How to Record Your iPad Screen

Updated on June 30, 2017
Jonathan Wylie profile image

Jonathan is a certified teacher who has taught in the UK and in the US. He now works as a Digital Learning Consultant.

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. Many of these methods involve connecting your iPad to a Mac or PC, but if you are interested in doing this solely on an iPad, I have an option for that too. So, let's get started!

Native Recording in iOS 11

If your device is capable of updating to iOS 11 this Fall, then you can take advantage of the built-in screen recording function that Apple has included for iPads and iPhones. However, it is not on by default so you need to enable it in Settings.

Screen recording in iOS 11 is activated via the Control Center so navigate to Settings > Control Center, and tap the green plus sign to add it to your Control Center icons. Once you have it turned on, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access your Control Center and tap the Screen Recording icon to get started.

By default, the recording will not include audio, but if you press and hold on the screen recording icon you can choose to include audio with your recording. Once you are finished, stop the recording by going back into Control Center and tapping the same Screen Recording button. Completed videos are added to the Photos app where they can be edited or uploaded to other websites.

iOS 11 Screen Recording Demo

iPad & IPhone Screen Recording via AirPlay

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 a great 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 device to your computer so that you can record your iPad screen.

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.

Connecting to a Mac or PC via AirPlay
Connecting to a Mac or PC via AirPlay

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, 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)

To record your iPad screen on a Mac with QuickTime, you need to make sure that your computer's software is updated to macOS 10.10 or later. Once you have met those requirements, follow the steps below:

  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

How to Record Your iPad Screen on an iPad

If you can't update to iOS 11 this Fall, or need a solution that will work before that date, then another option might be to simulate screen recording with an app. The video example below was created entirely on an iPad using an app that is completely legal and in compliance with all App Store guidelines. Take a look and see what you think.

Not bad, right? The screencast above was recorded in a free app called IPEVO Whiteboard. It's a whiteboard and screencasting app that allows you the ability to add images and record yourself while you talk about them. It even includes annotation tools that you can use while recording.

The video I created with IPEVO Whiteboard is really no more than a series of screenshots that I captured and imported into the app. Once I had my images sequenced the way I wanted, I tapped record and narrated over the top of them, moving from one slide to the other when I was ready to show the next step. I used the pointer tool (available in the app) to show where I was tapping on the screen.

It's not a perfect solution, but it looks pretty good and if you only have an iPad, then this could be all you need. Other apps that are capable of this kind of recording include ExplainEverything, Doceri and others.

How Do You Record Your iPad or iPhone Screen?

So, there are lots of options available. The native recording in iOS 11 is perhaps the easiest and most pain-free solution, but choice is a great thing and many of the other tools do double duty as presentation tools and more. So, what is your preferred method for recording your iPhone or iPad screen? Add your vote below!

Screen Recording Poll

What is your preferred method for screencasting on iOS?

See results

© 2014 Jonathan Wylie

Comments

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    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      14 months ago from Iowa, USA

      For those that were asking, I just updated the article with a method that lets you record your iPad screen with an iPad app. It is a bit of a workaround, but it could be just what some people are looking for.

    • profile image

      Person 

      16 months ago

      But is there a way to do this with just an app or somemething like that? A mac or windows PC, I thought I had seen apps around but I'm not sure

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      22 months ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad it helped! :)

    • profile image

      sayna hasanpour 

      22 months ago

      works perfect thank you!!! :)

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      23 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.

    • jeffcard123 profile image

      jeffcard123 

      23 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      23 months ago from Iowa, USA

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

    • profile image

      Duran 

      23 months ago

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

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      23 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 :)

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      23 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Handsome 

      23 months ago

      Go find Airshou.

    • profile image

      Me me 

      2 years ago

      Meeeee

    • profile image

      KitKat 

      2 years 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!

    • profile image

      ChloP16 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Random dude 

      2 years ago

      Nooooooo

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      2 years ago from Iowa, USA

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

    • profile image

      Hollyzone 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      2 years ago from Iowa, USA

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

    • profile image

      Honeymilkpie 

      2 years ago

      It doesn't work for me either

    • profile image

      SuperSkinYT 

      2 years 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)

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks for the tip Felixei

    • profile image

      Felixei 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad that it helped! :)

    • profile image

      Pewdiepie 

      2 years ago

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

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      3 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Glad it was useful Agorabierta!

    • profile image

      Agorabierta 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      3 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 :)

    • profile image

      Andrew 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      3 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.

    • profile image

      Yula 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      4 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.

    • profile image

      maria 

      4 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      4 years ago from Iowa, USA

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

    • profile image

      Ross 

      4 years ago

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

    • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Wylie 

      4 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Really? What do you need help with?

    • profile image

      Snsksksswwss 

      4 years ago

      This didn't help at all

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