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If you're not using your iPhone and iPad's built-in screen recorder, you should

Whether you want to teach a loved one how to do something or show off your mobile gaming skills, screen recordings are easy and effective.

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The Screen Recording button turns red when your screen is being captured. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Recording your iPhone or iPad screen is incredibly simple, whether you're nearing the rewarding conclusion to your favorite Apple Arcade game and you want to document it, or you're trying to walk a loved one through how to set up their new phone, a screen recording is a quick and easy way to get the job done. 

Of course, you can still take screenshots and use its tools to draw and annotate something on your screen, but there are times when a recording -- complete with audio -- is the better route. You'll need to have iOS 11 or a later update installed on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, but that's the only requirement. 

Before you can begin using the new screen recorder tool, you'll first need to add the feature's button to the Control Center. On your iOS device go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls then tap the green plus button next to Screen Recording. 


The Screen Recorder button will show a countdown (here it shows "2") after it's selected, allowing you to go to the app or screen you want to record. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Record your screen 

After adding the shortcut, you begin by opening Control Center. On iPhones older than the iPhone X ($900 at Boost Mobile), like the iPhone SE, get there by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. On newer iPhones, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen. 

Tap on the Screen Recording button, which will prompt a countdown inside the button followed by it turning red to indicate to begin capturing whatever's on your display. 

You'll know when your screen is being recorded because there will either be a red bar across the top of your screen (on older iPhones) or the time will have a red highlight behind it (on newer iPhones). Tap on the red button or bar to stop recording. 


With a long-press, you can opt to turn on audio recording so you can narrate your video. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Spice up a recording with audio

All right, but what if you want to walk someone through how to use a feature or get past a bug you keep running into? Well, you can turn on your phone's microphone and have it record for as long as a screen-recording session is active. 

To turn it on, open the Control Center and long-press on the Screen Recording button. A new menu will show up, with a toggle to turn your microphone on at the bottom. Tap on the Microphone Audio button, it will turn red and then select Start Recording


The Screen Recording button turns red when your screen is being captured. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

OK, I made a recording... now what? 

Once you stop recording, you'll be asked if you want to save the video to the Photos app. Open the Photos app to view, edit, crop, and share the video through Messages, email, or even post it to your favorite social network. 

Apple delivered the ability to record your screen in iOS 11 a few years ago, but iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, both released last year, brought more important additions. If you're setting up a new iPhone, here are some things you don't want to miss. And we have some settings you'll want to change as soon as you have it setup.