How to Save Snapchat Videos (Simple Steps)

The Rise of Snapchat as a Leading Social Platform

Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has risen to become one of the world‘s most popular social apps with a current user base of over 363 million daily active users as of Q4 2022.

Key Snapchat Statistics:

  • 49% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. use Snapchat every day
  • Over 5 billion snaps are created every day
  • The average Snapchat user opens the app 30+ times per day
  • Snapchat‘s AR offerings drive over 6 billion experiences per day

This exponential growth and heavy usage signals that Snapchat is often users‘ app of choice for communicating visually with friends through ephemeral yet creative photos and videos.

However, as the app has evolved, Snapchat has added more ways to save and reshare snaps. This allows for more permanence amidst the trademark ephemerality.

Understanding these newer features is key to truly mastering Snapchat in 2024 as both a daily user and a power user leveraging the app to create viral content.

Decoding Snapchat‘s Ephemeral Nature

Snapchat‘s original claim to fame was the impermanent, self-deleting nature of its central feature: snaps.

Unlike photos and videos posted on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, snaps sent directly between friends were never meant to be permanent. Instead, they self-delete after being viewed once by the recipient.

Public snap stories posted to your profile also hold an ephemeral quality, automatically deleting after 24 hours.

This concept of temporary sharing creates an intimate, authentic vibe. You can send silly, ugly, or personal snaps knowing they won‘t stick around forever.

The Case for Saving: FOMO

However, over time, Snapchat has evolved to let users save snaps before they disappear, mostly in response to user FOMO (fear of missing out).

The desire to save funny videos, cute selfies, or key memories is understandable despite the app‘s ephemeral premise. Plus, content creators leveraging Snapchat to grow a following want to reuse viral snaps across platforms.

Luckily, Snapchat now enables keeping personal mementos or publicly resharing viral snaps in various straightforward ways.

Methods to Save Your Own Snapchat Videos

When it comes to saving your own Snapchat creations, you have multiple convenient options:

1. Download with the Save Icon

The most straightforward way to save your snaps is by tapping the downward arrow "Save" icon after capturing your snap and before sending or posting it.

This saves a copy directly to your camera roll.


  • Simple native feature
  • Saves quickly with one tap


  • Only works on unsent snaps
  • Compresses image/video quality

2. Manual Save to Memories

Memories is Snapchat‘s cloud storage allowing you to save sent snaps.

To use:

  1. Take snap
  2. Send normally
  3. Swipe up to access Memories
  4. Tap and hold the snap to save

You can also set Snapchat to auto-save sent stories to Memories.


  • Saves both sent snaps & stories
  • Keeps high quality


  • Extra steps to manually save
  • Auto-save lacks selectivity

3. Screen Recording

You can screen record your Snapchat video snaps using built-in recording features on iOS and Android devices.

This method captures audio and works for saving viewed snaps too. But screen recording does require more steps than other options.

Built-in Screen Recorder3rd Party App
StepsMany steps neededFew steps
QualityModerateVaries by app
Audio CaptureYesSome apps

I‘d rank built-in tools as the best screen recording option for simplicity and performance.

Saving Snapchat Videos Sent by Friends

Saving snaps sent to you works differently than saving your own creations. Rather than camera roll downloads, you screen record or save files sent over chat.

To save a viewed snap:

  1. Screen record the snap
  2. Crop and export the recording

Note the sender will be notified of your recoding.

To save an unopened snap:

  1. Press and hold the unopened snap
  2. Tap "Save in Chat"

This saves snaps directly from chat screens but the sender is again notified.

The notification factor means it‘s best practice to always ask friends before saving their content rather than surprise them with alerts.

Comparing Methods for Saving Snapchat Videos

To recap, you can use various built-in tools, Snapchat Memories, or third-party apps to record and download Snapchat videos:

Save IconMemoriesScreen Recording
Your Own SnapsYesYesYes
Friends‘ Snaps NoNoYes*
Snap QualityLowerOriginalVaries
Ease of UseHighMediumLow

Based on these factors, I recommend leveraging Snapchat‘s native saving icon or Memories for your own videos. For friends‘ content, politely ask to screen record if you want to save without quality loss.

Respecting Privacy with Saved Snapchat Videos

When saving Snapchat videos, maintain privacy standards by:

  • Explicitly asking friends before recording their content
  • Informing individuals if/how you reuse their likeness if publishing externally
  • Cropping screenshots to only showcase your content
  • Checking licensing rules before monetizing others‘ viral videos

These best practices ensure you save Snaps ethically and legally.

You should also respect Snapchat‘s Terms of Service if downloading or resharing content. Technically, snaps sent to you are for "personal, non-commercial use" only unless the creator says otherwise.

If you want to reuse viral snaps from friends or influencers on external sites or for advertising, it‘s safest and most ethical to first get their documented permission avoiding legal issues.

Leveraging Saved Snapchat Videos

Once saved correctly, you gain options for repurposing Snapchat videos beyond just nostalgic viewing:

  • Reshare videos natively as Snaps to individuals
  • Add videos to new or existing Stories
  • Export the MP4s to post across IGTV, YouTube, TikTok etc.
  • Incorporate funny or cute videos into personalized gift creations

Content creators can especially benefit from legally reusing viral Snapchat moments to promote their brand on YouTube compilation channels or influencer highlight reels on Instagram.

Repurposed snackable social video performs well across platforms, allowing you to maximize high-effort original videos rather than continually creating from scratch.

Just ensure your reuse abides by permissions, creative commons rules, and platform terms to avoid issues. With the right goals and strategies, creatively leveraging ephemeral Snapchat content can help grow your online presence.

Deciphering Snapchat‘s Evolving Permissions

To utilize Snapchat‘s saving and sharing features fully, you need to understand Snapchat‘s permission requirements which continue to adapt with new releases:

Current Core Permissions:

  • Camera – For taking snaps and recording
  • Microphone – For voice and video notes
  • Contacts – For finding friends
  • Location – For map, geofilters etc.
  • Storage – For saving snaps and cache access

You need to allow all permissions when first installing Snapchat. But later on, you can manage settings more selectively for privacy.

For example, on iOS you can revoke microphone access if not using audio notes but keep camera access enabled to continue snapping.

Advanced users can also leverage permissions, like disabling location while traveling then reenabling to access geofilters from multiple cities.

As Snapchat rolls out more features though, you may see additional permission pop-ups. Stay on top of updates to control exactly what Snapchat accesses for your desired utility vs. privacy tradeoff.

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