How to take screenshots on Android

by: Alvin YbañezMarch 28, 2013
11 42 42


There are times when you really need to share to others what’s on your Android device’s screen. At such moments, you’ll need to capture screenshots, which are nothing more than snapshots of whatever is currently showing on your screen. App developers take lots of screenshots to document their apps. Writers take screenshots to complement their online posts. Some gamers take screenshots of their game sessions. There are varied reasons for needing screenshots.

Related: how to take a screenshot on an iPad.

The good news is that taking screenshots on Android is a very easy task. You can do it blindfolded. Do you know how?

In this guide, learn how to take screenshots on Android. (You may also watch our video tutorial at the end of this post.)

If you are looking for specific guides on the most popular Android phones, View:

General Procedure

Capturing a screenshot usually involves pressing two buttons on your Android device — either the Volume Down key and the Power button, or the Home button and the Power key.

When the right button combo is pressed, your device’s screen will flash, usually accompanied with a camera shutter sound. Sometimes, a pop-up message or notification alert appears, suggesting that the screenshot has been made.


At other times, you can find a screenshot option on the Power menu. Just long press the Power button, wait for the Power menu to appear, and select Take screenshot to capture a screenshot of the current screen. This can be a useful method, especially when pressing combos of physical buttons is difficult, such as on the Sony Xperia V.


Android device manufacturers even include extra and unique ways of taking screenshots on your device. For instance, you can take a screenshot on the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 using the S Pen. In most high-end Samsung phones, you can take a screenshot by swiping the screen with the side of your palm. There are alternate ways to capture screenshots, and those may or may not be mentioned in this guide.

Important Note: The procedures described in this post are for stock software. Procedures for capturing screenshots under custom ROMs may be different.

Screenshots on Samsung devices

Devices with physical Home button

For many high-end Samsung phones with a physical Home button, you can use the Home + Power button combo to take screenshots.


Just press the two buttons simultaneously until the sides of the screen flash and you hear the camera shutter sound.

You will also get a notification confirming that the screenshot has been captured.

Devices without physical Home button


Some Samsung devices (e.g., Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Camera), however, don’t have a physical Home button. In this case, the button combo is Volume Down and Power. Hold down both buttons until your device takes a screenshot.


Certain devices, such as the Galaxy Note 10.1, also have a quick launch button that can be set to capture screenshots. On the the Galaxy Note 10.1, this quick launch button sits right beside the Multitasking virtual button on the virtual navigation bar.

Devices with S Pen


On Samsung devices that come with the S Pen (e.g., the Galaxy Note series), you can use the stylus itself to take a screenshot. Just hold down the S Pen button and touch the pen tip on the device’s screen until the screen flashes. Usually, after the screenshot is captured, the image will be immediately opened for editing. Just remember to save the edited screenshot afterwards.

Devices with hand motions support


Most high-end Samsung phones also let you capture screenshots by swiping the screen with the side of your hand. For this method to work, go to Settings > Motion and activate the “Palm swipe to capture” option.

Screenshots on HTC devices


On HTC devices, capturing a screenshot still involves the Home and Power buttons. But, instead of simultaneously holding them down, you hold down the Power button first, then tap the capacitive Home button quickly. The screen flashes, and you’ll hear audible feedback. You will also see a popup message confirming that your screenshot has been saved.

Screenshots on Sony Xperia devices


On Sony Xperia phones, the screenshot combo is Volume Down + Power. Hold down both buttons at the same time until the screen flashes and the screenshot thumbnail appears on the screen. A notification also appears on the notification menu once the screenshot has been captured.

There’s an alternate method, too. You can also capture a screenshot through the Power menu. Hold down the Power button until the Power dialog appears. Tap on Take Screenshot to capture the screen underneath the dialog.

Screenshots on LG devices

On LG devices, the button combination is still Volume Down + Power. Long-press these buttons at the same time until the screen flashes and you hear the capture tone. A notification also appears on the notification menu once the screenshot is captured.


You can also take a screenshot with Quick Memo, which can instantly capture and let you create doodles on your screenshots. You can toggle Quick Memo from the notification shade. Once enabled, the editing page will then appear. You can now write notes and doodles on the current screen. Tap the floppy disk icon to save your work.

Screenshots on Nexus devices


Capturing screenshots on the Google Nexus devices (i.e., Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10) remains uniform — hold down both Volume Down and Power keys until you hear audio feedback. The screenshot thumbnail will flash briefly on the screen, and you will get a notification about your screenshot.

Video Guide

Taking screenshots on Android is very easy! Watch our video guide to learn how:


Capturing a screenshot on your Android device is easy. With screenshots, you can easily share what’s on your Android device to everyone. What Android device do you own? How do you capture screenshots on it? Share your screenshotting tales in the comments.

(with contributions from Elmer Montejo)

  • Vladislav

    Thanks for the informative article, your site helps me discover new things all the time.

  • Joshua

    Power and home button on Samsung phones? I remember doing that on my iPhone 2G 5 years ago.

  • piet

    With some HTC phones it isn’t possible to make screenshots without rooting.

    • sam

      Tnx was very helpful

  • ccsvchost

    Wish this worked with capacitive buttons. My Xperia S used to have the take screenshot option when holding the power button in gingerbread, but Sony removed in ICS for some reason…

  • Jaap Halo

    My phone didn’t support the button combo’s, but I found a cool app called Screenshot Ultimate on Play, works fine on my rooted and unrooted phones and tablets.

  • Herojig

    Android 4.3: the option is on the power off / reboot menu (long press the power button).

  • Anand

    Good guidelines.Descreption & subject matter easily explained. V.good & very useful work Thanks.

  • luka3rd

    Thanks! I lost the option in power menu with 4.3 update

    • Izzi

      I also have the same problem and long pressing the power button or simultaneously down volume and power or simultaneously home and power do not work

  • leon

    My xperia v dun have the screenshot option in power menu after update to 4.3

  • Gary Gary

    I can’t seem to get any of these methods to work on the Dell Streak 7. I’ve tried the Volume down and power since my device has no physical home button but all it seems to do is turn the display off. I looked around and found no new pictures. Has anyone worked with one of these? I found some apps but I’m reluctant to root my device or don’t really feel too excited to install the SDK on my computer to make their app work.

  • Grahen Kraken

    Samsung Galaxy Core with Power and Home keys. Thanks :)