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How to take screenshots on Android
Taking a screenshot on Android is actually pretty simple, at least on paper. Where things get confusing is that many Android devices include OEM-specific changes to Android, and so there’s actually many different ways to take an Android screenshot.
This post will show you how to take a screenshot on Android devices, regardless of what platform you are using. We have included multiple methods, and some require little to no effort.
Also read: These are the best phones you can find today
You can take screenshots on most Android devices by simultaneously pressing the power + volume down buttons. This works on almost any device, so it's worth trying before moving on to other methods.
How to take a screenshot on Android using the most compatible method
Capturing a screenshot usually involves pressing two buttons on your Android device, usually the volume down and power buttons. You might need to use the home + power button combo on older devices. Alternatively, you can press and hold the power button for a few seconds; select Screenshot from the few options that appear.
The volume down + power button combo to take a screenshot will work on most smartphones. Edgar Cervantes
When the right button combo is pressed, your device’s screen will flash, usually accompanied by a camera shutter sound. Sometimes, a pop-up message or notification alert appears, suggesting that the screenshot has been made.
Additionally, any Android device with Google Assistant will let you take screenshots using voice commands alone. Just say, “Okay, Google, take a screenshot.”
These basic methods should be all you need for most Android devices. However, there might be some exceptions. Android device manufacturers often include extra and unique ways of taking Android screenshots. For instance, you can take a screenshot on Samsung phones using the S Pen (if your device has one). Other manufacturers have opted to replace the default method entirely and use their own instead.
How to take a screenshot on Samsung mobile devices
As mentioned, some manufacturers and devices have decided to go rogue and introduce their methods of taking screenshots on Android. In some cases, these alternatives can be used in addition to the three main methods discussed above. In other cases, they replace the default Android options entirely. You’ll find most examples below.
Smartphones with Bixby digital assistant
- All you have to do is go to the screen where you want to take the screenshot and, if you have it configured correctly, simply say, “Hey, Bixby.”
- When the assistant starts working, say “take a screenshot,” and it will do so. You can see the saved shot in your phone’s Gallery app.
- If you don’t have your Samsung phone configured to recognize the “Hey Bixby” trigger words, just press and hold the dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phone, and then say, “take a screenshot” to finish the process.
The Galaxy Note series has been phased out, but the S Pen continues, more recently added to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. You can use the S Pen to take a screenshot, given that your device comes with one.
- Just pull out the S Pen, launch Air Command (if it’s not done automatically), and select Screen write.
- Usually, after the screenshot is captured, the image will be immediately opened for editing. Just remember to save the edited screenshot afterward.
There is yet another way to take a screenshot on some Samsung phones.
- Go to Settings, and then tap on Advanced Features. Go into Motions & gestures.
- Scroll down to see a Palm Swipe To Capture option and toggle it on.
- To take a screenshot, simply place your hand vertically on either the right or left edge of the smartphone screen, and then swipe on the display. The screen should flash, and you will see a notification stating that a screenshot has been taken.
When Samsung decided how to take screenshots on Android, it went all out! Smart capture allows you to grab an entire web page rather than just what’s on your screen.
- Take a regular screenshot using any techniques mentioned above, select Scroll capture.
- Continue tapping on Scroll capture to scroll down the page. This effectively stitches together multiple images.
Smart Select allows you to capture only specific parts of what’s on your screen, take oval-shaped screengrabs, or even create short GIFs from movies and animations!
- Access Smart Select by sliding out the Edge Panel and choosing the Smart Select option.
- Pick the shape and select the area you want to capture.
- First, you will need to enable this feature by going to Settings > Display > Edge Panels > Panels > Smart select.
- Then simply slide the Edge Panel out when you want to take a screenshot, swipe over to the next panel, and select which effect you want.
How to take a screenshot on Xiaomi mobile devices
Xiaomi devices give you all the standard options for taking screenshots, while also throwing in a few methods of their own.
The notification shade
Like a few other Android skins, MIUI provides quick access to screenshots from the notification shade. Just pull down from the top of the screen and find the screenshot option.
From any screen, simply swipe three fingers down the screen on a Xiaomi device, and it will grab a shot of the screen. You can also jump into the settings and assign a range of different shortcuts, if you prefer. These include long-pressing the home button, or using other gestures.
