How to Make Screen Recordings in MacOS Big Sur, Catalina, & Mojave

Aug 6, 2020 - 9 Comments

How to record Mac screen and make screen recording videos

Recording your screen might be something you do often, or very rarely depending on who you are and what you do. But recording a Mac’s screen is super duper easy no matter who you are, and you don’t even need to install an app to do it. Like with so many things, Apple already included the software you need right from the factory. And screen recording on the Mac works surprisingly well, particularly with the latest MacOS versions like MacOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, and MacOS Big Sur. You’ll capture a recording of the display, and the recorded video is available as a movie file that you can edit, share, publish, or do whatever you want with.

Sure, if you need to do any fancy editing or add any whizbang effects, you’re probably going to need to look elsewhere. But if all you’re doing is recording what happens on your screen so you can show someone else – whether for support or your social media fam – the built-in screen recorder has you covered.

How to Record Your Mac’s Screen

Much like taking a screenshot, recording your screen is a simple affair that starts by launching the screenshot toolbar. You do it the exact same way, too, with the help of keystrokes. Here’s how it works:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard to open the screenshot / screen recording toolbar.
    • You have two choices for screen recordings; click “Record Entire Screen” or “Record Selected Portion”. Selecting the former will immediately begin the screen recording.Select the screen recorder
    • Selecting Record Selected Portion” will allow you to drag a window to occupy the area of the screen that you need to record. Once ready, click the “Record” button.
  2. Click the “Stop” button in the Menu bar once you have finished your recording.
  3. The recording will automatically be saved to your Desktop and can then be shared, edited, or archived accordingly.

If you’d like to share, delete, or edit the screen recording you can do so easily. Right-click (or control + click) the preview that appears in the bottom-right corner of the screen immediately after ending the recording, and you’ll find sharing options available.

You can also preemptively change where a recording is saved by pressing Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard and then clicking “Options”. You’ll also find some other nifty settings for screenshots in that Options menu, including the ability to toggle thumbnails on and off, whether or not to show the mouse cursor in screen recordings and shots, a timer delay to start the recording, and more.

One other trick that’s useful to know; if you hit the Command + Shift + 5 combo to bring up the screen recording and screenshot toolbar but decide you don’t need it, you can close that toolbar by pressing the (X) button in the toolbar itself, by hitting the Escape key, or by hitting Command + Period.

This is obviously geared for the Mac and with newer MacOS releases, but if you’re using an older Mac, you can still record your screen too, you’ll just need to use QuickTime to do it. Technically speaking, the QuickTime approach still works on newer Macs as well, but with the built-in video recording tools like this in the latest version of MacOS, they just aren’t as necessary to use the QuickTime approach. And of course there are third party options available for screen recordings too, some of which may be desirable for professional users.

macOS Catalina

Want to record the screen on an iPhone or iPad too? Sure, that’s no problem, you can enable the screen recording tools for iPhone and iPad easily. The same goes for taking screenshots on the iPhone and of the iPad screen, too. For the iOS world, it’s worth noting the process of taking screenshots is slightly different if you’re using a device with a Home button, though, but rest assured it’s still simple.

Happy screen recording! Do you think this feature is useful? Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to make great use of screen recording on the Mac? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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Posted by: Oliver Haslam in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. DBY says:

    Big Sur – Quick time screen recording.
    Do you know how to pause the recording without quitting it or stopping the recording?

    Or know how to create a script and use the Automator to create both a pause and a resume recording function on Quick Time?

  2. Zahira says:

    How come these new versions haven’t the option to pause a screenrecording using QuickTime Player? Previously I just had to push the option button and the pause button would appear on the touch trackpad on my keyboard, but now with the Big Sur update it’s not an option any longer..

  3. decypher44 says:

    You can’t record from internal mic. Only the sound coming from your speakers. And that sounds awful. You used to be able to record from internal mic, but no longer. The article should have made that clear. They don’t even mention it.

  4. Elmer says:

    Is it possible to record the audio?

  5. John F. says:

    Video recording works fine, pity it won’t record the audio component…

    • Sal says:

      As you can see above your post, Paul replied later with the answer. I would add that you must select one of the “Record” selections for audio recording. Choosing “Capture” will not show audio within the options tab.

      • RANDOMFRANKPEE says:

        He’s referring to internal audio as in if you’re on a facetime call I’d imagine. In which he is correct and you are mistaken. You can’t record internal audio from something like a facetime call but you can from external audio like a youtube video if you have a speaker.

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