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Whether you’re a blogger 5 Tips For Starting Your Personal Blog [Opinion] 5 Tips For Starting Your Personal Blog [Opinion] As an occasional personal blogger, I have seen a lot of other folks in the blogosphere who just want to write personal publications that are not exactly meant for making money. I really like that,... Read More taking a screenshot of Android apps or just someone that wants to show off their Android setup to your friends, the process of taking those snapshots can be a pain. While Android 4.0 offers a built-in way to take a good screenshot, that’s little consolation if you’re still using an older version of the Android operating system.

No matter what device you have, you can take a screen image without rooting your device. But rooting your device offers you some neat tricks — even if you’re using Android 4.0. You can take a screenshot by shaking your device or wirelessly via a web browser.

Take a Screenshot with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

If you’re using Android 4.0 8 Cool New & Revised Features In Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich 8 Cool New & Revised Features In Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich It’s a new year, and we have a new version of Android. Known popularly by the code name Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 is an important update to Google’s mobile operating system. It will be... Read More or later, this is easy. Just press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time. You’ll see an animation on the screen, indicating that the screen photo was saved. Android will save the image to your Gallery. Launch the Gallery app and tap Screenshots to view and share your screenshot.


Android SDK

You can take a screenshot on any Android device using Google’s Android SDK. After you’ve set up the Android SDK, all you have to do is connect your Android phone or tablet to your computer with its USB cable and fire up the SDK.

This isn’t the most user-friendly application to set up, but it’s easy to use once you’ve set it up. We’ve got a guide to setting up the SDK and taking screenshots How To Capture Screenshots With Your Android Mobile Phone How To Capture Screenshots With Your Android Mobile Phone Read More .

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take screenshots on android

AShot aka Android Screen Capture

AShot is a free, open-source way to take screen images of your Android device from your computer. It requires the Android SDK installed and properly configured. AShot offers a variety of advantages over the Android SDK screenshot feature, including near-real-time streaming of your Android’s screen to the Ashot application on your computer. You won’t have to keep clicking the Refresh button, as in the SDK. For more information, check out our AShot walkthrough AShot - A Handy Screenshot Tool For Android [Windows] AShot - A Handy Screenshot Tool For Android [Windows] AShot, is an open-source screenshot and screencasting tool. You can easily view what’s on your Android handset on your computer screen and more. Read on to find out more about what makes this a good... Read More .

take screenshots on android

Manufacturer Shortcuts

Some manufacturers build special screenshot shortcuts into their pre-Android 4.0 devices. For example, on many Samsung Android devices, including the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II (pre-Ice Cream Sandwich versions), you can press the Home and Power buttons at the same time to take a screen snapshot – in practice, you’ll press and hold the Home button, then quickly press the Power button. On the Galaxy S, press and hold the Back button and the Power button, or try pressing the Back button and double-tapping the Home button.

Different pre-Android 4.0 devices use a variety of different shortcuts – give it a Google Get More Out Of Google [INFOGRAPHIC] Get More Out Of Google [INFOGRAPHIC] Google may be the dominant search engine on the web but when it comes to finding something specific, many people have no idea how to look and what to type into that search box. Many... Read More and you might find that your device has a built-in screenshot shortcut you don’t know about.

take screenshots on android

Device-Specific Apps

These manufacturer-specific hooks into the OS allow some apps to provide an easy-to-use, on-device way to take screen image.  For example, Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and Galaxy S II (pre-ICS) users can use Screen Capture Shortcut Free to capture a screenshot without rooting their phones.

Another example of a device-specific app is AndroSS, which can take screen images on Android without root access on Tegra What You Need To Know About Tegra 3 [MakeUseOf Explains] What You Need To Know About Tegra 3 [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’ve considered an Android tablet recently, there’s a good chance that it was powered by a Tegra 2 processor. Most of the tablets on the market using (relatively) stock versions of Honeycomb are powered... Read More  devices. If you’re not sure whether a device-specific app exists for your device, search the Google Play Store and see.

take screenshot android

Root Apps

The reason you have to jump through the hoops above instead of simply installing a screenshot app is because of Android’s security model. Android doesn’t allow apps to view your device’s screen – this could be a security problem. For example, a malicious app could spy on your online banking sessions. There’s no permission apps can request How App Permissions Work & Why You Should Care [Android] How App Permissions Work & Why You Should Care [Android] Android forces apps to declare the permissions they require when they install them. You can protect your privacy, security, and cell phone bill by paying attention to permissions when installing apps – although many users... Read More to take snapshots of your screen.

