How to Save Snapchat Videos

Tips on grabbing videos from Snapchat before they disappear forever

Photo © Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Snapchat is a popular app used for sharing quick photos and videos, which disappear within a few seconds after viewing. To save Snapchat videos before they're gone for good, you have a few options to try out.

Saving Your Own Snapchat Videos: Easy!

If all you want to do is figure out how to save your own videos, then the solution is ridiculously easy. You simply do it the same way you save a photo before posting it.

  1. Film your video by holding the big red button down for as long as you want.
  2. Tap the down arrow button that appears between the timer and the story buttons in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  3. You'll know that your video was successfully saved when a "Saved!" message flashes across your screen.
  4. Check your Camera Roll, Snapchat folder, video folder, or another default folder to find the saved video.

Easy enough, right? All you have to do is remember to actually Save my snaps before you send it to your friends.

If you forgot to save your video before you send it but posted it as a story as well, you can still save it. From your Stories tab, all you have to do is tap the three gray vertical dots that appear to the right of My Story, tap a snap video (if you have multiple stories posted), and then tap the down arrow that appears beside it to save it to your device.

Saving Other Users' Videos: Not So Easy

Now, if you want to save Snapchat videos from other users who either send them to you or post them as stories, it's a bit more complicated.

There are no little down arrow icons that appear next to other users' video stories or at the bottom of video snaps, so there's no way to download and save other users' Snapchat videos through the app itself.

The lack of a built-in feature to save other users' Snapchat photos and videos undoubtedly has to do with ensuring everyone gets the privacy they deserve.

If you try to take a screenshot of someone else's photo snap that was sent to you, the app will notify the sender about it.

With that said, there are still a number of other ways you can capture other users' videos – some of which may work quite well, or perhaps may not work at all. You'll have to do some experimenting to find out for yourself. You have at least three options:

1. Using a screencast app to capture what plays on your screen (if you can find any). Screencasts let you capture and record anything that happens on a screen. They're popular on desktop computers for hosting tutorials, slideshows, and any other visual presentations. 

There aren't as many free screencast apps available for mobile devices, particularly for the iOS platform, but you may come across a few for Android if you search long and hard enough through Google Play. Any apps that show up in the iTunes App Store are often removed quickly, but if you have a Mac that's running on OS X Yosemite, you can use its built-in mobile screencast feature as an alternative.

2. Using another device and its camera to record a video of the video. If you have no luck finding any screencast apps that work the way you want, and you either don't have a Mac running Yosemite, or don't want to deal with the hassle of hooking your phone up to your computer, then another option you have is to just grab another device – a smartphone, an iPod, a tablet, or even a digital camcorder – to record the Snapchat video via another separate video.

The picture and sound quality may not be great, and you may have trouble getting it to fit the screen of the device you're using to record it, but at least it's a relatively simple way (as long as you have access to an extra working device) to get a copy of it.

3. Using third-party apps that claim to let you save Snapchat photos and videos. I left this one for last because I don't advise using it. In the fall of 2014 and then again in April of 2015, it was announced that Snapchat was going to do everything it could to ban all third-party apps from accessing it as a means for stepping up privacy and security measures.

Interestingly enough, you can still find several different apps throughout the App Store and possibly Google Play, too, that still claim to be able to use your Snapchat login credentials to save photos and videos that you receive. Many of them even show that they've been recently updated, suggesting that they still indeed work.

If you do decide to use one of these third-party snap saver apps that claim to still work with Snapchat, proceed with caution. Snapchat advises NOT to hand over your login details to any other app due to the potential security risks of those apps. If they're targeted by hackers, they could gain access to your login details, photos, and videos. It's happened before, and it's exactly why Snapchat has come down so hard on third-party apps.

Any of these apps that claim to currently work could stop working at any moment, so keep that in mind if they're apps that you have to pay to use, or if they offer in-app purchases. Carefully read the reviews of each app if you really think that taking the risk is worth it.