How to Use the New Screen Capture Interface in macOS

If you’re running on the latest version of macOS you may have noticed that there is a new screen capture interface available. Essentially it brings together both screenshots and screen recording into a single interface to make it easier and more convenient to capture either of them.

Considering it is arguably one of the best new features to hit macOS in recent years, you should definitely check it out.

Using the Screen Capture Interface

All that you need to do to open up the new screen capture interface is hit Command-Shift-5 on your keyboard. That will bring up a floating toolbar containing several options:

  • Capture screenshots

To capture screenshots you can select one of the icons to capture the entire screen, a window, or a selected portion. If you choose either of the latter options, you can then use the cursor to select a window or click and drag to draw a frame over the area that you want to capture.

  • Record videos

To record videos you can select one of the icons to record the entire screen or a selected portion by clicking and dragging the mouse cursor to draw a frame. In either case you can then click on the Record button in the interface to start recording and click the ‘stop’ icon in the menu bar when you want to stop.

As you can see it is really quite straightforward and you should have no trouble snapping a screenshot or recording a video via the interface. The image or videos that you capture will appear as a floating thumbnail that you can select if you want to edit and apply Markup.

Adjusting the Options

In addition to the icons to capture screenshots and record videos, the screen capture interface also has an Options menu. It will let you set up several options that could be helpful:

  • Save to will let you define where you want the images or videos to be saved, including the Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview, or Other Location.
  • Timer will let you set a timer to start 5 or 10 second countdown before capturing a screenshot or starting to record the video.
  • Show mouse pointer will display the mouse pointer in the screenshot or video if selected, or hide it if not.
  • Show floating thumbnail will enable or disable the floating thumbnail that appears by default in the bottom-right corner after you capture a screenshot or video.

Generally the options are fairly self-explanatory, and yet they can be very useful in some cases.


Overall the new screen capture interface makes it easy to capture screenshots and learn how to record video on Mac. It is relatively basic however, and if you want more control over the recording you will want to think about third-party options.

Still as a built-in tool the screen capture interface in macOS is definitely great at what it does. It is certainly a step forward that makes it much more convenient and accessible.

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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