Record a TikTok Like a Pro (On Your First Try)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely already know that TikTok has more than two million users actively consuming video content every day. People cannot resist video content – and TikTok is where millions of people, especially members of Gen Z, learn about (and create!) the latest trends.

Whether you’re creating your own TikTok video for sharing or capturing a recording of someone else’s viral video, we’ve got you covered. Grab your smartphone and let’s get started.

Someone holding a phone opening up the TikTok app.

How do I record a TikTok video?

To record your own video directly in the TikTok app, follow these simple steps:

  1. Hit the “+” button at the bottom to start a new video.
  2. Pick your video length: Choose between 15 seconds or 1 minute (60 seconds) at the bottom of the screen.
    • 15 seconds: Recording stops automatically after 15 seconds.
    • 60 seconds: You can tap the red button to stop recording anytime, or it will stop automatically after 60 seconds.
  3. Record your masterpiece! Tap the red button to start recording. Tap it again to stop. Once happy, tap the checkmark.
  4. Fine-tune with “Adjust Clips” (optional): If you need to adjust the timing, tap “Adjust clips” in the top right corner. Slide the red bar to set the exact video length.

Alternatively, you can record your video outside the app and then upload to TikTok. With either method, you’ll be able to use TikTok’s editing options, which include adding text overlays or stickers, trimming clips, adding voiceover narration, and more.

Recording a TikTok in the app

What methods can I use to record a TikTok?

Filming directly in the TikTok app using your smartphone camera is the simplest method for creating TikTok videos. The app offers a variety of built-in features to record, edit, and enhance your video. Just follow the steps above to record your video.

Another option for creating TikTok videos is to record your video outside the app and then upload it to TikTok. This method offers more flexibility for editing but requires some additional steps:

  1. Film your video using your phone’s camera app, your webcam, or another type of recording software.
  2. Import the video into the TikTok app. Tap the “+” button and select “Upload” to choose your pre-recorded video from your camera roll.
  3. Edit and enhance your video within the TikTok app using the same editing features as recording directly in the app (text, effects, sounds, etc.) Another option is to edit your video using a different program, or even AI video editing tools, before you upload to TikTok.
  4. Post your video! Just like before, add a caption and hashtags to get your video discovered.

How to screen record a TikTok on any device

Sometimes you want to capture someone else’s content on TikTok either for inspiration or to sample another creator’s clip in your next video. Here’s a step-by-step guide to screen recording a TikTok on your preferred device.

Screen Record a TikTok on an iPhone/iPad

Skip the extra apps! Both iPhones and iPads have a built-in screen recorder that lets you capture any on-screen action, including video and audio. Here’s how to use it for recording TikToks:

  1. Find your TikTok: Open the TikTok app and choose the video you want to record. Keep it playing if you haven’t favorited it yet.
  2. Activate Screen Recording: Swipe down from the top right corner (iPhone X and later) or swipe up from the bottom (earlier iPhones/iPads) to open the Control Center. Locate the screen recording icon (it looks like a circle with a dot inside) and tap it to start recording.

That’s it! The screen recorder will capture everything on your screen, including the TikTok video and any sound effects. Just remember to stop recording when you’re finished by tapping the red recording icon again in the Control Center. Your screen recording will be saved in your Photos app.

Record a TikTok on an Android device

Androids also have a built-in screen recorder, but the quality of the videos aren’t as high when captured this way. If that isn’t an issue for you, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the TikTok video you want to save.
  2. From the home screen of your Android device, draw the drop-down menu and find the screen record option.
  3. A pop-up with a ‘Record’ button will appear on the screen. Go back to TikTok and press record.
  4. Once the recording is complete, you’ll see the video in your Photos app.

If you find the quality of screen records on Android is too low, you might want to try a third-party app such as AZ Recorder.

Record a TikTok on a PC

If you have the option to record from a smartphone rather than your PC, it’s likely easier. However, if this is your best option, you can make it work!

While there are some built-in screen recorders on Windows, this is not the best option for recording a TikTok on your PC. Third-party screen recording apps are often the better choice for capturing TikTok videos. Some free options include OBS Studio and ShareX.

How to add special effects to your TikTok

There are two main ways to add special effects to your TikTok videos – using built-in TikTok effects, or using TikTok Effect House for more advanced effects. Let’s take a look at both options.

