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16 Best Screen Recording & Capture Software for Mac (2018)

Screen recording and screen capture software is popular. Mac users are no different. Many
Mac users make screen recordings professionally. In fact, high quality screen
captures or videos can be useful for training or marketing. Or, perhaps you
want to stream games online—screen recording software can help with that too.

Note: It’s a good idea to check with a video game’s
terms of service before streaming a video game or other copyrighted content.
Check with an attorney if you’re not sure. This VentureBeat article has more
information on the 
legalities of video game streaming.

Also,
it’s becoming popular to create screen recordings or screen captures for
personal use. For example, you may want to take a screenshot of a software
problem you’re having to show it to technical support.

Whatever
the need, the Mac recording software you choose to invest in is important.
You’ll want the best screen capture or screen recording software for your Mac
to ensure that it meets your needs. If
you’re a Mac user, you may wonder what your options are when it comes to
recording software for Macs. The answer is: there are plenty of options! 

We’ve already discussed
screen recording software
 in
general, but in this article we want to focus on Mac recording software as well
as Mac screen capture software. First, I’ll provide an overview of some of the
best free screen recorder software for Macs and some free screen capture
software as well. Next, I’ll list some premium options for Mac recording software
and screen capture software so that you can choose the best package for your needs.

Free
or Open Source Screen Recording Software for Macs

If
your project is on a tight budget, you may not be able to spend much on Mac
recording software. But don’t give up. There are plenty of free and open source
screen capture and screen recording software options for the Mac. Here’s a great list of options to
try: 

1. OBS Studio  

Open Broadcaster Software

OBS
Studio is a popular open source Mac recording software tool that works well for live
streaming games on Twitch and recording other information as well. Mix material
from more than one source to create a single recording. If you’re not live
streaming, it also includes some good edit options.

One
drawback to OBS Studio is the learning curve. Users report that there’s not
much training material included with the download. Fortunately, the
software seems to be catching on—so third-party tutorials and videos are available.

2.
Monosnap

Monosnap Screenshot Editor

Monosnap
is a free and highly-rated screenshot editor that you can download from the Mac
App Store. You’ll find that it includes
many screen capture features that you’d find in more expensive software such as
editing and annotation capabilities. While you may think of Monosnap as
primarily screen capture software for Macs, there’s also a video tool that lets you use
it as Mac recording software. One helpful feature is the ability to stop your
recording and then start again.

This tool has good basic functionality that’ll work well for many projects. If you need
more advanced capabilities, you may wish to look at one of the premium tools.

3. Apowersoft

Apowersoft Mac Screen Recorder

Apowersoft
is another option for free Mac screen capture software. Here are some key
features:

  • Perform real-time editing.
  • Convert videos to MPEG, MOV, WMV, AVI, ASF, FLV,
    and more.
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts (and save time).

This
browser-based tool does not support streaming, so if you’re wanting to use Mac
screen recording software to broadcast games or other information this tool may
not be for you. But for other screen recording projects, this tool could work.

If you need more than the free version offers, there’s also
a premium version called Apowersoft Unlimited that includes all Apowersoft
products.

4. TinyTake

TinyTake

For
a free screen capture tool, TinyTake comes with a lot of perks. It’s easy to
use and has some useful features. It includes a free cloud
storage service with 2GB of storage. You can annotate videos. And if you create a
lot of screen recordings, bulk file sharing is available. If you need more
features, there’s also a premium version.

There
are a few drawbacks to this Mac screen capture software though. First, your
screen recordings are limited to five minutes. Secondly, you can’t stream games
using this tool (important to know if that’s the reason you’re wanting screen capture software for a Mac).

5. Screencast-o-matic 

Screencast-o-matic

Like
so many other Mac screen recording software tools, there’s a premium version of
the software available too. However, this basic tool may be enough for some
projects. Plus, there are quite a few tutorials right on their website to make
learning it easier.

This
free version is hosted on their site and has a watermark, which could be
annoying. Also, free users can’t use the computer audio system or record the
full screen. And, you’re limited to a 15-minute recording with the
free version.

6. Jing

Jing screen capture tool for Macs

Jing
is a basic screen capture tool from TechSmith, a company which also developed
Camtasia and Snagit (see our discussion of Premium Screen Recording Software
for Macs below). Although it’s an older tool, Jing still has a following and it’s
still useful.

TechSmith
is known for having excellent training materials, and Jing is no exception.
You’ll find plenty of written and video tutorials on their site. Plus, there’s
some nifty features like the Capture Hotkey and the ability to copy an image
from your screen into an email or document. Plus, it plays nicely with other TechSmith
products—you
can edit a Jing image in Snagit or edit a Jing video in Camtasia Studio.

