I found a screen recording feature of QuickTime X very useful. Except you can't pause the recording, as in most other screen recording programs. Or can you?

5 Answers 5

  1. record as usual
  2. when ready to pause, move your mouse over to the recording box and click anywhere to activate that box (the Quicktime Program)
  3. press "option button" on keyboard and the record bar will change to Pause ||
  4. BUT, this DOES NOT PAUSE the timer, to do that,click the Pause ||
  5. Now, it's truly PAUSED and you can let go of the "option" button
  6. Now, the record button turns RED, when in this mode, it's PAUSED
  7. To restart recording, simply click the RED button
  8. Do steps 2 to 7 all over again for another pause in your recording
  • 3
    Are you sure about this? Doesn't seem to work in Mountain Lion. Besides you then still have to edit out the mouse movements to/from the QT window so I don't see a benefit to recording individual segments.
    – nohillside
    Oct 31, 2012 at 15:16
  • 1
    I tried this with success on Mountain Lion. @patrix, you need to make sure that you focus on the quicktime window (click on it) before option button will have any effect.
    – Halst
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:57
  • 2
    but I wish there was a keyboard shortcut for pause/resume
    – Halst
    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:57
  • 3
    This only worked for me if I during step 2 clicked Qucktime and then pressed ESC to bring up the recording box. Without the ESC there is no recording box on newer versions. Sep 1, 2015 at 12:58

There are two options you can exercise, and they both involve post processing.

You could either stop the recording in lieu of a pause, and start a new one, then splice them together in post; or, keep recording, and manually trim/cut out the middle aspects you wished to pause through.

If audio accompanies these recordings, I suggest using an audible cue that you've reached a pausing point. Anything sharp such as a clap is a great marker to remind you down the road where exactly to trim the fat.


there is vwery good answer here worked for me on Sierra.

The key steps: Click on Quicktime in the dock to make it active press Esc to bring up the Recording bar hold down Alt (option) to reveal the Pause button click on the Pause button click on the red button to resume recording


Regarding hotkeys and pause function ... After reading all these answers and posts, my conclusion is the following:

The fastest way to pause a recording (including screen recording) is:

While recording press Esc to show recording bar.

Then press OptionSpace to pause/unpause.


If you have a MacBook Pro with TouchBar, touching the Option key at any window will replace the STOP button on TouchBar with a nice PAUSE button.

This is a new slick integration that actually helps you pause the recording without moving your mouse, or focusing into QuickTime window (which I could not figure out how to do).

  • 5
    I cannot reproduce that, it seems to not be available anymore (10.15.6). Aug 7, 2020 at 2:04
  • Option is removed.. MacBook pro here
    – Mustafa
    Apr 10, 2022 at 6:17

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