Screenshots are usually good enough to capturing something that you just have to share with others, but if there's a video or livestream you want to record part of to re-share — or if you need video to prove that a bug actually exists and that you're not just blowing smoke with the developer — screen recording is there for you. I wish screen recorders were a standard part of the Android experience, but for now, some manufacturers include it, some don't, and then there are third-party recording apps to help fill that void.
The most popular Android phones on the market — the Samsung Galaxy S and Note lines — come with screen recording pre-installed, not that you'd know it from looking at the app drawer on your phone. But if you swipe up to the Quick Settings panel, there is a Screen Recording shortcut hidden in amongst the Dolby Vision and Edge Lighting and Kids Mode and good gravy Samsung, do you have to put everything but the kitchen sink in here?!
How to record your screen on a Samsung Galaxy phone running One UI
- Pull down from the top of the screen to open the notification panel.
- Pull down the Quick Settings bar to open the Quick Settings panel.
Tap Screen recorder among the Quick Settings buttons. By default, the Screen recorder button is on the second page, so you may need to swipe over to that page.
- A popup will appear asking you what audio you want to record with your screen recording. Choose from the following:
- Tap No sound if you don't want any audio with your recording.
- Tap Media sounds if you want to record the sounds your phone makes but not the sounds that you make. If you're recording a video from social media or a livestream for safekeeping, this is the setting you'll want.
- Tap Media sounds and mic if you want to record your voice while recording your screen.
- Tap Start recording.
After a 3 second countdown, the recording begins. In the top right corner of the screen, you'll see a timestamp with a stop icon. Tap the timestamp to reveal your recording options:
- Tap the pencil to annotate the screen. You can annotate in eight colors, and once you tap the pencil again, the annotations disappear.
- Tap the person to turn on the seflie camera. You can move the selfie camera all around the screen, and to make it go away, tap the person again.
When you're done, tap the Stop button to end and save the recording. The recording will also automatically end when your screen turns off.
By default, Samsung screen records at 1080p, but if you need to turn down the resolution to conserve storage space, you can turn it down to 720p or 480p in the Settings app. Just search "screen recorder".
Some other manufacturers include screen recording software on their phones — OnePlus added it last year, while Xiaomi and LG have had it for a while — but if your phone doesn't come with a Screen Recording option in either the app drawer or the Quick Settings, you can still record your phone screen pretty easily. You'll just need to download a third-party app to get the job done instead.
Third-party screen recording apps are plentiful, but you'll want to get one that you trust. Screen recorders by their very nature need permissions that can be invasive and abused by developers with less than honorable intentions. It's also worth mentioning that screen recorders had to use workaround to try and capture the sounds your Android phone makes while recording before Android 10, so recording your phone's audio instead of just the external mic will depend on the app and what version of Android
Need a screen recording app? These are our favorites.
This is the most popular and stable screen recording app around, with options of livestreaming and editing your screen recordings as well as no time limit on screen recordings. You'll need Android 10 to record device audio, but otherwise it's a great screen recorder for recording gameplay or saving bits of a livestream.
Mobizen ups the maximum resolution for screen recording to 1440p so that you don't lose any details in your videos, and there's also an option to add in a persnonalized watermark so that your video is properly credited when its shared around.
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