Use Built-in TikTok Effects

  1. Before Recording:
    • Open the TikTok app and tap the “+” button to create a new video.
    • Tap “Effects” on the left side of the screen. You’ll see a variety of trending effects.
    • Browse the effects or search for something specific using the search bar at the top.
    • Tap on an effect to preview it on your screen.
    • Once you find the effect you like, record your video with the effect applied.
  2. After Recording:
    • After filming your video, tap the checkmark button.
    • On the editing screen, you’ll see various options along the bottom bar.
    • Tap “Effects” to explore trending effects or search for specific ones.
    • You can also tap “Adjustments” for color correction and other basic edits.
    • Tap on an effect to preview it on your video.
    • Some effects allow you to adjust the intensity or duration using a slider.
    • Once you’re happy with the effect, tap “Next” to proceed and continue editing your video with text, overlays, or other features.

Use TikTok Effect House

  • Effect House is a powerful tool for creating custom Augmented Reality (AR) effects for TikTok.
  • It’s great for advanced creators or those who want unique effects.
  • You can access Effect House through the TikTok app or directly through
  • Here, you can design effects using templates or code from scratch.
  • Once created, you can publish your effect to TikTok and share it with others.

How to post your TikTok

  • Record directly in TikTok: If you haven’t already, film your video using the recording options in the app (length, sound, effects). Add your hashtags and captions. When you’re ready, tap the “post” button to share your new masterpiece.
  • Upload a pre-recorded video: If you have a video you filmed elsewhere, tap the “+” button and select “Upload” to choose your video from your camera roll. You can add captions, text, voiceover, and hashtags before you hit the “post” button to share your video.

Tips for recording a professional TikTok video

Here are some tips to make your next TikTok video look polished and professional.


  • Natural Light: Whenever possible, film using natural light. It creates a flattering, soft look and saves you from having to buy equipment. Find a well-lit spot with diffused light, avoiding harsh shadows.
  • Artificial Light: If natural light isn’t available, a simple ring light or softbox can do wonders. Experiment with positioning the light to get the best results for your video.

Using a ring light to film a TikTok video


  • Orientation: Always film in vertical format. This fills the TikTok screen and is how users will be watching.
  • Framing: Pay attention to how you frame your shot. Center your subject and ensure there’s enough space around them if you plan on adding text or effects later.
  • Stability: Shaky footage can be distracting. Use a tripod or phone holder to keep your shot steady. You can even prop your phone up on something secure.

Film a TikTok with your phone vertical


  • Minimize Background Noise: Try to film in a quiet environment or use a noise-canceling microphone for clearer audio.
  • Pick the Right Song: Choose a trending song or sound effect that complements your video’s theme. The TikTok app has a vast library to choose from.


  • Keep it Short: Aim for videos under 60 seconds. People scroll quickly on TikTok, so grab their attention fast.
  • Transitions: Use smooth transitions between clips to keep viewers engaged. The TikTok app has built-in transitions you can use, or you can explore third-party editing apps.

In today’s world, video rules! Creating professional and engaging TikTok videos can become a key part of your short and long term marketing strategy.

Record a TikTok FAQs

What kind of videos do well on TikTok?

TikTok thrives on a variety of content types, but some formats tend to dominate. The most popular videos on TikTok often include: funny skits/pranks, reaction videos, original dance/choreography, cute or funny animal videos, quick tips and how-to/tutorial videos, and trending challenges.

TikTok video samples

How long can a TikTok video be?

Videos you create on TikTok can be up to 60 seconds long, while videos you upload can be as long as 3 minutes. You cannot include someone else’s content on videos longer than 60 seconds.

How do I record a longer TikTok?

To create a TikTok longer than 60 seconds, you’ll need to record the video outside of the TikTok app and then upload it. You can record your video using your smartphone or web camera, then upload it to the app. Keep in mind, even when you record outside the app and upload, your TikTok video cannot be longer than 3 minutes.

How do I get more views on my TikTok video?

First of all, make content that grabs viewers’ attention in the first few seconds. Keep it short and engaging throughout. It’s also important to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags relevant to your video to help users find your content. Research trending hashtags and don’t overdo it (5-10 is a good range).

Build a community by responding to comments and questions. This encourages interaction and keeps viewers coming back. Finally, you might consider participating in popular TikTok challenges using the “Duet” or “Stitch” features. This exposes you to new audiences who follow those trends.

How many TikToks should I post a day?

You should post as much as makes sense for you and your content, but if your goal is high visibility and engagement, then more is more! The TikTok algorithm favors active accounts, so shoot for regular posts (ideally 1-4 times a day) to stay visible.

Take advantage of Big Sea’s video marketing services

At Big Sea, we know and love video marketing. Whether you’re just getting started with video or trying to up your game, contact us to see how we can help take your video and social marketing strategy to the next level.