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How to record what’s on your iPhone screen with QuickTime Player for Mac

Screen recording is a neat new iOS feature that lets you capture what’s on your iPhone or iPad’s display, using QuickTime Player for Mac. Here’s how to record your iPhone or iPad’s screen, to capture Skype calls, gaming sessions and (almost) anything else.

Screen recording on iOS devices is thankfully easy to set up and you can record both video and audio from your phone, which is useful if you want to capture some footage for a Let’s Play upload, or record a Skype chat with family members You can even use this feature to copy video content from the likes of YouTube, should you need an ad hoc backup of your uploads. 

Here’s how to record your iPhone or iPad’s screen.

iPhone/iPad screen recording: Getting started and how to record

In order to do this, you’ll need a iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with a Lightning port, as well as a Mac computer. Your iOS device needs to be running iOS 8 or above, while your Mac needs to be running OS X Yosemite or higher. You’ll also need QuickTime Player installed on your Mac, version 10.4 or higher. 

Plug your iPhone or iPad into the Mac, open QuickTime Player and select ‘New Movie Recording’ from the File menu.

When the movie window opens, click on the little chevron to the right of the record button. Here you’ll see a list of video and audio sources listed and one of them should be your iOS device, displayed along with the Facetime camera and internal mic. The description should read ‘My iPhone’ or something similar. 

Select your device as both the video and audio sources. If you forget to set your device as the audio source, when you hit record you’ll be capturing audio from the internal mics instead, which can result in highly irritating audio feedback. 

Of course, while audio feedback is kind of funny, it’s not something that typically makes for great YouTube content, unless of course your channel is dedicated to experimental power electronics music. Good luck with that.

When everything’s set up properly, just hit record and away you go. When you’re done recording, hit the same button to finish up. QuickTime Player will then save the recording as a .MOV file and leave it on your Mac’s desktop.

iPhone/iPad screen recording: Tips and tricks 

When you’re attempting to capture footage, it’s a good idea to make sure that the screen is in the desired orientation before you hit record. QuickTime really doesn’t like it if the screen rotates while you’re recording and will likely throw a hissy fit and end your recording there and then. It’s therefore a good idea to disable screen rotation for the duration of your recording.

While it’s perfectly possible to record video and audio from certain streaming services, this won’t work with all applications. Sky Go, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and All 4 stop working if you attempt to steal – sorry, record – their streams.

In any case, recording these services isn’t legal, so we strongly advise you not to attempt this anyway.

At the time of writing, we have been able to successfully record video and audio from BBC iPlayer, TVPlayer and YouTube. Chances are it won’t be long before software updates put an end to this, of course.