How to take screenshots on your Android phone

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Screenshots are handy. You can use them to show your grandparent how to use a new app. You can use them to send a shot of that strange error message to your company’s IT department. You can use them to capture tweets — yours or someone else’s — before they disappear down the deletion black hole.

Methods to take screenshots can differ depending on the version of Android your phone is running and also on who manufactured your phone. In this case, we used a Pixel 3 phone to create screenshots using Android 12 and Android 11 and an original Pixel to create screenshots with Android 10. Your mileage may vary, but this could give you at least some direction, even if you’re using a different type of phone.

TAKE SCREENSHOTS WITH ANDROID 12

  • Hold down the power button and press the volume-down button. Or…
  • Go to the app and / or page you want to take a screenshot of. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the Recents screen; you’ll see a button for “Screenshot” at the bottom of the screen.
  • Activate Google Assistant, and tell it to take a screenshot.
  • Note that a small version of your screenshot will appear in the bottom left, along with buttons to let you share or edit it — or possibly, to take a scrolling screenshot (which I’ll explain in a moment). You can also tap on the screenshot to get more options. But hurry — that corner version disappears in a few seconds.

    TAKE SCROLLING SCREENSHOTS WITH ANDROID 12

    One really nice feature in Android 12 is the ability to take scrolling screenshots — in other words, to get more of the page than you immediately see on your screen. Unfortunately, the feature seems to be a bit limited so far: for example, I was able to take a scrolling screenshot of my Settings app, but it did not work in Chrome (which is probably the place where most people would want one). At any rate, here’s how you do one:

    • Take your screenshot.
    • Look for the “Capture more” button down in the lower-left corner, next to the Share and Edit buttons. If it’s there, you’re in luck! Tap on it.
    • You’ll see the entire page on your display; the longer the page, the smaller the type. Adjust the margins to encompass as much of the page as you want to capture, then select “Save” at the top left of the screen.

TAKE SCREENSHOTS WITH ANDROID 11

  • Hold down the power button and press the volume-down button. Or…
  • Use the multitasking pane, which shows all your current apps, to reveal the Screenshot button. (Note: you won’t see the button if you’re using 2-button navigation. For more information on switching navigation methods, check our explanation here.) Tap the button to take a screenshot of the visible page.
  • Either way, the screenshot will appear as a thumbnail in the lower-left corner. Tap on the thumbnail to edit it, share it, or delete it.

TAKE SCREENSHOTS WITH ANDROID 10

  • Press and hold the power button. You’ll get a pop-out window on the right side of your screen with icons that let you power off, restart, call an emergency number, or take a screenshot. Or…
  • Hold down the power button and press the volume-down button.
  • After you’ve taken the screenshot, it will briefly appear as a smaller version and then disappear. A notification will appear at the top of your screen letting you know that the screenshot is being saved, and then, in a few seconds, it will be replaced by a drop-down that, if you tap it, will let you share or delete the screenshot or make some basic edits. That drop-down will also disappear after a few seconds, but if you check your top left notifications bar, you’ll find one for that screenshot.

Some Android phones (for example, certain Samsung and Huawei phones) let you take “long” screenshots, where you can scroll the screen down and capture the entire page. Check your phone’s support pages if you think you might have that. It can be handy.

FIND YOUR SCREENSHOTS

If you want to find all your past screenshots, and you’re using Android 10 or earlier:

  • Go to your Photos app
  • Tap on the three parallel lines in the top left corner
  • Select “Device folders” > “Screenshots”

If you want to find all your past screenshots, and you’re using Android 11:

  • Go to your Photos app
  • Tap on “Library” in the lower right corner
  • Under the category “Photos on device,” you should see one icon with the word “Screenshots” under it. Tap on that.
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