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How to record your screen on an iPhone

Make a video of what you’re watching or scrolling through on your phone

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Recording your iPhone screen can be super helpful, whether you want to save a clip of the game you’re playing, record part of a live stream on Instagram, or create a how-to video for your friends. You can send the video clip you record to a relative or friend, upload it to Twitter, or post it to your Instagram story. Here are the steps on how to record your screen, whether you have a newer or older iPhone.

Screen recording is built into iPhones, but in order to use it, you first need to check to see if the screen record button is in your Control Center. To open the Control Center, swipe down from the top-right corner if you’re using an iPhone X or later, or swipe up if you have an iPhone 8 or earlier. Check to see if you have the screen record button, which looks like a dot with a circle around it. If you don’t, here’s how you can add it:

  • Open up Settings
  • Tap “Control Center”
  • Tap “Customize Controls”
  • This is where you add and remove items from your Control Center menu. Scroll down and press the green button with a + next to “Screen Recording.” That will move it from the “More Controls” section at the bottom to the “Include” section at the top.

Record your screen

Now, you’re ready to record your screen. (Just know that there are apps that block screen recording.) To begin:

  • Open up the app or website you want to record
  • Swipe up to pull up the Control Center menu (iPhone 8 or earlier) or pull down the menu from the top-right corner (iPhone X or later)
  • Tap the crescent moon button to switch on Do Not Disturb, which will temporarily pause calls and notifications. This is useful because when you record your screen, you’ll record everything that shows up, including notifications. If you press and hold the Do Not Disturb button, you’ll see more options, like switching the notifications off for just an hour or scheduling when you want to pause them.
  • While you’re still in the Control Center, tap the screen record button to start recording. Once you hit the screen record button, a timer will start, which gives you three seconds before it starts recording. Tap the screen to hide the Control Center menu.

Now you’re set to record both the video and the audio of whatever you’re watching or listening to on your phone — however, you won’t record any audio that isn’t generated from your phone. If you want to record yourself talking (or any other external sounds) in addition to recording the audio you’re playing on your phone, you’ll have to turn your microphone on:

  • Before you start recording, press and hold the screen record button. Tap the microphone button on the pop-up screen to turn the microphone on. Then tap “Start Recording.” The countdown will begin in this window. Tap anywhere on the screen to exit the screen, and then tap the next screen to close the Control Center.
  • Keep in mind that once you turn the microphone on, it will stay on the next time you record your screen unless you go back in and turn it off
  • To stop recording, swipe up (or down) to access the Control Center again and tap the record button again
  • Unless you have media open (you’re watching a YouTube video or Instagram story, for example), you’ll see a red bar at the top of your screen (or top left if you have a newer iPhone) showing that you’re recording. If you tap on that bar, you’ll get a pop-up window asking you if you want to stop recording. Tap “Stop.”
  • The video will be stored with the rest of your photos and videos in your Photos app

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