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How To Record Secretly on the iPhone

Posted by Jamie on January 11, 2019

Our phones make great playback devices for movies, books, audio, and games but it’s no small secret that they can record things, too. Not just as a Dictaphone for reminders, but you can record video of performances or special events, conversations, and even what’s going on with your screen. Some of this is possible without extra apps, but you may need something else to record calls. If you want to hide the fact that you’re recording on iPhone, then that’s a bit trickier but it is still possible.

There are lots of reasons why you might want to hide the fact that you’re recording on your iPhone, but we won’t get into all of that here. What we should say is that secretly recording is possibly illegal, depending on context and where in the world you live. Recording conversations, interviews, and many interactions with others without notifying them first is a gray area at best and illegal at worst. The same could be said for recording performances, so bear it in mind.

Recording with your iPhone screen turned off

One of the main areas where it’s obvious that something is going on is when your iPhone screen is brightly lit. That’s not exactly subtle, after all. Even if you’re not doing anything with it, if the screensaver doesn’t kick in then people will get suspicious. Recording with the screen off is a way around that and is possible without installing any apps.

I had no idea you could do this, but an enterprising friend showed me how to do it. He tested this in iOS 10 and it worked fine. I don’t have an iOS 11 or 12 phone, though, so your mileage may vary. If it doesn’t work, let us know in the comments section.

  1. Lock your iPhone screen with the phone turned on.
  2. Press the lock key to brighten the lock app but don’t unlock it.
  3. Slide the camera icon up a little while holding it down.
  4. Select the red record button at the bottom with another finger while still holding down the camera icon.
  5. Press the Home button six times in quick succession.
  6. Continue holding down the camera icon until your iPhone screen goes dark.

At this point, your iPhone is recording and will continue to do so until you turn it off or it runs out of disk space or battery.

Record everything that happens on your iPhone screen

Recording what happens on your screen can be exceptionally useful if you’re creating tutorials or showing someone remotely how to do something on the phone. There are of course more nefarious reasons for doing it, but I choose not to believe TechJunkie readers would do that so we’re not going to get into any of that here. Either way, you can record everything that happens on your iPhone screen without alerting anyone to what’s happening.

  1. Navigate to your iPhone Settings app.
  2. Select Control Center and Customize Controls.
  3. Select the ‘+’ icon next to Screen Recording.

This enables screen recording so we can use it. Then, to record your iPhone screen, do this:

  1. Open the Control Center with a swipe up from the Home screen.
  2. Select your new Screen Recording icon. It’s the red circle.
  3. Select it to begin a 3 second countdown. Short press for just video, longer press for audio and video.
  4. Select the red circle again to stop recording.

The screen recording app will record anything you do with your phone’s screen during use. It gives you three seconds to set the screen up and will automatically record anything from there. Press the red circle lightly and you just get video. Press it more firmly and it will record audio, too. Press the circle once more to stop recording and you’re golden.

The video should be accessible within the Photos app and you can edit it as usual, either with the phone’s built-in tools or by exporting it to your Mac.

Those are two ways to secretly record on your iPhone. If you want to go further than this, then you will need a dedicated app to do the job for you. There are a lot of them out there, including XNSPY, mSpy, SpyEra, and a lot of others like them. They can do anything from record calls to create a log of all messages, internet history, and pretty much anything else that happens on an iPhone. A couple of them can even be remotely installed onto a phone in secret! Just don’t let that level of power go to your head.

However, all of these apps cost money to get, so that is a barrier to entry for anyone but the most determined of spies.

Those are the only two ways I know of to hide the fact that you’re recording on iPhone without using any third party apps. Know of any more? Do these work for you? Tell us about it below!

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