How to Record Your Screen for Free on a Mac using Quicktime Player

screen record for freeI’ve done a lot of tutorials and it’s so easy to just record my screen.  I often hear people talk about the expensive software you need to do it.  But I truly don’t think you need any of that if you use a mac!

Now, if you use a PC, I’m not sure if there’s anything built in for you to use – if there is, definitely comment below and tell us about it.  I’ve heard several people talk about Camtasia as a great tool to use, so you could check that out.

For me, I use a mac book laptop, about 4 years old or so, and I have Quicktime player built in.  Now, you may need to use your Spotlight tool (the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your screen) to search for it if you’ve never opened that application before.  I did that and then added it to my dock, since I use it often.

I’ve recorded a video for you, so you can watch how I do it, but here’s my step by step if you don’t have time to watch the video.

How to Record Your Screen on a Mac

  1. To get started, close out any applications that you don’t need.  Using Quicktime really drags on your system, especially when paired with Lightroom and/or Photoshop.  You’ll also want to close any apps that pop up notifications.  (I think in the video you might notice my random email notifications flashing up.)
  2. Be sure to have your screen set up and think through your opening remarks.  Usually, when I do a Watch Me Edit video, I have already edited the image and already know where I’m going to go with it.  Sometimes I go on the fly, but then I’m taking time to think, which might be annoying to a viewer.
  3. Open up Quicktime.  You’ll right-click and select New Screen Recording.  A box will pop up with a dialog box and a red Record button.  Be sure you have your audio ready though.  Click the dropdown arrow next to the red button and be sure to select Built-in Microphone: Internal Microphone.  Here, you can also select if you’d like to have your mouse clicks highlighted too.  Your choice, I find I can follow a Watch Me Edit video just fine without them too.
  4. Now, click the Red record button.  Wait a sec before you begin talking.  You’ll want to either click the dialog box (shown below) to record your entire screen or click your mouse on the corner of the section of your screen that you want to record.  Then, drag diagonally to create a box (very similar to the Marquee tool in Photoshop.)
  5. Go ahead and deliver your opening remarks – introduce yourself and give a description of what you’re going to cover.  Provide any background information, if needed.
  6. Go ahead and do your edit (or whatever tutorial you’re showing.)  Be sure to talk your way through everything.  Explain what you’re thinking, why you’re deciding to do something.  I have watched a ton of editing videos and I’m like – wait, what’s she doing now??
  7. If you make a mistake, just pause, rewind your brain and start over from before your mistake.  The key here is to pause.  When editing your video in iMovie, it’s easiest to trim a clip if you have a nice pause.
  8. When finished, thank your viewers for watching and encourage them to take a next step, which for most of us, will be to “comment below” to either ask a question or “let me know what you would have done differently” or “comment below with one thing you learned during this video.”  No matter what the medium, whether this video is posted to your blog, social media or a forum, engagement is always king.
  9. To end your recording, right-click on the Quicktime icon in your dock, then click Stop Screen Recording.
  10. To save your video, you’ll click the red X to close out that window – never fear!!  You will be prompted to save the video, it won’t close and be lost forever!  I recommend saving videos to an external hard drive as they’re quite large, and you’ll run out of disk space quickly.  I also rename my videos something to the effect of “Title of the video RAW” I put the “raw” part because I don’t want to confuse the raw video with the final edited version when I upload to youtube.
  11. Now, it’s editing time!  Teaching you iMovie is a bit beyond the scope of this tutorial, but I’ll definitely work on getting you a tutorial for that asap!
  12. Uploading to a video host, like Youtube or Vimeo.  I use youtube.  I feel like most people prefer vimeo.  I’m not sure why, frankly, I just know how to use youtube, so that’s what I do.  And youtube is the second largest search engine behind Google, so why not leverage that? You can make your videos private, as well as a lot of other features.  I’m not too familiar with vimeo – so if you prefer it, tell me why in the comments!
  13. Share your video.  From Youtube, there’s a few sharing buttons, as well as a shortened URL you can use.  This is a wordpress blog, and all I do to embed the video here (below) is literally paste in the shortened URL and the video player automatically works! (But…if you’re looking to post your video to ClickinMoms forum, watch the next video for how to do that.  It drove me nuts trying to figure it out!)

 

And here’s the bonus video showing you how to embed your video tutorial into a forum post on ClickinMoms.  (You must be a member of CM, which I highly recommend!  Click the link in the sidebar to sign up (affiliate link – at no additional cost to you, I get a little kickback for telling you about ClickinMoms – thank you!)

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