How to Record System Sound on Mac

How to Record System Sound on Mac

Recording system sound on a Mac can be incredibly useful for a variety of purposes, from capturing audio from online videos to creating podcasts or tutorials. However, Macs do not have a built-in feature for recording system sound directly. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods and tools that allow you to record system sound on your Mac. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions to ensure you have all the information you need.

Methods to Record System Sound on Mac

Method 1: Use a Screen Recording Software

One of the most straightforward methods to capture system sound on a Mac is by using screen recording software that allows for audio recording. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the Right Software: Choose a screen recording software that supports audio recording from the system. Popular options include OBS Studio, ScreenFlow, and Camtasia.
  2. Set Up Audio Source: In the software settings, select the system audio as the source for audio recording.
  3. Start Recording: Begin your screen recording, and the software will capture both video and system audio.
  4. Save the Recording: Once you finish recording, save the file in your preferred format.

Method 2: Use a Soundflower

Soundflower is a free, open-source extension for macOS that allows you to route system audio to other applications. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Install Soundflower: Download and install Soundflower on your Mac.
  2. Configure Soundflower: Go to your Mac’s System Preferences > Sound, and in the Output tab, select Soundflower (2ch) as the sound output.
  3. Record with Another Application: Use any audio recording application (e.g., Audacity or QuickTime Player) to record the system audio while Soundflower is set as the output.
  4. Select Soundflower as Input: In the recording application, select Soundflower as the input source for audio recording.
  5. Record System Sound: Start recording, and the application will capture the system audio.

Method 3: Use Loopback

Loopback is a paid audio routing software that provides advanced control over audio routing on your Mac. Here’s how to use it to record system sound:

  1. Install Loopback: Download and install Loopback on your Mac.
  2. Create a Virtual Device: Launch Loopback and create a virtual device. Add a source (system audio) and a destination (recording application).
  3. Set Up Recording Application: In your recording application, select the Loopback virtual device as the audio input.
  4. Start Recording: Begin your recording, and Loopback will capture the system audio.
  5. Save the Recording: Once you finish recording, save the file as needed.

FAQs on Recording System Sound on Mac

Q1: Can I record system sound without any third-party software?

A: Unfortunately, macOS does not offer built-in functionality for directly recording system sound without third-party software.

Q2: Are there free alternatives to paid software for recording system sound?

A: Yes, you can use free software like OBS Studio and Soundflower for recording system sound. However, paid solutions like Loopback may offer more advanced features and better control.

Q3: Can I record system sound while using headphones?

A: Yes, you can record system sound while using headphones. The audio source for recording is independent of your headphone settings.

Q4: Are there any legal considerations when recording system sound from videos or music streaming platforms?

A: Yes, recording copyrighted content without permission may violate copyright laws. Be aware of the legal implications and consider seeking proper authorization or using content for personal use only.

Q5: Can I edit the recorded system sound after capturing it?

A: Yes, you can edit the recorded system sound using audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition to enhance or modify the audio as needed.


Recording system sound on your Mac opens up a world of possibilities for creating content, tutorials, podcasts, and more. While macOS does not provide a native feature for this, there are various methods and third-party software solutions available to help you achieve your recording goals. Whether you choose to use screen recording software, Soundflower, or Loopback, you can capture system sound and customize your recordings to meet your specific needs. Just be mindful of legal considerations when recording copyrighted content and ensure you have the necessary permissions when required.

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