How to Record the Screen on Your PC, Phone, or Tablet

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Do you need to record the screen on your PC or mobile device? Maybe you're a professional who wants to capture your screen activity for a presentation for work. Perhaps you're a software trainer or developer who needs to generate a video showing how a certain application functions. Or maybe you're just an average person who wants to create and share a video of something interesting on your PC or phone.

Windows, Apple's iOS, and Android don't offer built-in tools to record your screen, but there are several tools that make it possible.

Screen CapturerA variety of screen capture programs exist for Windows. Some are free, others are free to try, and many will cost you. Let's look at a free tool that works well.

Free Screen Capturer
This screen-capture utility is simple to use and offers all the basic features and options to record your screen. You can select to record the entire screen, a window, or a specific area that you select using your mouse. You can use hot keys to start, pause, and stop a recording. The program can pick up your voice or other sound from your PC's microphone. You can then save the video as an AVI or Windows WMV file. And best of all, the program is free for personal and professional use. All you need do is request a registration number, and you're set.

Record the Screen on Your iPhone or iPad

Recording the screen on an iPhone or iPad is is trickier, since Apple doesn't offer any screen-capture tools, either natively or through the App Store. Jailbreaking your device would give you access to some screen-capture programs, but let's not go there. Instead, you can install a mirroring program on your PC and then tap into Apple's AirPlay feature to display the screen of your iOS device on your PC. Then just use the Free Screen Capturer to record your screen.

We're going to use a free mirroring program called LonelyScreen. Go to the LonelyScreen Download page to download the software. Install the software and then plug your iOS device into your PC. Launch the LonelyScreen program.

Swipe up the bottom of the screen on your iOS device to open the Control Center. Tap the entry for AirPlay. You should see LonelyScreen listed as an option. Tap it and then tap the Mirroring command to turn it on. You should now see your iOS screen displayed in the LonelyScreen window.

To record the screen, launch the Free Screen Capturer and choose the option to capture a region. Use your mouse to draw a region around your iOS device's screen in the LonelyScreen window. You can then use your iOS device, and your screen activity will be captured by Free Screen Capturer.

Record the Screen on your Android Device

Capturing the screen on your Android device is a similar process just with different software.

VysorPlug your Android device into your computer. To capture the screen, we have to enable a developer feature called USB Debugging. Open the Settings menu on your Android device, tap the About option in the System section, and then tap the option for Build Number seven times. Go back to the Settings menu, and you should now see a setting for Developer options in the System section. Tap the Developer options setting and then tap the setting for USB debugging to turn it on.

Download and install the Google Chrome browser if you don't already have it. Using Chrome, download a program called Vysor from Google's Chrome Web store. Click the Vysor icon in Google Chrome's app screen to load it. At the Vysor window, click the button to Find devices. Your Android device should pop up. Click on it to highlight it and then click the Select button.

Your Android device should flash a message asking if you want to allow USB debugging. Tap OK. You'll see a message telling you that Vysor is connected. Click OK, or Never Show This Again if you want to bypass this message in the future. You should now see your Android device's screen displayed in the Vysor window.

To record the screen, launch the Free Screen Capturer and choose the option to capture a region. Use your mouse to draw a region around your Android device's screen in the Vysor window. You can then use your Android device, and your screen activity will be captured in the file created by Free Screen Capturer.

For still shots, check out How to Take a Screenshot on Any Device.

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