How to Stop QuickTime Screen Recording on Mac Featured Image

How to Stop QuickTime Screen Recording on Mac: 5 Quick Ways

End QuickTime recordings easily with these tips.

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Last updated: December 5, 2023

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TL;DR

To stop QuickTime screen recording on Mac, follow one of these five methods:

  1. Open QuickTime, click File in the menu bar > New Screen Recording, start recording, then click the Stop icon in the menu bar​.
  2. Start recording in QuickTime and press Command ⌘ + Control ^ + Esc to stop and save the recording​​.
  3. Start recording, press Command ⌘ + Option ⌥ + Esc to open the Force Quit window, select QuickTime, and click Force Quit.
  4. Start recording, open Activity Monitor, select QuickTime, and force quit it​​.
  5. Use MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner to find QuickTime and force quit it.

QuickTime is a built-in app for screen recording on Mac, offering a user-friendly interface. But if you’re not a regular user, you might be a bit lost looking for the stop button. Once you press the record button, the screen recording begins without displaying any visible buttons or controls, which can be confusing. To help with this, I’ll share the solutions for locating the stop button and using it to stop QuickTime screen recording on Mac.

Before We Begin

Stopping QuickTime Player screen recording is straightforward. But if the app is unresponsive or crashing, you may be unable to close it using standard methods. So, download MacKeeper and use its Memory Cleaner to end the unresponsive QuickTime Player and stop the screen recording.

How to Stop QuickTime Screen Recording on Mac

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Below, I’ve shared the quickest ways to stop QuickTime screen recording on Mac.

1. From the Menu Bar

The menu bar is the quickest way to stop QuickTime screen recording on your Mac. It is always visible at the top of the screen, even during recording, providing an easy way to access the stop function.

To stop a screen recording in QuickTime from the menu bar, follow these steps:

  1. Open QuickTime from the Launchpad.
open quicktime on your mac
  1. Click File in the menu bar and select New Screen Recording.
click file and select new screen recording
  1. The screenshot toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen. Click the Record button to start recording.
click the record button on the screenshot toolbar
  1. Once your screen recording is complete, find the Stop icon in the menu bar and click it.
click the stop button in the menu bar
  1. This will stop the recording and save the file on your desktop.

2. Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Using a Mac keyboard shortcut is another quick and convenient way to stop QuickTime screen recording without navigating through menus. To stop a screen recording in QuickTime using a keyboard shortcut, follow these steps:

  1. Begin your screen recording in QuickTime by pressing the Record button.
click the record button on the screenshot toolbar
  1. While recording, press Command ⌘ + Control ^ + Esc on your keyboard. This is the default keyboard shortcut in QuickTime for stopping a screen recording.
macbook pro command control esc keys
  1. As soon as you press these keys, your recording will stop. QuickTime will automatically save the recorded video on your desktop.

3. From the Force Quit Window

The Force Quit window is a useful method if QuickTime is unresponsive or if other methods to stop the recording are not working. It will immediately terminate the app, which, in turn, will stop the recording.

Using the Force Quit window should be one of your last options, as it will not save the recording you were working on.

To stop a QuickTime screen recording using the Force Quit window on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Start your screen recording in QuickTime by clicking the Record button.
click the record button on the screenshot toolbar
  1. While recording, press Command ⌘ + Option ⌥ + Esc on your keyboard.
macbook pro option command esc
  1. This will bring up the Force Quit Applications window listing all currently running applications.
apps currently open in force quit window
  1. In the Force Quit window, find and select QuickTime in the list of applications.
  2. Click the Force Quit button to close QuickTime.
select quicktime player and click force quit
  1. A confirmation dialog may appear, asking if you want to force the application to quit. Click Force Quit to confirm your choice.
click force quit on the confirmation pop up to stop quicktime player

4. Via Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is an alternative way to forcefully stop a QuickTime screen recording, especially when QuickTime is unresponsive or other methods fail. However, closing QuickTime through Activity Monitor, similar to the Force Quit method, will not save your screen recording.

