How to take a video on Snapchat without holding the button down

Snapchat has recorded its highest number of users, following the social distancing protocols put in place for the COVID 19 pandemic. Not only do users send snaps of day-to-day goings-on, but Snapchat has also become a hub for influencers strutting their stuff.

From cool filters to fancy AR effects, there is a bunch of goodies you would find on the multimedia messaging app — Snapchat, all of them inching you closer to more followers and recognition.

Since its debut in 2011, Snapchat has had many facelifts, received updates that have enhanced the overall experience. Yet, there was one highly awaited feature that they kept on missing: hands-free recording.

Until recently, Snapchat users could not record a video on the app without holding down the record button. Whether you wanted to get behind the camera yourself or just didn’t feel like holding the record button, it was a pain to have that function missing. As the title suggests, the situation has now improved, and that’s what this article is all about. Read on to learn all about Snapchat’s “revolutionary” hands-free recording.

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Why use Snapchat hands-free?

Umm, where do we begin? Being a video recording app, this is something that users expected to have from the get-go. Users have been asking for the feature since the app came out in 2011. Yet, despite introducing many fancier features since launch, Snapchat never got around to meeting this basic demand.

Snapchat was one of the first to introduce a variety of AR filters, which were soon implemented by Instagram and then Facebook. These filters liven up normally drab videos and do quite a good job if it! However, if you were looking to record yourself playing an instrument, doing a dance step, or anything that requires you to step two feet away from your phone, Snapchat was not your friend.

Additionally, Snapchat has an array of rear camera filters just waiting to be used, and why wouldn’t we want to use them on ourselves?

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How to record a Snapchat without holding a button

Heeding the voices of many, many….many users, Snapchat has finally blessed us with a hands-free (to an extent) option to record videos in the app. This feature requires the Snapchat application to be updated to the latest version; so, if you haven’t updated your apps in a while, now is the time to do it.

The function works by recording multiple videos of 10 seconds each — maximum 6 videos, 60 seconds total — and then stitching them together.

Once you have updated the app, follow this guide to use the hands-free recording on Snapchat.

Step 1: Open the Snapchat app.

Step 2: Begin recording a video as you normally would by holding down the record button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Look for a small ‘lock’ symbol that will appear next to the record button as soon as you start recording. Android phones have the button to the left side while iOS devices have it to the bottom of the recording button. Slide your finger in the direction of the lock button and release your finger.

Step 4: The record button will now show a stop symbol within it. Click the button to stop recording at any point.

How to zoom in while recording hands-free

Okay, we know this goes against the whole point of recording hands-free, but we thought we’d drop this little nugget of information anyway.

While recording in Snapchat using the ‘lock recording’ function, slide your finger up the screen (at any point) to zoom in, and slide back down to zoom out. This mimics the famous ‘Zoom’ effect that you’ve seen in TikTok videos.

What’s the catch?

You knew there had to be a catch, right? Well, it turns out you can only record a video for 60 seconds at a time. That means 6 videos of 10 seconds, stitched together.

Once the 60 seconds is up, the app stops the recording and brings up the video to view.

How to edit the video

Once you have stopped recording, you can edit the video in a few ways within the app itself. Don’t forget that you can set up AR filters just like you would if you were recording it without the hands-free function.


Post recording, swipe left or right to access a gallery of effects that you can apply to the video. You can even speed the video up or slow it down using these effects.


If you would like to reduce the length of the video, you can trim the ends simply by adjusting the slider at the start and end of the video.

Split snap

Now that you have a 60-second long video, you can decide where you want to split it and into how many parts. Follow this guide below to split your Snapchat video into smaller parts:

Step 1: Tap on the preview of the recording in the bottom left of the screen.

Step 2: Hold and swipe up from the point you would like to split the snap at. You will see that the snap has now split in the preview.

Alternatively, you could always download the video and edit it in the video editor of your choice by tapping the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen.

The lock recording button is an enthusiastically welcomed feature for Snapchatters all over. We are hoping Snapchat lifts the time restriction on video recordings in forthcoming updates. Have you tried to record a video using the Snapchat hands-free feature? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.


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