If you need to capture what’s happening on your iPhone 13’s screen in motion, don’t take a screenshot—grab a screen recording video instead. Luckily, your iPhone 13 (regular, Mini, Pro, or Pro Max) makes it easy with a Control Center shortcut. Here’s how to use it.

What Is a Screen Recording?

Think of a screen recording like a screenshot in motion: It captures everything you normally see on your screen directly to a file. But instead of a still image, it’s a video that gets saved to your Photos library. Screen recordings are great for capturing errors or bugs in action, making tutorial videos, and more. Keep in mind that you can’t take a screen recording while mirroring your iPhone’s screen to another display. Otherwise, everything on the screen gets captured, including notifications.

RELATED: How to Screenshot on an iPhone 13

Enable the “Screen Recording” Button First

To take a screen recording on your iPhone 13, you’ll need to use a special “Screen Recording” button in Control Center that is disabled by default. (As a reminder, Control Center is the shortcuts panel that appears if you swipe downward from the upper-right corner of your screen).

To enable the Screen Recording button, first open the Settings app.

In Settings, tap “Control Center” near the top.

In Settings, tap "Control Center"

In Control Center settings, swipe down and tap “Screen Recording” (with the plus symbol beside it). This will move it from the “More Controls” list to the “Included Controls” list and will make it show up in Control Center.

In Control Center settings, tap "Screen Recording" to add it to the "Included Controls" list.

While you’re at it, you can rearrange the order of your Control Center shortcut buttons by tapping and dragging the items in the “Included Controls” list. Once you’re finished, exit Settings. Now it’s time to record your screen.

RELATED: How to Customize Your iPhone or iPad's Control Center

How to Capture a Screen Recording on iPhone 13

Now that you’ve added the Screen Recording button to Control Center (covered in the section above), you can take a screen recording at any time. To do so, first open Control Center by swiping downward with one finger in the upper-right corner of your iPhone’s screen.

In Control Center, the Screen Recording button (a circle within another circle) will be located near the bottom of the panel with the other shortcuts (such as Flashlight or Calculator, for example).

If you want to make a screen recording without audio, you can tap the Screen Recording button once. However, if you’d like to capture audio from your iPhone’s microphone during the screen recording, tap and hold the Screen Recording button.

Tap the "Screen Recording" button in Control Center.

If you tapped the button once, skip to the next step. But if you pressed and held the Screen Recording button, you’ll see a special pop-up menu. To turn on microphone recording, tap the microphone icon until it turns red and says “Microphone On” beneath it. Next, tap “Start Recording.”

Tap the microphone button, then select "Start Recording."

After three seconds, your iPhone will begin recording all activities on the screen (and your microphone audio as well, if you enabled that option). You’ll notice that both the Screen Recording icon in Control Center and the clock in the upper-left corner of the screen turn red while your iPhone is recording.

When you’re finished capturing your screen recording, tap the red clock in the upper-left corner of the screen, then select “Stop” in the pop-up menu.

Tap the red time in the upper-left corner, then select "Stop."

Alternately, you also stop the screen recording by opening Control Center and tapping the Screen Recording button again. When it turns from red to white, you’ll know the recording has stopped.

Tap the "Screen Recording" button in Control Center.

After that, you’ll see a pop-up notification informing you that the screen recording you just captured has been saved to your Photos library.

A confirmation on iPhone reading "Screen Recording video saved to Photos."

To view or share your screen recording later, open the Photos app as you usually would. Among your photos and videos, you’ll see a thumbnail that represents the screen recording. Using the editing feature in Photos, you can trim the ends of the video (if you’d like) to remove the parts where you captured starting or stopping the video. Good luck, and have fun!

RELATED: How to Edit Videos on Your iPhone or iPad

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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