How to Record Your iPad Screen to Your Mac for Free

Capture game footage and add voice-overs in a few steps

iPad screen on MacBook Pro via QuickTime Player


Screencasting is a great way to create presentations, enhance classroom lessons, make how-to video guides, or review apps and games on YouTube. If you have a Mac, you don't need expensive software to get started. The Mac already has all the tools you need to capture your iPad's screen and record a video of it.

These instructions apply to Macs and MacBooks running macOS Yosemite or later.

How to Capture iPad Footage on Mac

Starting with Yosemite, the QuickTime Player on both tabletop and laptop Macs can capture the screen of iPads and iPhones. You can even use the sound coming from the iPad for your finished recording, which is useful if you plan to record a voice-over later. You can also skip that and record yourself live using the internal microphone on the Mac.

  1. Connect your iPad to your Mac using the connector that came with the tablet.

  2. Launch QuickTime Player. If you don't keep it in your Dock, you can find it in your Applications folder or by searching for it in Launchpad.

    Record iPad to Mac
  3. Click File and choose "New Movie Recording."

    How to record iPad to Mac
  4. Just to the right of the red record button is a drop-down button. Click it to choose the source of the video.

    How to record iPad to Mac
  5. Click the name of your iPad under the Camera heading.

    How to record iPad to Mac
  6. Below the Camera heading is a section where you can choose a microphone. Use the "Built-In Microphone" if you plan on doing a voice-over as you record. Choosing your iPad as the microphone will record all sounds as well as video. Click the option you want to use to select it.

    If you have an external microphone connected to your Mac, you'll also see a "Line In" option.

    How to record iPad to Mac
  7. Click the record button.

    You can record your iPad in both Landscape and Portrait.

    How to record iPad to Mac
  8. Click the record button again to stop the recording.

Using Windows to Record an iPad's Screen

Windows doesn't offer any simple options to capture your iPad's screen for free. However, a few choices you can use exist that don't cost too much money.

To record the video, you need to get your iPad's screen onto your Windows PC. You can accomplish this by using AirPlay. Two services that use AirPlay are Reflector and AirServer. They include a free trial period, so you can find out how well they work.

AirPlay Server and Reflector include the ability to record the video received via AirPlay, so you won't need any additional software to capture the video.