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How to take screenshots and screen recordings on your Mac

In this quick video tip, we highlight two simple ways to take screenshots and one easy way to take screen recordings, all with tools already built into your Mac.
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Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer on

Whether its for work or school, your personal reference, or a creative project, we often need to capture an image of our computer's display, or a video of the action occurring on it. For Mac owners, this process can seem a bit intimidating due to the unintuitive keyboard commands involved and the unexpected software required for the task. We're going to show you how to quickly and easily produce screenshots and screen recordings with software tools that Apple ships with every PC it produces, so you can easily keep a visual record of any goings-on that occur on your Mac.

Video guide

Step-by-step guide for screenshots

Method 1:

  1. From any window on your Mac, simply press CMD+Shift+3.
  2. Click on the small preview window that appears on the bottom-right of your display.
  3. Apply any edits you wish.
  4. Click share (small square with an arrow in it) to send your screenshot via message, the trash can icon to delete it, or Done to save it. 
  5. Find your screenshot now saved on your Mac's desktop (by default).

Method 2

  1. Open QuickTime Player
  2. Click File > New Screen Recording
  3. Click one of the three options for screenshots in the bar that appears (Capture Entire Screen, Capture Selected Window, or Capture Selected Portion). 
  4. Click the Capture button on the right side of that same bar.
  5. Apply any edits you wish in the preview window that appears.
  6. Click the red "X" close button on the window's top-left. 
  7. Fill out your desired file name, location, format, etc. in the save dialogue window that appears and click save.
  8. Find your screenshot now saved in the folder you specified in the previous step.

Step-by-step guide for screen recording

  1. Open QuickTime Player
  2. Click File > New Screen Recording
  3. Click one of the two options for screen recording in the bar that appears (Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion).
  4. Click Record on the right side of that same bar. 
  5. Complete the on-screen tasks you wish to be recorded. 
  6. Click the small, square-in-a-circle "stop recording" icon that appeared in the taskbar at the top of your display to end your recording. 
  7. Preview your recording in the QuickTime Player window that immediately pops up.
  8. Close the window and locate the screen recording file on your Mac's desktop (by default).

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