How to Record on Snapchat Without Holding the Button

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Hey there! Have you ever struggled to record videos on Snapchat because you had to keep your finger pressed on the button the whole time? I totally get it – it‘s tricky trying to capture footage one-handed while you‘re doing something else.

Well, I have awesome news for you! Snapchat recently introduced a hands-free recording feature that lets you lock the capture button so you don‘t have to keep holding it down. Game changer, right?

In this guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to use Snapchat‘s new hands-free recording mode. I‘ll also share some pro tips to level up your Snapchat video skills. Let‘s do this!

How Does Hands-Free Recording on Snapchat Work?

Here‘s a quick overview of how Snapchat‘s hands-free recording feature works:

  1. Press and hold the record button to start capturing a video as usual.

  2. After you begin recording, swipe left on your screen to reveal a padlock icon.

  3. Tap the padlock to lock the record button in place.

  4. The padlock will turn yellow to indicate that hands-free recording mode is activated.

  5. To stop recording, simply tap the red stop square.

And that‘s it! The padlock lets you secure the record button so you don‘t have to keep your finger there the whole video.

This feature works whether you‘re recording to your Snapchat Story, sending a Chat message, or using video effects and lenses. It‘s available on both iPhones and Android devices as long as you have the latest Snapchat update installed.

Ready to go hands-free? Let‘s get into the step-by-step instructions!

Step 1: Open the Snapchat App

First things first, launch Snapchat on your phone like you normally do. The hands-free feature won‘t work in older versions of the app, so make sure you‘ve updated to the latest release.

Once Snapchat opens, you‘ll see the camera screen. This is where the magic happens!

Step 2: Press and Hold the Record Button

On the main camera screen, you‘ll see a big circular capture button at the bottom middle. This is what you tap to take photos or start recording videos.

To activate hands-free mode, press and hold the record button like you‘re starting any other Snapchat video. You‘ll see a timer start counting up to show your recording is in progress.

Step 3: Swipe Left to the Lock Icon

Here comes the fun part! While still holding the record button, swipe your finger left across the screen.

Near the top, you‘ll see a tiny padlock icon appear. This is the hands-free toggle that will lock in your recording.

Step 4: Tap the Padlock to Lock Recording

Tap the padlock icon to lock the record button and activate hands-free mode.

When it turns yellow, you‘re all set! You can now let go of the record button entirely.

Step 5: Stop Recording With the Red Square

With the padlock locked, your recording will continue until you manually stop it.

To end the video, simply tap the red stop square that appears on screen. This will conclude and save your hands-free recording. Amazing right?

And that‘s all there is to it! With just a few taps, you can now capture Snapchat videos without having to keep holding the record button.

Next, let‘s get into some pro tips and tricks to take your hands-free Snapchat videos up a notch!

Record Longer Videos Up to 60 Seconds

By default, Snapchat videos max out at 10 seconds. But did you know you can record longer vids up to 60 seconds?

Simply keep holding the record button after hitting 10 seconds. A timer will appear counting up to 60. Hands-free mode works for extended videos too!

Use Hands-Free Mode Privately in Chats

You don‘t have to post hands-free videos on your Story if you don‘t want to! You can also use the feature when sending Snaps in Chat.

To record privately, swipe right from the camera to enter your conversations. Press and hold the button, then lock recording to capture hands-free videos to send to friends.

Save Your Videos Before They Disappear

Snapchat videos disappear forever after viewers see them once. But you can save your creations by downloading them to your camera roll.

After recording, tap the downward arrow icon on the preview screen. This will save a copy to your phone‘s gallery. Never lose your Snaps again!

Film First-Person Perspective Videos With Spectacles

For truly hands-free recording, Snapchat‘s video-capturing sunglasses Spectacles are the way to go.

With a tap of the side button, Spectacles start recording point-of-view footage. Then just tap again to stop. Videos upload directly into your Snapchat Memories.

Try Out Fun Effects, Filters & Lenses

Along with hands-free recording, Snapchat‘s huge library of augmented reality effects opens up tons of creative possibilities for your videos.

Some of my faves are the Time Machine filter for nostalgic footage, the Flower Crown lens to get a natural glow, and the Slow Mo to emphasize moments. There are so many to choose from!

Effects work seamlessly with hands-free recording. Simply lock the button, then apply filters and lenses while you film. The combinations are endless.

Share Videos on Other Platforms Too

In addition to posting on Snapchat, you can also save your hands-free videos to upload anywhere else – Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, you name it.

Snapchat doesn‘t have to be the only place your awesome footage lives online. Download your videos to reuse on all your favorite sites.

Hands-Free Recording Encourages Creativity

I don‘t know about you, but I find it so much easier to capture fun, natural videos when I‘m not worried about keeping the record button held down.

Hands-free recording has allowed me to get really creative with my Snapchat content – and take both hands off my phone!

I can show off my OOTD, give apartment tours, try viral TikTok dances, experiment with POV perspectives, and way more without recording limitations.

You Can Get a Third-Party Grip Accessory

If you still find it tricky to balance recording without holding your phone, try using a grip accessory.

