How to Record Your Screen on Mac, Windows, iPhone, or Android in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

Screen recording, also known as screen capture, has become an indispensable tool in the modern workplace and beyond. Whether you need to create a software tutorial, share a presentation with remote colleagues, or troubleshoot a tricky technical issue, capturing what‘s happening on your device‘s screen can often communicate the message far more effectively than an email or chat message ever could.

Consider these statistics:

  • 96% of employees say training is key to their company‘s success, and video-based training is proven to be more engaging and effective than text alone. (source)
  • By 2025, the global e-learning market is projected to reach $325 billion. Screen recordings will play a key role in creating the video lessons and tutorials that power this rapidly growing industry. (source)
  • 87% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool, up from 63% in 2017. How-to and explainer videos, which often rely on screen recordings, are among the most popular types of marketing videos. (source)

Clearly, screen recording skills are becoming a must-have in many professional fields. The good news is, the tools to create high-quality screen recordings are now built right into the most popular operating systems and devices. Let‘s dive into exactly how to make screen recordings on Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and more.

How to Screen Record on a Mac

Every Mac comes with a built-in screen recording feature as part of the QuickTime Player app. Here‘s how to use it:

  1. Open QuickTime Player from the Applications folder or by clicking the Launchpad icon in your Dock and typing "QuickTime."

  2. From the File menu in the top menu bar, choose "New Screen Recording." Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + 5 to open the screen recording toolbar directly.

  3. In the Screen Recording window, click the arrow next to the Record button to reveal the recording options:

    • Choose a microphone source if you want to include audio narration
    • Check the box next to "Show Mouse Clicks in Recording" if you want visual indicators of where you click during the recording
    • Set a timer if you want a short countdown before the recording starts
  4. When you‘re ready to start, click the Record button. Your Mac‘s screen will dim and you‘ll see two options:

    • Click anywhere on the screen to record the entire screen
    • Click and drag a selection box around a specific area you want to record, then click Start Recording within that box
  5. To stop recording, click the Stop button in the menu bar at the top of the screen, or press Command + Control + Esc on your keyboard. The recording will automatically open in QuickTime Player for you to preview and save.

Some additional tips for screen recording on Mac:

  • By default, screen recordings are saved in .mov format. You can change this to a more compatible .mp4 format in QuickTime‘s Export settings.
  • If you just need a still screenshot instead of a video, press Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen, or Command + Shift + 4 to select a specific area.
  • For even more control over your recordings, try the third-party app ScreenFlow. Its intuitive editing tools make it easy to create polished tutorial and demo videos.

How to Screen Record in Windows 11

Windows 11 includes a convenient screen recorder as part of the Xbox Game Bar. While designed with gaming in mind, this tool works perfectly well for any type of screen recording. Here‘s how to use it:

  1. Open the app or window you want to record.

  2. Press the Windows key + G to open the Xbox Game Bar overlay.

  3. Click the Record button (or press Windows key + Alt + R) to start recording.

  4. To stop the recording, click the Stop button in the floating recording toolbar or press Windows key + Alt + R again. By default, recordings are saved in your Videos folder under "Captures."

If you don‘t see the Xbox Game Bar when you press Win + G, you may need to enable it first:

  1. Open the Windows Settings app and go to Gaming > Xbox Game Bar.

  2. Toggle the switch to "On" under "Enable Xbox Game Bar."

  3. While here, you can also customize the keyboard shortcuts for screen recording and other Game Bar features.

Note that the Xbox Game Bar can only record one app at a time. If you switch to a different window while recording, the recording will pause until you switch back to the original app. To record your full desktop or File Explorer, use the Win + Alt + R shortcut to start and stop the recording instead of clicking the on-screen buttons.

For more advanced Windows screen recording options, check out OBS Studio. This free, open-source app gives you full control over your recordings, including the ability to record multiple audio and video sources, insert watermarks, and live stream your screen.

Screen Recording on Android

The built-in screen recording features on Android devices can vary quite a bit depending on the manufacturer and Android version. Many newer phones from Samsung, LG, OnePlus and others have the screen recorder located in the Quick Settings panel that you access by swiping down from the top of the screen.