To give an app permission to view your screen, you’ll need to root your Android How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More . After rooting your Android, you can install one of the many screen snapshot applications that require root from Google Play. There are many options to choose from, although many of them are paid apps. aScreenshot is a free app that worked for me. You can take a screenshot in a variety of ways, including shaking your device, tapping a notification, or setting a delay. Other apps have similar features.

take screenshot android

AirDroid, an awesome free app we’ve covered in the directory, also supports taking a screen shot on rooted devices. You can capture those images wirelessly via your web browser. AirDroid can control many other aspects of your device from a browser, too.


For more great Android apps, check out our list of the 100 best Android apps best-android-apps best-android-apps Read More .

How do you take a screenshot on your Android device? Leave a comment and let us know which method you prefer.

Image Credit: LAI Ryanne on Flickr, Mike Babcock on Flickr

  1. Mr.Pawn
    March 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I have the Galaxy s5 and all I have to do is swipe my hand across the screen, left to right or right to left. Happy screenshooting!

  2. aris
    March 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    samsung galaxy grand prime . press and hold power and home button for 2 seconds

  3. Darrell
    February 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I figured out you have to depress the power and volume down buttons simultaneously and not one after the other.

  4. not me
    February 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Samsung Galaxy S5....Power + Home buttons. Took a couple of attempts, but it did work.

  5. Annabelle
    December 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    this doesnt work i have tried all of them and they don't work for my HTC Android phone

  6. Ak.vamik
    March 7, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Can you help my how to capture screen shot Samsung grand GT 19082

  7. aria
    February 2, 2015 at 5:32 am

    I thing you scam

  8. aria
    February 2, 2015 at 5:32 am

    It doesn't worck

  9. JoLuvsZhongYi
    December 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Can you help me with screencapturing android tablet modelled no: VB100a ? thanks !

  10. j to the c
    November 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thanx for there tips!

  11. Adeel Azmat
    November 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Very helpful, thanks!

  12. Kylee C
    November 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Can you take a screenshot

  13. David F
    November 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I tried to do a screen capture on My Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro with Android 4.0.4 using the power and volume down keys, but it either powers off or changes the volume setting down (or to vibrate). Anything I might be doing wrong or a different key combination?

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      You need to press the keys at about the same time; if you press the keys with a delay in between you won't get a screenshot.

      It's also possible your phone uses a different shortcut combination, like power+home or volume down+ home. I can't find any information about that on Google, though.

  14. Brandi
    November 11, 2012 at 2:04 am

    How Do You Root An Huawei 4G ? So You Can Take Screenshots..

  15. Mary
    November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Re: the SDK instructions, this is all good (and I've done this in the past, on a Windows 7 machine and an Incredible), except for the USB drivers bit. On a new computer, also running win 7 and an Incredible 2, trying to get it working again, and no haps. I've made the mods to android_winusb.inf to support my phone (Incredible 2, I used the info for an incredible, the info for the incredible 2 doesn't seem to be out there). Connect the phone and Windows just recognizes it as "Android phone". Well, that ain't gonna fly.

    So I right-click on the "Android phone" under other devices in device manager, select Update driver software, say "browse my computer" and point it at the folder where the updated android_winusb lives, and click Next. Windows pukes immediately, saying "windows could not find the driver software for your phone". Looks like Windows isn't even trying, although who knows? maybe it's trying and the Incredible stuff in the file is no good.

    All the other parts are fine, I can run ddms, but there's no device, it can't screenshot. Until the driver problem is solved, this is not going to work. One. Stupid. Idiotic. Oughta-be-braindead SIMPLE issue, and it CAN NOT BE FIXED.

    I'm really not sure who I hate more at this point: Google, Microsoft or HTC. Google is winning for now, but...

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      That's a problem I've definitely had in the past. I've fixed it by downloading the Google USB drive in the SDK, then opening the Device Manager, manually browsing to a driver, and specifying the downloaded Google USB driver. It's a huge pain and shouldn't be necessary, I agree.

  16. Maarten Smit
    October 24, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Just found a great new app called Screenshot Ultimate. Works for rooted and non-rooted phones, tablets and even Google TV. Implements multiple ways of taking screenshots, it only take a little to get used to the interface.

    Completely free:

  17. Kayla
    October 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you!! I found a shortcut that worked on my phone thanks to you!!

  18. Edward Bellair
    October 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    So if all of these rooted phones arent having issues, why not just put it on the phone? Or are the hackers better at programming?

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Google has indeed put it on the phone with Android 4.0+. It definitely should have been added in earlier versions, too.

    • Edward Bellair
      October 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      I agree. Now I can root my phone, get a new one or wait on verizon and htc to update my thunderbolt.

  19. Declan Lopez
    October 15, 2012 at 2:47 am

    very helpful, thank you

  20. Von
    October 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    What about for android's zte warp?

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      You'll have to root it or use one of the PC connection methods, it doesn't seem like there's an app that works on unrooted ZTE Warp devices as far as I can tell.

