Hey everyone! Today I’m going to talk about how to use Scrcpy, which is a program that allows you to mirror the screen of any Android device and control it from your computer, but that’s not all it can do.
In-Depth Scrcpy Video Tutorial:
One of my favorite features is that it can record the Android device’s screen. Why not install a screen recording app on the phone, you ask? Well, recording the screen from your phone uses up the phone’s (or whatever kind of device’s) resources, like RAM, which makes the phone lag. If you record from Scrcpy, it records it from your computer, which has a lot more resources, and thus records the screen easily.
Another feature I really like about Scrcpy is that you can send files to the device by simply dragging and dropping the file into the window. And if that file is an APK file (a file that installs an app), it will install it for you!
Another thing that sets this screen-mirroring app from the rest is that it’s open source. If you don’t know what open source means, it just means that the code for the app is made public so anyone can fix bugs and make it run smoother. Of course, the developer has to choose to add certain things to the official release, so it’s not like anyone can just edit the code and ruin the app. When something is open source, bugs are fixed faster than they would be if it was proprietary (closed source). Also, new features are added all the time, since everyone has access to the code.
That’s why the Linux distributions are extremely fast, virus-repellant, stable, they have no spyware, they use only a tiny bit of your disk, and are most likely the best choice for everyone (Linux is open source). On the other hand, Windows is the opposite of all those things since it’s proprietary. Windows is slow, prone to viruses, unstable, takes up a lot of disk space, and it’s filled with Microsoft spyware.
Anyway, you can install Scrcpy on Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
Something to note: Scrcpy does NOT make a copy of Android and is not an Android emulator or anything like that. So you don’t have to worry about using up your disk space. You could say that Scrcpy just copies the device’s screen to your computer.
Table of Contents:
What you’ll Need
- Android Device
- USB Cable that connects your Android device to your computer
- Internet Connection (for installation)
First Enable USB Debugging
Before you do anything with Scrcpy, you will have to enable Developer Options in the Settings app on your Android device. This is completely safe and stable to do, but make sure you don’t mess with all the settings in there.
The instructions below show how to enable Developer on an Android phone, and they are not guaranteed to work on other types of Android devices, like maybe an Amazon Fire tablet or an Android TV, although the steps may be similar. You may have to search the internet for instructions for your particular device if it’s not a phone.
To enable Developer Options on any Android phone:
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll to About Phone
- Tap Software Information
- Tap Build Number until it enables Developer Options (tap 7 times)
Now, the Developer options section will appear at the bottom of the settings app.
Once you’ve enabled Developer Options on your device:
- Go to Developer Options
- Scroll to USB Debugging and turn it ON.
What is USB Debugging? USB Debugging allows you to “debug over USB” (duh), which means that you can connect the device to another computer via USB and perform various functions. Some functions include copying new apps to the device for testing, screen mirroring, sending files, etc.
Next, you’ll have to install Scrcpy on your computer.
Installing on Mac OS
If you are using a Mac, use the following steps to install Scrcpy. If you use Linux, click HERE to scroll down to the Linux section.
1. Open the Terminal app. (Need assistance? Press CMD+Space to open Spotlight, type “Terminal,” and press ENTER.)
2. Install Homebrew by copying+pasting the following command into the Terminal:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
You may have to enter your password during this process, which will look something like this:
If you have no command line experience whatsoever: when you type your password, you will not see the characters print on the screen. This is normal. It is just hiding it from view–just type it. After you enter your password, the Terminal will be flooded with messages. You do not have to understand them–just wait for it to finish.
This command can take 5-10 minutes.
3. Now, install the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) tools by typing:
brew install --cask android-platform-tools
This can also take a few minutes.
4. Finally, we’ll install the Scrcpy program by typing:
brew install scrcpy
Congrats! You’ve just installed Scrcpy on your computer. Click here to scroll to the “How to Use Scrcpy” section.
Installing on Linux
If you use a computer running Linux, use the following steps to install Scrcpy.
We’ll be using the Snap package, so you’ll have to make sure you have
snapd installed. I’m using Ubuntu, but of course any system that supports Snaps will work. I know that there’s an APT package, but it doesn’t have the latest Scrcpy version, and you need the latest version so it will work on newer phones. (The snap has the latest version)
1. Open the Terminal
2. Make sure
snapd is installed. Click this link and click your distribution to find out how to install Snap. (It will be pre-installed on KDE Neon, Manjaro, Solus 3 and above, Ubuntu,
Most Other Ubuntu flavors, and Zorin OS)
3. Install Scrcpy by typing the following command:
sudo snap install scrcpy
Congrats! You’ve installed Scrcpy. Keep reading to learn how to use it.
How to Use Scrcpy
Before you run Scrcpy, you have to connect your phone to the computer with the USB cable. Accept ALL of the confirmation messages that pop up on the Android device. If you click away from the messages, you’ll have to unplug it and then plug it back into the computer and accept them again.
Once you’ve pressed “allow” for the messages, you are ready to use Scrcpy.
Running it is simple: just type
scrcpy in the terminal window and the scrcpy window should pop up.
scrcpy --help for a list of all available flags and keyboard shortcuts.
For those who have no command line experience: An example flag could be
"--example-flag” and if you want to use it, type “
scrcpy --example-flag” and then press enter.
The help message displays useful things that you can try, and of course including the features I talked about in the beginning of the article. In my video, I go a little in-depth in teaching some of the extra features, so the video is included below if you want to check it out.