HOW TO: Capture Screenshot or Video

The Capture Service is a system-wide tool used to record spatial computing experiences. This service seamlessly blends the physical and digital worlds into a standard still image or video which can be later viewed on your computer or on a Magic Leap One device by way of the Gallery application.

The Capture tool can be invaluable during the software development process. It can also be used for various purposes, including:

  • presenting or comparing software prototypes
  • usability testing
  • Human Computer Interaction studies and research
  • recording tutorials and best practices for your app

Capture is designed to be fast and efficient.

To accomplish this, follow the below instructions:

Using the Control


To capture a screenshot on the device, press the Home button and then quickly tap the Bumper button on the Control.





To record a video, you would hold the Home + Bumper buttons down simultaneously. To stop recording a video, repeat the above step hold the Home + Bumper buttons down.


Using the Mobile App


To capture a screenshot on the mobile device, press the capture (for 1.5 seconds or longer) button. For pictures, tap the button and for video, hold to start and stop.



The Capture Service


Why would you use the Capture Service? Creators usually need to showcase their apps to colleagues, stakeholders, users, clients, even family and friends. 

Spatial Computing experiences cannot be fully appreciated without a Magic Leap One device. However, the Capture Service is currently the best tool for recording a user's on-device experience. The creation of our showcase videos of Create and Tónandi was based on this service. Be sure to check them out!

Before we get started

A Magic Leap One user perceives mixed reality in a much more profound way than Capture can replicate via compressed MP4 videos (with Stereo sound) and JPG images.

Further, our device uses additive techniques for color and light composition in the sense that it adds different layers while letting the user's brain blend the physical and digital worlds into a single experience. Capture aims to automatically replicate the above process, but the quality of a recording would not be the same as using your app on Magic Leap One.

The Capture Service is currently efficient enough, yet our team is dedicated to improving it in the future.

Video and still images specs

The video and image specs are the following.



Aspect ratio

1080p (default)






Audio is captured from the digital source channel of the spatial computing experience.

The available space for video and still images storage in Magic Leap One is 3.7 GB.

Using Capture on Magic Leap One

The Capture service is available as soon as you can see the Launcher. You can use the Capture service to capture images or video.

To capture images:


Command line (advanced)

Magic Leap Mobile App

Hold Home and then tap Bumper.

Type mldb capture image file.jpg

Tap Capture.

To start capturing video:


Command line


Magic Leap Mobile App

Hold Home and then hold Bumper for 300ms.

Type mldb capture video file.mp4

Long-hold Capture.

Note: The Capture interaction using the Control is similar to selecting a Ctrl + key combo on your computer. Hold Home first, and then tap or hold the Bumper to complete the sequence. Don't try to press them at the same time.

Using the Control to enable Capture

The easiest way to enable Capture is by using the Control. Captured video and images are saved to the device.

To capture video:

  1. Hold Home and then hold Bumper on the Control for 300ms to begin recording video. You feel a light buzz on the Control, hear a sound and a "Recording <number> secs..." timer appears.
  2. Record your video.
  3. To stop recording, hold Home and Bumper again until you feel a light buzz and hear another short sound.

While recording, the LED indicator on the Lightwear flashes red to notify people around you that video is being recorded. The elapsed recording time only appears to you in the display and does not appear in the recording itself.

After you capture video, a "Video Recorded" notification message appears.

  • Click X to dismiss.
  • Click ✓ to view the recording in Gallery.

To capture images:

  • Hold Home and then tap Bumper on the Control.

After you capture an image, an "Image Recorded" notification message appears.

  • Click X to dismiss.
  • Click ✓ to view the image in Gallery.

Using the Magic Leap Mobile App to enable Capture

The Magic Leap Mobile App mimics much of the same functionality as the Control. After installing the Mobile App you will be able to take pictures and videos by using the Capture button.

You can either:

  • single tap to capture a picture
  • or long hold (for 1.5 seconds or longer) to capture video (long hold again to stop recording).

The Mobile App can also help you retrieve your videos and images from the Cloud.

Refer to the Magic Leap Mobile App User Guide for details.

Retrieve captured Videos or Images

All captured video and images are stored and handled the same as any other media by Magic Leap One.

View captured videos and images on Magic Leap One

Follow these steps:

  1. Start the Applications Menu
  2. Navigate to the Gallery
  3. Select the captured video or image
  4. Hard press the Touchpad on the Control to view the media

You can delete all unwanted media by using the Magic Leap One Gallery application.

Treat your head as a camera

Move gradually and try to avoid sudden motion / rotation and use the timer displayed when Capture starts so as to keep a steady pace. Try to keep a path with similar color contrast (for example, try to avoid presenting white digital content over black areas) and establish a clear plan on:

  • what parts of your room should be captured
  • when they should be captured while using your app
  • how the user should interact with digital content

Brighten your content.

Your digital content might seem less solid when captured than in the actual Magic Leap One experience. It is recommended that you brighten your digital world to make its elements less transparent. However, if you do that, you might as well need to darken your real world setting in order to keep a good balance.

Think of performance

Running the Capture Service requires some processing power. Be sure to allow enough resources for smooth capturing alongside your app. For example, capturing your app performing meshing requires more resources than an average video recording.

Edit your videos and images

As a post-processing step you might want to edit your videos and images to eliminate elements that the user of a Magic Leap One device cannot see. Magic Leap One users do not see blurry, pixelated areas. However, Capture outputs compressed MP4 videos and JPG still images. You may need to edit these media to retain as much of the quality of the user's spatial computing experience as you can.

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