How to Record Screen with Audio on Your Mac

Alex Bell

Screen recording can transform the way you communicate with your colleagues, customers, and even other businesses. This holds true no matter what industry you’re in or what department you work for. 

In fact, businesses worldwide are adopting new technologies to stay connected with their teams, even when working remotely. Screen recording, in particular, is beginning to get seamlessly integrated into operations, marketing, and training materials. 

When you’re able to record your screen with audio, it opens up a multitude of opportunities for you and your work. 

Perhaps you want to grab a clip from a video online to use for a presentation. Or maybe you want to help demonstrate something step-by-step. 

Having the option to record your screen and have that clip saved for future use is a great tool for automating and streamlining processes. Collaboration between team members can take place faster, more efficiently, and without losing time to carrying out repetitive tasks. 

Educators and education systems can also benefit from screen recording. Instructors can create tutorial videos and share them with their students, providing them with a resource they can keep coming back to.

In this technologically-driven age, there are several options available to record your screen and external audio at the same time. And if your device is a Mac, there are different ways to record your screen (including audio) with ease. 

One of the most accessible ways is through QuickTime Player.

How to record your screen with audio on a Mac using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player Logo


For all versions of MacOS up through Catalina, you can easily record your screen and external audio with QuickTime Player. 

The app comes built-in with all MacOS devices, and its simplicity makes it very user-friendly and easy to use.

It takes just 5 steps to record your screen using QuickTime Player: 

  1. Open QuickTime Player from your Applications folder, Dock, or Launchpad.
  2. Select “File” and select “New Screen Recording” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the “Record” button in the window that opens. This will open up a dialogue box that gives you the option to record your entire screen, or just a specific window.
  4. Click anywhere on the screen if you want your entire screen to be recorded. If you want to record only a part of your screen, click and drag over the section you want, and click "Start Recording" once the area has been drawn.
  5. When you want to stop recording, click the “Stop Recording” button on the upper right corner of the menu bar. The recording file will then pop up on your screen for you to review and save.

Unfortunately, the audio playing on your screen cannot be recorded by QuickTime Player. 

If you require the audio from your screen, as well as visuals, you can try to raise the volume on your device and hope that the built-in microphone on your Mac captures the sound audibly. 

However, it’s a big let down in quality, especially if what you’re recording has music. It’ll undoubtedly come out distorted or muffled. 

Unfortunately, unless you download another software or plugin, the only default option is to use the built-in microphone for your Apple device.

For those creating demo videos or guides, you can opt to record the audio separately and edit your video to sync with the recording, but this requires a lot more time and effort. 

So, while QuickTime Player is fairly simple to use, its simplicity also limits the purposes it can be used for. 

Here are some other limitations to using QuickTime Player and its screen recording features: 

Low Quality Export 

QuickTime Player uses real-time encoding to H.264. While there are advantages to H.264, such as delivering real-time video content at 50% less storage, it may lead to low quality frames. 

This is because H.264 videos naturally have reduced quality as part of the compression scheme to make the file size small. 

If you’re going to edit your video using software like Final Cut or Affinity Video Editor, this will cause further quality loss. 

QuickTime Player allows you to pick a maximum quality mode, but you can expect the file sizes of these recordings to be unrealistically large to work with.

Few Export Options

QuickTime Player does not have native support for some common formats, such as DivX, .wmv, and .mkvs. 

In fact, it can only export videos as .mov, which is a file type that works only specifically on QuickTime Player.

Additionally, its dimensions are limited to 480p, 720p, or 1080p. You can’t be specific with the dimensions you use, either, meaning you can’t scale by percentage or control aspect ratios.

Poor Mouse & Keyboard Display

For those creating guide videos, seeing what’s on the screen may not be enough for your audience.

Your video may require showing the mouse hover over what to press, or showing specific command options entered on the keyboard.

QuickTime Player will show you when the mouse has been clicked, but doesn’t give you the ability to see exactly which button was selected or what command was entered on your keyboard.

