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I've used http://screenr.com/ before but for company things it's not appropriate since it becomes public. I need something that lets me record my screen and gives me a small well encoded file that I put into dropbox.

What's my options?

9 Answers 9

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Quicktime covers all your needs.

Quicktime is the proper choice for private local recording that are encoded with care and quality / compression options to suit personal needs if the default settings aren’t correct for you.

On older OS which were current when the question was asked, start a screen recording.

  1. In QuickTime Player, choose File > New Screen Recording.
  2. Choose options for the screen recording from the arrow pop-up menu.
  • If you want to record yourself speaking as you use the computer, choose an audio input source below Microphone in the pop-up menu.

  • Choose whether you want the recording to be medium or high quality. High quality results in a larger file size.

As of 2020 the recording interface has changed slightly and we can no longer choose screen recording quality up-front in Mojave, unfortunately. A workaround in QuickTime (without having to download or purchase any additional software, so all done in <1 minute!) is to record your full resolution and high quality encoding video [1 minute of a full screen recording on a portable Mac averages about 100Mb of space on disk]. To slim down the storage, open the movie file in QuickTime to export it.

  1. File

  2. Export As

  3. 480p

This reduced my 107Mb file to 17.7Mb so I could then email it, and didn't need to bother with Dropbox but you may have other reasons beyond size for storing a video in Dropbox.

You can only do this when the QT file is open; you can't perform this file size reduction in eg Finder as the 'Export As' option will be greyed out.

Screenshot showing the steps above:Screenshot of simple steps to reduce QT screen recording file size [End of edit - Hope I've followed edit protocol correctly folks, as this is my first post, it's a little long for an edit I think; I would have posted a comment underneath but being a newbie, I'm not allowed to yet ;o) ]

  • If you want mouse clicks to be visible in the recording, choose “Show Mouse Clicks in Recording.”

  • If you want to change where the recording is saved, choose Choose, and then select a new location.

  1. Arrange the computer windows as you want to capture them, and then click the Record button.
  • If you want to record only a portion of the screen, drag the pointer to select the portion of the screen you want to record, and then click Start Recording.
    To adjust the portion of the screen you selected, drag the small gray circles along the edges of the screen recording rectangle or drag the entire screen recording rectangle to another location on the screen.

  • If you want to record the entire screen, click anywhere on the screen to start the recording.

4.To stop the recording, click the Stop button, or press Cmd ⌘ Ctrl ⌃ Esc .

Source: Apple KB - QuickTime Player 10.x: Record your computer’s screen

From comments…
If the file sizes are still too large, there is Apple's own excellent Compressor ($49.99) or for a simpler approach, still with many possibilities, you could look at SmartConverter (freeware)

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    That's what I would go with too. If you want very small video files, you should try compression softwares like Compressor to reduce your recording file size. In general, Quicktime will make video files that are small enough, but if you need additional control, Compressor is awesome for that.
    – LaX
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 10:30
  • Good suggestion - I'll add that into the answer with another, freeware possibility.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 10:38
  • I don't see the recording quality option on my QuickTime (Version 10.5, Mojave) and the option isn't listed on the KB article support.apple.com/guide/quicktime-player/…. An hour long recording of a portion of the screen is 13GB! BTW, there's also an option to record sound from the computer if you install Soundflower. Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 7:20
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Actually, with Mojave, you can just press Command-Shift-5 and select to record either a single screenshot, or a screen recording.

enter image description here

(Picture taken from https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/take-screenshots-in-macos-mojave/ which also offers more details on how it works)

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5

Update Jan 2020: You can no longer choose screen recording quality up-front in Mojave, unfortunately. A workaround in QuickTime (without having to download or purchase any additional software, so all done in <1 minute!) is to record your full-fat version - 1 minute averages about 100Mb - then open the movie in QT.

  1. File

  2. Export As

  3. 480p

This reduced my 107Mb file to 17.7Mb so I could then email it, and didn't need to bother with Dropbox etc. You can only do this when the QT file is open; you can't perform this file size reduction in eg Finder as the 'Export As' option will be greyed out.

Screenshot showing the steps above:enter image description here

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The QuickTime player is too old and is not recommended. It will generate a huge file size video and is not optimized. You can try other video recorders, I would suggest OBS, a free and opensource video recorder come streamer.

