How to Make and Record Internally From Audacity on a Mac

Updated February 21, 2017

If you need to make a recording of audio that is playing on your Mac, you might prefer to use the free Audacity application. For example, you are streaming a public domain audio or video file from the Internet Archiv, and you want to capture a recording of it for your research, or you have a video that you shot with Apple's native video recording application Photo Booth and you want to make a recording of its audio. You need the free Soundflower plugin on your Mac before recording internal audio with Audacity.

Launch your Web browser. Go to the Cycling 74 website (, click "Products" and then click "Soundflower." Download the free Soundflower plugin to your Mac. Double-click the Soundflower DMG disc image file to expand it and reveal the Soundflower package file. Double-click the "Soundflower.pkg" file to install the Soundflower plugin.

Click the Apple logo at the top left of the Mac, and then click "System Preferences."

Click "Sound," and then click the "Output" tab.

Click "Soundflower (2ch)." This diverts audio from your Mac's speakers to the Soundflower module, from which Audacity can record.

Click "Applications" on the Dock of your Mac, and then click "Audacity" to launch the application. A new empty recording window appears.

Click the "Built-in Input" pull-down menu at the top of the Audacity window, and then click "Soundflower (2ch)."

Play the audio on your Mac that you want to record. For example, click the "Play" button on a streaming video or audio file, or in the window of Photo Booth.

Click the red "Record" button at the top of the Audacity window. The waveform of the audio appears in the window as it records.

Click the yellow "Stop" button to stop recording.

Click "File" from the Audacity menu, and then click "Save Project." A dialogue box appears. Type a name for the recording in the "Save As" box, then click a folder on your Mac where you want to save the file, and then click "Save."

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About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.