How To Record Hands Free In TikTok

If there was ever an app that summed up Generation Z, it’s TikTok. Having taken over from Music.ly a while ago, the platform apparently has over a billion users across the world and thousands, if not millions of 15 second videos to view and emulate. One of the many tricks that can make your own video stand out is recording hands free in TikTok. This tutorial will show you how.


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Going hands free offers a whole raft of recording options from long shots to being able to use both hands in a dance or sketch. It sounds such a simple thing but not as many people know how to use it as you might imagine. This tutorial seeks to change that.

Hands free recording in TikTok

You have two options when recording TikTok videos. You can use your phone and keep things within the app or use a separate camera setup and upload the video to your phone. I’ll show you how to do both.

As I have been playing around with an iPhone XR for another tutorial, I’ll use that to create this one. Presumably Android will have a similar function so adapt these instructions for that if you need to.

  1. Open TikTok and log in.
  2. Select the ‘+’ icon to add a video.
  3. Set your phone up on a tripod or stand and prepare for the recording.
  4. Select the Timer icon from the list of icons on the right of the main TikTok screen.
  5. Select the duration of your video from the slider above the red button at the bottom.
  6. Select Start Countdown to begin recording.

The countdown gives you three seconds to get yourself ready and will finish with a 3, 2, 1 countdown on the main screen. Once 1 disappears, TikTok is recording and you need to do your thing. Once the timer is finished, TikTok will stop recording and you need to press the red checkmark button to complete the video.

Once done, add any effects and filters and hit Next. Select Post once you have added any tags, links, comments or whatever. You can also save it as a draft for posting later if you prefer.

If you want to use a separate camera setup, you can. You will need a tripod or camera stand and need to frame everything and rehearse so you can set the camera timer and get into frame before the timer starts. The advantage of using an external camera is that you can edit using desktop software before uploading to TikTok.

  1. Set your camera up and get it ready.
  2. Set the camera timer and record your video.
  3. Make any edits and ensure the duration is 15 seconds.
  4. Create a separate file ready to upload to TikTok and copy it to your phone.
  5. Open TikTok and select ‘+’ to add a new video.
  6. Slide the screen up and select Upload.
  7. Select your video file and add it to TikTok.
  8. Use the timeline slider to place it where you want it.
  9. Add any tags, comments or links and hit Next.
  10. Select Post when you’re ready to publish it.

Different cameras will have different ways to set up the timer so I had to skim over that a little. While the TikTok camera and post editing functions are easy to use, desktop applications are much more powerful. If you want to make a higher quality video and have a decent camera and tripod, this is definitely the way to go.

Programs such as Adobe Premiere Rush, iMovie, FilmoraGo or Power Director are much more powerful than TikTok and offer many more editing features, effects and more goodies to help you create standout videos.

Creating hands free videos in TikTok

You now know the mechanics of recording hands free videos in TikTok but that’s only half the story. While it may look like most TikTokers sit in a room, hit record and create amazing videos, for many that seemingly effortless video is the result of hours of rehearsal and setting up. Some are naturally gifted and won’t require rehearsal but most people will.

Practice makes perfect and you shouldn’t be afraid of investing time in practising, learning your lines or the words to the song, experimenting with framing and practising hitting the timer on your phone or camera and getting into frame before recording starts.

With enough practise, you too could be making your videos look effortless and have people trying to copy you!