On a Google Pixel or other stock Android device, you may need to first enable screen recording in the Settings app under System > Advanced > Developer Options. (If you don‘t see Developer Options, you‘ll need to first enable it by going to Settings > About Phone and tapping "Build Number" seven times.)

Once Screen Record is enabled in Quick Settings or Developer Options, here‘s how to use it:

  1. Open the app or screen you want to record.

  2. Swipe down from the top of the screen to pull down the notifications and Quick Settings panel.

  3. Swipe down again to expand the full Quick Settings menu.

  4. Tap the Screen Record icon (it may be located on the second page of icons). If you don‘t see it, tap the Pencil icon to edit your Quick Settings and add Screen Record to the list.

  5. Choose your audio and video quality settings, then tap Start Recording. You‘ll see a short countdown before the recording begins.

  6. To stop the recording, swipe down from the top of the screen again and tap the flashing red Screen Record notification. The recording will be saved to your phone‘s gallery or a dedicated Screen Recordings album.

If your Android phone doesn‘t have a built-in screen recorder, there are numerous third-party apps that can help. AZ Screen Recorder is a popular and highly-rated option that‘s free with no time limits, watermarks, or ads. It offers handy features like the ability to pause and resume recordings, record your phone‘s audio output, and even add your own logo watermarks.

Screen Recording on iPhone or iPad

Starting with iOS 11, Apple has included a native screen recording feature on all iPhones and iPads. The quickest way to access it is via a Control Center shortcut. Here‘s how to add Screen Recording to Control Center and use it:

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Control Center.

  2. Scroll down and tap the green + button next to Screen Recording to add it to your list of Control Center shortcuts.

  3. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone or iPad screen (or down from the top-right corner on devices with Face ID) to open Control Center.

  4. Tap the Screen Record button, which looks like a solid circle within a circle outline.

  5. After a 3-second countdown, your screen recording will begin. You‘ll know it‘s active when the time indicator at the top of the screen turns red.

  6. To stop recording, tap the red time indicator and select "Stop" from the pop-up menu. Alternatively, you can open Control Center again and tap the Screen Record button a second time.

  7. The video of your recording will be saved to the Photos app. You can trim the beginning and end of the video if needed and then share it via email, Messages, or your preferred cloud storage service.

For even more control over your mobile screen recordings, Apowersoft iPhone/iPad Recorder is a versatile solution. This desktop program lets you wirelessly mirror and record your iOS screen on a Mac or PC, with options to record your device‘s sound, your computer‘s microphone audio, or both. It‘s an excellent choice for creating mobile app demos and tutorials.

Parting Advice for Creating Effective Screen Recordings

Regardless of which device or app you use to record your screen, keep these tips in mind for the best results:

  • Plan before you record: Write an outline or script of what you want to say and show in your video. A little preparation goes a long way in keeping your recording focused and concise.
  • Keep it simple: Resist the urge to show everything all at once. Focus on one task or concept at a time, using clear, step-by-step instructions. If a process is lengthy or complex, break it down into bite-sized chunks.
  • Highlight key areas: Use your mouse cursor, arrows, or other annotations to draw attention to the most important parts of the screen. This helps guide viewers‘ eyes and reinforces your narration.
  • Provide context: Begin your video with a quick introduction of who you are and what you‘ll be demonstrating. Assume the viewer has never seen this process before and explain any prerequisites or assumptions at the start.
  • Narrate with enthusiasm: Even if you‘re covering a dry, technical topic, try to speak with varied inflection and an upbeat tone. Your energy and personality can go a long way in keeping viewers engaged.
  • Use quality equipment: While your computer or phone‘s built-in microphone and screen recorder may suffice, consider investing in an external microphone and dedicated recording software for more professional results.
  • Edit out mistakes: Don‘t aim for perfection on the first take. If you flub a line or need to redo a step, simply pause for a few seconds and then start again. You can always edit out the mistake later using a video editing tool.

With the right approach and a little practice, screen recording can be a powerful way to teach, collaborate, and share knowledge in our increasingly digital world. By mastering this essential skill, you‘ll be well-equipped to create engaging, effective content that helps you stand out in fields like education, training, sales, customer support, and more.