How To Take Snapchat Videos/Pictures Without Touching the Screen

Posted by William Sattelberg on August 14, 2019

At TechJunkie, we use every social network imaginable. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and TikTok, we love every social network site out there today, but there’s nothing more we love than Snapchat. The app is built around sharing moments of your life with your friends and family, and though Instagram and other apps have copied a lot of ideas originally developed by Snapchat, we’ve stayed with the app until this point. There are a few things that Snapchat does really well, but unfortunately, recording without touching the screen isn’t one of them. Normally, capturing video without touching the screen can be pretty difficult if you aren’t sure how the apps works. Let’s take a look at your options within the app itself, as well as using Snapchat on both Android and iPhone.

Using Snapchat with No Hands in the App

Depending on what you’re trying to do within Snapchat, you might be able to use the in-app controls within Snapchat to properly avoid using your hands. While this method won’t work for taking photos, if you’re looking to take a hands-free video, you can do this on both iOS and Android right within the app.

Open up Snapchat and make sure you’re on the camera interface. Press and hold your finger on the circular capture button to start a video recording, then slide your finger to the left, where you’ll see a small lock icon appear on-screen. When you’ve slid your finger to this icon, you’ll lock the recording interface in on your phone, and you’ll be able to continue recording without holding your finger down for up to the full minute Snapchat can capture.

Okay, but what about those first few seconds of footage before you set your phone down to record? Don’t worry—Snapchat includes a built-in video editor that you can use to trim your clip. After you’ve recorded your footage, make sure you’re on the display where your video continues to loop in playback mode.

The editor will only appear if your clip is over ten seconds long; you’ll see the small box appear in the lower-left hand corner while you’re recording. After you’ve stopped recording, tap on the small timeline icon in the corner of the display, and you’ll see two handles on each side of the clip. You can use the left handle to trim the beginning of the clip, and the second handle to trim the ending of the clip. Once you’ve finished trimming your clip down to what you want, you’ll have a clip on your phone that has you performing an action all without touching the screen to record.

Using Snapchat with No Hands on iPhone

If, for whatever reason, this doesn’t work for you, there’s a trick on iPhone you can use just by diving into the settings menu of your phone. Grab your iPhone, click on the Settings app, and select General from your list of options. Select Accessibility, then scroll down in the menu to AssistiveTouch. Select “Create New Gesture…” at the bottom of this list, which allows you to create a custom gesture to be activated while within Snapchat. Press your finger on the screen where the record button usually sits within Snapchat, right in the bottom-middle of the display. A blue bar will record while you track your gestures, and your finger will display as a large blue dot on the screen. When you’re done recording your gesture, hit Save and give the gesture a name. Exit the menu and make sure you’ve turned on AssistiveTouch. A small virtual home button will appear on your display.

Head back to Snapchat and make sure you’re on the camera interface. You can open the custom accessibility menu now, then click on the Custom icon and select the option you just saved. You can move the dot around to make sure it’s exactly where it needs to be on the screen, and can tap it to “play” the gesture. When playing, the gesture dot will light up in white; when it’s not playing, the small dot will return to its grayed out position, making it easy to track what you’re doing within the device.

Frankly, we think that, with the advent of the lock within Snapchat, this trick isn’t as useful as it used to be. Still, it’s good to know that there is another option on iOS for use if you aren’t looking to use the lock and trim interface available in Snapchat. For most people, though, just stick to the lock icon in Snapchat.

Using Snapchat with No Hands on Android

Unlike on iOS, there’s no special, secret trick to recording with no hands on Android, which is why we suggest using the built-in recorder lock if you can. However, if this won’t work for you, there’s really only one other way to record on Snapchat without using your hand, and it’s extremely low-tech.

Grab a rubber band and double loop it so that it’s fairly tight. With Snapchat open on the camera interface, wrap the rubber band around your phone so that it holds down your volume button. With the button held down, your phone will continue to record until you relieve the pressure from the volume button.

Admittedly, it’s not the best way to go about recording without hands on Android, but a trick is a trick. If you can’t use the record lock built into Snapchat, this is a great way to go about it.

What About Photos?

While our tricks described above all work for videos, there’s no easy way to take a photo in Snapchat without using your hand to capture the image, either but clicking the shutter button or by clicking the volume button to trigger the camera. Thankfully, Snapchat allows you to import photos from your camera roll, so if you know the photo you want to capture, you can use your device’s camera app to capture the image complete with a built-in shutter timer.

How you go about this will vary depending on your operating system, but generally speaking, you’ll want to open your camera app and look for a small stopwatch icon. On iOS, it’s in the top portion of the display and gives you the option of either three or ten second countdowns. On Android, it may differ depending on the make of your phone and whether you’re using the included camera app or a third-party option. However, on our Pixel devices, much like on iOS, you’ll find it at the top of the display.

Once you’ve captured your photos, you can post them to your Story or send them to a friend through Snapchat by clicking on the Memories icon at the bottom of the viewfinder in Snapchat, then select Camera Roll from the tabs. Here you’ll find your captured photos, and you can select the one you wish to send. Just note that sending a captured photo in Snapchat to a friend will display in Chat, not as a standard Snap. On your Snapchat Story, it will display as normal.


Snapchat can be a confusing app to figure out. It might seem like a simple premise, but the tools provided in the app are pretty powerful, especially compared to most other social network apps. If you’re trying to capture video or photos without keeping your finger on the capture button, the newest versions of Snapchat make it easy to do so. And with the old-school methods still around for both iOS and Android, it’s easy to become a Snapchat content creator in no time.

If you’re looking for more Snapchat guides, check out how to tell if someone added you on Snapchat. Or, if you’re still new to the Snap experience, check out this guide to figure out what the numbers inside Snapchat actually mean.

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