To stop a QuickTime screen recording using the Activity Monitor on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Record button to start your screen recording in QuickTime.
click the record button on the screenshot toolbar
  1. Open Activity Monitor by searching for it using Spotlight (Command ⌘ + Spacebar).
type activity monitor in spotlight search
  1. In the Activity Monitor, look for QuickTime Player in the list of processes and select it.
  2. Once QuickTime is selected, click the X button at the top of the Activity Monitor window.
select quicktime player in activity monitor and click the small cross in the top toolbar
  1. A confirmation window will appear, asking if you are sure you want to quit QuickTime. Click Force Quit to proceed.
click force quit on the pop up to close quicktime player
  1. This will abruptly stop the screen recording and will not save the recording you were making.

5. Using MacKeeper Memory Cleaner

Although a bit unconventional, you can use MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner to stop QuickTime screen recording on Mac. It works somewhat like the Activity Monitor. Here’s how you can use MacKeeper to stop screen recording on QuickTime Player:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Click the Memory Cleaner option in the left sidebar under Performance.
select memory cleaner under performance
  1. Click Open.
click open in the memory cleaner
  1. Click Apps & Processes in the left panel.
  2. Select QuickTime Player on the right side and click the small X button next to its name.
click apps processes and select quicktime player on the right side and click x button
  1. Tap the Quit button on the pop-up to close QuickTime Player.
click quit on the pop up

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides closing unwanted processes and freeing up your Mac’s RAM, MacKeeper can run a virus scan on your Mac, remove duplicate files, and remove login items. Check out my MacKeeper review to know more about its features.

Why Can’t You Stop Screen Recording on QuickTime Player?

If you’re having trouble stopping a screen recording in QuickTime Player, there could be several reasons for this issue:

  • 💻 System Resource Limitations: If your Mac is running low on system resources like memory or CPU power, it can affect QuickTime’s performance. Closing unnecessary apps can free up resources for QuickTime.
  • ❄️ Application Freeze or Crash: QuickTime Player can freeze or crash, especially under heavy load, preventing it from responding. If that happens, you can’t stop screen recording without force quitting the app.
  • 🐛 Software Bugs or Glitches: There can be bugs or glitches in QuickTime, particularly in outdated versions. My tip: Always update your apps on Mac to minimize bugs. Updates often include fixes for common issues.
  • 🚫 Insufficient Permissions: If QuickTime doesn’t have the necessary permissions, it might fail to stop recordings properly. Check if QuickTime has the necessary permissions in your System Settings.
  • ⌨️ Keyboard Shortcut Issues: Keyboard shortcuts are lifesavers, but they can be finicky. If they’re not working, double-check your keyboard settings. Sometimes, the simplest solutions, like checking if your Caps Lock is on, can solve the problem.

End QuickTime Screen Recordings on Your Mac

Now that you know how to stop QuickTime Player screen recording on Mac, you might want to improve your screen recording experience. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I stop QuickTime screen recording?

    To stop QuickTime screen recording, click the Stop button in the menu bar at the top of your screen or press Command ⌘ + Control ^ + Esc on your keyboard. This will end the recording and prompt you to save the file to your desired location on your Mac.

  2. How do I stop QuickTime recording from shortcut Mac?

    To stop QuickTime recording from shortcut Mac, press Command ⌘ + Control ^ + Esc. This keyboard command halts the recording. Once stopped, QuickTime will display the recorded content, letting you review and save it to your preferred location.

  3. How do I make a screen recording with sound on a Mac?

    To make a screen recording with sound on a Mac using QuickTime Player, open the application, choose File > New Screen Recording, and click the arrow next to the Record button to select a sound source. Then, click the Record button to start and stop recording as needed.

  4. How long will QuickTime screen record for?

    QuickTime can screen record for as long as there is sufficient disk space on your Mac and the app remains stable. There’s no preset time limit, but long recordings can consume significant storage space. They may affect system performance, especially if you have an older Mac.

  5. Why is my Mac not letting me screen record?

    If your Mac isn’t allowing screen recording, check System Settings > Privacy & Security > Screen Recording to ensure QuickTime Player has permission. Also, verify available storage space and system resource usage. Updating QuickTime Player can resolve potential software-related issues hindering screen recording functionality.

  6. Where are QuickTime screen recordings stored on the Mac?

    QuickTime screen recordings are stored on the desktop on the Mac. But you can change the settings to prompt you to choose a save location for screen recordings after you stop recording. To find unsaved recordings, check QuickTime Player’s Recent Items list or search your temporary folders using Finder.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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