  21. Mike
    September 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    What if you have a ZTE-X500
    Android Version is 2.3.4
    Can you get a screenshot with that?

  22. mscarolm
    September 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks! I was just asked to take a screenshot of something on my phone for work, and this helped!

  23. ashurbanipal
    September 17, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Great post, Just learned something new about my phone, puttin it to good use :) thanks. HTC EVO 4G LTE

    • Jaime
      September 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      i have that same phone.. how do you do it?

  24. Hiro
    September 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I have Droid 4, with the newest upgrade (so Android 4.0, I'm assuming), but the volume + power thing does not seem to work for me.
    Is there another way that anyone has found out about Droid 4?

  25. Sriram
    September 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I think its the Power + Home button combination. Volume down key didn't do the trick for my Samsung SGH T697 galaxy phone.....

  26. Gissel
    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 am

    i tried doing the home + power button But
    my phone locked because the power button is also to lock the phone screen.

  27. seaman
    September 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

    i have a new xperia tipo. how can i get screenshot ?

  28. maturebrotha
    September 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    this sucks, you didn't explain anything

  29. Becka
    August 20, 2012 at 4:31 am

    what do i do for a cricket huawei android phone?? its a newer version but i dont know if any of this will work.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Using the Android SDK or rooting will definitely work. Unfortunately, your device may not have any built-in screenshot capability.

  30. wency
    August 20, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Help! Everytime I press and? hold the back button, it goes back to the previous page. So it doesn't allow me to do a screen capture.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Unfortunately, it seems your device doesn't work with that shortcut.

  31. RadMac
    August 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I rooted my HTC MyTouch 4G and I'm using CyanogenMod 7.2. I know how to take a screenshot by pressing the power button, but is it possible to create a custom key shortcut. I'm trying to setup my home button to be the shortcut key to take a screenshot. I've googled it but still no success yet.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      That's a really good question -- as far as I know, this isn't possible. I even Googled around a bit. Sorry about that!

    • Barney
      October 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      I have a HTC MyTouch 4g also, can u walk me through the rooting process that u did for your phone? I really want to be able to take screen shots also.

      Thanks! B.

  32. Jr.
    August 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    i have a tmobile my touch q and i've tried using the power and home, power and volume and nothing works. i really don't wanna download anything so if anyone can help i'd be SUPER grateful!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 14, 2012 at 12:01 am

      It may not be possible with a built-in shortcut then -- I googled and some people said power+home works. If that doesn't work for you, you'll have to use the more complex methods, sadly.

  33. Nazia
    August 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hi, I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 with ICS 4.0.4 and have noticed it has a built in screenshot feature. You have to press the home (button in the middle at the bottom of the device) and power key simultaneously... It's changed from the vol down and power key pre-ICS.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Thanks. It's kind of obnoxious that Samsung is using a different shortcut after Google standardized on volume down+ power with ICS.

  34. Adam Wiemers
    August 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks, but now how do I find where those screen shots are saved on a Motorola Razr Maxx?

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 8, 2012 at 3:19 am

      Assuming you're using Android 4.0 on your Razr Maxx, open the Gallery app and look for the Screenshot folder. From the Gallery, you can use the Share feature to upload them to web services, send them by email, etc

      You'll also find them at /sdcard/Pictures/Screenshot, I believe. So you can copy them directly to your computer from there.

      If you're using one of the apps (perhaps one that requires root), it may store them elsewhere. But you should be able to find them in the Gallery app.

  35. Sergio Hernandez
    July 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    dear chris, is there a way to take a screenshot on the htc mytouch 4g? i tried the home button and power button, the volume button and the power one and they dont work, can you help? i really enjoy this screenshot feature but i dont know how to take one so tell me please thanks (:

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

      I Googled around for a bit and I don't think there's any built-in way. You can root your phone, try the SDK, or try an app like Screenshot It!, which some people report success with.

    • Sergio Hernandez
      August 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      thanks (: but how do you root? i tried googling that and i found nothing

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

      The exact method will depend on your device, but this may work:

  36. Lee
    July 5, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Home + Power button works on my SGS3

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 6, 2012 at 12:40 am

      Weird! I guess Samsung is sticking with their own shortcut instead of the Google-standard shortcut, even though it runs ICS (Android 4.0).

      Does the volume button + power shortcut mentioned above work, too?

  37. Tanya
    June 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    My HTC Amaze (not upgraded to ICS yet) has a built in shortcut but I haven't deciphered it yet. All I know is that the screen was locked & my phone was in my pocket & I heard the camera sound when I leaned in to get clothes out of the dryer. When I went to look at my phone, it looked like the screen was locked but it was just a screenshot of the locked screen...had me confused for a second! I'll keep playing with button combos but if anyone has figured out the factory shortcut for the HTC Amaze, please share :).

