All macOS versions since Mojave have the Screenshot toolbar, a user-friendly option for screenshots and recordings. However, if your Mac runs on macOS High Sierra or older, QuickTime Player is your only choice for recording the screen of your MacBook.

One problem with this app is the playback controls disappear once you hit Record, making you wonder how to stop screen recording in QuickTime Player.

Don't worry - you've landed in the right spot. This guide will cover four straightforward methods to help you stop QuickTime screen recording on a Mac.

Table of Content
    1. How To Stop Screen Recording in QuickTime Player With a Mouse Click
    2. How To Stop Screen Recording in QuickTime Player With Keyboard Shortcuts
    3. How To Force Quit Screen Recording in QuickTime Player
    4. How To Stop QuickTime Screen Recording With Activity Monitor
    1. How To Screen-Record on a Mac Using Wondershare DemoCreator

4 Methods to Stop Screen Recording in QuickTime on a Mac

You can quickly stop QuickTime screen recording, although it initially makes you scratch your head in confusion. Here are the four methods you can use.

How To Stop Screen Recording in QuickTime Player With a Mouse Click

The QuickTime playback controls may disappear while recording, with no timer in sight or indication that recording is in progress, but your Mac's menu bar is still visible. That's where you'll find the Stop button.

Here's how to end screen recording in QuickTime:

  1. Click the Stop button in the menu bar.
    stop button to end quicktime recording
  2. Click File > Save and choose a location for your screen recording.
    save your quicktime recording

How To Stop Screen Recording in QuickTime Player With Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts exist for a reason. They help you perform various tasks faster and make your workflow more convenient. Why not use them in QuickTime?

Here's how to use keyboard shortcuts to stop screen recording in QuickTime:

  1. Simultaneously press the Command + Control + Escape keys to finish recording.
    keyboard shortcut to stop quicktime recording
  2. Hit Command + S to save your QuickTime screen recording.
    keyboard shortcut to save quicktime recording

How To Force Quit Screen Recording in QuickTime Player

Forcibly quitting QuickTime Player helps when experiencing a technical hiccup. For instance, the app may freeze, ruining your screen recording and making you start from scratch. However, when you end QuickTime screen recording by force-shutting the player, you lose that video because you can't save it before closing the program.

Here's how to do it if QuickTime doesn't respond to the Stop button or the keyboard shortcut:

  1. Open the Apple menu and click Force Quit QuickTime Player.
    force quit quicktime player
  2. The Force Quit Applications dialog box will pop up, so select QuickTime Player on the list, click Force Quit, and confirm your choice.
    force quit quicktime to stop recording

You can also open the Force Quit Applications dialog box with a keyboard shortcut. Here's how:

  1. Simultaneously press the Command + Option + Escape keys.
    force quit apps shortcut
  2. Click QuickTime Player > Force Quit to stop recording in QuickTime.
    force quit quicktime

How To Stop QuickTime Screen Recording With Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is a valuable macOS utility for monitoring CPU, memory, energy, disk, and network usage. It also lets you terminate apps and processes, which is ideal when they're unresponsive.

However, quitting QuickTime in Activity Monitor may mean losing your screen recording. The Quit option terminates the player when it deems it safe to prevent data loss. For instance, it may wait for the app to unfreeze before closing it.

On the other hand, the Force Quit option instantly ends the process. It's your only choice if the Activity Monitor refuses to close QuickTime because your recording is in progress.

Here's how to quit QuickTime screen recording by terminating the player in Activity Monitor:

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.
    activity monitor on a mac
  2. Select QuickTime Player on the list and terminate the process by clicking the Stop button (the . symbol).
    quit quicktime player in activity monitor
  3. Confirm your choice by clicking Quit. If nothing happens, click Force Quit.
    quit quicktime player

Further reading: how to stop screen recording on Mac

Pros and Cons of Using QuickTime Player for Screen Recordings

quicktime screen recording on a mac

Now that you know how to stop recording the screen in QuickTime, it's time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using this player for screen recordings. Here are the most notable pros and cons.

