How to take a screenshot on Android

Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro on the table

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screenshots A convenient way to remember a recipe, bring up a problem you’re having with an app, or get a history of something you saw on your phone screen.

It’s crazy to think that in the first few years Android was around, it wasn’t even possible to take a screenshot without rooting the phone. However, that has changed, and all Android devices now have the same screenshot shortcut.

But, of course, not all things are equal on Android, and depending on the company that makes your phone, it may have more tools and tricks for taking a screenshot.

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While I won’t cover every method to take a screenshot on an Android phone — I simply don’t have access to enough phones to do so — I’ll cover the basics, and maybe even throw in an extra tip or two.

How to take a screenshot on Android

The next time you see something on your screen that you want to keep a record of, you can use the general screenshot method for Android devices by pressing the volume down button at the same time as the sleep and wake button.

The trick is usually to hold both buttons for a short second, after which you’ll see the screen flash similar to a camera flash, letting you know that the screenshot has been taken. However, on newer Samsung Galaxy phones, pressing the buttons will bring up the power menu, so you just need to quickly press both buttons.

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When you take the screenshot, you’ll see a thumbnail preview of the screen appear in the lower-left corner of your screen, with a toolbar of options to do things like edit, share, or even delete the screenshot.

A hand holding an Android device with two arrows pointing to the sleep/wake button and the volume button

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How to take a scrolling screenshot

Instead of taking multiple screenshots of something like a text conversation or a webpage, you can use the screenshot tool to expand the screenshot. To get started, take a screenshot as you normally would, then look at the toolbar that appears next to the thumbnail.

On Samsung Galaxy phones, you can take a scrollable screenshot by tapping the double arrow icon. Each click of the button will scroll down a bit, take another screenshot, and then pause. The more you click on this button, the longer the screenshot will take. Motorola phones have a button similar to Samsung’s, but it keeps scrolling and capturing the screen until you hit the stop button.

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In the Google Pixel lineup, there is no stock button. Instead, there is a button called capture more. When you select that, you’ll see a thumbnail view of what’s on your screen, along with a cropping tool. Drag this tool down to adjust the scrollable screenshot size. When the screenshot includes everything you want, hit the Save button.

Hand holding Android device to ZDNET page and taking a screenshot

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There are many. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone that supports the S Pen, you can use the S Pen to take screenshots. In fact, if the stylus is built into the phone (like any Note device or a Galaxy S22 Ultra), the pop-up menu when you remove the pen gives you the option to capture part or all of your screen.

Samsung and Motorola phones have gestures that trigger screenshots. On a Motorola phone, you can place three fingers on the screen and swipe down, but you’ll need to enable the feature in the Settings app (just search for “screenshot” and you’ll find it).

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On Samsung phones, you can use the edge of your palm across the screen to take a screenshot. I have a long time getting this to work. You can find the toggle to turn it on or off by searching the Settings app for “screenshot.”

It depends. On phones that come with Google Photos as the only app where you can find and view your photos and videos, this is also where you’ll go to view your screenshots. However, it’s not entirely clear where they are in the Photos app unless you do the following: Open the Photos app, and select Library at the bottom of the page. Find the Screenshots album and tap on it to open it.

If you want to sync your screenshot album with your Google Photos account, you can turn it on when viewing the album, and then you’ll see your screenshots when viewing the Photos tab.

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For other phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, you’ll use the Gallery app that’s pre-installed on the phone. Open the app, tap Albums, then select your screenshot album to see them all in one place. Otherwise, it will be combined with the rest of the photos and videos in the Photos tab.

You have two options. You can use the toolbar that appears next to the thumbnail to share it immediately after you take it, or you can share the screenshot from the Gallery or Photos app, depending on which phone you’re using.

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