How To Record Your Screen On Any Device

A quick tutorial for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac or Linux users

how to record your screen
Getty Images (Tang Ming Tung #543555805)

Being able to capture what you see on your screen can prove handy for countless reasons. If you want to record and store live video of what is being shown on your computer, tablet or smartphone it can be easily achieved, sometimes without even having to install additional software.

We'll cover:

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Linux

How to Record Your Screen on Windows

Windows 10
Windows 10 includes a built-in feature that allows for screencast recording, although where it resides within the operating system might surprise you.

To access this functionality, take the following steps.

  1. Press the following shortcut on your keyboard: Windows Key + G.
  2. A pop-up window will now appear, asking if you want to open Game Bar. Click on the checkbox labeled Yes, this is a game.
  3. A miniature toolbar will appear, containing several buttons and a checkbox. Click on the Record button, represented by a small red circle.
  4. The toolbar will now relocate to a different part of the screen and recording of the active program will begin immediately. When you're done recording, click on the stop (square) button.
  5. If successful, a confirmation message will appear in the lower right-hand side of your screen informing you that the application and all movement and actions within it have been recorded. Your new screencast file can be found in the Captures folder, a sub-folder of Videos.

It should be noted that this process only records the active application, not your full screen.

To record your full screen or to utilize advanced screen recording functionality, you may want to try one of the free screen recording apps available for Windows.

Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
Unlike in Windows 10, there is no set of integrated gaming functionality that can be used to record your screen in older versions of the operating system.

You instead need to download a third-party application such as OBS Studio or FlashBack Express. We listed some of the best screen recording software here.

How to Record Your Screen on iOS

Recording video of your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch screen can be difficult, relatively speaking, if you are running an operating system older than iOS 11.

Operating Systems Older Than iOS 11
If you have a Mac computer available, your best bet is to connect your iOS device to your Mac using the Lightning cable. Once connected, launch the QuickTime Player app (found in your Dock or in the Applications folder). Click on File in the QuickTime menu, located at the top of the screen. When the drop-down menu appears, select the New Movie Recording option.

A recording toolbar should now be displayed. Click on the down-arrow, located to the right of the Record button. A menu should now appear showing your available recording devices. Select your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch from the list. You're now ready to capture a screencast from your iOS device. Click on Record to begin, and Stop once you're done. The new recording file will be saved to your Mac's hard drive.

If you don't have a Mac available, the recommended option is to upgrade to iOS 11 if possible.

There are recording apps available for jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices alike such as AirShou, but they are not available in the App Store and not supported or approved for use by Apple.

iOS 11
In iOS 11, however, capturing a screencast is much simpler thanks to its integrated Screen Recording feature. Take the following steps to access this tool.

  1. Tap on the Settings icon, found on your device's Home Screen.
  2. iOS's Settings interface should now be displayed. Select the Control Center option.
  3. Tap on Customize Controls.
  4. A list of functionality that currently appears or can be added to the iOS Control Center will now be shown. Scroll down until you locate the option labeled Screen Recording and tap on the green plus(+) icon found to the left of it.
  1. Screen Recording should now be moved towards the top of the list, under the INCLUDE heading. Press your device's Home button.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the iOS Control Center. You should notice a new icon which looks like a record button. To begin recording, select this button.
  3. A timer countdown will display (3, 2, 1) at which point screen recording has begun. You'll notice a red bar at the top of your screen while recording is taking place. Once finished, tap on this red bar.
  4. A pop-up message will appear, asking if you'd like to finish recording. Select the Stop option. Your recording is now complete and can be found within the Photos app.

How to Record Your Screen on Linux

The bad news for Linux users is that the operating system does not offer native screen recording functionality. The good news is that there are some easy-to-use, free applications available that provide fairly robust feature sets when it comes to capturing video of your screen.

How to Record Your Screen on Android

Prior to the release of Android Lollipop (version 5.x), your device had to be rooted in order to install and utilize apps with screen recording functionality. Since then, however, Android's native screen recording has allowed approved third-party apps found in the Google Play Store to offer this feature. Some of the best include DU Recorder, AZ Screen Recorder and Mobizen Screen Recorder.

How to Record Your Screen on macOS

Capturing video on macOS is fairly simple thanks to a pre-installed application called QuickTime Player, accessible within your Applications folder or via a Spotlight search. Start by opening QuickTime Player.

  1. Click on File in the QuickTime menu, located at the top of the screen.
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select the New Screen Recording option. The Screen Recording interface will now be displayed.
  3. To start capturing, simply click on the red and gray Record button.
  4. At this point you'll be given the option to record all or part of your screen. Once complete, click on the record/stop icon now located in the upper right-hand corner of your screen next to the power and network indicators.

That's it! Your recording is now ready, and QuickTime gives you the option to play it, save it or share it in a number of different ways such as AirDrop, Mail, Facebook or YouTube.