How to screenshot on Android

Screenshots are the underrated heroes of the smartphone world, allowing you to capture moments, share images and communicate easily. But when it comes to actually screenshotting on your phone, particularly with Android models, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, with many brands and models needed different techniques or buttons to achieve the end result. If you haven’t yet mastered the art of taking a screenshot, or you’ve just recently updated to a new handset, read on to find out how to take, edit, share and save a screenshot on your Android.

What is a screenshot?

A screenshot, also known as a screengrab or screen capture, is a photo of the digital display on your phone screen. By taking a screenshot, you are a creating an image of whatever you happen to be looking at on your phone. You are able to take a screenshot any time you are using your phone, and are then able to save it or share it.

How to take a screenshot on an Android phone

Man using phone

There are four main options for taking a screen shot on Android phones, although which method you’re capable of doing is dependent on the brand and model of phone you have. Below are the main ways for you to take a screenshot on Android phones.

Screenshot on Androids with a Home button

To take a screenshot on an Android phone that has a Home button, follow the steps below:

Step One: Locate the Home button at the bottom of the screen and the Power button at the side of the phone.

Step Two: Press and hold down the Home button and the Power button at the same time.

Step Three: After one second, release both buttons.

Step Four: Your screenshot will appear as a notification at the top of the screen.

Screenshot on Androids without a Home Button

To take a screenshot on an Android phone that doesn’t have a Home button, follow the steps below:

Step One: Locate the Power Button and the Volume Down button on the sides of the phone.

Step Two: Press and hold down the Power button and the Volume Down button at the same time.

Step Three: After one second, release both buttons.

Step Four: Your screenshot will appear as a thumbnail in the lower left-hand side of the screen.

Screenshot on Androids with Google Assistant

Android phones have the ability to take a screenshot with Google Assistant, but you’ll have to enable this feature via the settings. To activate screenshot for Google Assistant, follow the below steps:

Step One: Open the Google App and tap More in the lower right-hand screen.

Step Two: Open Settings – Google Assistant.

Step Three: Tap the Google Assistant tab. Scroll down and tap Phone.

Step Four: Scroll to the General section.

Step Five: Tap the toggle to select ‘Use Screen Context’.

Step Six: Your phone is now ready to take a screenshot using Google Assistant.

To take a screenshot with Google Assistant, follow the steps below:

Step One: Say ‘Ok Google’ to activate Google Assistant.  

Step Two: Say or Type ‘Take a Screenshot’.  

Step Three: Your Android device will now take a screenshot of whatever screen is open under the Google Assistant page.

Step Four: Your screenshot will appear as a notification at the top of the screen.

If your phone does not have Google Assistant installed, you can download it via the Google Play Store, although Google Assistant won’t be compatible with all Android phone models.

Screenshot with Samsung Palm Swipe

Samsung Palm Swipe

Select Samsung models have a ‘Palm Swipe’ feature, which allows you to simply swipe your hand across the phone screen to take a screenshot. To activate and take a screenshot with Samsung Palm Swipe, follow the steps below:

Step One: Open Settings.  

Step Two: Tap Advanced Features.

Step Three: Scroll down until you find the Palm Swipe to Capture tab.

Step Four: Tap the toggle to select ‘Palm Swipe to Capture’.  

Step Five: You can now take a screenshot by placing your hand vertically on one side of the screen and swiping to the other side.

Step Six: A notification will appear to show a screenshot has been taken.

Other ways to screenshot on Android phones

If none of the above methods work for your particular Android phone, try following the steps below to take a screenshot:

Step One: Locate the Power button at the side of the phone.

Step Two: Hold the Power button for three seconds.

Step Three: Release button.

Step Four: Your screenshot will appear as a notification at the top of the screen.

If none of the above methods result in a screenshot, consult the instruction manual of your specific brand and phone model to find out the proper method.

How to take a full-page screenshot on an Android phone

Known as a ‘Scrolling Screenshot’, a full-page screenshot allows you take a screenshot of an entire page, even if that page continues outside of your screen view. While only available on select Android models, you may be able to download a third-party app to help with this. To take a full-page screenshot on an Android phone, follow the steps below:

Step One: Take a screenshot as you normally would with your phone (such as with the Home, Power or Volume buttons).

Step Two: Once your screenshot has been captured, select the Scroll /Scroll Capture option once the screenshot notification has popped up. This may appear as a button or an arrow, and may appear at different parts of the screen, depending on your model. It will usually be located near the screenshot preview box.

Step Three: The screen will begin to scroll. Tap to stop the scroll and capture the full-page screenshot.

How to edit a screenshot on an Android phone

After a screenshot has been taken, it’s possible to edit the photo, either by cropping the image or by adding filters or edits. To edit a screenshot on an Android phone, follow the steps below:

Step One: Open your phone’s Photo application (for older Android models, this is known as ‘Gallery’).

Step Two: Open Library – Screenshots.

Step Three: Tap the Edit icon.

When editing, you’ll be given the chance to do the following:

  • Crop: Change the size of the image or erase unwanted areas by cropping the image.
  • Draw: Add extras to the image with a pen or a highlighter. You can choose the colour of the pen, but the thickness of the drawing tools cannot be resized.

How to share a screenshot on an Android phone

Woman using phone

Android allows you to share screenshots through the Photo or Gallery applications. To share a screenshot, follow the steps below:

Step One: Open your phone’s Photo or Gallery application.

Step Two: Open Library, and then go to Screenshots.

Step Three: Click on the photo you’re after.

Step Four: Tap Share.

Where are screenshots saved on my Android phone?

For Android devices, screenshots will be automatically saved in the ‘Screenshots’ folder of your Photo or Gallery app, which can usually be found via the menu in the app, or by clicking on ‘Albums’ along the bottom row of the screen once you’re in the app.

What to do if screenshots aren’t working on my Android?

If your Android isn’t responding to screenshot commands, make sure you’re using the correct technique for your phone model, as it may vary between brands and models. If the screenshot function still isn’t working, check your settings to see if you’ve accidently changed or disabled any of the features, such as the Samsung Palm Swipe. Alternatively, restarting your phone and ensuring you’re running the most up to date software may also help, while you can always reach out to Android or your phone brand’s support centre for help.

Photo credit: Dean Drobot/shutterstock, GaudiLab/shutterstock.com, Samsung

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