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How to Record Your iPad Screen

Updated on April 29, 2016
Jonathan Wylie profile image

Jonathan is a certified teacher who taught in the UK & the US. He now works as an instructional technology consultant for Grant Wood AEA.


Joined: 5 years agoFollowers: 57Articles: 35

How Do They Do That?

YouTube is littered with tutorials and app reviews that show you how to do all manner of useful (and less useful) things on an iPad, but for many people the question of how to record your iPad screen remains unanswered. Thankfully, the process is relatively simple, and with a few quick tips you will be up and running in no time. So, let's get started!

The Tools for the Job

In order to begin recording your iPad, there are a few things you have to get ready. Here's a rundown of what you need:

  • An iPad (any version except the first generation iPad will work)
  • A Mac or Windows PC
  • Airplay mirroring software
  • Screen recording software
  • A microphone

In the directions that follow, I will look at each of these in turn and show you how they all interact to help you create a recording of your iPad screen.

Reflector: AirPlay Mirroring Software for iOS
Reflector: AirPlay Mirroring Software for iOS | Source

AirPlay Mirroring Software for the iPad

Mirroring software is essential to creating an iPad screencast. Think of it as the bridge between your iPad and your computer. It is the mirroring software that lets you send the image of your iPad screen to your computer so that you can record it as a video.

The software itself is relatively inexpensive, and although there are several varieties to choose from, they all basically do the same job. Reflector was the first to showcase this technology, but it was soon followed by AirServer and, more recently, X-Mirage and Mirroring360.

The table below will help you compare and contrast which one is best for you, but there is no reason why you can't take advantage of the free trial options that each solution offers in order to test out more than one.

Comparing AirPlay Options

 
AirServer
Reflector 2
X-Mirage
Mirroring360
Mac or PC
Both
Both
Both
Both
Price
$14.99 (Discounts for Edu)
$14.99
$16 (Discounts for Edu)
$14.99
Free Trial
7 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
Mirror Multiple Devices
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

How to AirPlay an iPad to a Computer

Once, you have installed your mirroring software, it's time to get the image of your iPad onto your computer so that you can record it. This is done via a built-in iOS technology called AirPlay. Apple's AirPlay technology lets you broadcast video and audio signals from your iPad to another AirPlay-compatible device. The mirroring software you add to your Mac or PC turns it into the AirPlay device you need.

To connect to your computer over AirPlay, start by launching your mirroring software of choice and ensure that your iPad and the computer are on the same Wi-Fi network. (The devices will not "see" each other unless they are on the same Wi-Fi network.)

Next, bring up the Control Center on your iPad by putting a finger on the bottom edge of your iPad and swiping up to reveal the Control Center. Tap the AirPlay button, and look for the name of your computer among the list of devices. When you see it, tap on it, and slide the Mirroring switch to the right. Within a few seconds, you should see your iPad appear on your Mac or PC.

How to Connect to AirPlay in iOS 7
How to Connect to AirPlay in iOS 7
An iPad Connected to a Mac over AirPlay Using AirServer Mirroring Software
An iPad Connected to a Mac over AirPlay Using AirServer Mirroring Software

Recording Options for iPad Screencasts

Once your iPad is mirrored to your computer screen, you are ready to record your screencast. At this point, you have a number of options. For instance, AirServer, Reflector and X-Mirage all have built-in recording capabilities that you can use to record your iPad screen.

Alternatively, you can use dedicated screencasting software. There are free options like Jing, Screenr and Screencast-o-matic. Mac users can also use the free screencasting tool that is included with Quicktime. All of these are perfectly capable tools.

However, arguably the best option, if you can afford it, is TechSmith's Camtasia. It is available for Mac or PC and has become the industry standard for screencasting because of the flexibility and feature set it offers users.

Camtasia comes with a built-in video editor, it lets you zoom in and out of your screencast, add titles and annotations, trim or split your video, adjust your audio, and much, much more. They also have incredible customer support, and some awesome online tutorials that teach you how to use their software.

Camtasia Studio (Windows) Recording Screen
Camtasia Studio (Windows) Recording Screen

Recording iOS Devices in OS X Yosemite (or later)

For Mac users, there is an additional way to record your iPad screen, but it can only be done on a Mac that runs OS X 10.10 or later. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Connect your iPad to your Mac via the USB charging cable.
  2. Open QuickTime and choose File > New Movie Recording.
  3. In the drop-down menu next to the record button, make sure you put a check mark next to your iPad under the Microphone and Camera menus.
  4. Now, click the red record button to begin recording your iPad screen.
  5. When you are done, hover your mouse over the iPad display and press the stop button.
  6. To complete the process, name and save your recording.

