How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen on a Computer

You can record your iPhone screen with the built-in Screen Recording tool, but what if you want to view the device’s screen on your computer? The iPhone’s screen-mirroring ability allows you to cast your phone's screen to your laptop or desktop PC over Wi-Fi. It’s an easy process, as long as you know where to look.

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen to a Windows PC

While Windows users can mirror an Android phone with the Your Phone app, iPhone users need to download a third-party tool to cast their phone. There are plenty of tools that offer this functionality, but for simple free casting, check out LonelyScreen. It's a barebones app that does one thing: tricks your iPhone into thinking your PC is an Apple TV.

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen on a Computer

Install and launch LonelyScreen, then click the "LonelyScreen" title along the bottom to change the name of your AirPlay server (I used "Whitson's Laptop"). From your iPhone, open the Control Center and tap the Screen Mirroring button. If you don’t see such a button, you may need to add it from the iPhone's Settings.

Once you tap the Screen Mirroring button, select your LonelyScreen laptop from the list, and your iPhone screen will appear on your PC right away. If you don't see it, check out LonelyScreen's troubleshooting page—it can occasionally be a bit finicky. From there, you can maximize the window for a closer look, and click the arrow in the bottom-right to bring up a Record button that lets you capture video clips.

Note that LonelyScreen says it's a free trial, but you can click the nag screen away at any time—it doesn't seem to be a limited trial in our testing (though the nag screen may re-appear occasionally as you use it). If you need more features, a paid app like Reflector ($17.99) or AirServer ($19.99) may offer more configuration options for your video recording and screen mirroring. But for quick and dirty mirroring, LonelyScreen should work well for most people.

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How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen to a MacBook

Mac users have it easy because this functionality is built right into your MacBook in the form of the QuickTime video player. There's only one catch: you have to plug your iPhone in over USB.

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Grab your Lightning cable and plug your iPhone into your Mac. If you haven't done this in a while, you may need to tap the "Trust" prompt that appears on your iPhone before continuing. Once connected, open Launchpad and select QuickTime Player. Once the app is launched, head to File > New Movie Recording. You should see a new window appear.

Click the down arrow next to the Record button in the movie window, and you should see your iPhone appear in the drop-down under Camera. If it doesn't appear, try disconnecting your iPhone and reconnecting—it should show up afterward. Select your phone from the list, and its screen will appear on your Mac. You can use this for demonstration purposes, or click the Record button to capture a video of your iPhone screen.

If you want to mirror your iPhone wirelessly, you can use the instructions above for Windows PCs—LonelyScreen, Reflector, and AirServer are all available for macOS as well.

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