Tip: Record your iPad's screen on your Mac with QuickTime Player

Posted:
in macOS edited March 26
While iOS 11 introduced a built-in screen recorder that allows users to quickly capture video of their iPhone or iPad's display, it is worth remembering that it is also possible to make a similar recording by connecting it to a Mac. AppleInsider explains the process of screen capturing an iOS device through macOS' QuickTime Player.




Apple's addition of the screen recording function to iOS 11 made it extremely easy for people to create video guides for sharing online and with relatives, to visually walk them through app functions. The function is also useful for capturing proof of bugs in apps to provide to developers, and on the more frivolous side, recording moments of gameplay for "Let's Play" videos on YouTube.

For most people, this is good enough for their needs, but there are some cases where you may want to go down a different route. For example, people making online video guides may not want to have the obvious red bar at the top of the screen when they are capturing footage.

One answer to that is to record the screen on a different device, keeping the iPhone or iPad's display normal and free of visual clues that there is a video being recorded.

To do this, all you need is your iOS device, a Lightning-to-USB cable, and a Mac equipped with QuickTime Player. Despite the "Player" section of the name, it is a handy tool for capturing audio from a microphone, recording the macOS desktop, and from an external video source, with the latter also including iPhones and iPads.

Setting Up the Recording

First, connect your iOS device to the Mac using the Lightning cable. If any applications load automatically when you established the connection, close or minimize those apps now.

Open QuickTime Player, which can be found in the Applications folder, through Launchpad, and a number of other ways. A dialog box to open a file will usually appear, which can be dismissed by clicking Done without selecting a file.



Click File in the Menu followed by New Movie Recording, which an also be selected using the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-N.




While there is a chance it will bring up the iOS device's screen straight away, if you have a built-in iSight camera or a connected webcam, you will need to change the video source.

Click the arrow next to the record button, and select iPhone or iPad under Camera. QuickTime Player will resize and change the image to mirror the iOS device's screen.




Use the same menu to configure the microphone. You can select the device again to capture audio from the iPhone or iPad, or if you want to record a live narration, select a connected microphone instead.

Lastly, you can select the quality of the video. Bear in mind that higher quality settings will also require more storage for the final clip.

When ready, click record.


During and ending Recording

While the recording is taking place, the media controls for QuickTime Player will show how long the video has run for, as well as how big the current file size is, as well as a volume control and the stop button.

Note that there is going to be some lag between the action on the iPhone or iPad and the Mac's view. At this point, it is best to keep an eye on the video feed to make sure it's showing how you want it to appear, and that it is still recording.

When you have finished recording all that you require, click the stop button. Quicktime will then switch to its usual Play mode, allowing you to review what was captured.




To keep the recording, click File then Save in the Menu, select where to save the video file and enter a name, then click Save.



The resulting .MOV file can then be used as part of a video project, sent to friends or family, or simply uploaded to your preferred video hosting service if no editing is required.

Extra Credit

The live view can be useful as a second screen when demonstrating something on the iOS device as part of a presentation. Click the green maximize button at the top-left of the QuickTime window to make it fill the screen, and leave the mouse alone to allow the media controls to fade out.

This same live view can also be used for streaming iPad gameplay on Twitch. Streaming software like OBS can be set to record from a window, so setting it to capture QuickTime Player as a video source will make the iOS device's display usable with other media sources.

Lastly, not all apps will work normally when connected in this way. Video services will sometimes prevent content from being viewable at all until the connection is severed, as a copy protection measure.
bestkeptsecret

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Is there some reason this is better than just using the iPad's own screen recording capability?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,715administrator
    lobertj said:
    Is there some reason this is better than just using the iPad's own screen recording capability?
    Depends on what you want to do with it, really. This method is good for generating educational tutorials with voiceover and video composed on the Mac, or like Malcolm said, some kind of live stream.
    edited March 26
  • Reply 3 of 11
    lobertj said:
    Is there some reason this is better than just using the iPad's own screen recording capability?
    try reading the article: "...but there are some cases where you may want to go down a different route. For example, people making online video guides may not want to have the obvious red bar at the top of the screen when they are capturing footage."
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I can confirm this works with iOS 9.3.5 and macOS Sierra 10.12.6, for those with older iOS devices that can't get iOS 11 also. (specifically, iPad Mini (1st gen.), mid 2010 MBP)

    FYI: Note: when I rotated my iPad the recording stopped. So, it will do either orientation, but, rotating during recording does not work...at least for my setup.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    lobertj said:
    Is there some reason this is better than just using the iPad's own screen recording capability?
    iOS 11 removed the ability to take screenshots during the Activation process of an iOS device.  This allows you to make a video of the Activation process of an iOS device.  Then screenshots can be taken from the video.

    This is useful for those of us that make documentation for setting up iOS devices.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    benji888 said:
    I can confirm this works with iOS 9.3.5 and macOS Sierra 10.12.6, for those with older iOS devices that can't get iOS 11 also. (specifically, iPad Mini (1st gen.), mid 2010 MBP)

    FYI: Note: when I rotated my iPad the recording stopped. So, it will do either orientation, but, rotating during recording does not work...at least for my setup.
    This has worked for many years - back to OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 (2014)
  • Reply 7 of 11
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 252member
    I've been using this method to record demo videos for my iOS apps and it works great. I set the microphone to capture audio from the iPad while recording, then I record my voiceovers separately and combine them in Final Cut.

    One annoyance is that every time I stop the video recording, the iPad resets its connection to the computer and starts syncing with iTunes again. So then the first part of the next video shows the iTunes sync animation running in the iPad status bar. Lately I've been opening the iTunes settings and going to the Devices tab to turn on "Prevent iPads from syncing automatically" while recording.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Thanks. That was informative.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    I did everything the article said but my video has no audio

    iPhone SE iOS 11.2.6 
    mac mini mid 2010
    mac min late 2012
    both on Sierra 10.12.6
    quicktime 10.4

    lightning to USB cable

    set camera and mic to my phone

    I get video just fine, but no sound on either computer

    suggestions?  Is it my phone?

    *edit* I don't think it's my phone.  I recorded a video on the phone, and got it to play back in quicktime on the older mini, with audio.  Not very loud but it had audio

    the newer machine, however, is as silent as the lambs.  The sound preference panel shows my external device (interface) but we're not using that, just internal.  but I'm getting no audio.
    edited March 27
  • Reply 10 of 11
    ephesus_1ephesus_1 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Hi, I used to record my iPhone screen via Quictime. But now I cannot see iPhone when I click arrow. I digged internet to find out what's goin' on, they say we cannot record after update to iOS 11 and up... p.s. I know about new built in screen recorder but I need to mirror to my Mac. Any other way or solution?
    edited April 21
  • Reply 11 of 11
    HyunHyun Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Hello, I am trying to do the record my ipad screen through my macbook via Quicktime, but my Quicktime screen remains black (even though it states that it is connected to my ipad via lightning cable). Is there anything I can do? I have updated both my devices to the current iOS. Are there any other options for screen casters you recommend for ipad to macbook with the current updates?
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