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How to Take Screenshots on Android Devices Since 4.0

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Android 4.0 and newer include an easy-to-use, built-in screenshot feature. You can take a screenshot and send it off your smartphone or tablet in just a few seconds. This feature was introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

In the Android 2.x series, you could generally only take screenshots of your Android phone or tablet by rooting it or connecting it to a computer and using Google’s Android SDK.

Taking a Screenshot

To take a screenshot on your device, press the Volume Down and Power keys at the same time.

The screen will flash, you’ll hear a sound, and you’ll see a framed image appear and fade into the notification bar. The “Saving screenshot” notification will appear.

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You can view a portion of the screenshot from your notification drawer on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and later. Pull down the drawer with your finger. If you don’t see the expanded notification, pinch the screenshot notification and expand it with your fingers.

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To easily upload the screenshot, tap the Share button. For example, if you have the Google Drive app installed, you can tap Drive to upload the screenshot to your Google Drive. If you use Gmail, you can tap Gmail to send the screenshot as an attachment by email.

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You can also tap a screenshot in the notification drawer to directly open it in the Gallery app. From here, you can preview it, crop it, share it to another app, or delete it.

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Working With Multiple Screenshots

All screenshots you take appear in the Screenshot album located in the Gallery app.

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From the Screenshot album, you can tap the menu button and use the Select item option to select multiple screenshots, Once you have, use the Share menu to easily share them with another application – to quickly upload multiple screenshots to your Google Drive or Dropbox, for example.

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You can also connect your Android device to your computer and copy the screenshots over from your device’s file system. They’re located in the /sdcard/Pictures/Screenshots folder.

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Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 08/6/12

Comments (11)

  1. GeekinTexas

    I don’t know about all that. My HTC One S takes a screenshot by pressing the Home and Power buttons at the same time. No secret – it’s in the manual!

  2. Citrus Rain

    Asus assigns it to a long press of the recent apps button on tablets. (Or at least the Transformer)

  3. Chris Holt

    I hope your readers will at least try this. I found that it works in addition to Samsung’s home+power button on my Epic 4G Touch.
    It seems that a few manufacturers added this much ne

  4. Chris Holt

    *much needed feature, before Google saw fit to standardize it.

  5. George

    My Samsung Galaxy S3 suggests I use the side of my hand and swipe across.

  6. Kevin

    Thanks George. This didn’t work as described with my S3 but your method does.

  7. Robert

    This is recent on Android? Welcome to iOS 1.0 back in 2007 guys!

  8. Maria

    But for the lg viper how does it work? I know that it has to do with the volume button but i dont know which ones

  9. ASHLEY

    I have the stellar, it doesn’t work. Do you know how to do it with that phone?

  10. Ayevah

    I have the Samsung galaxy exhilarate. Everytime I try and press the volume down button and the power key at the same time to take a screenshot the only thing it does is lock my phone. I’ve tried doing it multiple times and it still does work.

  11. Karen

    I have a Toshiba thrive, does anyone know how to take a screen shot on this device?

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