Use the Quick Ball
Quick Ball is similar to what other manufacturers have used to offer a section with shortcuts. You can easily trigger a screenshot using this feature. You must first activate Quick Ball, though. Here’s how to do it.
How to activate Quick Ball:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select Additional Settings.
- Go to Quick Ball.
- Toggle on Quick Ball.
You might also like: The best screenshot Chrome extensions
How to take screenshots on Huawei mobile devices
Huawei devices provide all the same default options as most Android devices, but also let you take screenshots with your knuckles! First, you have to turn on an option in the settings by going to Motion Control > Smart Screenshot and then toggling the option on. Then simply knock on the screen twice with your knuckles to grab the screen. You can also then crop the shot as you like.
Use the notification bar shortcut
Huawei makes it more intuitive to take a screenshot by giving you a shortcut in the notification area. It looks like scissors cutting paper. Select it to get your screenshot.
Take a screenshot using Air Gestures
If your phone has the option available, Air Gestures allow you to take actions by letting the camera see your hand gestures. These need to be activated by going to Settings > Accessibility features > Shortcuts & gestures > Air gestures, then ensuring Grabshot is enabled.
Once activated, place your hand 8-16 inches from the camera. Wait for a hand icon to appear, then close your hand into a fist to take a screenshot.
Knock on the screen with your knuckle
Certain Huawei phones have an entertaining and interactive way to take a screenshot. You can simply knock on your screen twice using your knuckle! This feature needs to be activated first, though. Just go to Settings > Accessibility features > Shortcuts & gestures > Take screenshot and then make sure Knuckle screenshots is enabled.
How to take screenshots on Motorola mobile devices
Motorola devices are clean and straightforward. The company sticks to a near-stock user interface, so you don’t get added options for taking a screenshot. Of course, you can use the good ol’ power + volume down hold trick.
How to take screenshots on Sony mobile devices
On Sony devices, you can find a screenshot option on the power menu. Just long-press the power button, wait for the menu to appear, and select Take screenshot to capture a screenshot of the current screen. This can be a helpful method, especially when pressing combos of physical buttons is difficult.
How to take screenshots on HTC mobile devices
If you still have one of its devices, HTC will let you take screenshots using all the usual methods. However, if your device supports Edge Sense, you’ll also be able to use that. Just head into the settings to change what short or long squeezing the device does by going to Settings > Edge Sense > Set short squeeze or Set squeeze & hold action.
Like many other devices, HTC smartphones often add a screenshot button to the notification area. Go ahead and use it to capture what the screen is displaying.
How to take screenshots on LG mobile devices
LG may have exited the smartphone market, but some of you still have their devices. While you can use the default methods to take screenshots on LG devices, there are also a few other options.
Notification area button
You can easily take a screenshot by pulling down the notification area and tapping the Screenshot button. It looks like a square.
Another option is to use Air Motion. This works with the LG G8 ThinQ, LG Velvet, LG V60 ThinQ, and other devices. It involves using the built-in ToF (time-of-flight) camera to recognize air gestures. Just wave your hand over the device until you see the icon showing that it has identified the gesture. Then pinch the air by bringing your fingertips together, and then pulling them apart again.
Not enough options for you? Another way to take screenshots on older devices like the LG G8 is to pull down the notification bar and tap the Capture+ icon. This will let you grab regular screenshots, as well as extended screenshots. You’ll then be able to annotate the screenshots as well.
How to take screenshots on OnePlus mobile devices
You can hold the power + volume down buttons to take a screenshot on Android from OnePlus, but the company has another trick up its sleeve!
OnePlus phones can take a screenshot on Android by doing a three-finger swipe.
The feature needs to be activated by going to Settings > Buttons & gestures > Quick gestures > Three-finger screenshot and toggle the feature on.
How to take a screenshot on Android via third-party apps
Not content with how to take screenshots on Android the standard way? Then you can always try installing additional apps that will provide you with more options and functionality. Some good examples include Screenshot Easy, and Super Screenshot. These apps don’t require root and will let you do things like recording your screen and setting a range of different triggers. You could even set up your own screenshot methods using Tasker!
If an image can say a thousand words, imagine how much a video can express. You can also record videos of your Android screen either using the native tool or one of the best screen-recording apps. If you want to learn how to take a screenshot on any computer, read our guide here.