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How to record your screen on an Android phone

Show off your gaming skills, or help a friend figure out how to do something.
By

Published onAugust 14, 2021

From sharing how-to guides and tutorials to showing off your excellent gaming skills or making a presentation for work, there are many reasons why being able to capture your smartphone screen is important. While it’s increasingly becoming a feature baked into an OS, if it isn’t, there’s a third-party app that saves the day. Here’s how to record your screen on an Android phone.

Read more: The best Android apps for screen recording

QUICK ANSWER

To record your screen on Android, swipe down on your display to show your Quick Settings, tap Screen Record, and hit the Screen Record option. For games, you can use the Google Play Games app by going to the game page in the app and tapping the camera icon at the top-right corner. You can also use a third-party app like AZ Screen recorder.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to record your screen on Android

Google Pixel 5 using phone from the back 2

Note: These steps were put together using a Pixel 4a running Android 11. Steps may differ depending on your device and software version. 

How to record your screen using Android’s native tool

Android Q introduced native screen capture. It was a little rough around the edges when it first launched in public beta, but the feature is now polished, and anyone with Android 10 and above will be able to use it. You can even use it to record internal audio.

  • Swipe down to display your quick settings. Swipe down again to expand your notification area.
  • Look for the Screen Record quick setting.
  • If you can’t find it, tap the pencil button and add Screen Record to your quick settings.
  • When ready, hit the Screen Record option.
  • You will have some options to Record audio and Show touches on screen. Make your selections.
  • Hit Start.
  • Pull down your notification area and tap the large red section that reads Tap to stop to end the recording. Your recordings will be saved to your gallery.

More: These are the best Android phones around

Record gameplay using Google Play Games

Google Play Games on smartphone next to controller

While screen capture may not be common among everyday users, gamers and streamers deem it crucial. This is why Google has added the ability to record your gameplay with one of its services, Google Play Games.

  • Open the Google Play Games app.
  • Find the game you want to record and tap it (don’t hit Play, tap the general game icon).
  • Tap the camera icon in the top-right corner.
  • You will be asked at which quality you want to record your gameplay. Make your selection.
  • Hit Next.
  • Select Launch.
  • Tap Start now.
  • While gaming, you’ll see a floating icon. Tap it to turn the mic or front-facing camera on or off. You can also stop the recording. The video will be saved to your gallery.

More: How to record your screen on Samsung phones or tablets

How to record your screen using a third-party app

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 2

If you’re not into Google’s recording methods, there are many third-party options in the Google Play Store. One of our favorites is AZ Screen Recorder. It’s simple to use, yet provides more features and customization than Google’s options. You can pick from many resolutions, choose bit rates, customize frame rates, make time lapses, and more.

  • Download AZ Screen recorder from the Google Play Store.
  • Open the app. It will ask your permission to do a screen overlay. Go ahead and grant it.
  • You’ll see a floating bubble with a camera icon when the app opens. Tap on it.
  • Hit the camera icon to start recording.
  • Select Start now.
  • You’ll see a three-second countdown before the app starts recording.
  • The floating bubble will become a Stop button. Tap it whenever you’re ready to stop.

Also read: How to take screenshots on Android