Link - https://obsproject.com/download

Screen recording with OBS is pretty straighforward, but you can check this guide for details.

Bear in mind that you can configure different options and file size may vary accordingly. I choose video output resolution of 1440x900 againt my MacBook input resolution of 2880x1800. This will generate decent quality and file size is very low compared to the Quicktime player.

It is available for Mac, Linux and Windows.

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    Welcome to Ask Different. What is a “video recorder come streamer”? The native screen recorder is awesome for me so I’m not sure if perhaps your optimization needs are different than mine. Thanks for adding a link even if it’s not clear how it’s better from your text.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 17:05
  • 4
    he may mean "video recorder cum streamer." Where is "cum" is used to hyphenate a couple of words to show they do both things. This is what I get for having a teacher for a mother ... ;-) Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 22:22
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You can use the built in QuickTime player to record your Mac screen and then compress its size using the iMovie and its super simple to use and much powerful.

  1. launch iMovie
  2. click import media
  3. Click on the imported Item on Left
    enter image description here
  4. Click on Share on top right and choose export
  5. Choose video quality (Dont Worry about the size shown the actual size will be less than half)

enter image description here

6.With this video quality I was able to compress 207mb of video to just 33mb with almost the same quality

enter image description here

The compressed recording is available here

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I really like Kap Kap Logo.

  • It can give you smaller videos—for me, usually less than a MB

    • I've got my FPS set to 10 and I usually only record the important part of the screen.
  • It's free and open-source

  • It's easy to install

  • It lets you pick the file format

    • .gif,
    • .mp4 (H264, the usual)
    • .mp4 (H265, the more efficient, but not-yet-well-supported one)
    • .mp4 (AV1)
    • WebM
    • APNG
  • It has lots of plugins; including a dropbox plugin that lets you automatically upload your recordings

    • Some of my favorite plugins are
      • key-cast to show the keys I press
      • progress-bar to make it clear when my gif ends
      • recording-name to give my recordings easy to remember names like 2023-11-02 at 17.28.30 - Aquamarine Macaw.mp4
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    This project looks discontinued to me - no commits on 2 years. Commented Jan 31 at 23:14
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iShowU can do screen recordings. You can ajoust the framerate, resolution and whether it should track mouse movements or not for a smaller file size. It is $29.95.

If you need to convert, compress or crop an existing recording, try Handbrake (it's free).

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I cheated. At work, we have free access to Amazon Chime (meeting and video conferencing AWS service). I created a meeting with just myself in it, and recorded it. I got a file of 20 MB for a video of 278s, while with QT the best I could get with shitty resolution (480p) was 52 MB for 181s.

The quality of the Chime recording is acceptable for the use I had of if (recording a few chess moves with commentary). Chime is not free, I believe, for people outside the company, but this makes me think that all conference tools that can record meetings must have better performance than QT, otherwise it would be absolutely unmanageable to record and share long meetings.

Whatever comparable tool is available to you, give it a try.

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The easiest way to do a screen recording on a Mac is to use the built-in Screenshot tool. It's available on all Macs running macOS Mojave 10.14 or later.

To start a screen recording, press Cmd+Shift+5. This will open a menu with four options: Capture Entire Screen, Capture Window, Capture Selected Portion, and Record. Click Record to start recording your screen.

Once you're finished recording, click the Stop button in the menu bar or press Cmd+Shift+5 again. Your screen recording will be saved to your desktop as a .mov file.

To get a small file size, you can reduce the resolution and frame rate of your screen recording. To do this, click the Options button in the Screenshot menu before you start recording.

In the Options window, you can adjust the following settings:

  1. Resolution: Choose a lower resolution, such as 1280x720 or 640x480.

  2. Frames per second: Choose a lower frame rate, such as 15 or 20 fps.

Once you've adjusted the settings, click Record to start recording your screen.

Tips for getting a small screen recording file:

  1. Record only the area of the screen that you need.

  2. Avoid recording animations or video playback, as these can make the file size larger.

  3. Use a lower resolution and frame rate.

  4. Compress the video file after recording. There are many free and paid video compression tools available.

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