13 Tips for Recording Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod

Record Your iPhone Screen

It’s easier than ever to start recording your iPhone and other iOS device screen and turn it into a movie. The release of iOS 11 puts iOS screen recording in the hands of everyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPad.

You no longer have to worry about mirroring your device onto your laptop to record what’s happening on your screen.

Can’t see the embedded video? Watch it on YouTube.

TechSmith Capture is an iOS recording app that lets you create high-quality mobile demos and how-to videos right from your phone or tablet.

These tips will help you get great results the first time you dive into iOS screencasting.

1. Enable screen recording

The first thing you’ll need to do is enable screen recording on your device. Screen recording on your iPhone is simple, but your device is not automatically set up to record right out of the box.

To turn on screen recording go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Scroll down and tap the plus icon next to Screen Recording.

You should now have access to screen recording in your Control Center.

2. Don’t lose track of time (and storage)

As the saying goes, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. Just because your iPhone can record virtually unlimited amounts of video doesn’t mean that’s something you should do.

As far as I know, there is no time limit to how much you can record your screen. The only limit is the amount of empty space on your iPhone hard drive.

You should be aware, however, that your video recording can randomly stop during very long recordings.

3. Clean up clutter

If the iOS home screen will appear in your video, consider changing your wallpaper and creating a new page with just one icon.

To change your wallpaper back to an Apple default: tap Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper and you’ll see options for Dynamic or Stills. Choose a wallpaper, then Set > Set Home Screen to make it the new wallpaper that appears behind your home screen icons.

Change wallpaper on iOS

4. Enable do not disturb mode

This will prevent notifications or phone calls from popping up in the middle of your recording.

To enable do not disturb (also called “sleep mode”): Tap Settings > Do Not Disturb > Do Not Disturb then scroll down and select Silence: Always.

5. Lock orientation

Before you record, make sure to decide which way will you be holding your device while recording: up-and-down or sideways. It’s best to lock orientation so you don’t accidentally tilt the device during recording. If you do that, your recording will stop or the content will looked squished.

To lock orientation: Hold your device the way you want to record. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center. Tap the padlock icon.

How to lock orientation on iOS

6. Turn off display zoom

If you use zoom mode on a newer iPhone or iPad, you may want to turn it off. If you leave it on, you will not capture the full resolution possible. Using an iPhone 6 in zoom mode, for example, generates a recording at 1136 x 640 instead of 1334 x 750.

To disable zoom mode: Tap Settings > Display and Brightness > Display Zoom | View > Standard > Set. Your device will restart.

7. Unmute your device

If your device is muted via the silence switch, the audio coming from your device will not be included in your recording.

If the content you’re recording has its own audio—like the sound effects in a game—you will want to unmute your device so it is captured.

8. Turn off in-app music

If you’re recording a game or app that has both background music and sound effects you should turn off music within the game settings.

Why? Because the music will compete with your narration. Instead of recording the music in real-time, you can record the sound effects and import the music later into your video editor as a separate track.

Turn off in-game music

9. Free up resources

Capturing is intensive and requires a lot of system resources. This is especially true if your device has a limited amount of storage. To make sure you get good performance during capture, close all other apps, including anything running in the background.

10. Create a new page

To make a new page on your home screen, long-press the icon of an app you’ll be showing in your video, then drag it to the right edge and a new page will appear.

Create a new page on iOS home screen


11. Use a good mic

If you need professional sounding narration, you’ll want to get an external microphone that plugs into your device. Or you may want to think about recording your audio separately after you record your screen.

To get better sound right from your phone, I’d suggest using earbuds with a built-in microphone or purchasing a lapel microphone.

But if you are planning on recording your narration in post production you’ll want to find a solid external microphone.

Much like on your iOS device, using your computer’s built-in mic to record narration is not usually the best idea, as you’ll probably pick up a lot of room and fan noise. Ideally, you want to get ahold of a good-quality USB mic like an Audio-Technica AT875R or a Blue Yeti USB Microphone.

Looking for the best microphone? Check out our list of best microphones for recording video.

recommended USB microphones

12. Record in a quiet place

Move to a quiet environment or at least isolate yourself and the microphone from noise. The most common noise culprits: heating or cooling vents, your computer’s fan, doors closing, dogs, or sirens.

If you can’t quiet your environment as much as you’d like, try covering your head and the mic with a blanket (looks funny but it works).

Recording in a clothes closet is also effective. You may even want to invest in a tabletop recording booth.

Portable recording booth

13. Use music

Most videos are helped along by a suitable music soundtrack. If the app you’re recording doesn’t have its own music, consider adding a track that helps set the mood. There are many sources of royalty-free music online; some of our favorites are:

These tips should save you time and frustration when recording your iOS device! Have some tips of your own? Post a comment and share what you’ve learned!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.