  38. ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578
    June 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    This is pretty nice, thanks!

  39. Joel Lee
    June 17, 2012 at 3:16 am

    This was helpful. My screenshot app has been on the fritz, so I set up Android SDK and got my screenshots that way. Thanks, Chris!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      You're welcome! I've taken most of my Android screenshots that way, but I've switched to AirDroid for screenshots now. So awesome.

  40. pushpanshu
    June 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hi, i think you forgoy one app which very cheap and requires no root for android 2.2 or above, its SCREENSHOT UX, i love thos app on my htc desire hd, same feature as that of android 4.0 but uses long press search key to take screen shot, no notification icon, very clean shots. I am waiting for an app which actually record my screen as in a video format and i can play it as a video on my device, also do not require root. Do you any such app? If yes put it in drippler. FYI i lovd drippler app. Nice job...will keep geed you with are reviews.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:50 am

      The app's page on Google Play at says it may require root, so it's another device-specific app. (plus it costs $4, which is a bit on the high side)

      Unfortunately, capturing a smooth video doesn't seem possible -- i can't fine any tools. There are several utilities that run on your computer that attempt to capture a video, but they're just taking lots of screenshots as fast as possible -- it's not a smooth video capture.

    • Pushpanshu
      June 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

      Dear chris, i have this app and i purchased it for 4$. As you said there is no app to make screen video, i give you one, for rooted phone only try it, i dnt hv rooted phone so i can use it, it is called screencast on playstore....tell me the experience.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      I tried the demo version at and it actually seems to work really well! Animations are smooth and everything. Seems like the paid version is worth a few bucks if you need to do this.

  41. Hasitha Chaturanga
    June 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Air droid seems cool

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:33 am

      I love AirDroid. It's amazing, and not just for screenshots.

    • Jessica Cam Wong
      June 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      I agree! Slickest app I've seen in a while!

  42. Sergio Casas
    June 15, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Wow, finally some serious recommendation and not some store shady app. Thx

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:33 am

      You're welcome! I had to research this myself to write Android posts with screenshots, so I thought I'd share what I discovered.

  43. puneethkumb
    June 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    This was one which I seriously wanted to know, tried some other apps from play store, will check these now

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:34 am

      Personally, I love AirDroid -- even if your device has a built-in shortcut, it's a fast way to get the screenshot on your computer without plugging in any cables or transferring files.

    • puneethkumb
      June 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Will give it a try Chris. Thanks!

  44. Nathan Kaufman
    June 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I can't be the ONLY g'nex owner who didn't know the ICS vol/pow trick, right...?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

      It's certainly not an obvious trick -- someone has to tell you about it.

  45. Gerardo
    June 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    On Galaxy Note there are 3 options:

    1:Power and home button
    2:Press and hold stylus on screen (easiest)
    3:Palm swipe over screen (takes a lot of practice!)

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for the Galaxy Note method! Is that included in the manual, or did users have to discover that themselves?

    • Gerardo
      June 15, 2012 at 7:37 am

      To be honest with you, I think I found out from YouTube!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Yup, sounds like something we users have to figure out for ourselves! Kinda sad.

  46. Abhisek
    June 12, 2012 at 5:37 am

    In my device, this works : Home Button + Power Button

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Yup, that seems to be pretty common on pre-Android 4 Samsung devices.

  47. HuitZiloP
    June 12, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Also, many ICS ROMS have an option to put a "capture screenshot" entry on the power off menu.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for the tip!

    • DeltaTiger
      June 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Most Cyanogen based Roms have this functionality. Also Some others.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:50 am

      Doesn't surprise me! Once again CyanogenMod trumps the manufacturer ROMs.

    • Florisz
      November 1, 2012 at 6:34 am

      I think I have a Cyanogen based Rom, but how do you make a screenshot? Where to set it, etc.?

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 10:36 am

      I don't have Cyanogenmod in front of me right now, but I Googled up a solution.

      Try long-pressing the power button. You should see a menu with a Screenshot option.

    • Floris
      November 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      I checked it. The options I get are:
      - Silent
      - Airplane
      - Recovery(reboot into)
      - Reboot
      - Turn off
      No screenshot option. I tried airdroid. Looks very nice, but my PC is in a wired netwerk while my phone is in a different WIFI network or mobile network, while both have to be in the same network for airdroid to work.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Hmm. Well, if you have a Cyanogenmod-based ROM, you should already be rooted (or there should be an easy way to root your phone). After rooting, you can use one of the root-only screenshot apps.

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