How to present and record your iPhone or iPad on your Mac

iPhoneIconXEvery now and then you may wish to display something from your iPhone or iPad on your Mac. This may be during a presentation, or just for kicks, but if you have content on your phone and while you can always use various sharing services to send content to people or even to your Mac for displaying, another very quick approach can be done if you simply have an available lightning cable.

This process only takes a few steps:

  1. Plug your phone into your Mac
  2. Close all auto-opening programs like iTunes and Photos
  3. Open QuickTime Player
  4. Choose “New Movie Recording” from the File menu (or press Option-Command-N)
  5. Click the small down-arrow next to the recording button
  6. Choose your iOS device from the menu that displays

When done, the movie recording window will expand to be 4x the size of the iPhone’s screen, so you can then press Commmand-minus a couple of times to reduce it to the size of your phone’s screen, but this may not be necessary depending on your presentation needs.

At this point you should see the phone’s display on your Mac, and can log in and use it normally. Doing so will show everything from your phone on your Mac’s display. If you use an app that is in landscape view, the display’s aspect ratio should change to show the phone’s output in the same view.

iPhone and iPad screen recording settings

Choose the options menu next to the record button to change the audio source and choose your phone as the video source.

Since this is a movie recording, you can click the record button to capture what your screen is showing, but if you want audio from your phone to also be recorded then be sure to choose your iOS device from the same drop-down menu next to the record button. If you use your Mac’s microphone then you can narrate what you are doing to your recording, so this default setting may be preferred in some cases.

4 thoughts on “How to present and record your iPhone or iPad on your Mac

  1. Mark

    Are there specific OS requirements for this to work. I got it to work with my iPhone with iOS 9.3.1, but not with an iPad 2 (wide charger plug) with 9.2 or a newer iPad (lightning cable) with 9.3. until I updated the OS. It never worked with the iPad 2.

  2. Caribou

    Like always, your articles are just awesome. This built-in solution to present and record iOS screen on your Mac is simply awesome and sufficient for most needs.

    No more looking for third party apps to present or to record a short tutorial. I guess I’ll need to do some editing to blur passwords entered on the phone 🙂

    Thanks again Topher !

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