How to Quickly Take a Video on iPhone

When you see something happening, and you want to start recording it as quickly as possible, it can take far too much time to go through the usual process of unlocking your phone, selecting the Camera app, switching to Video mode, then finally pressing the record (Shutter) button. Using QuickTake is the fastest way to record a video from your iPhone and is available for iPhone XS and later. You do not have to unlock your iPhone to use it.

How to use the Lock screen Camera shortcut to take video

When you tap on your iPhone’s screen or press the Side or Home button, you can see the Lock screen. From here, you can see the time and date, some of your messages (depending on your settings), and you can find two shortcut buttons: Flashlight and Camera. Using this Camera button to quickly take a video involves also taking advantage of an iPhone feature called QuickTake.

iPhone Home Screen

To quickly take a video on your iPhone when it is locked:

  1. Tap on your screen or press the Side or Home button to wake your iPhone.
  2. Press (not tap) the Camera button until there is a click, then release.
  3. Press and hold the Shutter button (the red round button). So long as you are holding down the button, you will be recording video. This is the QuickTake feature.
  • You can also continue recording video without keeping your finger on the Shutter button; you just need to slide your finger to the right, towards the lock symbol.
quick take in camera
  • You can also just press and hold the volume down button to record video. This option, however, doesn’t allow you to “lock” the shutter, so you will have to keep holding the volume down button for as long as you want to keep recording.

Another option for opening the Camera

Back Tap

You can also open the Camera app by enabling Back Tap. This will allow you to Double Tap or Triple Tap on the back of your iPhone to open your Camera. Then you can follow the instructions above to use QuickTake.

back tp in settings
  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch.
  2. Scroll down and select Back Tap.
  3. Select either Double Tap or Triple Tap.
  4. Tap on Camera to select it.

Now you can Double or Triple Tap on the back of your iPhone to open Camera. This works from the Lock screen or from your Home Screen. It does not work until you wake your screen.

An alternative to using QuickTake

If you don’t like pressing and holding the Shutter button to record video, you can set your Camera app to use Video mode when you open it, sort of. The idea is that you can set your Camera app to default to the last camera mode used; if you last used Video mode, then it will automatically be enabled the next time you use your Camera app. This could be convenient if you always use Video.

preserve settings
  1. Open Settings, scroll down and tap on Camera.
  2. Tap on Preserve Settings.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Camera Mode to preserve the last mode used.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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