Take a screenshot under Android

Want to keep track of what is displayed on your smartphone? Take a screenshot! The method varies depending on the brand of your phone, but there is a universal technique for Android models.

A screenshot is the equivalent of a photo of what’s displayed on a screen, but in the form of an image-like file, so it’s easy to store, email or share on social networks. You’ll see a lot of them on the fact sheets on our site, but also in the instruction manuals and in the countless tutorials published on the Web. 

If it is simple and common to take screenshots on a computer (see our practical sheet Taking a screenshot with Windows 10), the operation is also possible on a smartphone. It is very useful when you visit a website and you find information that you want to keep or share, when you come across a bug that you want to show to an after-sales service, or when you want to keep track of an ephemeral message, for example. Be careful though, because some sensitive applications – such as those of banks, for example – block the screenshot function for obvious security reasons.

No need to install any application to take a screenshot, your phone already has the necessary tool as standard. You just need to know the procedure, which, under Android, can differ from one smartphone to another. Indeed, as you probably know, mobile manufacturers add a software overlay to Google’s operating system that allows to offer additional features and an interface that is often more pleasant than the basic version. Sometimes you have to go to the phone’s settings – by pressing the gear icon, usually present on the device’s home screen – to activate or customize the capture function. However, even if you don’t know all the subtleties and special features of your smartphone, you can still use the “universal” method, which, while not the most practical, works every time on any model.

Note that, whatever the method used, you will then find your capture in the image gallery of your phone, to edit or share it, just like any other image.

Make a screenshot on an Android smartphone with the buttons

Since version 6.0, Android integrates a basic screen capture function that can be used on all brands of phones, even the most exotic ones, by simply using two buttons. 

Simultaneously press the On/Off and Volume Down buttons for two seconds.

Everything displayed on the screen is then immediately saved as an image and automatically placed in the internal memory of your device, in a Screenshots folder.

Take a screenshot with a Samsung smartphone

On Samsung mobiles, there are several ways to take a screenshot: the universal method, with buttons, scanning the screen with the hand and using the stylus, on models that are equipped with it. 

If your Samsung mobile has a Home button, use the “universal” method by pressing the Home button and the Volume Down button simultaneously. 

Otherwise, with or without the Home button, you can also take a screenshot with a gesture, by scanning the screen from right to left (or vice versa) with the side of your hand.

To check that this function is activated, go to the device settings and select the Advanced Functions menu.

Then activate the Smart Capture and Scan to capture options using the associated switches.

If your smartphone is equipped with a stylus, remove the S Pen from its slot.

Immediately, the Air Command screen will appear with various options.

Select Capture with S Pen to take a screenshot.

Taking a screenshot with a Xiaomi smartphone

At Xiaomi, in addition to the universal method, there are many ways to make a screenshot. 

Simply drag three fingers to the bottom of the screen. The capture is immediately taken and saved. This is the simplest and most effective method.

If you prefer to use another way, you have to activate it by going to the mobile’s settings.

If you prefer to use another way, you have to activate it by going to the mobile's settings.

Open the Phone Settings, go to the Additional Settings section.

Then press the Function Shortcuts menu.

Finally, select the Take a screenshot section.

You will then have several choices:

Press and hold the Home button.

Press and hold down the Menu button.

Press and hold the Back button.

Press the Power and Home buttons simultaneously.

Press the Power and Menu buttons at the same time.

Press the Power and Back buttons simultaneously.

Note that the Home, Menu and Back virtual buttons must be displayed. These options cannot be used if you are navigating by full screen gesture within the system menus. If you select one of these methods, the system warns you that the necessary buttons are not available and offers you to switch to the classic display with the virtual Home, Menu and Back buttons.

Thanks to the MIUI overlay developed for Xiaomi smartphones, it is also possible to use the Touch Wizard. This is a sidebar that is only displayed when the user needs it and allows him to quickly activate certain functionalities. One of them is the screenshot.

To activate the Touch Wizard, go to the smartphone settings.

Select the Additional Settings function and then select Touch Wizard.

Drag the slider to the right on the next page to activate the Touch Wizard function.

Once the Touch Wizard is activated, open it by tapping the small chevron available on the right edge of the screen. Then, to take the desired screenshot, tap directly on the scissors icon in a frame.

Finally, the last method to take a screenshot on Xiaomi smartphones is to open the shortcut bar.

Simply drag a finger from the top of the screen to the bottom. Locate the icon with the pair of scissors in a frame and simply press it. If it is not immediately visible, scan to the left of this part of the menu to see the other shortcuts.

