your applications folder. Open Finder, then click Applications on the left hand side. You should see several options to select in the toolbar at the top of your screen.

  2. Once QuickTime is open, click File. You'll have two different movie options available; click either New Movie Recording or New Screen Recording.

    quicktime menu
  3. Once you've chosen the option you would like, the QuickTime control panel should appear.

  4. To start recording video, simply click the button with the red dot. To stop recording, click the same button.

How to Record on Mac Without Using an App

If all you want to do is record your screen, there's a way to cut out some of the steps of going through QuickTime.

  1. If you've downloaded the Mojave update for macOS, all you need to do is press Command+Shift+5. This should sound familiar if you've ever used the similar keyboard shortcut (Command+Shift+4) to take a screenshot.

    mojave screen capture menu
     Apple
  2. Once you use this keyboard shortcut, a toolbar will open with two options in the middle:

    • The first looks like a solid box with a record symbol in the bottom right corner, and enables you to record the entire screen.
    • The other looks like a dotted box with the same record symbol, and allows you to select a portion of your screen to record.
  3. For both options, you can stop recording by either clicking Stop in the toolbar or by pressing Command+Control+Esc.

Use the thumbnail that appears to quickly trim, save, or share your new video.

Use Photo Booth to Take a Video

Photo Booth is another app that's very easy to take a video with.

photo booth record video
  1. To launch Photo Booth:

    1. Open Finder.
    2. Click Applications.
    3. Click Photo Booth.
  2. Once the app is open, look in the bottom left of the window to see three icons. Starting from the left, your options are:

    • Take four quick pictures.
    • Take a still picture.
    • Record a movie clip.
  3. Click the third option, then click the red camera in the center to begin recording. Click the red camera again to stop recording.

Use iMovie to Import Directly Into The App, Allowing For Easy Edits

Your final option for easily recording video on a Mac is by using iMovie. This app is a bit more involved than the others we've talked about, but it will also give you a bit more freedom in editing your videos.

imovie video recording
  1. To open iMovie:

    1. Open Finder.
    2. Click Applications.
    3. Find then click iMovie.
  2. Once iMovie is open, click the Import button, represented by a down arrow.

    If you do not see the Import option, click Media first; it should then appear.

  3. Select the camera you wish to use, which will usually be the built-in camera.

  4. Select the Event you want the video to be added to. You can either open an existing one or create a new one.

  5. To begin recording your video, click Record, and click it again to stop.

  6. Close the video window when you're done recording and all the clips you recorded will be added to the selected event.

  7. You will now be able to edit your clips with the standard suite of iMovie tools.

You don't need to go through this entire process each time you record a new clip. Every time you start and stop recording, a new clip is made. Create several in a row.