Android Take a Screenshot

In the early days of Android taking a screenshot on a phone or tablet was a pain, but now the ability to take a screenshot is baked into the OS. One of the cooler, more understated functions packed into Android devices is the ability to take a screenshot of its display.

The process, while simple, isn’t the same across every Android smartphone or tablet. In this article we show you how to take a screenshot on an Android smartphone or tablet, including the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, Sony Xperia Z3+, LG G4, Nexus 6 and other Android phones and tablets.

Screenshots in Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Google Now on Tap for Android Marshmallow recently got a slew of updates that will make taking screenshot easier than ever. Doing such is more native to an Android device because it’s integrated with the platform. With Google Now on Tap, feel free to take screenshots with the system. It’s "smarter" now because you only need to press your home button for cards to appear.

Once Google Now on Tap is updated, you will notice a "G" and logo share button on the left side bottom so you can share a screenshot of the current page. The image captured will not include the nav icons and notifications so it’s already cropped and ready to be copied and shared. Unlike the previous screenshot feature, this doesn’t save the image on the device so you won’t have to use up any space on your phone.

The information Google Now on Tap shows are snippets of content of a particular app or screen. It uses Google Now to gather and show information as needed. Most screens have On Tap information but if there is nothing, Google will just show a "Nothing on tap" card. You can easily active Now on Tap though--just hold the Home button for a few seconds.

Android Screenshots with Google Now on Tap

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Above

For the vast majority of Android phones and tablets, to take a screenshot you simply press and hold the power and volume-down buttons together. There is a slight knack to this action: press the power button too soon and the display will switch off; press the volume-down button too soon and your screenshot may be marred by an onscreen volume slider.

After a few seconds the screen will flash and a notification will appear in the drop-down bar at the top of the screen, giving you options to delete, share or edit the image. You can also access the screenshot from your Gallery.

If your device has a physical home button, as is the case with the Samsung Galaxy S6, you may find there is a different method for taking a screenshot. On the Galaxy S6 you press and hold the power and home buttons together.

Android Screenshots with Palm Swipe

  1. Open the content you wish to screenshot.
  2. Place your hand vertically along the left or right edge of your Note 5, and swipe in from that edge with your hand touching the screen.
  3. You’ll see the screen briefly flash, and a notification appear.
  4. Check your notifications, where you’ll see the screenshot and an option to share, edit or delete it.
Take a Screenshot on Android with Palm Swipe

If this method doesn’t work, check Settings > Motion and gestures to enable it.

Android 2.3 and Below

Unfortunately, Android 2.3 and below doesn’t have screenshotting built-in. However, some devices (like many Samsung phones) do have these features, but it varies from phone to phone. for example, on many Samsung phones, you can press the Home and Power buttons at the same time to take a screenshot. Google around to see if your own phone has a built-in shortcut.

Android 2.3 Screenshot Application

If your phone doesn’t have a shortcut built-in, you’ll need to use an app like No Root Screenshot It. You’ll need to install it on your phone and install its free companion app on your computer, which will enable screenshots. You’ll have to plug your phone back into your computer every time you reboot it, but you’ll be able to take screenshots directly from your phone which is great.

If you’ve rooted your phone, you have a few options. You can install an app like Screenshot UX, which will allow you to take screenshots through a variety of shortcuts, or you could flash a custom ROM that has screenshotting built-in (like CyanogenMod).