Updated July 2019, the new iOS experience via the Participate 4 app records systemwide (the users iOS screen during the entire session). It records everything across the iPhone: native apps, mobile sites, homescreen etc

This removes the need to use a USB cable or QuickTime to record the entirety of the screen during an iOS session.

We will keep this article live until the older Participate version has been removed from the App Store.

Recording iOS entire screen device
If you are recording an iOS device, we recommend this configuration if either:

  1. You want to record screens outside of your iOS app (such as the user's home screen or a competitor's app)
  2. If you do not want to install the Lookback iOS SDK into your app

While this setup is a bit more clumsy because it requires the iOS device being connected to a Mac during a “Desktop In-person” test, it allows you to record all screens on an iOS device, rather than being restricted to recording just screens within an online web browser (with Lookback Participate for iOS) or just screens within your app (with Lookback's iOS SDK). 

This way when you record the Mac's screen, you record the iOS device too. In addition you also record the participant’s face by starting an “In-person Desktop” test, while the participant is testing on the iOS device

The following steps explain how you can mirror the iOS device's screen on a Mac. 

Testing a prototype? Read this article to get set up. 

What's Needed

  • iOS Device
  • Mac with either Yosemite or a more recent operating system
  • A lightning cable for your iOS device (Lightning cable is fancy word for the USB charging cable that comes with all iOS devices)

Please note – the Mac and iOS device both need to be in the same location because they will need to be connected using the Lightning cable.


  1. Plug the iOS device (i.e. iPhone) into the Mac using the Lightning cable.
  2. Open up QuickTime on your Mac.
  3. Click File and then select New Movie Recording (Do not click “New Screen Recording”). You will automatically see the home screen of your mobile (iOS) device appear on your desktop.

Tip: If your iOS device isn’t listed, you likely need to unlock your iOS device and make sure to select “Trust this Computer”.

Depending on your previously established setup in QuickTime, you will automatically see either yourself in the QuickTime camera or alternatively the screen of your mobile device.  You only need to see the screen of your mobile device. 

In order to do so, click the downwards arrow next to the record button and select your iOS device.

After you select your iOS device from the dropdown menu, you should now see your iOS screen on you Mac:

It is important to know: You are not using QuickTime to record the iOS screen. This setup is simply so you can record the Mac’s screen, which has the iOS screen open in a window. The terminology used in QuickTime can be confusing as it refers to the term "Camera" but it is in fact your device screen.

You are all set to conduct an In-person study

Now that you have the iOS device mirrored on your Mac, you can conduct research through recording the Mac's screen while choosing an In-person Desktop test as shown in the Lookback dashboard:

  • Open your Lookback Dashboard on the Mac 
  • Click into your specific project 
  • Click “In-Person” on the top-right corner
  • Choose “Desktop” (Please note, if you had not chosen “Desktop” when you created the project initially, just to go back to project settings and check “Desktop” under “Allow these devices to test”)
  • Make sure that the connected iOS screen is also visible on the Mac and click “Start Now” under “Desktop” on the Mac
  • Follow the prompts.
  • When asked about sharing the contents of your Mac Screen, Choose “Entire Screen”.
  • Once the Desktop In-Person recording has started give your participant instructions to open and test the required apps on the iOS device that is connected. 
  • Note that you do not need to click “Record” on “Quicktime” because Lookback is recording the the entire Mac screen including the the iOS Device that is being mirrored on the Mac Screen. In addition the participant’s face is also being recorded via the Mac’s webcam.
  • Once the participant has completed the test on the connected iOS device. Just click “End Session” on the Mac and follow the prompts.
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