How To Use ADB To Record Your Android Screen

Ever wanted to create a video recording of your Android’s screen? Now you can, using ADB.

How To Use ADB To Record Your Android Screen

Sometimes, if you’re putting together a how to guide or explaining how an app or feature works, the easiest way is to show people a recording of your Android’s screen. That way, they can actually see what you’re doing. You may think this is difficult to do, but it’s really quite simple. Let us show you how using the methods below.

If you have rooted your device, there are apps available that will help you do this. If you have an unrooted device, don’t worry. You can still record your screen by using Android Debug Bridge (ADB).

How to record your Android screen with ADB

If, for any reason, you want to show someone a video of your screen, this is how you can use ADB to make a recording. This feature has been a part of Android since the release of Android 4.4 KitKat.

Download and install Android Debug Bridge

To use this method, you will need to download and install ADB (including Android SDK). This can be done via the Android Developers site. For a detailed guide on how to install ADB, check out this article. As mentioned in the article, it’s necessary to enable USB debugging via your phone’s Developer settings before starting.

Download and install Android SDK to record your screen

Once you have taken care of that, you can get going and record your phone’s screen.

Use a USB cable to connect your phone and computer

Nothing will happen if you try this method without connecting your phone to your computer using a USB cable first

Open a command window

On your computer, find the folder where Android SDK is saved, then, open the platform-tools folder. Press Shift and right click with the mouse in that folder to select Open command window here from the dropdown menu.

Open a command window in the ‘platform-tools’ folder

In the command window, type adb-devices. These commands show a list of connected devices, and if everything is working correctly, your phone will be on the list. If it is, you’re ready to record your Android device’s screen.

The ‘adb-devices’ command shows connected devices

Start the screen recording

In the command window, type adb shell screenrecord followed by the folder where you would like to store the recording and the filename you would like to give it, e.g. adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/video.mp4.

The ‘adb shell screenrecord’ command will start the recording

Once you have typed that command and pressed Enter, the recording will start immediately. Now you’re able to make a recording of whatever you’d like!

Stop the screen recording

When you want to stop recording just type Ctrl+C in the command window. The recording will be in the directory you specified when you started the recording.

A note on recording your Android’s screen

  • The screen recording will be made using your device’s standard screen resolution. If you want a different resolution, you will need to modify the command. For example, if you want a 1280×720 recording, type adb shell screenrecord -size 1280×720 /sdcard/video.mp4 in the command window
  • Recordings are encoded at 4Mbps
  • The recordings also have a maximum length of 3 minutes
  • Audio will not be recorded so don’t bother narrating what you’re doing. That will have to be added separately

Now you know how to use ADB to make a recording of your device’s screen. Have fun experimenting with this new function – it opens up a lot of possibilities. It’s up to you to decide how to use this handy feature.