How to record the screen on your iPhone

Recording your iPhone screen is easier than you think. Here's how it's done

iphone xr home screen
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Want to show your non-tech-savvy relative how to set up their email without actually having to do it for them? Or maybe you want to record some gameplay? Since iOS 11, Apple has offered a native option to record the screen on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. What once required a third-party app has become stunningly simple.

Setting up screen recording

Although screen recording is easy, you do need to make the setting available in your Control Center.  To enable screen recording, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Select the plus icon next to “Screen Recording.”  A Screen Record icon should now appear in your Control Center, which you can access by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or swiping down from the top right edge if you’re on an iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.

Recording your screen

Apple has made screen recording a really simple process. Just open the Control Center and tap the Screen Record icon. It’s a white circle with a circular ring around it.

Once you tap it, you’ll have three seconds to close the Control Center before your phone will start recording. A red bar will appear at the top of your screen to let you know you’re recording.

If you want to add audio to your screen recording, things are a little different. Press the “Screen Record” icon with extra pressure (via 3D Touch) for more options. A pop-up menu will appear in the middle of your screen, and you can press the Microphone Audio icon, followed by the Start Recording button to get going.

When you are finished recording, the fastest way to stop is to tap on the red timer on the top of the screen. You’ll see the message “Screen Recording video save to Photos” appear in your Notification Center, and you can tap on it to enter the Photos app to watch it. You can also go to the Control Center and tap on the Screen Record icon to stop recording.

Editing a screen recording

Once you’ve finished recording, you may want to tweak the video. Apple’s Photos app makes it really easy to edit video.

When you’ve finished recording your screen, you’ll see the message “Screen Recording video saved to Photos” in the notification bar. You can either tap on this notification or open the recording in the Photos app to edit.

Editing a screen recording is just like editing any other video in the Photos app. Open the video in Photos and select “Edit” in the upper right-hand corner. A slider bar will appear below the screen recording. At either end of the slider are toggle bars that allow you to edit frame by frame. Drag the toggle bars to make adjustments to the beginning or end of your screen recording and tap “Done” when you’re finished.

Screen recording and compatibility with other apps

Remember, some apps may slightly change the way screen recording works or add new screen recording features. A good example is Mirror for Samsung TVs, which adds an option to Apple’s screen recorder to enable you to mirror the recording to a connected Samsung TV. You may want to look into such apps if you wish the Apple screen recorder had more functionality.

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