7. Recordit:
Instant Screencasts

This
free Mac screen recording app has a four-star rating on the Mac App store. It
was designed to allow you to make and share GIF screen recordings quickly
through application’s server. One drawback is that this tool doesn’t record audio. Another drawback is
that your recordings are limited to five minutes. If you can work within those constraints, this tool might be for you.

8. QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player

Quick
Time Player comes installed on your Mac—so you probably already have it. Although you’d think it can only play videos from its name, it does have
some basic recording abilities and can be a good tool for that purpose. It even has some
limited editing capabilities, or you can use iMovie (also free) to edit it. 

9. ActivePresenter 

ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter
is a Mac screen recorder that bills itself as an all-in-one tool. The free edition
lets you record your screen as a full-motion video, complete with audio. You’ll
also have access to a range of annotations such as shapes, zoom-n-pan, closed
caption, and more. However, it’ll add a watermark to non-supported file
formats. To get rid of the watermark, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the
premium versions.

10. IceCream Screen Recorder

IceCream Screen Recorder

The
IceCream Screen Recorder is part of a suite of apps for Mac and Windows. This
screen recorder app lets you take screenshots or videos quickly and easily. You
can even add shapes and text as you record.

With
the free version, however, your file format output is limited to WEBM. Also, your
video recording time is limited. If you find yourself needing more features,
you can upgrade to the Pro version.

Premium
Screen Recording Software for Macs

If
your screen recording project needs a more full-featured tool, you may want to
consider a premium Mac screen recording software tool. These tools tend to have
more functionality, suitable for most professional projects. Many of these
tools offer a trial version try-before-you-buy option—I’ll
point those out as we go. Here are some of the best screen recorders for Mac
that you can buy: 

1. Camtasia  

Camtasia

As
someone who creates tutorials professionally, I’ve found Camtasia from
TechSmith to meet my screen recording needs. The Mac version of this recording
software is just as full-featured as the Windows version. You’ll find you’ve
got a full set of editing and special effect features including the ability to
draw on the screen, do annotations, blur, add captions, and more. Plus, you’ll
be record and edit audio—and much more! The company also offers quite a few
training videos.

The
one downside is that Camtasia can be expensive. At the time I wrote this
article it was $249 for up to four users—although there are discounts available
for academic and government users. Fortunately, Camtasia is one of those
packages that offers a free trial, so you can try out the features before you
make the purchase.

2. ScreenFlow  

ScreenFlow screen recorder for Macs

ScreenFlow
gives you the capability to create high-quality screen recordings, making it the
professional choice of Mac screen recording software for many businesses and
educators. You can also use it to create iOS recordings, which is nice to know
in today’s digital world. It has professional editing options such as the
ability to do annotations, blur, add captions, and more. One cool feature is
the ability to zoom into a focal point on your screen. Plus, you can switch
between a webcam recording and a screen capture. Plus, you can download a free
trial if you’re not sure whether it’s for you.

3. SnagIt 

Snagit Screen Capture Software

Snagit
is another TechSmith product that I often use for screen captures, but what
many people don’t know is that you can also use it to record a simple short
video and share it in GIF or MPEG-4 format. You can even record audio with your
video. Of course, if you need more advanced editing tools for your screen
captures, you’ll want to use Camtasia. And, there’s a free trial available if
you want to try it.

4. filmora scrn  

filmora scrn

This
Mac screen recording software is becoming popular with gamers. It lets you
record from your computer and webcam at the same time. Plus, you can record
sound. Here are some key features:

  • Change
    the size of your cursor.

  • Control
    frames per second (fps), with range setting varying from 15 to 120.
  • Export
    files to MP4, MOV, GIF, MP3 and more.

If
you think this tool might be for you, a free trial version is available.

5. Screen
Record – Screen Recorder

You
can find this basic Mac screen recorder in the Mac App store. With a low cost
(under $5.00 at the time of writing) and relatively high ratings, it’s worth a
look if your screen recording or screen capture needs are simple. Not only can
you record your screen, you can also record audio and even add some text and a
logo. When you’re done, trim and compress your recording.

6. AV
Recorder & Screen Capture

This is another screen recorder and screen capture tool for Macs from the Mac App store. As such, you’ll pay a relatively low price to get some core recording features such as the ability to record voice and system audio simultaneously. You can also choose between recording the full screen or part of the screen. Best of all, your recording length isn’t limited.

Next Step: Choose Your Own Mac Screen Recording Software

Now
that we’ve reviewed some of the best screen recording and capture software for
Macs, you’re ready to make your choice. Whether you’re making screen recordings for personal use or
professionally, we’ve just examined some great options for screen recording
software for Macs. Best wishes on your next screen recording project.