How-To: Take screenshots on Android devices

Android screenshot

While taking a screenshot with iOS devices is as simple as pressing the power and home buttons together, accomplishing the same thing on Android smartphones and tablets is a somewhat cumbersome process. Basically there are two ways to do this:

  • To root your phone and download an app for taking screenshots (for some reason it is required that your Android device is rooted), or
  • To use Android SDK.

Today we’ll talk about the latter method. Here’s what you should do to take screenshots without rooting your device:

  • First of all you’ll need to download, install and configure Android SDK, along with the USB drivers.
  • Enable USB Debugging mode. You can do that from Settings -> Applications -> Development.
  • Connect your Android device to a PC via USB cable.
  • Go to the “tools” folder in Android SDK and start the batch file titled “ddms” to launch the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service. You should be able to see your device connected on top.
  • Under the “Device” menu, within the Debugger window, click “Screen Capture” or press Ctrl + S.

Now that you have your screenshot, you can rotate it, save it or copy it to clipboard. If you opt to save the screenshot as a file, it will be saved in PNG format.

To save another screenshot, simply click Refresh and finally Done when you’re finished.

There’s one caveat, though — your memory card is not accessible while the device is in the debug mode. If you can live with that (i.e. you don’t need screenshots with photos and videos which are usually stored on a memory card), download the Android SDK and take it from there. Good luck. 😉

[Via: AddictiveTips]

  • Mention that you need the Java SE Development Kit installed in order to install the Android SDK.

  • Mention that you need the Java SE Development Kit installed in order to install the Android SDK.

  • Sujay Abraham

    gud 1:)

  • Dimi

    nice ! I’ve been searching for at least an hour when it can be this simple.
    thanks !

  • Ijosetoby

    Do you do this everytime you want to take a screenshot?

    • Asim S_321

       Yes… 🙂

  • Angie

    I actually can take a screenshot with my android LG P970 with the Power+Home Button combination =)

    • SemChumbo

      VolumeDown + PowerButton (2 seconds) on LG P970 with android 4.0

  • Roman Belic

    Cousin, lets go bowling!

    • nico belic

      Yes cousin. We have good time bowling!

  • Please find detailed usage of android screen capture only by installing an app at location

  • With the Samsung Galaxy S GT I9000, you can take screen shots without a root to the device, you just hold and press the back botton, then the Home Button. With some people it’s back and power. Although with some Samsung Devices I hear that it isn’t possible. But I think you at least need to update the SGS to a later version of Android to be able to do this. But I rooted my device, then updated to Android 2.2, then re rooted again. But during my process of updating, I downloaded ScreenShot Me, when I was on 2.1. Took a few screen shots with a rooted device, but when I updated, I accidently took screen shots, and I thought I must of opened the ScreenShotMe app, then I went to my gallery and there was two folders, ScreenShot ME and Screen Capture…. then I updated again…. which I kinda regret losing my root, but then I still mistakenly took ScreenShots, so I looked up an article, how to take screeenshots on Samsung Galaxy S, then yeah, that’s how I found out how to take screenshots without a root.

    • Cheryl Rogers

      I can get a screenshot on my Android Galaxy by pressing the power then home button and vice versa, but I can’t get rid of the task manager that pops up when I take a screen shot. Apparently when you press the home and power it also brings up the task manager. There is no way to back out of this so all of my screenshots are of the task manager.
      OK quick update.  It did work, you have to back out of the task manager pop up real quickly and then real quickly press the buttons again! Thanks so much!

  • Thanks! Used the SDK tools and worked the first time with no problems.

  • Tawfiq Tj

    I can’t find ddms :((

    • Sdhusbndshpr

      Me neither. What the hell?

      • Siri

        Go to the location where u placed the android-sdk ,open that folder in that u find the tools,open the tools folder in that u can can find the DDMS ok…..
        Its very simple

  • Siri

    Its Really very nice…its worked for me for the first time Thanks……………

  • Stefan

    I’m using Samsung Galaxy Ace runing Android 2.3 and taking screenshots is simple as holding home button and pressing power button. (You may need to press “back” with other hand as holding home button will open some small window.)

  • Eddie Kim


    My name is Edward and I’m the developer of an app called No Root Screenshot It. This app lets you take screenshots on your phone without having to plug it into a computer and without having to root it. 

    Hope this information is useful to some people and let me know if you I can help in any way!

    • Ffemt4664

      F#$K that, I am not paying 5 bucks for an app!

  • Grt1971

    my Samsung Stratosphere did a screen shot while holding the home and power keys 

  • jerry1970

    HTC Desire S, Android 2.3.5, HTC Sense 3.0: hold power button and tap Home button.
    Result: screenshot in the gallery.

    • One of the best comment I’ve ever read! Made my day! Thanks a lot 🙂

  • A19serna89

    for my Android HTC evo 3d it’s hold the power button and before the power menu comes up press the menu button (right of the home button), you’ll get a pop up saying your screenshot was saved.

  • Vasanth Vss

    the same process is working in HTC explorer

  • Urnotgettingmyemail

    you dont have to download all that just press the lock key and the home button at the same time….. its that simple 

    • Love Barnett

      That doesn’t work on the Evo, unless it’s been rooted. Unless I’m doing it wrong, somehow…

  • notmyrealname

    LG P970 just press power+home keys and it works

  • avianchild

    ZTE Force N9100 from Boost Mobile: hold volume down and power button simultaneously for a second or so. A screenshot is taken and saved in a screenshots folder in your gallery :3

    I just figured this out and sadly, wasted $4 on an app that I would have had to constantly set up with each reboot of my phone. I didn’t feel like rooting my phone this time around :/

  • jhaydimla

    .. how to give a screenshot in myphone a618 tv duo ? thaks 🙂

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