How to Take a Screenshot on Android

Sometimes you’ll want to take a screenshot of your Android phone or tablet. It could be to debug something going on, or it could just be a really funny chat you’ve had via messenger. Regardless, you want to be able to take your screenshot and be able to share it with someone.

The problem with taking a screenshot on an Android device is that how you do it is dependent on what version of operating system you have. Later operating systems are easy to do screenshots for. Older operating systems may have to have to be tweaked a bit.01

What Version of the Android Operating System Do You Have?

First, you’ll need to determine what version of the Android operating system your phone or tablet uses. You can do this easily by doing the following:

  1. Turn on your Android phone and enter the main screen.
  2. Find the Settings button and tap on it.
  3. You will need to scroll down to the About Phone and select it.
  4. Look for the Android version header (you may have to scroll to see it). The number under the Android version is the version of your Android operating system.

Not All Android Phones Are the Same

If you have an Android operating system that is above 2.3, you are in luck. It means that you can take your screenshots with the press of two buttons. In most cases, it is the power button and the volume down button on your Android. That being said, each manufacturer’s model phone might have certain tweaks you need to perform to get your screenshot working.03

Your Android Version is Higher than 2.3 (Most Phones)

If you’ve been blessed with a later Android operating system, you need to press the power and the volume down button simultaneously. That should initiate a screen capture. You should see something like a miniature version of the screen going away from you. In some phones, they may actually have a button appear that says Take screenshot. Others may have you enter the Notifications menu.04

Standard Screenshot Models

Android operating systems that only require the power and volume down button pressed include:

  • Google phones
  • HTC phones
  • Motorola phones
  • Samsung phones (Galaxy S8 and Note 8)
  • ZTE phones

If your phone isn’t listed there, you might try pressing the power and volume down button to see if that will work. In many cases, it will.05

Adding the Notification Panel

Some Android phones require that after you press the power and volume down button that you go an extra step to take a screenshot. You will have to select the notification panel to reach the quick setting and select the screenshot icon. This extra step appears on the following Android phones:

  • Acer phones
  • Asus phones
  • Lenovo phones

Other Android Phones with Operating Systems Above 2.3

There are a few phones that require a different step after pressing the power and lower volume buttons. Here are the phones and the steps taken after you press those buttons:

  • Honor and Huawei phones — Select the notification panel and select Shortcuts. Select the screenshot icon.
  • LG phones — Select the notification panel and select the Capture+ icon.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and older — Select the power and home buttons instead of the power and lower volume buttons.
  • Sony — Hold down the power key. A screen will appear. Select Take screenshot.

Taking a Screenshot with an Android with an Operating System Older than 2.3

If you have an Android with an operating system older than 2.3, you probably don’t have the screenshot ability. You can use a search engine and look for your phone on the Internet to confirm. If this is the case, you can still get the screenshot capability with the app No Root Screenshot It. Download it from Google Play.08

Installing No Root Screenshot It

No Root Screenshot It requires that you have a USB cable to connect your phone to your computer. Once you download the app from Google Play, their app will instruct you how to download their free computer app. You’ll then need to run their desktop app with your phone connected to your computer. Every time you reboot your phone, you’ll have to plug it into your computer to reinstall the screenshot app.09

Finding Your Screenshots

Your screenshots are typically in your Gallery files and may be under a folder called Screenshots. To find your screenshots, select the Gallery app on your screen and scroll to look for a folder called Screenshots. Select that folder, and your screenshots should be there. If you cannot find your screenshots, make sure you have taken them and, if necessary, check your user manual or search online to find out what folder they’re in for your phone model.10

Using Screenshots

Once you have your screenshots, you can email them, post them on your favorite social media, or share them with friends. You can send them to your phone support for debugging if you have a problem with your phone. You may find that having screenshots are particularly useful especially if you use your phone as your primary Internet link.

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