I am looking to record my screen using QuickTime on my Mac, but stopping a screen recording requires you to press ControlCommandEsc. I would like to know if it is possible to create a custom keyboard shortcut, such as ControlCommandS, to stop the QuickTime recording.

I prefer not clicking the Stop button in the menu bar because the recording captures the mouse trailing up to click that button.

If it is possible, how can one create a custom shortcut to stop a QuickTime screen recording?

  • 1
    The easiest thing I have found for this is to wait for about 5 seconds when you are finished before you end the video so you have a buffer of video. Then click the stop. Trim out the extra frames so you don't see the mouse moving.
    – Allan
    Apr 2, 2018 at 20:09
  • I do leave room at the end and trim it but I would love have a short-cut I can remember. Plus, the 'Command+Control+Esc' function is awkward. During a recording, my brain is slow to signal my index finger (COMMAND), thumb (CONTROL) and pinky finger (ESC) to get into position to execute the stop function.
    – Andrew
    Apr 2, 2018 at 20:32
  • (IMO) That default key combo is designed that you have to use 2 hands to prevent inadvertent invocation. Ctrl-Cmd-S is much easier to do with one hand than Ctrl-Cmd-Esc.
    – Allan
    Apr 2, 2018 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


You may use the default stop recording shortcut: + Ctrl + Esc to stop recording when you finished.


This can be accomplished using an Automator Service bound to a custom keyboard shortcut, as follows:

  • Open Automator (/Applications/Utilities/Automator.app) and create a new Service.
  • At the top, set this service to receive no input in any application.
  • Use the search bar on the left side to find the Run AppleScript action and drag it into the main workflow pane on the right side.
  • Set the contents of the Run AppleScript to the following:

    on run
        tell first document of application "QuickTime Player" to stop
    end run
  • Save the Service under a name you'll remember (perhaps "Stop QuickTime Recording").

  • Open System Preferences, go to Keyboard preferences, go to the Shortcuts tab, select Services from the menu on the left, and find the Service you just created (it's probably located under Text). Click on it to select it, then click the Add Shortcut button.
  • Press the keyboard shortcut you want to assign to this action (--S).

You can then close System Preferences and Automator. From now on, any time you press that key combination, it will attempt to stop the first active recording in QuickTime Player, including screen recordings.

  • Thx for this detailed and accurate walk through. I had not made an Automator service before. it is called Quick Action in mojave Jul 28, 2019 at 20:08

To end the recording you can press: +Ctrl+Esc, or press the ⏺ (stop recording) button on your Macbook's touchbar. (see Apple Support > QuickTime Player)

To alter the shortcut, you would need to know what the name of the command is and rebind it in:

System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts

You could also consider using software that intercepts keys and runs arbitrary actions, e.g.: Alfred (workflows), Keyboard Maestro, Hammerspoon.

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