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How To Tell if Someone Screen Records your Snapchat Post or Story

Posted by Jamie on February 8, 2019

There is a lot if conflicting information around screen recording and Snapchat right now. After Apple introduced an alert feature in iOS, everyone has been assuming you are notified if someone screen records you on Snapchat. But is it true? Does it work on Android too?

This article seeks to sort fact from fiction and provide an up to date guide on exactly what happens when someone screen records you on Snapchat.

Snapchat has built-in an alert that tells you if someone takes a screenshot of a Snap. You will see ‘Screenshot!’ appear as an alert so you would know exactly what was going on and who took the screenshot. Fortunately, the same is true for Snapchat Stories and screen recording, sort of.

Given the younger demographic of the average Snapchat user and some of the types of content people think it’s okay to upload, knowing exactly what happens or doesn’t happen on Snapchat is essential I think. That’s especially true if you’re the self-confident type and like to show the world what you have.

iPhones and screen recording on Snapchat

iOS 11 introduced screen recording as a way to record whatever was going on with your screen at the time. It’s a neat feature that I have used a couple of times to help troubleshoot problems with my sister’s iPhone. She could set the recorder, perform whatever function she was having trouble with, send me the file and I could tell her what was going on.

The same function can be used for other things too. Some of them not quite so helpful. Snapchat seem to have already thought of this though. If you’re an iPhone user and use Snapchat, you get a similar alert to what you get when someone takes a screenshot. You should see an alert that tells you someone is using screen recorder and exactly who it is.

I tried this with a pair of iPhones running iOS 12 and Snapchat did notify me when the screen recorder was used.

Originally this wasn’t the way it worked which is why you see so many articles saying there’s a loophole in the system. That is no longer the case. Snapchat patched it out and introduced the warning so you would know if someone was using the screen recorder built into iOS. That last bit is important, ‘the screen recorder built into iOS’. I’ll go into that a bit more in a minute.

Android phones and screen recording on Snapchat

The same cannot be said for Android as it does not offer the same protection. There are lots of screen recording apps and Android has the ability to record what’s going on from within the OS itself. None of which alert Snapchat users what you’re doing.

You can add Snapchat to the game launcher and record it like a game stream. You used to be able to block Snapchat from accessing your phone storage so it couldn’t detect anything being written to memory. You could also disable Snapchat’s own storage permission to achieve the same thing. The latter two methods have been patched out now so no longer work. The first method still works though.

I tried screen recording using two Android phones, aa Samsung Galaxy S7 and S9. I was able to record a Snap Story and no notifications were sent or seen by either phone.

The dangers of screen recording on Snapchat

Even though iOS 11 and 12 alert you if you use the built in screen recording function, it won’t necessarily do it if you use a third-party screen recorder. Android phones don’t alert you at all. Even if Google built the function into future Android releases, there are hundreds of screen recording apps out there that still won’t alert you.

You can record a phone screen with an external camera and you won’t even know. Sit in front of a laptop or PC, use another phone or whatever. There are as many ways of recording a screen as there are reasons to do so.

So the takeaway from all of this is that you still need to be very careful when you use Snapchat. Whatever you upload to the social network, you need to have this fact in the back of your mind at all times. Your snaps can be screenshotted so they last forever instead of just 24 hours and your Stories can be recorded for the same.

Given some of the content people like to share on Snapchat thinking that it all disappears forever, every user of every age and gender needs to bear this in mind. You cannot depend on a phone OS to alert you if someone screen records you on Snapchat. It’s up to you to guard yourself and your Stories and post with the knowledge that there are people out there who will record what you do.

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