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How to take and view screenshots on an Apple Watch

How to take and view screenshots on an Apple Watch


Want to boast about how much you walked today?

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Screenshots can be very useful — if, for example, you want to post a photo boasting how many miles you ran today or if you’re a writer for The Verge who is trying to illustrate a how-to article. Things like that.

Creating a screenshot from an Apple Watch isn’t all that difficult, although viewing the screenshot directly on the Watch takes a few initial steps.

Set your Watch to take screenshots

Before you can take a screenshot with your Watch, you need to enable the feature from the Watch app on your iPhone.

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  • On the main screen, and tap “General”
  • Scroll down to the “Enable Screenshots” category, and toggle it on
Screenshots on Apple Watch
Screenshots on Apple Watch

Now you can take screenshots on your Apple Watch by pressing the Digital Crown and the side button simultaneously. (It will probably take two fingers, so this can be a somewhat awkward process.) The screen will flash white and, assuming your Watch is not muted, you’ll hear a “photo snapping” sound.

To see any screenshots you’ve taken:

  • Go to your iPhone’s Photo app
  • Scroll down to the “Media Types” section and tap on “Screenshots” to find your screenshots, including the ones you took with the Watch
Screenshots on Apple Watch
Screenshots on Apple Watch

Sync your album

You can also see your screenshots on your Watch, but it takes a little preparation. Specifically, you need to sync your Watch with one of the albums on your iPhone’s Photos app. For example, if you want to see your most recent photos on your Watch, including your screenshots, you would set your “Recently Added” album to sync:

  • On your iPhone, open your Watch app
  • On the main screen, scroll down to the Photos app
  • Tap on “Synced Album”
  • Select the “Recently Added” album
Screenshots on Apple Watch
Screenshots on Apple Watch

You don’t have to sync your Watch with that album, of course. For example, you can opt to sync it with your “Favorites” album, and then make your screenshot a Favorite photo (by long-pressing it in your iPhone’s Photos app and selecting “Favorite” from the pop-up menu).

You can also create an album for all the photos you want on your Watch by creating a new album (called, say, “Watch”), syncing that album with your Watch, and using the Photos app on your iPhone to move your screenshots (and any other photos you like) to that album.

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