How To Record In TikTok Without Holding The Record Button

TikTok may seem like a platform full of teens taking selfie videos of them lip syncing but the platform is so much more than that. There are a lot of artists on the platform engaging with their fans, aspiring singers and songwriters, comedians and generally creative people all having their 15 seconds of fame. One thing many of these standout videos have in common is that they aren’t selfies. How can you record in TikTok without holding the record button?


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Going hands-free makes a real difference in any video. You probably know from your own experience that selfie videos are okay and can be entertaining but are very limiting in what they allow you to do. Going hands free not only allows you to change the shot, change the angle and control the scene better, you can also use both hands in your video. Sounds like a small thing but it makes a big difference.

Record TikTok videos without holding the record button

Fortunately, TikTok is way ahead of us here. It already knows that hands free videos can look really good so has added the ability to create them within the app. There is a timer within TikTok that you can use with a tripod or phone stand to create your videos. It will take a little practise to get right as you have to set the scene, get the framing spot on and practice a lot but the results will be worth it.

As with making any TikTok video, the key is preparing until it’s perfect and then making it look as though you just threw it together.

  1. Set your scene and prepare the background and mark where you’re going to sit or stand in your video.
  2. Set your phone up on its stand or tripod and make sure your scene is in the center of the proposed frame.
  3. Open TikTok and go to the recording screen.
  4. Select the Timer icon on the right.
  5. Set the timeline on the screen that appears by dragging the pink line across to mark the end point of the video. You can choose between 0s and 60s.
  6. Select Start Countdown when you’re ready to record.
  7. Get into position as the countdown from 3 begins immediately. You have 3 seconds to get ready before recording begins.
  8. The recording will run for the amount of time you set in Step 5 on the timeline.

The mechanics of hands free recording in TikTok are simple but getting it right may take some practise. Setting up the timer uses the same functionality as recording a standard video. Once you hit timer you will see the timeline appear where you use a finger to drag the pink line to where you want the video to end. Once ready, just hit Start Countdown and you should see a 3, 2, 1 and the video will begin recording.

Don’t worry too much if you miss the 3 second countdown as you can set the timer for longer than you want the end video to be and edit out all the bits you don’t like. You can download the video from your phone to a computer and use a video editor to crop, add effects and tidy up your video before release. It’s what the professionals do so there’s nothing stopping you doing it too.

Recording great videos in TikTok

One thing all great performers do is make what they do look effortless. They make it see like they roll up, turn on the camera and begin shooting amazing videos right away. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is often hours of preparation and rehearsal that goes into recording a video, even a short one for social media.

Some videos are created on the fly and they are great. Many are created in a studio or bedroom with a lot of preparation and they are great too. Mixing up the two types keeps you authentic and keeps your audience entertained.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time. Practise, practise and practise until you get it right. Nobody makes it without putting the hours in even if they look like they do.

A mobile phone tripod can cost as little as $10 yet can make a huge difference to what you can do with a video. That and the time you spend rehearsing are solid investments that should see your TikTok videos gain followers steadily. Good luck out there!