How to Take Screenshots and Record Videos on a PlayStation 4

Your PlayStation 4 is constantly recording your gameplay in the background, just in case you want to save or share a clip. You can also quickly create screenshots with a single button-press.

Once you’ve captured video clips or screenshots, you can upload them immediately or copy them from your PS4’s internal storage to a USB drive. Take that USB drive to a computer and you can do anything you want with the files.

How to Save (or Upload) a Screenshot or Video

To save a screenshot or video in a game, just press the “Share” button on the left side of you controller, near the directional pad. The Share menu screen will appear. At any time, you can press the Circle button to leave this screen and go right back to where you were in the game.

In some cases, the Share menu may not work. You aren’t allowed to capture screenshots or record videos of certain video game cinematics or other applications, depending on how the game developer set things up. However, this will work almost all of the time.

When the share menu appears, you can select “Save Screenshot” by pressing the Triangle button or “Save Video Clip” by pressing the Square button. This will save a screenshot or video clip to your PlayStation.

Save a screenshot and your PS4 will capture the current screen. Save a video clip and your PS4 will save the last 15 minutes of your gameplay, which it was recording in the background all the while. Your PS4 saves only the last fifteen minutes of gameplay in a temporary buffer, so there’s no getting any footage from more than fifteen minutes ago unless you already saved it to a video clip.

If you’d like to upload your screenshot or video clip, select “Upload Screenshot” or “Upload Video Clip” here instead. You can share a screenshot via Facebook, Twitter, or a PlayStation message. You can upload a video to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Dailymotion.

To share or upload to other services, you’ll need to save the screenshot or video clip to your PS4’s internal storage, copy it to a USB drive, and then move it to your computer where you can do whatever you like with it.

How to Quickly Capture a Screenshot

To quickly save a screenshot to your PlayStation 4’s local storage, you can press the “Share” button on the controller and hold it down for at least one second. Your PlayStation 4 will save a screenshot without visiting the Share screen. You’ll see an icon appear in the top-left corner of the screen to let you know the screenshot was saved successfully.

How to Customize Your Share Button, Video Clip, and Screenshot Settings

You can customize the Share button, video, and screenshot settings. To do so, first press the “Share” button in a game to access the Share menu. Press the “Options” button on your controller and select “Share Settings.”

The Share Button Control Type screen allows you to configure your Share button for more quickly capturing screenshots. You can make the PlayStation 4 save a screenshot when you press the Share button normally and only show the Share menu screen when you long-press the button.

In the Video Clip Setting screen, you can adjust the length of the video clip your PlayStation saves to be shorter than the default 15 minutes–but not longer. You could include audio from your microphone in your gameplay clips.

Visit the Screenshot Settings screen to change screenshot settings. Your PlayStation 4 saves screenshots in the JPEG file format by default, but you could select PNG instead. By default, your PS4 saves a screenshot when you earn a trophy in a game, but you can also disable this from here.

How to Copy Screenshots and Videos to a USB Drive

To view your saved video clips and images, use the Capture Gallery application included with your PS4. If you don’t see it on the main screen, you can scroll all the way to the right on the home screen, select “Library,” select “Applications,” and then select “Capture Gallery.”

Using this application, you can either view all your saved screenshots and video clips, or select a specific game and view the saved media files associated with that game.

You can upload media files from here, if you like. But you can also copy them directly to a USB storage device and access them on a computer. To do so, insert a USB drive formatted with either the FAT32 or exFAT file systems into one of your PlayStation 4’s USB ports. Select the media file you want to copy, press the “Options” button on your controller, and select “Copy to USB Storage Device.”

When you’re done copying media, you can unplug your USB storage device, plug it into a computer, and access the screenshots and video files like you would any other files.


This feature is intended for capturing gameplay, so it won’t let you record videos from Netflix, Hulu, or other media services. However, it should work almost everywhere in almost every game.

Image Credit: Leon Terra on Flickr

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 Twitter.