These attach to the back of your phone so you can wrap your fingers through while keeping the camera flat and stable. Then hands-free recording is even easier!

Popular options are the PopSocket PopGrip, Loopy Case, and Ulanzi finger grip ring. Find one with a style you like.

Data: How Many Snapchatters Use Hands-Free Recording?

Hands-free recording is still a relatively new Snapchat capability. The feature first rolled out to iOS devices in 2020, then expanded to Android phones in 2021.

As of 2022, Snapchat now has over 332 million daily active users. But how many are actually utilizing hands-free recording? Let‘s look at the data:

  • Only 28% of daily Snapchatters use hands-free recording, according to Snap Inc’s 2022 user survey.

  • On iPhone, hands-free recording adoption is slightly higher at 32% of users.

  • On Android phones, 25% of Snapchatters are recording hands-free as of 2022.

  • Users age 18-24 have the highest hands-free recording usage at 37%.

  • Adoption among users 25-34 is lower at just 19%.

So in summary, around 28-32% of Snapchat‘s total user base seems to be taking advantage of hands-free recording based on Snap Inc‘s internal data.

As the feature becomes more well known, this number will likely continue rising. But it‘s still an untapped opportunity for most Snapchatters!

When Did Snapchat Introduce Hands-Free Recording?

Snapchat‘s game-changing hands-free recording debuted on iOS devices with the launch of Snapchat version 11.7 in March 2020. This added the padlock toggle.

Hands-free then rolled out to Android Snapchat starting with version in June 2021. Previously it was an iPhone-exclusive.

Prior to hands-free, users had to keep holding down the record button for the duration of Snapchat videos. So this new capability dramatically improved ease of recording.

The feature rolled out alongside other major Snapchat updates like lens creation tools, action bar video tools, mini apps, and more enhanced creative features.

Why Add Hands-Free Recording to Snapchat?

So why did Snapchat finally add this handy hands-free recording functionality? There are a few key reasons:

  • Allow easier one-handed use while recording Snaps

  • Enable users to record from unique hands-free perspectives

  • Inspire users to capture more videos by removing limitations

  • Reduce shakiness in videos by not requiring users to hold the camera

  • Let users apply lenses/effects mid-recording since they don‘t have to keep tapping the button

  • Increase overall recording and engagement across the app

In short, the hands-free feature aimed to unlock more creative opportunities in Snapchat videos for both users and the company. And based on 32% adoption rates, it‘s succeeding!

Hands-Free Recording Tips for Snapchat

Alright, time for the fun part – tips to take your hands-free Snapchat videos to the next level! Try out these techniques:

Give a tour of your space – Record hands-free while walking around your home, office, dorm, yard or wherever else you‘re making memories!

Show off your #OOTD – Get dressed up, then show off your full head-to-toe outfit without having to set down your phone.

Make a cooking tutorial – Film recipe demos, kitchen hacks and cooking fun hands-free as you work.

Record workout guides – Share fitness inspo by demonstrating workouts hands-free. Great for personal trainers and fitness gurus!

Vlog your travels – Sightsee hands-free! Capture tours of destinations by locking the record button as you explore.

Prank people – What‘s funnier than pranking friends on camera? Pranking them while your hands are free!

Do wacky dances – Perform the latest TikTok dances or make up your own without recording limits!

Add your pet – Film cute pet content easily by locking the button while you play with your furry friend.

Make DIY tutorials – Share crafts and DIY projects without putting down your tools to keep recording.

Tell stories – Set the camera down and get comfy on your couch. Then tell engaging stories hands-free!

Fun Effects & Lenses to Use While Recording

Along with hands-free recording, Snapchat‘s huge library of augmented reality effects opens up tons of creative possibilities!

Try out these fun lenses and filters during your next hands-free recording session:

  • Time Machine – Gives your videos an old-school retro look

  • Slow Mo – Lets you emphasize exciting moments in slow motion

  • Anime – Adds animated effects like flames, sparkles and more

  • Flower Crown – Perfect for a natural, boho vibe

  • Zen – Calming, meditative effects with bubbles and petals

  • Beauty – Enhance your look with virtual makeup and touched up skin

  • Hippie – Groovy tie-dye swirls that will blow your mind, maaaan

  • Queens Guard – Makes you look like a stoic royal guard with a fuzzy hat

  • Hypnosis – Crazy spirals will entrance viewers – look directly into the camera!

  • Disco – Turn up the funk with shapes and effects that boogie to the beat

The possibilities are endless when you pair hands-free recording with all Snapchat‘s wacky effects. Try out different combos and see what cool creations you can come up with!


There you have it – everything you need to know to start recording on Snapchat completely hands-free!

With the tap of a padlock icon, you can now capture videos without having to keep holding down the button. This opens up a whole new world of creative Snap potential.

So test out Snapchat‘s hands-free mode on your iPhone or Android phone today. Then get filming those awesome cooking tutorials, apartment tours, comedy skits, dances and anything else you can dream up!

I hope this guide helped explain the feature and provided some inspiration to take your Snap game up a level. Now get out there, record some hands-free videos and watch the Snap views roll in!



Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.