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How to take screenshots on your Android phone

A quick way to take photos of your display

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

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 6 phone to create screenshots using Android 12, a Pixel 3 to create screenshots with Android 11, and an original Pixel to create screenshots with Android 10. Your mileage may vary (especially if you’re using a Samsung phone), but this could give you at least some direction, even if you’re using a different type of device.

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. Or...
  • Activate Google Assistant, and tell it to take a screenshot.
A small version of your screenshot appears in the lower left corner.
A small version of your screenshot appears in the lower left corner.
You can also take a screenshot by going to the Recents screen.
You can also take a screenshot by going to the Recents screen.

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. (Some Android phones, such as certain Samsung and Huawei phones, have had this feature for a while and may implement it differently.)

  • Take your screenshot.
  • Look for the Capture more button down in the lower-left corner, next to the Share and Edit buttons. (It may not be available in all apps.) 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.
The “Capture more” button will let you take a scrolling screenshot.
The “Capture more” button will let you take a scrolling screenshot.
Adjust the margins to encompass the part of the page you want to capture.
Adjust the margins to encompass the part of the page you want to capture.

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.
In Android 11, you can tap on the Screenshot button.
In Android 11, you can tap on the Screenshot button.
Tap on the screenshot’s thumbnail to edit or share it.
Tap on the screenshot’s thumbnail to edit or share 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.
Hold in the power button and tap on “Screenshot.”
Hold in the power button and tap on “Screenshot.”
After the screenshot is saved, you’ll have a chance to edit or share it.
After the screenshot is saved, you’ll have a chance to edit or share it.
  • 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.
If you miss the share / edit / delete drop-down, you can find the new screenshot in your notifications.
If you miss the share / edit / delete drop-down, you can find the new screenshot in your notifications.
Android lets you do some basic photo editing.
Android lets you do some basic photo editing.

Find your screenshots

Your screenshots won’t do you much good if you can’t find them! There’s an easy way to find your screenshots if you’re using Android 12:

  • Long press on the Photos icon on your home screen.
  • Tap the Screenshot shortcut. It will take you directly to your Screenshots folder.

Otherwise, if you’re using Android 11 or 12:

  • Go to your Photos app.
  • Tap on Library in the lower right corner.
  • Under the category Photos on device, you should see an icon with the word Screenshots under it. Tap on that.
Home screen with dropdown Photos menu
You can go to your Screenshots folder directly from your home screen.
Photo app home screen
You can also find your screenshots in your Photo app.

If 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.

Update July 20th, 2022, 11:36AM ET: This article was originally published on July 27th, 2020, and has been since updated to include directions for Android 11 and 12.