Introduction: How to Record Audio From Your Computer Using Quicktime.

Picture of How to Record Audio From Your Computer Using Quicktime.

The way they are now, Apple computers will not let you record your computer audio with any of their built in programs. Most programs that will let you record system audio can be pretty expensive. This is a problem for most people that need a cheap way to record system audio for whatever reason, such as screen recordings, or legally recording uncopyrighted audio. Fortunately, there is a way around this problem.

In this tutorial I will show you an ABSOLUTELY FREE way to record the system audio from your computer (not microphone) using Quicktime and a free program called Soundflower. This is useful for screen recordings that you need to capture your computer's audio with, or legally recording uncopyrighted audio. So let's take a look...

(I'm not as familiar with WIndows computers, but I believe there is another program called "Jack" that should do pretty much the same thing. But I'm not 100% sure.)

Step 1: System Preferences

Picture of System Preferences

The first thing you should do is open System Preferences, and go to Sound. Click on Input. You should see something like "Internal Microphone" and "Line-in". Now click on output. It should say something like "Internal Speakers" and maybe "Headphones" or something. And in the "Input"  part. The input specifies where you want the computer to receive audio from when you do some sort of audio recording. The output specifies where you want your computer to play the audio through, or how you want to hear it.

If you notice, there's nothing in the input about receiving the computer audio, and nothing in the output about outputting the computer audio. But don't worry, we can fix that.

Step 2: Soundflower

Picture of Soundflower

The way we fix this problem of having no way to send the computer audio to Quicktime is with a free program called Soundflower. Soundflower is a Mac extension that allows programs to pass audio to other applications. It acts as an audio device, which allows programs to send or receive audio from it without any other support.

It can be downloaded from here.

Download and install this program by opening the .dmg file and following the on-screen instructions. 

(If for some reason the download doesn't work, try downloading a different version, such as the beta version)

Step 3:

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Once Soundflower is successfully installed, visit the Sound tab in your System Preferences again. Click on "Output." There should now be two more options there, "Soundflower (2ch)," and, "Soundflower (64ch)." This is the extension that you just installed. It shows up as an audio device to just to make everything even easier. 

Make sure your in the "Output" section, and click on "Soundflower (2ch)." Now your computer is outputting all of it's audio through the Soundflower (2ch) extension. (The only downside is that you will not be able to hear audio through your speakers as long as this is selected.)

Now open Quicktime Player and click on File>New Screen Recording. Click the little arrow on the side of the Quicktime window. Under the microphone section, click on "Soundflower (2ch)."

If you would rather record ONLY audio and not the screen, click File>New Audio Recording, and do the same thing.

Now click the record button and record your computer's audio!

When you're done and you want to hear audio through your speakers again, go back to System Preferences>Sound>Output, and click on "Internal Speakers." Your audio will now play through your internal speakers again.

Have fun with this!


monkm (author)2015-07-02

"The only downside is that you will not be able to hear audio through your speakers as long as this is selected" That is a MAJOR downside.

AnthonyC30 (author)monkm2015-08-24

Use the soundflowerbed app, create a multi-output device that uses both your speakers and soundflower 2ch. Then, set soundflower 2ch and it will actually use both.

DanR183 (author)AnthonyC302017-03-06

Would you paste a link here for where I can download soundflowerbed? I was not able to find where to download it, and so still just have sound flower, (and so of course I can not hear the audio while the video on my screen is being recorded.) Thanks.

owentaylor63654 (author)2017-02-16

Thank you for these instructions, really helpful!! I used to record video and audio with acethinker screen recorder, free and works fairly well.

FancyS (author)2015-11-15


MichaelR187 (author)FancyS2015-12-06

ChrisM590 (author)MichaelR1872017-02-04

Great link, short concise and works perfectly, thanks very much

CraigD67 (author)MichaelR1872016-08-12

Oh wow. It works now! Thanks!

MrTroy1 (author)MichaelR1872016-07-17

That was just what I needed done!

Works like a charm. Spent 2h trying to make a mac record its own sound. It should be a very simple thing. Anyway, now I can record the audio I'm after. Thank you for that

XavierH8 (author)MichaelR1872016-04-13

thank you

AndrewB451 (author)2016-10-25

how can i record my computer's audio and output to a speaker at the same time?

zcs2010x (author)2016-06-10

It doesn't work for me. I downloaded Soundflower but when I record the audio nothing happens. It is just a blank recording. Please Help

WyattK3 (author)zcs2010x2016-06-14

At first I thought he said "set your output to Internal Microphone and your input to Soundflower2ch whatever." I had that problem too, tried setting my output to Soundflower2ch and it worked. Apparently you can't listen to what you're recording while you're recording it. :/

kaunik (author)2016-05-02

hello friends i am also suck in this problem. but i found the solution .

Enry2s (author)2016-03-11

I don't know what happens to my Quick Time. I followed the steps above but still can't record any audio for my computer. Finally got the problem solved by using iMoresoft Audio Recorder, which is quite nice for recording:

kaine-83 (author)2014-03-25

There needn't be the downside.

If you open OSX's 'Audio Midi Setup' program then from the Window menu choose 'show audio window', you can click the + button in the bottom left corner & create a multi-output device. Then you just check the boxes for both soundflower and the built in output and Bob's your uncle - you can hear it as well as record it.

apertureso (author)kaine-832015-10-12

Works, but I can't change the volume and it's quite quiet.

