How to Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone

From the original iPhone to the iPhone XR, we've got you covered

take iphone screenshot

iPhone images: Apple Inc.

You can save a picture of someone's words and capture a funny or important moment with a screenshot of your iPhone. You've probably noticed, though, that there's no button or pre-installed app on the iPhone for taking screenshots. That doesn't mean it can't be done, though. You just need to know the tricks you'll learn in this article.

The instructions in this article can be used to take a screenshot on any model of iPhone (including the iPhone X and XS/XR), iPod touch, or iPad that's running iOS 2.0 or higher (which is basically all of them. That version of the iOS was released in 2008!). You can't take screenshots on iPod models other than the iPod touch because they don't run iOS and so don't have that feature.

How to Take a Screenshot on the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR

Taking screenshots on the iPhone (and iPod touch and iPad) is done by pressing a combination of buttons at the same time. What buttons you press depends on what model phone you have, as we'll see.

For many years, iPhone screenshots involved using the Home button, but Apple removed that button from the ​iPhone X and later models like the XS and XR, as well as some models of the iPad Pro. Don't worry, though: the process is still easy if you follow these steps.

  1. Begin by getting whatever you want to take a screenshot of onto the screen of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This could mean browsing to a particular website, opening a text message, or simply getting to the correct screen in one of your apps.

  2. At the same time, press the Side button (formerly known as the sleep/wake button) and the volume up button.

  3. The screen will flash and the camera noise will sound, indicating that you've taken a screenshot.​

  4. A thumbnail of the screenshot also appears in the bottom left corner if you want to edit it or share it right away. If you​ do, tap it. If not, swipe it off the left edge of the screen to dismiss it (it's saved either way).

These instructions also apply to the iPad Pro models that were released starting in late 2018. For older iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, check out the next sections.

How to Take a Screenshot on Older iPhone and iPad Models

If you have an iPhone from the original model through the 6S, an iPad other than the Pro, or any model of iPod touch, follow these steps to take a screenshot:

  1. Get the content onto the screen that you want to take a screenshot of.

  2. Find the Home button at the center of the front of the device and the on/off button on the right side of the iPhone 6 series and up. On all earlier models of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, on/off button is at the top right.

  3. Press both buttons at the same time. This can be a little tricky at first: If you hold Home too long, you'll activate Siri. Hold on/off too long and the device will go to sleep. Try it a few times and you'll get the hang of it.

  4. When you press the buttons correctly, the screen flashes white and the phone plays the sound of a camera shutter. This means you've successfully taken a screenshot.

Taking a Screenshot on the iPhone 7 and 8 Series

Taking a screenshot on the iPhone 7 series and the iPhone 8 series is a little trickier than on earlier models. That's because the Home button on those devices is a bit different and more sensitive. That makes the timing of pressing the buttons slightly different.

You still want to follow the steps from the first section above, but in step 3 try pressing both buttons at exactly the same time and you should be fine. 

One Other Way to Take a Screenshot: AssistiveTouch

There's one other, potentially easier way to take an iPhone screenshot: with AssistiveTouch. This is an accessibility feature of the iOS that adds a virtual, onscreen Home button and is designed for users who have physical issues that prevent them from using the traditional Home button.

If you turn on AssistiveTouch, you can configure it so that taking screenshots requires just a couple of taps. This works for all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. Here's what to do:

  1. Begin by enabling AssistiveTouch. Start by tapping Settings.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap Accessibility.

  4. Tap AssistiveTouch.

  5. Move the AssistiveTouch slider to on/green.

    A screenshot showing the AssistiveTouch setting toggled to
  6. In the Custom Actions section, you can choose what action takes a screenshot. Tap Single-Tap, Double-Tap, Long Press, or 3D Touch (on models that have this kind of screen).

  7. Tap Screenshot.

    A screenshot showing the options for the single-tap action in AssistiveTouch
  8. Now, when you want to take a screenshot, simply tap the virtual Home button on the screen in the way you selected in step 6 (a single tap, double tap, etc.) and a screenshot will be saved on your device.

Where to Find Your iPhone Screenshot

Once you've taken a screenshot, you're going to want to do something with it (probably share it). To do that, you need to know where it is. Luckily, screenshots are saved to a special folder in your device's pre-installed Photos app. To view your screenshot:

  1. Tap the Photos app to launch it.

  2. In Photos, make sure you're on the Albums screen. If you're not there, tap the Albums icon in the bottom bar.

  3. Your screenshot can be found in two places. The easiest is in the section dedicated to screenshots. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, tap Screenshots to see a collection of every screenshot you've taken.

    A screenshot of the iOS Photos app, listing all of the built-in photo albums
  4. You can also find screenshots mixed in with your other photos in the Camera Roll album.

How to Share iPhone Screenshots

Now that you've got the screenshot saved in your Photos app, you can do the same things with it as with any other photo. That means texting, emailing, or posting it on social media. You can also sync it to your computer or delete it. To share the screenshot:

  1. Open Photos if it's not already open.

  2. Find the screenshot in Camera Roll or the Screenshots album. Tap it.

  3. Tap the sharing button at the bottom left corner (the box with the arrow coming out of it).

    A screenshot of the iOS Photos app, showing the full-screen photo and sharing options
  4. Select the app you want to use to share the screenshot.

    A screenshot showing how to share photos via AirDrop, email, social media, and more
  5. That app will open and you can complete sharing in whatever way works for that app.

Screenshot Apps for iPhone

If you like the idea of taking screenshots, but want something a little more powerful and feature-rich than the basic, built-in feature, check out these screenshot apps:

  • Awesome Screenshot for Safari: Free - This app only works in the Safari web browser, but it lets you annotate and share screenshots.
  • Screenshot - Frame Maker: Free, with in-app purchases - This app frames your screenshot so that it appears to be displayed on the screen of an iPhone or iPad.
  • Screenshot++: US$3.99 - A powerful tool for organizing and finding screenshots. Tag and favorite screenshots, search for them and get at-a-glance stats about your screenshots.