How to Take a Screenshot on Your Android Phone or Tablet

Save an image of your Android screen for troubleshooting or other purposes

All smartphones and computers offer ways to take screenshots. Here's how to take them on a phone with Android 4.0 or later.

Press the Power and Volume Down Buttons Simultaneously

Google introduced the screenshot feature with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. If you have Android 4.0 or later on your phone or tablet:

  1. Navigate to the screen you want to record with a screenshot.

  2. Press the Power and Volume Down buttons quickly at the same time. (Getting this right might take some practice.) The screen might flash or appear to shrink slightly to indicate the screenshot has been taken.

  3. Look for the screenshot in your photo gallery or in a screenshots folder.

    Screenshot in Android Gallery

Use Your Phone's Built-in Shortcuts

Some phones come with built-in apps and gestures. For example, on some Samsung devices, swipe the edge of your palm across the screen from right to left.

Palm Swipe on Samsung Galaxy S9

Install an App for Screenshots

If you don't have Android 4.0 or later on your phone, or if it doesn't have a built-in screenshot feature, install an Android app. Here are a few to try:

For more, search the Google Play Store for screenshot, screen grab, or screen capture.

Use Android Studio

You can take an Android screen capture on any compatible device by installing Android Studio from Google on your computer. This software development kit is used by developers to create and test Android apps, but it's freely available to everyone.

You'll also need the Java SE Development Kit and, in some cases, USB drivers for your device (check for these on the manufacturer's website). Then, plug in the phone, run the Dalvik Debug Monitor (included in Studio), go to the Debug Monitor menu, and click Device > Screen Capture. This is a clunky way to take screenshots, but if nothing else works or you have Studio already set up, it's easy to use.

Screenshot Uses

A few examples of how you might use screenshots include:

  • As a way to show tech support at a remote location what's going on with your phone.
  • To save something you see on the internet that interests you or that you'd like to share as a photo.
  • As evidence of phishing or threatening messages.
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