Suppose you own a Mac laptop or an iPad. In that case, you are likely familiar with QuickTime Player and use it to complete any multimedia-related tasks, from playing video clips to recording your activities on the screen on Mac. This app comes pre-installed and since it was developed directly by Apple, it usually works just as expected.

Still, users who are new to the Apple ecosystem might have some trouble finding all the key commands in QuickTime Player and/or MacOS. That can complicate even the most basic tasks and drain a lot of time that could be used more productively. The commands are not very complicated and there are several redundant methods that can be utilized to stop recording with QuickTime Player, so getting up to speed shouldn’t be difficult.

In addition to recommending practical solutions for this task, we will discuss why QuickTime Player remains a great screen recording app to have on your Mac but also show you another app that can do the same things, only better.

Further Reading: How to Fix Macbook Screen Recording No Sound >

Step-by-step Guide to Stop Screen Recording on QuickTime Player

If you started recording your screen activity or capturing the feed from your webcam with QuickTime Player and don’t know how to stop it, you have several easy options at hand. This software is very user-friendly once you learn how to activate the right options, you can start and stop recording in your sleep. In this case, there are three distinct possibilities to consider, all of which will stop the recording right away.

Method 1. Keyboard Shortcuts

Perhaps the fastest way to instruct QuickTime Player to momentarily discontinue recording is to use the dedicated hotkey. There is a keyboard shortcut you can use in this situation, and it only takes a simple action to execute the command in this way.

Step 1. Let QuickTime Player record all the content you want to be captured

Step 2. Press the combination of keys Option + Command + Esc at the exact moment when you want the recording to stop, regardless of whether the QuickTime Player window is visible on the screen

Option + Command + Esc

Step 3. Decide whether to save your recording or discard it

Further Reading: How to Convert Screen Recording to MP4 >

Method 2. Force Quit the App

An alternative method exists that will accomplish essentially the same result. Forcing the application to close immediately will naturally prevent it from continuing with any recording activity. Here is the procedure you should follow if you would like to force quit QuickTime Player:

Step 1. While recording is in progress, click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen

Step 2. When a drop-down menu appears, find the Force Quit option and click on it

Step 3. Find the QuickTime Player app in the list that appears on the screen and select it

Step 4. Click on the Force Quit button to complete the action and close the app

Force Quit the App

Force Quit the App

Method 3. Use Activity Monitor to stop QuickTime Player

Activity Monitor feature serves to check which applications may be using up the memory and processing power on your Mac, and it can also be used to shut down QuickTime Player or any other app. Complete the following steps to order QuickTime Player to stop recording the screen and close without delay.

Step 1. Open the Finder file manager and select the Applications tab

Step 2. From here, click on Utilities and then choose Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor

Step 3. You will see QuickTime Player among the currently active apps, select it and click on the Quit button

What are the Benefits of Using QuickTime Player Player for Screen Recording?

Every Mac has QuickTime Player installed together with the OS, and many users are completely happy to use it as their primary media player and screen recorder. This app has been a part of Apple’s core package for a long time and it has gradually added more advanced features. As things stand today, QuickTime Player still has several advantages over any third-party recording app and is used daily by millions of casual users as well as professional content creators.

Here are the main reasons why it makes sense to continue using QuickTime Player as the default screen recorder on your Mac laptop or desktop:

An Alternative Way to Record the Screen on a Mac – Gemoo Recorder

If you are unsatisfied with the quality of recordings you can get from QuickTime Player or don’t enjoy its interface, you should be aware that numerous alternatives are available. For example, Gemoo Recorder is a free recording tool that can produce very solid video quality and requires only a minimal adjustment period. Since the interface is very intuitive and key functions are elementary to find, there are minimal barriers to trying this exciting screen recorder on your Mac:

The screen recording function in Gemoo Snap can be activated in the following way:

Step 1. Install Gemoo Recorder on your Mac and start it. In the main menu, select your preferred source (i.e. Screen only or Screen + Camera)

Select Recording Modes

Select Recording Modes

Step 2. Click on the Start recording button and wait for the countdown lasting 3 seconds before the recording is started. Then, you can use the toolbar on the left side of the screen to add annotations or captions while recording.

Best Screen Recorders for PC Games - Gemoo Recorder

Gemoo Recorder Contorl Pannel

Step 3. Press the red Stop button when your video is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions about Recording Screen with QuickTime Player

What is the highest video resolution that recordings made with QuickTime Player can reach?

QuickTime Player can produce recordings of high quality with resolutions up to 1080p, but file sizes for such videos tend to be impractically large. That’s why users sometimes intentionally reduce image quality and/or bitrate by choosing a lower output setting that still works with the given subject matter.

Is it possible to include audio with the screen recording you create with QuickTime Player?

Yes, QuickTime Player supports audio recording and videos made with this program can include voice, effects, or music. To ensure this is the case, you need to check this option and select the appropriate audio source. In this way, you can capture both system audio and input from an external microphone.

Are there any screen recording apps that work on a Mac that are better than QuickTime Player?

Despite its undeniable utility, QuickTime Player is not premium recording software and it lacks many of the advanced functionalities found in commercial solutions of this kind. In addition to Gemoo, popular recorders that are compatible with MacOS include Camtasia, Snagit, and OBS Studio.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to use built-in software tools on a Mac can take some time, but after a while, the commands become second nature and are executed instantly without thinking. That’s certainly the case with QuickTime Player, which was designed to serve users of all skill levels and doesn’t require too much technical proficiency to use. Once you learn how to stop recording with QuickTime Player, you will never again leave a process in the background or wonder what is taking up so much of your CPU power and slowing down your Mac.


The Gemoo Team is committed to building products that help people effectively communicate and collaborate.