I've tried this and I keep switching the outputs, and the inputs but, I cannot record something and hear myself, and the other audio at the same time.

With my setup, I record system sounds with the video through quicktime & then my voice over through Audacity. To achieve this I have

Input set to 'soundflower 2ch'
output set to multi-output device (soundflower 2ch & headphones)
Audacity set with microphone as input

If the same doesn't work for you then I can't really help further

vycrowe (author)Kaine832015-02-24

Thank you!

Crucio (author)kaine-832015-02-13

Bob's a great uncle! Thanks!

YoruC (author)kaine-832015-01-04

Thanks so much for the tip, it works perfectly :).

MathewR1 (author)kaine-832014-08-26

Soundflowerbed says that Soundflower isn't installed even when I installed it twice.


Kaine83 (author)MathewR12014-09-17

You're better off talking to soundflower support than me. I can use it, but not much more than that.

MathewR1 (author)Kaine832014-09-17

Okay, thanks.

starogre (author)kaine-832014-05-14

Hey I signed up to this site to fix this issue. I'm doing exactly what you said and I'm still not hearing any audio from my headphone jack or built-in speakers of my laptop. Any way we could get in touch via email? I'm just trying to record from MAX/MSP (I even changed the output settings for the audio in that, but I still don't hear any sound or record anything using aggregate device, rather than the Soundflower 2ch).

Kaine83 (author)starogre2014-09-17

Sorry, I didn't realise I had comments waiting for me. It's months ago now, but did you sort it out?

BenjaminL (author)kaine-832014-09-16

When I did it the audio started looping and getting faster at the same time

Kaine83 (author)BenjaminL2014-09-17

Sounds like you are outputting to the speakers, which means the mic hears it and creates a feedback loop.

When using a microphone, always use headphones to monitor yourself, not speakers. You may need to choose headphones in the multi-output device instead of built in output.

EladA (author)2015-09-15

FilippoG (author)2015-05-21



lost a lot of time, also had to quit all to reboot, Thank you so much!

ps: really hate you have to switch between pages to continue reading.

fox30 (author)FilippoG2015-09-01

It worked for me. Although it did have an echo. I must have done something wrong

AndresKwan made it! (author)2015-06-17

Thanks! It works for me. Do you know how to record at the same time computer audio an the microphone? Thanks again. BTW if you want to listen what is going, follow the image that I added. (Check Build-in Output)

MathieuL1 (author)2015-04-14

that was the most helpful thing i have ever seen

thank you for the instructions

MathieuL1 (author)2015-04-14

Man you are good

dorian.courbin (author)2015-04-04

Hi, I'm jut here for a question. The device works perfectly well on my computer but I just wanted to know: what's the difference between 2ch and 64ch. I never tried it using the 64ch entry/exit, is it a matter of quality???

DailyTUT (author)2015-03-19

Quicktime is free and comes with mac by default. I am able to record HD videos without any problem. When i looked for some best editors for the recorded video camtasia and some other alternatives helped me.

Thanks for the simple tutorial for quicktime.

Sethi1 (author)2014-11-28

Hi, I'm not sure if you'll be able to help or not. I may not have read thoroughly enough and possibly I missed something. But I have soundflower installed and when I go to my system settings>sound>output there is no option other than the built in speakers and my headphones. Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong to cause this??? Please help.

TeddyDeepGaming (author)Sethi12015-03-07

Don't worry, just restart your computer and the software should be installed :)

lmacdona2854 (author)Sethi12014-12-18

Hi! I had the same problem! It turns out that you have to reboot your mac before the software starts working!

RyanK3 (author)2015-02-13

I go through all the steps but 2ch still doesn't record any audio. When I play back my quicktime videos there is no audio.

tysoso (author)2015-02-08

Mac an app built in "Audio Midi Setup" (search in spotlight), click the plus sign once open and select "create an aggregated device". In the settings for this device check microphone and built in output. You can now select this as your input for recording in quicktime.

MelissaB5 (author)2015-01-21

Quicktime is good to use. I have used it
before. But recently I have found another great online audio recorder. I can
use it to record sound either from system and microphone. And it is totally
free! I like to utilize it very much.

ParkH (author)2015-01-19

how do i record the screen audio and my mircophone at the same time?

wwinter2 (author)2015-01-18

How do you record the system audio and from the mic?

YoruC (author)2015-01-04

So glad I found this, I went through so much effort trying to find a program that could do this, and while I did find one that was 100% free, for some reason it could only record like 5-10 fps -_-.

ethan.brown.7927408 (author)2014-12-13

There is a much easier way.

Simply take an auxiliary cable.

1. plug one end into headphone jack and one into mic jack.

2. go into the quicktime screen recording setting

3. For audio in select mic jack

4. BO BOOM now you has sound.

5 If you wanna use headphones along with this, use a splitter for the headphone jack and plug in aux cable and your headphoneshu

CraftyScreen (author)2014-10-21

SoundFlower broke my system (10.9). I had to reboot in Safe Mode and remove it.

izausername (author)2014-10-06

Soundflower link:

About This Instructable




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