How to record your Pixel phone’s screen without installing a third-party application

In the early days of Android phones, which is now over ten years ago, I remember having to go to the Android Marketplace to find a third-party application to record my screen. Many of the instances where I felt I needed to capture my display occurred when I wanted to explain to my friends or family how to use their handsets without having to talk them through it on a phone call.

Nowadays, pretty much all modern versions of Android have a built-in screen recorder that you can access with just a few taps. Today, I’m going to show you how to do that on your Pixel or Android 12+ device so you can quickly save short clips to your storage and share them with others!

You may find that you have the same needs I have in the past, or you may simply want to record gameplay footage of mobile titles for YouTube. In the case of the latter, Google Play Games does support direct recording and even has special tools for it, though it’s worth noting that these are currently absent on my device at the time of writing this!

Alright, so first, you’ll need to swipe down the notification shade at the top of your phone. Swipe down a second time to pull up the Quick Settings panel. From there, you should see the colored tiles pictured below. If you don’t see the “Screen record” tile, you can tap the pencil icon at the bottom right of the panel to edit which tiles are available to you.

Oh and don’t forget that the quick settings are paginated, so you can swipe left and right to swap between the pages available. If you do need to edit your settings panel to place the screen recorder on the front page or to drag it out of the extra tiles section, you can simply press and hold it and bring it up higher (see the middle image).

Once it’s available – and please don’t skip this step – clear your screen of any personal information. This includes notifications and widgets that feature notes, emails, messages, and more. All too often, I see people record their screens and leave certain things visible that could compromise their privacy.

Tap the “Screen record” tile, select your audio device, whether or not you want to record audio, to begin with, and whether you’re interested in capturing your screen touches using the dialogue box that pops up. Your notification shade will close, and a red timer counting down from three will appear in your status bar.

The moment this disappears, you’re officially recording! This means that anything you do from touching, swiping, opening apps, and more will be captured. At this point, please avoid opening banking apps, your email, personal Keep notes, and so on. You wouldn’t want anyone to steal your secret government documents or find out that you’re a millionaire, now would you?

I wish I had either or both of those problems, and I’m sure you do too. Anyways, once you’re finished recording, just go ahead and swipe down from the top of your screen again to call up your notification shade. Then, tap the huge, red “Recording screen” notice.

That’s it! You’re no longer recording. Wait just a moment and you’ll see your recorded video appear as its own separate notification that you can then watch, delete, share or even upload to Google photos for later. Have fun and be safe!

I just want the steps!1. Swipe down twice from the top of your phone
2. Edit the quick settings panel if you need to make the “Screen record” tile available” (tap the pencil icon!)
3. Tap the “Screen record” tile and choose if you want to record audio or screen touches. You may also need to select your microphone!
4. Wait for the red countdown timer in your status bar to expire
5. You’re now recording! Perform any actions you wish to capture 🙂
6. When you’re finished, swipe down from the top of your screen and tap the red recording notice.
7. Upload your new video to Google Photos, share it with a friend or delete it!

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