How to Record, Edit, and Share Videos on Mac

Mac has always been the system of choice for creatives. It just does creative things better than anything else. Video is one of those things. Whether you’re recording a short clip to share with your friends on social media, editing a home movie, or putting together a feature film, Mac allows you to produce visuals of the highest quality.

Jumping in and recording a video on Mac is really straightforward. macOS has several notable built-in tools that allow you to get right to it. Photo Booth, QuickTime, and iMovie are all incredibly easy to use — simply open them up and hit the red record button. iMovie even lets you turn your videos into movies, credits and all.

Apple’s native tools are all great, but they’re not the only options out there. If you’re a vlogger or an aspiring YouTube celebrity, or use video for your business, there are some robust third-party apps you should know about:

  • Capto for powerful screen recording and video editing in one
  • CameraBag Pro for pro-level video edits and filters
  • Dropshare for sharing and collaborating on your videos
  • iFlicks for adding videos to iTunes and iOS

Let us waste no more time in introducing these tools and show you how they can be used to take your video-making game to the next level.

Top ways to record, edit, and share videos on macOS

When you think about making a video, the apps that come to mind are probably something already on your computer, like QuickTime, iMovie, or Photo Booth. And they are great in their own way: easy for beginners, although they do lack some advanced features. Let’s talk about each one in particular.

Record videos using QuickTime

QuickTime is not just a video player — it can also be used to record quick videos of your screen or yourself talking into the camera. To record a video with QuickTime, do the following:

  • Launch Quicktime from Applications
  • Go File > New Movie Recording
  • Hit the red record button, the recording will start
  • Click the same button to end the recording
  • With the newly made video on your screen, click File > Save… and find a new home for your recording

So now you know that recording with QuickTime is very simple if you just need to say a few words to the camera. Alternatively, you can record your screen too:

  • Go File > New Screen Recording
  • Hit the red button
  • Select the area of your screen you’d like to record and click Start Recording
  • When done, just click on the recording icon in your menu bar
  • Save the video the same way as you did in the step above

The downside with QuickTime is that if you want to record something more complicated than that, you’ll have to switch to a more powerful app.

Video recording with iMovie

iMovie might as well be the most popular Mac video editing tool for beginners, thanks to how easy it is to use. You can record demos or tutorials with iMovie in no time, either by using the built-in camera in your Mac or connecting an external one.

  • Launch iMovie
  • Click File > New Event
  • Tap on Import Media
  • Choose FaceTime HD Camera
  • Hit Record to start recording
  • To stop the video, hit Record once again
  • Click on the save button when done

Capture video in Photo Booth

Photo Booth is an easy and fun way to take selfies and record small videos to send to your friends. You can apply different effects before starting your video by clicking on the Effects button once you’ve launched the app. Now you are ready for a video.

  • Make sure to choose video in the left-bottom corner of the app
  • Hit Record
  • Hit Stop to finish recording
  • To save your video, select File > Export…

Record videos with Capto

All the native macOS apps are good enough for a quick recording. But if sharing professional videos with friends, followers, and subscribers is your thing, you need Capto.

Call this a bold statement, but we think Capto is the best screen recorder and video editing application on the market. Largely because of its simplicity and range of features that help you achieve high-end results.

To record a video in Capto, simply open up the app and click on Record from the top menu. From there you can choose how and what you want to record: the full screen (you can even hide desktop clutter), an area of the screen, or the built-in FaceTime HD camera (or external webcam) for selfie footage. By plugging in your iOS device, you can also record footage from your iPad or iPhone.

It’s then possible to set a timer for recording (handy if you’re going to be talking into the camera), set the frame rate between 10 and 60 frames per second (FPS), and choose the compression type.

If you’re recording an area of the screen, stop and start, pause, and cancel options can be accessed via a drop-down in the Capto toolbar in the status menu.

Take videos using Dropshare

Dropshare is an app made for collaboration and sharing. But it’s no less valuable when you need to record a quick how-to on your screen.

To record your screen in Dropshare, click on the Dropshare icon from the status menu and select the video icon. From there, select an area of the screen and hit record. To record the full screen, just click on the big red record button from the menu. When you’re done recording, click on Stop & Upload to send your file to the cloud. That’s it! How effortless!

