iPhone Screenshots Are Not Working? 5 Ways to Fix That

If the iPhone's screenshot feature stops working, all is not lost

Woman using smart phone, drinking coffee in cafe

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Taking a screenshot on your iPhone is usually quick and painless, with the method varying based on your particular model. On earlier versions that have a Home button, it's just a matter of pressing that and the on/off button simultaneously. If you have an iPhone X, XS, XS Max or XR, then you'll need to press Power and Volume up at the same time to capture the contents of your screen.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 13 and later.

Cause of iPhone Screenshot Problems

Sometimes things aren't working as expected and the standard method for taking a screenshot simply isn't doing the trick. Perhaps one of your buttons is stuck, or maybe there's another problem with your device preventing what is supposed to be basic functionality from working. Don't fret, as our troubleshooting guide below will walk you through some alternative methods for snapping that iPhone screenshot.

Find Your Screenshots

Before we dive into fixes or alternatives, maybe the screenshots feature is working, but you don't know where the screenshots go after you take one. Open the Photos app and see if they show up in the Recent Photos section of the Photos app. You can also tap Albums (bottom of the screen in the Photos app) and swipe up until you see the Media Types and tap Screenshots.

The Photos app in iPhone

Initiate a Forced Reboot of Your iPhone

Before proceeding further, it's best to force reboot your device and try taking a screenshot once it's powered back on. Sometimes the easiest solution is the right one.

For older models that have a Home button, take the following steps to force a reboot of your iPhone.

  1. Press and hold the Home button down.

  2. Next, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, found on the top or side of your device. Do not let go of the Home button while doing this.

  3. After about ten seconds, you'll notice that your screen will turn black. Maintain your hold on both buttons until the Apple logo is displayed, at which point you can let go and wait for the reboot to complete.

For newer models that do not have a Home button, the process is slightly different and it's important to follow directions in the exact order listed below.

  1. Press and release the Volume up button.

  2. Press and release the Volume down button.

  3. Press and hold the Side (Power) button for about ten seconds until the screen turns black. Maintain your hold on this button until the Apple logo is displayed, at which point you can let go and wait for the reboot to complete.

After you've forced a reboot, try taking a screenshot once again. If you're still unable to do so, continue on to the next section of this troubleshooting guide.

Taking Screenshots via the AssistiveTouch Feature

The iPhone's AssistiveTouch features were put in place to help users with accessibility issues, allowing them to control their device through easier-to-navigate pinches, gestures, swipes and voice-activated commands. AssistiveTouch can also come in handy if you're having trouble taking screenshots through traditional methods. It can be enabled by following these steps.

  1. Tap Settings, located on your iPhone's Home Screen.

  2. Tap Accessibility.

  3. Under Physical and Motor, tap Touch.

    Accessibility settings in iPhone
  4. On the following screen, tap AssistiveTouch so that it turns from white to green (off to on).

  5. Next, select Customize Top Level Menu.

  6. Tap the plus (+) button, located towards the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

    The AssistiveTouch settings
  7. A new icon with a plus symbol will now be added to this screen. Tap this button.

  8. A list of accessibility features should now appear. Scroll down and select the one labeled Screenshot, ensuring that it has a blue checkmark next to it.

  9. Tap Done, located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You should now see a Screenshot option added to your Top Level Menu.

    Adding a screenshot assistive button
  10. You'll notice that a grayish, circular button is overlaying your iPhone screen. Tap this new button at any time to open the AssistiveTouch interface.

    The AssistiveTouch button can be moved by dragging and dropping it to a new location on the screen, in the event that it ever gets in your way.

    Newly added screenshot button to AssistiveTouch.
  11. To capture the contents of your screen, simply tap the Screenshot icon. The new image will be instantly saved to your Camera Roll.

Taking Screenshots With 3D Touch

If you're like most people, you probably don't take enough advantage of your iPhone's 3D Touch-enabled features. This pressure-sensitive functionality allows you to quickly perform everyday tasks, but the trick is knowing how to trigger it correctly to meet your needs. 

You can even configure 3D Touch to take screenshots. Note that AssistiveTouch needs to be enabled first, which can be done by following the steps above.

3D Touch is only available with iPhone 6s or later.

  1. Return to the AssistiveTouch settings screen.

  2. Select the 3D Touch option, located under CUSTOM ACTIONS.

  3. A list of actions that can be tied to 3D Touch should now be displayed. Select the one labeled Screenshot, ensuring that it has a blue checkmark next to it.

    3D Touch screenshots
  4. You can now take screenshots by just tapping and briefly holding the AssistiveTouch circular button, eliminating an extra tap in the process.

Other Options

If you've tried all of the above and are still unable to take screenshots on your iPhone for some reason, you can try one of the following last-resort measures.