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Screen Recording Options

Free and Paid Options for Capturing macOS Screen Recordings


Documentation. Takes. Time.

A lot of time.

Including screencasts in your documentation not only enhances the final product, but is frequently the best way to communicate the often complex steps required to successfully complete a given task.

The following are free and paid options for recording the screen of your Mac.

macOS QuickTime Player

Apple includes QuickTime Player with macOS and if your needs are modest, it may be all you need.

macOS Screen Sharing

Screen Recordings Without Third-party Doodads

Author’s Note: The following tip was originally posted privately by Bart and is shared publicly with permission.

I hope we all know about cmd+shift+3 to grab screenshots during Setup Assistant that will end up on the Desktop once an account is created.

I was trying to work out how to get a screen recording … that didn’t involve holding a phone or webcam in front of a device or using third party screen capture hardware though and came up with the following that seems to work well.

Note: This is faster to get working if you’re using an Ethernet dongle but also works for Wi-Fi, you just need to wait until after the network connection screen before you can connect

  1. Boot the Mac and select a language
  2. Press command + option + control + t to open Terminal
  3. From the Apple menu, select System Settings
  1. Enable General > Sharing > Screen Sharing
  1. Click the (i) next to Screen Sharing and enable “Anyone may request permission to control screen” and change “Allow access for” to All users. Take note of the vnc:// connect string
  1. From another Mac, command+k to open the “Connect to server” dialog and enter he vnc:// connect string
  1. Select “By Requesting Permission”
  1. Back on the Mac still at Setup Assistant, click Share Screen

All done. On the Mac with screen sharing open you should see the Mac at the Setup Assistant window.

From here you can start a screen recording of the Screen Sharing window (I like to fullscreen screen sharing and then record the whole screen).

Bart Reardon

Well, I used a third-party doodad and third-party software to create a screencast of the above process (but errantly stopped capturing before Step No. 7, of which I took a screenshot).

Doodad-free Screen Recording screencast (00:34; no audio; edited for time)

Telestream ScreenFlow

I’ve been using Telestream’s ScreenFlow for a number of years and, overall, am quite happy.

I’m am, however, disappointed that vendor support is an additional charge, so I started a #screenflow channel on the MacAdmins Slack (which is at least worth what you’ll pay to join).

After reviewing Emily’s post on using an Elgato capture card to record the screen of another Mac, I was excited when the package arrived and quickly disappointed that it didn’t initially appear to work as expected.

Two words: Yellow cast.

Thanks to AppleCare Enterprise Support for directing me to disable True Tone.

True Tone Settings screencast (01:14; no audio; edited for time)

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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