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[Solutions] Can't Save QuickTime Screen Recording on Mac

Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2024

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Written by

Jenny Zeng
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


What To Do If You Can't Save QuickTime Screen Recording on Mac?

QuickTime Player sometimes may not work correctly. You may find QuickTime Player not saving an edited video or the screen recording you just recorded.

Cant save QuickTime screen recording

Usually, when you stop the QuickTime screen recording, it allows you to preview the recording and save it via File > Save or File > Export. However, you may get no response after clicking the Stop button. Or, QuickTime screen recording won't save but pops up errors such as "Cannot Open," "The operation could not be completed.", or "Your screen recording can't be saved. Error saving recording."

The same error that indicates the operation could not be completed also happens when you try to export or save a trimmed file from QuickTime. The question is, where to find your recording or how to export the edited video if you can't save QuickTime screen recording on Mac? This post gives you the answers.

Why QuickTime screen recording won't save?

There are a few reasons why you can't save QuickTime screen recording on Mac. It could result from interference from background processes or startup items, a read-only saving location, disk errors, unresponsive apps, etc. No matter the reason, you can get back the file QuickTime player not saving with the solutions in this post.

Can't save QuickTime screen recording on Mac? Here are the solutions!

If QuickTime screen recording won't save or QuickTime doesn't allow you to export a trimmed video, try the solutions below to locate the unsaved QuickTime screen/movie/audio recording on Mac and export the edited video:

  • Find the recording in the AutoSave folder
  • Locate the QuickTime recording in the Activity Monitor
  • Share the QuickTime recording to Mail
  • Check your Mac hard drive with Disk Utility

Find the recording in the AutoSave folder

When you click the Stop button, your recording should've been saved. If QuickTime isn't displaying the preview due to errors like "Cannot Open," you can likely find the recording in the AutoSave folder. That's where QuickTime saves recordings that were unable to be saved due to unexpected accidents, such as a dead battery or computer lid being closed during recording.

Locate the unsaved recording in the AutoSave folder when the QuickTime screen recording won't save:

  1. Open Finder, then click Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Copy and paste the following path into the box and hit Enter.~/Library/Containers/com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX/Data/Library/Autosave Information/Navigate to the Autosave folder of QuickTime through the Go to Folder feature
  3. Looking for files named like Unsaved QuickTime Player Document 2.qtpxcomposition.
  4. Right-click on the file that looks like your recording and select "Show Package Contents." This will open the package and show you the .mov file.Right click on the unsaved QuickTime recording package to reveal the real file
  5. View the .mov file to ensure it's the one you want, then drag it to your desktop.
  6. Repeat from step 2 with ~/Library/ScreenRecordings/ if the QuickTime recording isn't found.

Locate the QuickTime recording in Activity Monitor

If you can't find the unsaved QuickTime screen recording in the AutoSave folder, take a look at Activity Monitor. It may have the location of the unsaved document recorded if you can't save screen recording because QuickTime is frozen or stuck.

Find the unsaved QuickTime recording in Activity Monitor if you experience the QuickTime player not saving:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor from the Applications folder.
  2. Type in "QuickTime" in the top-right search bar.
  3. Locate the process labeled QuickTime Player and click the info button.
  4. Select "Open Files and Ports."
  5. Look for paths ending with .mov.
  6. Copy the path of one .mov file.Copy the path of the unsaved QuickTime recording from Activity Monitor
  7. Open Finder and click Go > Go to Folder from the top menu bar.
  8. Paste the copied path into the box and hit Enter.
  9. Check if the file is the QuickTime recording you need.
  10. Drag the needed file to your desktop.

Share the QuickTime recording to Mail

If none of the aforementioned ways could help you secure the file that QuickTime won't save, there's one more trick you should try if you haven't closed the QuickTime window, which is either unresponsive or displaying errors like "Cannot open."

This method is especially helpful if QuickTime Player won't save your edited video. To save the QuickTime video, click the Share button and select Mail, which will open a new Mail window and show the unsaved recording as an attachment. Right-click on the attachment to save it to a location of your choice.

If, unfortunately, you can't find or save the screen recording with the methods presented in this post, you will need to redo the recording as it's truly unsaved.

Check your Mac hard drive with Disk Utility

You've likely saved the QuickTime recording to a safe location now. As the final suggestion, we recommend you check and repair your Mac hard drive with Disk Utility to fix issues that may result in QuickTime not saving or the QuickTime "Cannot Capture" error. 

QuickTime cannot capture error

Repair disk errors and fix QuickTime Cannot Capture:

  1. Restart your Mac in Mac Recovery mode.
  2. Select Disk Utility > Continue.
  3. In Disk Utility, click View > Show All Devices from the left side. (Under Internal, you will see all internal storage in the order of startup disk - container - volumes.)
  4. Select the last volume on your internal drive and click "First Aid."
  5. When First Aid finishes scanning the volume, continue with the item above it until you complete the startup disk.

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