If you need to use WhatsApp to record an interview, meeting, lesson, or something else, you have some work ahead of you. WhatsApp doesn’t have a built-in recording feature, and workarounds like third-party apps and screen-recording software can be tricky, as Androids and iPhones both have built-in privacy protections that interfere with apps using the VoIP protocol.
These methods aren’t guaranteed to work for all phones, though, so your mileage may vary significantly. The simplest solution may actually be to use an app that supports call recording, like Skype, Messenger, Google Voice, Zoom, etc. If you don’t have a choice, though, here are some things you can try to record WhatsApp calls.
Record WhatsApp calls on Android
Audio call-recording apps
The most convenient option for recording audio-only WhatsApp calls on Android is the Cube Call Recorder (there are other apps, but this one seems to work best), which automatically launches every time you start a call. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with every Android phone, but if it works with yours, it’s probably your best bet.
1. Download the Cube Call Recorder app.
2. Install it, giving it all the permissions and checking all the boxes it asks you to. (It needs many.)
3. If it told you your phone doesn’t support the VoIP recording function, it probably won’t record your WhatsApp calls.
However, you can go to “Settings -> Recording” and enable “Ignore VoIP-support check” if you want to try anyway.
This might break your WhatsApp while it’s on, though, so test it before making any important calls. You can also try changing the “VoIP recording audio source” to “Microphone” and see if it can pick up the audio from your speakerphone.
4. When you’re in a WhatsApp call, the little recording box that appears on your screen should light up if the app is working.
If it’s not, try checking the “Force VoIP as voice call” option in “Settings -> Recording.”
If you have Android 10+ (the first version where Google allowed internal sound recording), you can try getting video/audio (video works regardless of Android version) from a WhatsApp call using a screen-recorder app.
There are many good screen-recording apps, like Mobizen Screen Recorder, MNML, and RecMe, but AZ Screen Recorder has good support for internal audio recording for Android 10+ devices.
It’s very easy to use, and “Record Audio” should be enabled by default in the settings.
Just hit the red camera button to start recording and use the notification in your notifications list to stop it. The resulting video should capture audio from both sides as well. If you want to strip out the video and keep only an audio file, a program like Any Video Converter or Freemake Video Converter can export an MP3 of the audio.
Screen mirroring to a computer
If you have a computer handy, another option is using a screen mirroring program like ApowerMirror, LetsView, or Vysor to grab your Android device’s video and audio, then use either the built-in screen-recording program like Flashback Express or OBS Studio to record everything. The exact procedure for this will vary depending on the app you’re using and may involve changing your screencasting settings. I found this to be effective with ApowerMirror:
1. Install the app on your phone and the program on your computer
2. Turn on casting on your Android phone.
3. Mirror the phone via Wi-Fi (not USB).
4. Turn on your phone’s speakerphone but turn off your computer’s microphone.
5. Use a screen-recording program on your computer to capture the audio being sent to it. If you get feedback, move away from the computer.
If none of those work for you, check out the speakerphone + second device solution below. The quality won’t be amazing, but it’ll work!
Record WhatsApp calls on iPhones
Audio-only using second phone and QuickTime
Recording WhatsApp calls on an iPhone is a bit more challenging, as there’s really no app that can grab the audio the way Cube can on Android. There’s a complex workaround if you happen to have two phones and a Mac, but it takes some time. You have to connect your primary iPhone to your Mac with a lightning cable, select it as the audio source in QuickTime, start recording, call your secondary phone on WhatsApp with your primary iPhone, add your actual contact to the group chat, and make sure all three phones stay connected.
Alternatively, users with iOS 11 or higher can use the built-in screen recorder to capture video and audio.
1. Go to “Settings -> Control Center” and hit “Customize Controls.”
2. Add Screen Recording to the Control Center by pushing the green circle with a plus sign.
3. Open Control Center and give the record button a long press.
4. Turn your microphone on and make sure your ringer volume is up – that way it’ll record both external and internal audio.
5. Tap the red line at the top of your screen to stop the recording and save it.
6. If you only want to keep the audio, you can load the video into a program like QuickTime and export only the audio.
If that doesn’t work for you or your device doesn’t have iOS 11 or higher, you can also try mirroring your device to a computer using something like AirPlay or ApowerMirror, then recording your call with a screen-recording program like QuickTime or OBS Studio. The steps are roughly the same as those for Android, though you won’t need to turn on casting.
If none of that works out for you, you may have to resort to the solution below: recording with a secondary device.
Last resort: Speakerphone and voice recorder
This method is pretty low quality, but it’s guaranteed to work. If the solutions above fail or you need to set up something fast, just put your WhatsApp call through your phone speakers and use a standard voice recorder app on a second device to record both sides of the conversation. You could make the call on your phone, for example, and stay near your computer with a recording program running.
Why is it so hard?
Recording someone without their permission has legal implications in some places, and it’s arguably better for privacy in general if that option isn’t available. Unless you feel like jumping through a lot of hoops to set up audio-only recordings, screen recorders or screen mirroring to a computer are probably your best bet. They might work for group video calls, too.
Image credit: Macro of digital dictaphone by DepositPhotos
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