“Hey Siri, start a screen recording” will do the trick in iOS 16.5

Use your voice to ask Siri to start and stop a screen-recording session on your iPhone or iPad hands-free without using the dedicated Control Center toggle.

iPhone screenshot showing the lock screen with the Siri command at the bottom to start a screen recording
Starting a screen recording using Siri in iOS 16.5 | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB
  • What’s happening? Apple’s digital assistant on iOS 16.5 and iPad 16.5 can start and stop the Screen Recording feature with simple voice commands.
  • Why care? You can start a screen recording session with your voice to avoid the Control Center toggle initially appearing on your screencast.
  • What to do? Update your iPhone and iPad to use the feature.

In iOS 16.5, Siri can start and stop Screen Recording

It’s driving me crazy that all my iPhone screen recordings begin and end with the Control Center. I have to go to Photos and use the trimming feature to cut off those unnecessary parts before sharing the video. But that’s the state of things when the Screen Recording toggle is only available in the Control Center.

However, in iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5, you can ask Siri to start and stop recording a video of whatever is displayed on the screen using just your voice.

You must be very particular, though:

  • “Hey Siri, start screen recording.”
  • “Hey Siri, stop screen recording.”

Before iOS 16.5, asking Siri to start a screen recording returned web results.

You must be specific

As noted by 9to5Mac, variations of these commands don’t work, so remember to use these specific voice prompts to start and stop recording your device’s screen hands-free. Also, these new Siri commands don’t work in offline mode.

With a screen recording started, you can stop your session at any time using either the Control Center toggle or the above voice command. Use the latter to avoid the Control Center interface ruining the very end of your video.

As a reminder, you can already ask Siri to take screenshots.

Siri responses on screen recordings

The feature feels a bit unfinished in the first beta of iOS 16.5 because your screen recording will briefly show the Siri prompt at the beginning and end.

To prevent this from happening, turn off the onscreen transcript of voice commands and Siri responses in Settings → Siri & Search → Siri Responses, then slide the Always Show Siri Captions and Always Show Speech toggles to OFF.

Ideally, Apple would automatically remove those prompts from the finished video when using Siri to start and stop a screen-recording session.

What about a Screen Recording action in Shortcuts?

In case you’re wondering, the Shortcuts app on iOS 16.5, iPadOS 16.5 and macOS Ventura 13.4 still doesn’t have a Screen Recording action that would let you create automation scripts to programmatically capture a screen recording.

What else is new in iOS 16.5?

iOS 16.5 includes another noteworthy addition—a new Sports tab in the News app. With tvOS 16.5, Apple will bring the ability to simultaneously watch four concurrent sports streams on the Apple TV, a feature that might also appear in iPadOS 16.5.

In the coming weeks, however, additional new features might surface as Apple continues testing iOS 16.5, iPadOS 16.5, tvOS 16.5, watchOS 9.5 and macOS Ventura 13.4 with its registered developers and public testers.

iOS 17 is looming on the horizon

iOS 16.5 marks the last major feature-focused update to iOS 16. In June, Apple will hold its developers-focused event, WWDC, to preview iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS 14.0. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iOS 17 should be light on new features and instead focus on stability and reliability.

Maintenance updates for iOS 16 with critical bug fixes will continue even after iOS 17 launches publicly in the fall. For example, Apple earlier this month released iOS 15.7.4, iPadOS 15.7.4, macOS Big Sur 11.7.5 and macOS Monterey 12.6.4 updates with fixes for a bunch of vulnerabilities on older iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Tutorials about screenshots and screen recordings