  • A built-in screen recorder - You don't need to download anything because QuickTime Player is a native macOS app.
  • High video quality - QuickTime can record videos up to 4K (depending on your monitor's resolution) at a maximum of 60 FPS.
  • Dual recording - You can capture your screen and camera simultaneously.
  • Clunky playback controls - Your Mac's menu bar shows only the Stop button during recording. When you wish to pause, you must press the Escape key to display playback controls and Option-click the Record button to turn it into the Pause button. You can click Record again to resume. That jumping through hoops doesn't provide a seamless user experience.
  • No ability to record system audio - QuickTime Player lets you use your microphone to capture external sounds. However, it requires a kernel extension to record the internal audio on Mac.
  • No screen drawing tools - QuickTime only supports mouse clicks during recording. You can't highlight specific elements with annotations or cursor effects.
  • Limited editing capabilities - You can only trim, crop, rotate, and split your videos and rearrange individual clips.

As you can see, the drawbacks of using QuickTime Player for screen recordings outweigh the benefits. Therefore, consider an alternative without QuickTime's shortcomings to make top-notch videos. Here's an excellent example.

Consider a Professional Screen Recorder for Screen Recording on a Mac

QuickTime Player can meet your needs when recording the screen for personal use. However, professional recordings require advanced software. Enter Wondershare DemoCreator. Here's why this all-encompassing recorder and editor stands out.

Free Download
Free Download

It has six recording modes: Screen, Screen & Camera, Camera, Game, Virtual Avatar, and Video Presentation. It can record up to 4K/8K at an impressive 120 FPS for a fluid experience. It also captures your system audio and lets you use a microphone. Furthermore, it separates your video and audio (and camera, when applicable) tracks for seamless multi-track editing.

Moreover, it offers screen drawing tools to add dynamic annotations, cursor effects (e.g., spotlight and magnify), text, and shapes while recording. They also support freehand on-screen drawing.

The AI-powered DemoCreator also shines in the editing department. It lets you generate subtitles automatically in 90+ languages, remove background noise, apply stickers, create transitions, and polish your videos with many other tools. You can choose from 50,000+ creative assets in DemoCreator's SFX Store, including animations and green screen effects.

These features only scratch the surface, so download the software to see it in action. In the meantime, let's see how to record your Mac screen with DemoCreator.

How To Screen-Record on a Mac Using Wondershare DemoCreator

Once you download and install DemoCreator on your Mac, follow these steps to record your screen:

Free Download
Free Download
  1. Click All-in-One Recorder.
    select the screen recording mode
  2. Choose a recording area: the entire screen, a custom portion, a window, or a preset aspect ratio. Then, enable your microphone to capture external sounds and select speakers to record system audio.
    customize the recording area
  3. If you'll record one or more windows, specify which DemoCreator will capture and hit the REC button to start recording. You can also use the Option + Command + 2 keyboard shortcut.
    choose the windows and record the screen
  4. Open the Screen Drawing Tool with the Command + D shortcut to add annotations and cursor effects. Pause your recording with Option + Command + 2, and stop recording with Command + Shift + 2.
    draw on the screen while recording

After ending the recording, you can export it directly or edit it for better result in DemoCreator's Video Editor.

edit the recording
Start Recording Now
Start Recording Now


Many Mac users rely on QuickTime Player for screen recordings, but the app leaves much to be desired. The clunky playback controls that make you jump through hoops to pause and stop screen recording in QuickTime Player are the tip of the iceberg.

Therefore, consider a professional screen recorder like Wondershare DemoCreator. Besides creating top-notch videos, you won't have to install additional tools to capture internal audio. You can also enjoy AI editing features to make your videos more accessible and engaging.

Oliva Eve
Oliva Eve Jun 12, 24
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