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Screen recording has not always been a built-in feature of the Android operating system. But with the release of Android 11, it’s now available on any new Android phone. No need for a third-party app!

However, if your phone doesn’t run on Android 11 or above, chances are you won’t have screen recording as a built-in feature and you might require a third-party app. That being said, certain smartphones from the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, and others did include their own version of screen recording prior to the release of Android 11.

In this article, we’re going to look at how to record the screen of an Android phone running on Android 11 (or above), as well as which third-party apps you can use as an alternative to the built-in screen recorder, or if your phone doesn’t have native screen recording.

Let’s jump right in!


Note: For security and legal reasons, some apps don’t allow you to screen record their content. This may result in your recording having a black video or no audio.

How to record your screen on an Android phone

  • With your phone unlocked, swipe down twice at the top of your screen to access the shortcuts in the Quick settings panel
  • Select the ‘Screen recorder’ option. If it’s not there, you can add it to the panel by tapping the pencil icon
  • After tapping on the screen recorder option in the shortcuts menu, choose the sound settings you wish to use
  • Tap on ‘Start recording’
  • A three-second countdown timer will appear, after which the screen recording will begin
  • While recording, you can tap on the pencil icon to write and draw on the screen.
  • Tap on the person icon to enable PiP (picture-in-picture), which adds a video overlay of yourself to the recording on the screen
  • When you’re done recording the video, tap on the stop button

Sound settings

When screen recording using an Android, you have three sound settings to choose from, which are explained below.

No sound: No audio will be recorded at all, only the video of what’s happening on the screen will be recorded.

Media sounds: This option records the internal sounds that are coming from the apps on your phone, e.g games, videos, notifications, etc.

Media sounds and mic: Along with internal sounds, choosing this option allows you to record your own voice, too.

Where to find the saved screen recordings on your Android

  • Open the ‘Photos’ app
  • Select the ‘Library’ option
  • Choose the ‘Movies’ folder
  • All your screen recordings will populate the screen, ready for you to watch or share

Which Android phones support screen recording

For you to be able to use the native screen recording feature on Android, your phone needs to be running on Android 11 or above.

However, as mentioned earlier, some manufacturers had already included their own version of screen recording prior to the release of Android 11. Check out the links below.


What if your Android phone doesn’t have screen recording

If you have an older phone that’s not running on Android 11 or above, then you need to install a third-party screen recording app from the Google Play Store. There are plenty of options to choose from, with some targeted specifically at screen recording gameplay.

Below are some popular screen recording apps you can download from the Play Store.

  • Google Play Games
  • AZ Screen Recorder
  • XRecorder
  • Vidma Screen Recorder


The good thing about using a third-party app is that it gives you more options when it comes to recording. For example, you can choose a better video quality for the recording, among other things. I some cases, you can also override some of the restrictions that may come with a built-in screen recorder.

Tips for screen recording on your phone

Lock your phone’s orientation

Screen recording captures everything that happens on your phone. So, if your phone changes orientation automatically from portrait to landscape or vice versa, then that will get recorded, too.

It may not seem like a big deal but it can be off-putting to some people to watch a video that constantly flip-flops between portrait and landscape mode unnecessarily.

So, unless you absolutely need the screen to rotate for whatever you’re screen recording, it’s best to lock your phone’s screen orientation to avoid unnecessary and accidental changes to it during recording.

Keep an eye on your storage space

It’s easy to screen record and forget the fact that what you’re doing takes up space on your phone. The longer your screen recording is and the higher its resolution, the more space it will consume on your phone.

So, before you start recording, take a look at how much space you have available on your phone and if it will be enough to accommodate the screen recording you want to capture.

Keep in mind that if you do not have enough memory on your phone, screen recording will not be able to work properly.

Turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’

When screen recording, the last thing you want is to have notifications popping up during your session, especially if they contain confidential content. It’s disruptive, and nobody wants to see it.

To avoid that, switch on the Do Not Disturb option (or something similar on your phone’s OS). That will silence all your apps and prevent them from sending you notifications until you the feature off.

Don’t have too many apps open

Even if you have ‘Do Not Disturb’ turned on, it’s a good idea to close all unnecessary apps when screen recording, besides avoiding annoying notifications during recording. Firstly, screen recording drains the battery. Having many apps run in the background does not help at all.

Secondly, depending on the speed of your phone, having too many apps open may cause it to slow down or lag. That doesn’t make for a good viewing experience, particularly if you want to share your screen recordings on platforms such as YouTube.

Also, if you want to record sound from the microphone, having other apps that use the mic open in the background might interfere with the functionality of the screen recorder.

Ask for consent when screen recording a video call

When you’re doing a screen recording of a video call, the person on the other side of the call will not know that you’re recording the call. However, it’s common courtesy to ask for permission to record the call or notify the other person that the call is being recorded.

In fact, it’s illegal in some places to record a call of any type with someone without letting them know that they’re being recorded. So, make sure you’re not doing anything illegal where you live by screen recording the video call.


Screen recording is very useful for capturing and sharing things such as gameplay, tutorials, video calls and so on. Thankfully, Google has made it easy to screen record on Android devices. And even if your phone doesn’t natively support screen recording, it’s good to know that you have some options available in the Play Store.



Screen recording will capture everything you do on your screen without hiding anything. If you use it to record sensitive information, do so at your own risk. However, as mentioned in the beginning, some apps will not allow screen recording for security and copyright reasons.

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