For a while now; I have been looking for a way to record the screen on macOS, but only of a single window (e.g. any other windows blocking it will not be recorded).

There should be a way to do this, since the screencapture command on Terminal is able to take screenshots of specific windows (see this answer from AskDifferent). I attempted to use that command to quickly take screenshots, which could be turned into a video; but the framerate is less than 1 fps (I need at least 30, if not 60 fps). Apparently this can be done on Windows using ffmpeg, but I can't figure out how to do it on macOS.

Does anyone know of either a terminal command, Swift code, or even a full application that is capable of doing this?


OBS Studio is capable of selecting windows as sources, and adding those to scenes.

Fair warning if you have a lower-power mac: when I tried it on a 2020 intel macbook air, it had noticeable CPU/GPU use even when on a separate desktop and not recording, and that it was several times as bad once I composed a scene with two windows in it.

I was able to greatly improve this by reducing the framerate (Settings > Video > select integer FPS, set number), which may help depending on what you're out to record.

New contributor
abathur is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I don't actually need to record windows anymore, but it might come in handy in the future (or for other people). – htmlcat Aug 2 at 21:30

You Mac should have come with an App named Grab. This app will make a copy of the desktop. a selection, or a window. The app should be in your utilities folder under Applications.

You can also type shift-command-4 and your cursor turns into crosshairs and you can select a region to copy. Select the window you want and let up on the mouse button.

  • Thanks for the suggestion; but unfortunately Grab isn't able to record only a single window, even though it can take screenshots of single windows. Maybe Apple will add this feature to Grab sometime in the future. – htmlcat Oct 4 '19 at 19:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.