The whole process is very simple and easy to accomplish, and because QuickTime comes free with every Mac, there is no need to buy AirPlay software like Reflector or AirServer. You also don't need a Wi-Fi connection like you do with the AirPlay options above. Watch the video below for a demonstration of how simple this method is.

Video Demo of Screen Recording on a Mac

© 2014 Jonathan Wylie

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    • Snsksksswwss 2 years ago

      This didn't help at all

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
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      Jonathan Wylie 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Really? What do you need help with?

    • Ross 2 years ago

      is there any way to do this without being on the same wifi network?

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
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      Jonathan Wylie 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Not that I am aware of, but if you find one, please share!

    • maria 2 years ago

      Thanks for these very clearly laid out instructions Jonathan. I don't have the AirServer element so until I do is there any other option other than the other paid ones you have mentioned here?

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      There are no free software solutions that I know of. If you are in a pinch, you can always use the free trial associated with any of these products to get you by for a few days, but if you need a more permanent option, you will need to buy a license.

    • Yula 2 years ago

      For mirroring without wifi connection you may use simple trick: turn on network connection on your iPone/iPad (LTE or 3G or Edge). Connect your device to PC (Mac or Win) with usb cable. Turn on modem mode via usb on your mobile device. Open air play receiver application on PC (x-mirage, airServer or other).

      Here you are! you can turn on air play option on your mobile device.

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks for the tip. I will have to try that some time.

      Another way to do this without wifi is using QuickTime on OSX Yosemite. I will update the article soon to show how to do just that.

    • Andrew 2 years ago

      If you have a Windows computer, you can use iTools for windows as a free solution for iPad mirroring. It doesn't use Airplay, but the USB cable instead to capture the iPad's screen

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks Andrew. Sounds just like the new miroring tool built into Quicktime on OS X Yosemite. Nice to have an option for both platforms :)

    • Agorabierta 23 months ago

      Thanks very much! Quicktime with Yosemite is perfect! I'm looking a lot of time for a free possibility to sabe my ipad screen and I've only found paid software. Thanks to let me see this choice!

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
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      Jonathan Wylie 23 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad it was useful Agorabierta!

    • Pewdiepie 14 months ago

      I found this useful bro.. I think this is a lot easier then having so much cables. Thank you bro

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 14 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad that it helped! :)

    • Felixei 14 months ago

      Good post! How about another tool - Apowersoft iOS Recorder. It said that this tool allows us to record iPhone or iPad screen on PC. Anyone knows about it?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrEGMlsGkuI

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 14 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks for the tip Felixei

    • SuperSkinYT 13 months ago

      I don't have a PC/MAC so can u make a tutorial of how to do it like normally then post it on YouTube capture? (Btw Shou.TV, iRec, and emu4ios don't work for me)

    • Honeymilkpie 10 months ago

      It doesn't work for me either

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 10 months ago from Iowa, USA

      What didn't work? Which method were you trying?

    • Hollyzone 8 months ago

      Is there any way to do it without a computer? I don't have one and I really want to do it?

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 8 months ago from Iowa, USA

      As of today, there is no way to do it without a computer. Sorry.

    • Random dude 7 months ago

      Nooooooo

    • ChloP16 7 months ago

      Do you know any apps you can do it with and without the computer because I don't have a computer.

    • KitKat 6 months ago

      Where does the microphone come in?? Also, I only need it for one day but I'm not sure if it'll work on my PC... I'm just doing a simple gameshow for YouTube and I have to find out how to record my iPad screen for free.. Quick. Pls help!

    • Me me 6 months ago

      Meeeee

    • Handsome 5 months ago

      Go find Airshou.

    • Anonymous 5 months ago

      Is there ANY way to record without a computer, cables, and things like that?

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 5 months ago from Iowa, USA

      None that I am aware of. There were a couple of apps that were able to do this directly on the iPad, but Apple withdrew those from the App Store because they were in violation of App Store terms and conditions. Maybe these will change in the future, but until then, these are about the most common ways to record your iPad screen. If you find something else, please let me know :)

    • Duran 5 months ago

      Really helpful i have a YouTube channel ànd now i Can do gaming

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 5 months ago from Iowa, USA

      I am glad this was useful for you Duran! :)

    • jeffcard123 profile image

      jeffcard123 4 months ago

      Nice guide, it worked fairly well for me. But AirServer crashed occasionally for me, is this problem happened to anyone else? I used to record my iPad mini 2 screen with acethinker ipad recorder, it worked fairly well, share it here as an alternative.

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 4 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks for the tip on Acethinker. I have not seen that one before. AirServer usually works fine for me. I still use that for iPad mirroring, but it is always good to have alternatives.

    • sayna hasanpour 4 months ago

      works perfect thank you!!! :)

    • Jonathan Wylie profile image
      Author

      Jonathan Wylie 4 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad it helped! :)

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