Can Snapchat Detect a Screen Recorder?

Posted by Arch on March 7, 2019

Snapchat is one of the biggest social media platforms around with over 150 million daily users. It is among the favorite messaging and chat platforms of the millennial generation. The platform was launched back in 2011 with its main feature being the guaranteed privacy of the content. Namely, all messages were and still are deleted shortly after being read.

There were numerous attempts to get around this and preserve Snapchat messages and videos, with screen recorders being the most popular way. However, many users are wondering if Snapchat can detect screen recorders.

How Does It Work?

First, let’s look into how messaging works on Snapchat. When you send a message or a video to one of your contacts, said content will automatically be erased after it has been seen by the receiving party. In case of group chats, messages get deleted 24 hours after sending, regardless if seen by all participants or not.

If someone tried to screenshot or record a snap, a double arrow icon would appear next to their name on the contact list of the friend whose snap they recorded or took a screenshot of. Additionally, Snapchat would send a notification to the user whose post was recorded.

Snapchat also makes a distinction between the types of recordings, with red, purple, and blue arrows denoting different types of offenses:

  1. The red arrow signifies that someone has taken a screenshot of a snap that does not contain audio.
  2. The purple one means that they have taken a screenshot of a snap that contains audio, as well.
  3. The blue double arrow denotes that a screenshot of a chat was taken.

That’s how it goes on both Android and iOS devices in case the built-in screenshot and screen recording applications were used.

Situation with Android

The situation with Android users is in the gray zone, as there’s a bunch of versions of the OS and many different phone/tablet brands and models. Generally, Snapchat can detect the built-in screenshot and screen recorder apps on all Android devices, regardless of the OS version or the brand of the device. However, Snapchat can’t detect all third-party screen recorders.

Situation with iPhone

With the iPhone, the situation is a lot clearer, as iOS users have far fewer cheating options. Snapchat easily detects the default screenshot/screen recorder app, regardless of the OS version and phone model. Also, it is far harder to install a third-party screen recorder on an iPhone. It would require downloading apps from alternative sites or jailbreaking the phone.

These are the main reasons iPhone users have very little wiggle room and are at a particular disadvantage when compared to Android users. On the upside, this makes you and your messages far safer texting with an iPhone user through Snapchat.


If you would like to take a screenshot of a Snapchat conversation/video, there are a few ways to do it.

  1. Use another phone. The simplest and the safest way is to use another phone to record the screen of your main phone. Works for both Android and iOS.
  2. Go offline. Open the Snapchat app and find the post you would like to take a screenshot of. Wait until it fully loads, then turn off the Wifi and mobile data. Also, switch your phone to airplane mode to prevent it from automatically reconnecting. Take the screenshot, and then go to System settings and find Snapchat in the Apps folder. Go into Snpachat’s Storage and clear both cache and data. Turn the Wifi back on and log back in to Snapchat. This works on Android.
  3. Quicktime. This one is for iPhone users. Install Quicktime on the computer and then connect your iPhone to it. Open Quicktime and choose “File”, then “New Movie Recording”. Hover the mouse over the recording button and a menu with additional recording options will appear. Choose your iPhone as movie recording input.
  4. Google Assistant. This one is for Android users. Open Snapchat and find the message or photo you want to save. After that, activate the Google Assistant and ask it to take a screenshot (you can either type it or say it). Then, save the screenshot to the cloud or upload it to Google Photos. You can’t save the screenshot to your phone’s gallery.



The war between Snapchat and the users keen on taking snapshots is nowhere near over, as both sides are constantly finding new ways to outsmart the other. Have you found another way that works? Let us know in the comments below.

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