Best apps to edit your videos on macOS

While there is a lot of choice when it comes to shooting videos, editing them is a different beast. Essentially, you can use macOS native iMovie to edit very simple videos of all kinds, use Capto for fast screen recording edits, and CameraBag Pro for proper, mid-to-large-scale video editing.

Tweak your videos in iMovie

By no means iMovie is anyone’s video editor of choice. But it is sufficient enough to quickly drop in a video to its timeline and rearrange a few clips. Once you have a video in, use the Crop feature under the Edit menu to separate video sections and move them around. Look through the Effects library to set transitions, audio effects, or text layovers by assigning various times to Effects-in and Effects-out.

In general, this is the extent of iMovie that you want to use in your editing. For more, look to apps like Capto and CameraBag Pro.

Edit screencasts in Capto

With Capto you can record your screen, or yourself, with ease, and access a wide range of editing tools to cut, crop, fade in and out, and add annotations and voiceovers — all from within the same interface.

All of the editing tools in Capto can be found in the Video section of the app.

The options available include:

  • Media files for uploading images and clips
  • Edit tools for cutting, cropping, and trimming
  • Annotations for adding markers, arrows, callouts, and text
  • Audio for adding voiceovers, sounds, and music

You can easily jump between the options to tweak and tune your videos until they’re exactly as you want them. And using them requires no editing skills. It’s as easy as using Paintbrush. If you do struggle with anything, Capto has a good selection of tutorials to help you out.

Edit videos with CameraBag Pro

CameraBag Pro brings pro-level adjustments as well as nuanced filters in a straightforward app that’s widely used by professionals but also accessible to complete beginners.

Editing videos in CameraBag Pro is similar to editing photos: just select the necessary tools or filters and apply them right to your movie in a click. Feel free to explore over 200 preset filters already included with the app or create your own and save them for later. Make full use of the adjustment tools to fine-tune exposure, hue, color, temperature, and more.

Share your Mac videos with the world

Once your video is shot and edited, it’s time to share it with your audience, whether that’s colleagues, friends, or movie goers.

All the native macOS apps discussed here (iMovie, Photo Booth, QuickTime) have a standard built-in sharing feature, which allows you to share videos via your social networks, if you have them connected, or email.

Capto also allows you to share right from the app by clicking on the Sharing icon. There you’ll find options to share across all popular social media sites, as well as cloud storage providers, and FTP/SFTP.

By far the best way to share your videos is through Dropshare, as it sends your video to the cloud with a single click and gives you a link that you can distribute among your friends or team in Slack instantly.

Adding your videos to iTunes

If you’ve just recorded a masterpiece that belongs in your iTunes library, an app like iFlicks will help you get it there with minimum fuss.

iFlicks lets you convert almost any video into an iTunes suitable format (.mov, .mp4, or .m4v) and offers features to make your video look professional, by adding metadata, subtitles, chapters, and even artwork.

To add your files to iTunes with iFlicks, all you need to do is open the app, drag your video onto the main window, and click on the “Add to iTunes” box from the sidebar. Hit start and you’re all done!

If you want to customize, add metadata, and create a cover for your video, we’ve written a tutorial that’ll help.

What about video for social?

Sharing videos on social through video editing apps is certainly an option. The only caveat is that you have to have your social media connected through Accounts in your System Preferences, and not every social media channel is represented there.

To have all your social media in one place, whether for sharing or messaging, try IM+, an app which combines all your social activity into one window, making sharing anything you’ve created with all your contacts a breeze.

For Instagram-specific sharing, you don’t have to download videos to your iPhone anymore. A Mac app like Flume can be used to conveniently post your video updates to your Instagram feed right from your laptop.

And if all you want to do is share videos with your friends in WhatsApp, ChatMate for WhatsApp lets you record and upload them from your desktop at the touch of a (record) button. It’s fast, powerful, and more beautiful than even the WhatsApp app itself, with desktop and Dock notifications, dark mode, and privacy mode to stop any prying eyes.

In the end, there are a lot of apps to choose from. But don’t feel overwhelmed. All the apps mentioned here are available for you to try on Setapp with a free trial. In fact, there are over 120 high-quality Mac apps across all categories on Setapp right now with new apps added weekly. Try all and see what you like best.

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.

Try for free