How to Screen Record on Android

You have a choice between the built-in Android screen recorder or a third-party app

What to Know

  • Open Android Quick Settings and tap the Screen Record tile. The stop recording, swipe down and tap Stop.
  • To trim your video, go to Google Photos > Library > Movies, select your video, and tap Edit.
  • On older Androids, you must download a third-party screen recorder app from the Google Play Store.

This article explains how to screen record on Android. The instructions apply to all Android devices regardless of the manufacturer (Google, Samsung, etc.).

How to Record Your Screen on Android

Phones and tablets running Android 11 or up come with a built-in screen recorder. If you have an older Android device, you must download a third-party screen recorder app.

Here's how to record your screen on Android 11 and up:

Some websites and apps, such as Netflix, block users from recording the screen or taking screenshots.

  1. Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to access Android Quick Settings, then swipe left to view more options.

  2. Tap the Screen Record tile.

    If you don't see Screen Record, tap the pencil icon to reveal all tiles.

  3. Tap Record Audio if you want to.

    Left arrow, Screen Record tile, and Record Audio highlighted in Android Quick Settings.
  4. Choose whether you want to record audio from your device, your microphone, or both.

    Optionally, tap Show touches on screen.

  5. Tap Start.

  6. A countdown will appear in the upper-right corner. Once finished, the icon will turn solid red, indicating that your screen is being recorded.

    Device audio, Start, and the Countdown icon highlighted on Android.
  7. Proceed with your screen recording, When you're done, swipe down and tap Stop.

  8. Select Tap to view to open your video in Google Photos.

    If you want to view and edit your video later on, open the Google Photos app, go to your Library, and tap the Movies folder.

    Record icon, Stop, and Tap to view highlighted in Android.
  9. Tap Edit.

  10. At a minimum, you'll probably want to cut out the beginning and end of your recording. Drag the small white markers on each end of the timeline to choose where the video starts and ends. Move the large white marker in the middle to change the preview window.

  11. Swipe through the options at the bottom of the screen (Crop, Adjust, etc.) to make any other changes you want. When you're satisfied, tap Save Copy. You can then delete the original.

    Edit, Time line marker, and Save Copy highlighted in Google Photos.

Screen Record on Android With a Third-Party App

Some phone manufacturers include their own screen recording tools. For example, you can screen record on your Samsung with the Game Launcher app.

If your phone doesn't come with a screen recorder, open the Google Play Store and search for “screen recorder” to find dozens of options. Many are free, and some offer additional features such as live-streaming functionality.

Why Should I Record My Android Screen?

Screen recording is most popular among gamers who like to show off their skills in different games, create content for video reviews, and record how-to videos.

However, it has other uses as well. For example, if an app keeps causing an error, you can document the steps you take that trigger the problem. This is especially useful for helping repair staff fix hard-to-reproduce glitches.

You can also use it to instruct others on using an app or to show someone a new app and demonstrate why it's helpful. It really is a useful all-around tool, even if you use it only occasionally.

Before You Screen Capture on Android

Even a casual recording for a friend can be improved with some basic techniques and thinking ahead.

  • Find a quiet area: Record in a quiet area where you're unlikely to be interrupted. This will make your videos clearer, more interesting, and easier to hear.
  • Use Do Not DisturbSet your phone to Do Not Disturb for the duration of your recording to limit interruptions from notifications, texts, and calls.
  • Remember everything is recorded: If you're recording your screen, it will document all your actions and everything you say. Don't enter any undisguised passwords (or say your password out loud when typing it in).
  • Keep others' privacy in mind: When recording your screen, respect the privacy of others. Never access social media or other content that may violate other people's privacy. Never show somebody else's social media interactions, even if they are public, without their explicit consent.
  • Use a mount and good lighting: If you're going to record your reactions through your phone as well, possibly in a separate window, mount your phone so you don't shake it. You should also try to keep your face well-lit so your reactions are visible.
  • Articulate: For tutorials or instructions, write them out beforehand and clearly articulate everything you're doing as you're doing it. It's not always clear to the viewer where you've clicked, so explaining what you are doing as you perform that action is very helpful.
  • Don't forget to edit: Edit your video to ensure it's concise and free of unnecessary details. Even trimming the unimportant parts at the beginning or ending will make for a better viewing experience.
  • Why can't I screen record when watching a streaming service?

    Streaming service will block the recording of your screen while streaming a movie or show because it is against the terms of service when using these streaming services. While the screen recording will take place, the actual show or movie will only show a blacked out screen (captions should still show up, however).

  • How do I share a screen recording?

    Typically the best way to share a screen recording is via email. You can also message the file to someone, but because they are often large files email is typically best. With that in mind, sometimes these video files are too big to email. In the case of Gmail, however, the file will be uploaded to Google and a link will be inserted into the email for the recipient to later download. We have more details in our How to Send a Video Through Email article.

Was this page helpful?