You can then take a screenshot of the screen, but sometimes with a small amount of latency. It is better to use the three-finger method, which is simpler and more responsive.

Taking a screenshot with a OnePlus smartphone

To capture with a OnePlus smartphone, you can use the universal method or an alternative technique.

Slide three fingers to the bottom of the screen.

The capture is immediately taken and saved to your phone.

Take a screenshot with a Huawei smartphone.

Take a screenshot with a Huawei smartphone.

On Huawei phones, there are several ways to take a screenshot. The builder even offers the ability to make long page recordings (scrolling screenshot) or to save only a portion of the content that is displayed. This is called a partial screenshot. Of course, you can use the classic method by simultaneously pressing the On/Off and Volume Down keys or else : 

Knock twice quickly on the screen with the joint of your finger.

To take a partial screenshot, tap on the screen once and draw a circle with your finger joint around the area you want to save as an image.

To make a scrolling screenshot, tap the screen once and draw an S with your knuckle. This way, you can save an image of your screen in the height direction, scrolling down, for example. 

Just like on Xiaomi smartphones, it is also possible to find the screen capture function in the notification bar and function shortcuts.

Scroll down the Notifications and Functions Shortcuts bar by scrolling from the top to the bottom of the screen. Locate the scissors icon in a frame. Simply tap it to take your screenshot.

If you have a Huawei Mate 40 Pro, a simple wave of your hand is all it takes to take a screenshot. Indeed, thanks to its frontal sensor, the smartphone is able to recognize certain gestures made a few centimeters away from it. First of all, make sure that the function is activated.

Go to your phone’s settings, then go to Accessibility features.

Then, open the IntelliSens section and go to Image Capture.

Move the switch to enable the Image Capture feature if it is disabled by default.

Then, to take a screenshot, simply place the palm of your open hand about 20 centimeters away from the camera’s front photo sensor.

When a symbol representing a hand appears, close your fist and the screen content is automatically saved.

Taking a screenshot with an Oppo smartphone

At Oppo, in addition to the universal method, there are two other ways to make a screenshot.

Scan the screen down with three fingers to make a full screenshot.

Press and hold the screen with three fingers to make a partial screenshot. A cropping area appears immediately, and you can then resize the frame in width and height to show only the portion you want to keep. Once you are satisfied, simply press the Save button in the small menu that appears at the bottom of the screen to actually take the capture and save it to your phone’s internal memory. 

Taking a Screenshot with a Vivo Smartphone

Taking a Screenshot with a Vivo Smartphone

In addition to the classic two-second on/off and low volume key combination, Vivo offers two other ways to take a screenshot on smartphones.

Scan the screen down with three fingers.

Or press and hold the Power button for two seconds to bring up an overlay menu of options.

Then simply tap the Capture function to take a screenshot. The image that is then immediately saved is the one below this menu.

Making a screenshot with a Wiko smartphone

To take a screenshot with a Wiko-branded phone, you must first activate the corresponding function in the phone’s settings.

Open the settings application then go to the Wiko Features section and enable the Three Finger Screenshot option.

Once the function is activated, to take a screenshot, scan down the screen with three fingers.

Alternatively, press and hold the power button for two seconds to open the Power button menu, and then select the Screen Capture feature, just like on Vivo smartphones.

Taking a Screenshot with a Google Smartphone

In addition to the universal method, you can access the screenshot function from the application manager on Google phones running Android 11, the latest version of Google’s system. 

Slide a finger from the bottom of the screen to the center and hold your finger there for two seconds.

You’ll see previews of the applications you’re running, as well as the Screenshot command at the bottom right.

Taking a screenshot with a Realme smartphone

At Realme, we are entitled to the same menus as on the Oppo mobiles for the realization of screenshots. In addition to the universal way, there are two other alternative methods, one of which allows, as on Huawei mobiles, to make a partial screenshot.

Scan the screen down with three fingers to make a full screenshot.

Press and hold the screen with three fingers to take a partial screenshot.

Taking a Screenshot with a Motorola Smartphone

Screenshot with a Motorola Smartphone

To take a screenshot with a Motorola phone, you can use the universal method or an alternative technique.

Press and hold three fingers on the screen for two seconds. Your capture is immediately taken and saved.

Note that it is possible to prevent screen capture in some applications.

To do so, go to your phone’s settings by pressing the gear icon. 

Open the System section, then go to the Gestures section.

Then select the Three Finger Screen Capture function.

Press the Settings button in the lower left corner of the screen.

On the next page, press the Exceptions menu, 

Finally press the + button at the bottom right of the screen to add an application to the exceptions.