No Cursor Following

QuickTime Player doesn’t support cursor following. 

This is particularly troublesome when you’re recording only a specific area of your screen, but your video requires showing certain buttons to press outside of the box you’ve drawn.

As long as the recording is ongoing, any cursor movement outside the area being recorded will not be seen. 

QuickTime Player is a free, efficient option for users who are after a quick and easy way to record their screen with audio on a Mac. 

But for serious content creators, QuickTime Player fails to provide certain essential features and options. Not being able to simultaneously record computer audio is a big limitation for many. 

Luckily, there are other tools, like CloudApp, which allow you to record your screen and audio without these limitations. 


CloudApp: An All-In-One Mac Screen Recording Solution

CloudApp logo


CloudApp is a comprehensive video and photo sharing platform that allows you to both capture screenshots and record your screen as a video, along with both internal and external audio. 

It also helps businesses and entrepreneurs create more engaging messages by pairing them with high-quality visuals to use when sharing information between teams or presenting to customers.

App users can choose to customize their screen recordings with features such as annotated screenshots and HD GIFs

CloudApp is also a cloud-based platform, meaning that all data is stored in a centralized, password-protected location, and can be easily shared with others.

CloudApp lets users create HD screen recordings on their Mac devices, and allows for simultaneous audio recording through its innovative screen recorder

It exports in high quality, allows cursor following, and can be shared through the cloud – which means you won’t need to worry about what file type to export in. 

These features make it a more versatile and convenient option than using QuickTime Player, especially if you need to share high-quality videos to non-Mac users. 


How to record your screen with audio on a Mac using CloudApp 

  1. Open CloudApp on your Mac device.
  2. Select the “TV recording” image.
  3. Select the area on your screen you wish to record and click the green “Start” button to begin the recording.
  4. Click the red “Finish” button when you’re done to stop recording. CloudApp automatically saves your screen recording on the cloud, which you can start sharing with your team immediately.

Key Features of CloudApp

  • Easy to Download – You don’t need any browser extensions to operate CloudApp. Downloading the app is easy as well! All you need to do to install CloudApp on your Mac is enter your email and password, or sign up directly through an existing Google account. Once you've installed the app, you can add it to your Dock for easier access in the future.
  • Add Shapes and Diagrams – Through the use of shapes and diagrams, you can explain concepts in your video more clearly or provide better instructions. This feature also comes in handy when you need to simplify or summarize a complex topic, such as a product demonstration, and is one of the many reasons why product developers use CloudApp.


  • Webcam Recording Option - With CloudApp, you can even add your webcam to personalise and narrate your screen recording, so that your audience can see you explaining in real time.
female remote worker demonstrates using webcam recording


  • Share Files Easily on the Cloud – The moment you stop recording, your file is saved and a link is generated and copied to your clipboard automatically. You can easily share your video using this link, or drag and drop the file into any collaboration app or social media platform.
  • Equipped for Editing – CloudApp is equipped with all the tools you need for capturing, editing, and sharing visual materials. Once the video is done uploading to CloudApp, find it in your CloudApp menu and double click on it to open. From there, you can begin to trim and cut your recording as needed
  • Multiple Integrations - CloudApp provides integrations with all of the most common business apps, such as Slack, JIRA, and Google Docs. It stays true to its all-in-one identity, so you can stop switching between multiple tabs and windows – no more browser extensions needed! 

With companies constantly seeking to hone their digital transformation strategies to stay a cut above the rest, sharpening communications with new tools is one key area they should focus on. 

Screen recordings with audio are becoming an increasingly popular way of sharing information, automating the hiring and onboarding process, and interacting with potential customers. 

If some of your employees use Apple devices, creating these videos in an easily-shareable format can be challenging, but if your team uses CloudApp, they’ll be able to record their screen with audio on a Mac and start sharing videos in no time.

Learn more about the CloudApp screen recorder here.

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