If you've ever wanted to record a video of your Mac's screen but don't know quite how to do so, then you've come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how you can record any Mac desktop activity in just a few simple steps.

m1 mac family
Recording the activity on your Mac's screen can be useful for a number of reasons. For example, if you want to teach someone how to perform a particular function on their Mac, you could record a mini tutorial showing them how it's done.

Or maybe you want to demonstrate a bug or some odd Mac behavior, in which case you could make a video showing it in action. Either way, it's easy to capture a recording when you know how.

In macOS Mojave and later, Apple includes a screen capture interface that unifies the screenshot and screen recording features on Mac, making them easier to access from one place. You can get to it by hitting the keys Command-Shift-5 on your keyboard.

mojave screenshots menu explained
On the right of the floating palette's first divider are two buttons to begin a screen recording – taking in the whole screen or just a portion of the action.

If you want to capture a selected portion of the screen, click Record Selected Portion, then use the mouse cursor crosshairs to select the area you want to capture. Once you're ready, click the Record button in the floating overlay. When you take the screen recording, a button will appear in the menu bar for you to click when you're ready to end the recording.

Mac desktop
You can click the rightmost button on the palette to reveal an additional menu of options for controlling other variables, like where you want your recordings to be saved (Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, and so on) and whether to include a 5 or 10-second delay before the recording takes place, giving you time to get your screen in order.

mojave screenshot optionsAs you'd expect, unchecking the Show Mouse Pointer option ensures the mouse cursor doesn't appear in your capture. The Show Floating Thumbnail option takes a little more explaining.

When you take a screenshot or screen recording, a floating thumbnail appears in the bottom corner of the screen, just like it does when you take a screenshot on an iOS device.

Clicking on the thumbnail opens the capture in a window, which includes image Markup tools, or a clip trimming option in the case of recordings, as well as options to share the image/recording or delete it if it didn't turn out like you wanted.

If you're taking multiple video clips in sequence, you probably won't want the floating thumbnail showing up in subsequent captures, which is why the option to turn it off exists.

By default, screen recordings are saved in .MOV format, which can be viewed in Apple's QuickTime Player as well as many third-party video playback apps such as VLC, making your video clips easy to share with others.

For tips on controlling the behavior of screenshots using keyboard shortcuts, check out our dedicated how-to article on the subject.

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...