There are times when you really need to share what’s on your Android device’s screen. That’s when Android screenshots come in handy. Screenshots are captures of whatever is currently showing on your screen saved as an image. In this post we will show you how to take a screenshot on Android devices. We have included multiple methods, and some require little to no effort.
How to take screenshots on Android:
1. The standard way to take an Android screenshot
Capturing a screenshot usually involves simultaneously pressing two buttons on your Android device; normally the volume down and power buttons. On other devices, you might need to use the home + power button combo. 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.
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.
Finally, any Android device that comes with Google Assistant will let you take screenshots using voice commands alone. Just say “Okay, Google” and then “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 the Galaxy Note series using the S Pen. Other manufacturers have opted to entirely replace the default method and to use their own instead.
2. How to take screenshots on Android: Samsung devices
As mentioned, there are some manufacturers and devices that have decided to go rogue and introduce their own methods of taking screenshots on Android. In some cases, these are alternatives that can be used in addition to the main three methods discussed above. In other cases, they replace the default Android options entirely. You’ll find most examples below.
Smartphones with Bixby digital assistant
If you own a more recent Samsung Galaxy flagship phone, such as the Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Note 20, you have the Bixby digital assistant pre-installed. It can be used to take a screenshot just with your voice command. 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, just 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” command, just press and hold on the dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phone, and then say, “take a screenshot” to finish the process.
You can use the S Pen to take a screenshot, given that your device comes with one. Just pull out the S Pen and launch Air Command (if it’s not done automatically), then select Screen write. Usually, after the screenshot is captured, the image will be immediately opened for editing. Just remember to save the edited screenshot afterwards.
On some Samsung phones, there is yet another way to take a screenshot. Go to Settings, and then tap on Advanced Features. 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 really 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 of the aforementioned techniques, and then select Scroll capture and continue tapping on it 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, to take oval-shaped screengrabs, or even to create short GIFs from movies and animations!
Access Smart Select by sliding out the Edge Panel, and then choosing the Smart Select option. Pick the shape and select the area you want to capture. You may first need to enable this feature in the settings by going to Settings > Display > Edge Screen > Edge Panels.
3. How to take screenshots on Android: Xiaomi devices
Xiaomi devices give you all the usual options when it comes to 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.
4. How to take screenshots on Android: Huawei devices
Huawei devices provide all the same default options as most Android devices, but also let you take screenshots with your knuckles! Turn on the 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
Air Gestures allow you to take actions by letting the camera to 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, go ahead and 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.
5. How to take screenshots on Android: Motorola devices
Motorola devices are simple and clean. The company sticks to a near-stock user interface, so you don’t get that many options for taking a screenshot. Of course, you can use the good ol’ power + volume down hold trick.
6. How to take screenshots on Android: Sony 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 useful method, especially when pressing combos of physical buttons is difficult.
7. How to take screenshots on Android: HTC devices
Again, HTC will let you take screenshots using all the normal methods. However, if your device supports Edge Sense, then 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.
8. How to take screenshots on Android: LG devices
While you can use the default methods to take screenshots on LG devices, there are also a few other options.
You can also take a screenshot with Quick Memo, which can instantly capture and let you create doodles on your screenshots. Just 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.
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 recognized 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 then 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.
9. How to take screenshots on Android: OnePlus 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.
10. 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!
See also: The 5 best screenshot apps for Android
Here are some more tutorials to unlock your Android device’s full potential.