Everything You Need to Know About Capturing Snapchat Screenshots

Learn About the Risks of Taking Snapchat Screenshot Photos

Snapchat Screenshots
Photo © Mark Mawson / Getty Images

Wondering how easy it is to take a Snapchat screenshot? Well, it's easier than you think, but you'll want to know what the consequences are.

For those who aren't familiar with the app, Snapchat has become a popular instant messenger app among mostly teens and young adults, which allows them to chat back and forth with photos and videos. The photos and videos “self-destruct” a few seconds after they’re opened by the recipient, but many users are successful at actually saving photos usually by capturing screenshots through their phones.

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It seems harmless, but it can get ugly. Here's how users are capturing screenshots and some of the related issues and trends that have popped up because of it.

How Do I Take a Snapchat Screenshot?

Taking a Snapchat screenshot is no different than taking a screenshot of anything else on your phone. For most phones, holding down two of the buttons (like the main home button on the iPhone and the on/off button) will trigger a screenshot to be taken. The screenshot is usually saved automatically to your camera roll or another media folder.

Warning: Taking a simple Snapchat screenshot will force the app to send a notification to the person you’re chatting with. So if you open up a message from a friend and decide to take a screenshot, an automatic message will be sent to that friend notifying them that you took a screenshot of their message.

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Can You Take a Snapchat Screenshot Without Having the Notification Sent?

Lots of people have figured out hacks to get around the screenshot notification feature in the past, but as Snapchat continuously updates its app to make it better, hacks that once worked may not work with current or future versions of the Snapchat app.

That’s just the way it goes.

PC Advisor has an updated strategy for secretly capturing screenshots with people knowing. The idea is to make sure the snap you've received has fully loaded and is ready to be tapped to view. Before you do that, put your device on airplane mode, and then go back to view the snap and take your screenshot before it disappears.

The last important part is to completely quit the app so it's not open and running in the background, or else the notification will be sent when you turn airplane mode off. Keep in mind that this also doesn't notify the sender that you opened their snap at all.

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Staying Safe on Snapchat

The big appeal to Snapchat is its instant self-destructing message feature, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t saving your photos. Whether you get notification or not, keep in mind that anything you send to somebody over the Internet can be unknowingly saved and accessed again—even through Snapchat.

Pro tip: Do not send anything through Snapchat that you think you might regret sending.

A lot of users have been using Snapchat to send provactive photos or videos (otherwise known as sexting), thinking that those photos or videos will be deleted and gone forever after a few seconds.

But you can do a simple search for “Snapchat screenshots” on any image network, like Google Images, or Tumblr or anywhere else, and find that lots of people are saving Snapchat screenshots and posting them elsewhere online.

Stay smart when using Snapchat. Don’t send nudes or sexts or other private messages unless you’re prepared to face the consequences. Parents, talk to your child or teen about this if they have a smartphone or have friends who use Snapchat.

Just because something online is deleted doesn’t mean it’s gone for good. For more about Snapchat, check out some of these tips and tricks to make your experience even better.