When you take a screenshot on your smartphone or tablet, your Android captures your screen's content at that exact moment. This comes in handy if you want to brag about your latest high score or need to show someone what your boss had the audacity to say. 🙂 Whatever your reasons, this tutorial illustrates seven ways to take a screenshot on Android, on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, as well as on Android devices made by other manufacturers:
NOTE: This guide applies to Android 10. If you do not know your Android version, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet. The procedures are similar on most Android-powered devices, although you might come across some small differences, depending on your device's manufacturer. If you're using a Samsung smartphone, make sure not to miss the dedicated sections at the end of this guide.
1. How to take a screenshot with the Power and Volume Down buttons (also on Samsung Android devices)
This is the most common method to take a screenshot on Android, and it works on most devices (including Samsung Galaxy). All you have to do is open the screen you want to capture, and then press the Power and the Volume Down buttons simultaneously. So you first need to locate them on your Android device. On most Android smartphones today, you can find the two buttons on top of each other on the right edge of your phone, as seen below.
The Power and Volume Down buttons can be placed differently depending on your Android device and who manufactured it. Another popular placement has the Power button on the right edge of the phone, and the Volume Down button on the left.
Another variable is how long you press the two buttons to take a screenshot on your Android. On most devices, you have to press-and-hold the buttons until you get a white flash, a sound, and/or an animation. A pop-up with a thumbnail of your image might also let you know that you successfully captured the contents of your screen.
On our Samsung Galaxy, you have to briefly press the two buttons. Your Samsung Android device then displays the animated Smart capture menu at the bottom of the screen. This offers you more options for your screenshot, like Scroll capture, which we discuss in the last chapter of this tutorial.
NOTE: If this method does not work on your smartphone, try something different: simultaneously press the Power and Home buttons to take a screenshot instead. This button combo is used mostly on Samsung Android devices that include a physical Home button, so it might also do the trick for you. Either way, we're sure that, in the following chapters, you can find at least one other way to take a screenshot on your Android, since most devices offer several options for this.
2. How to take a screenshot on Android from Quick Settings
Some Android smartphone manufacturers offer a button to take screenshots in your Android Quick Settings menu. To access it, swipe down from the top of your screen.
To find the entry you need, you might have to extend the list of Quick Settings by swiping down again. Search for a button called Screenshot or Screen capture - the name differs depending on your Android device. When you tap on the button, the Quick Settings menu slides up, and your smartphone captures what's left on your screen.
TIP: On some devices, you might have to add the Screenshot button to the Quick Settings. Read our tutorial on customizing the Android Quick Settings menu to learn how to do that and how to make the button more easily accessible, if you like this method.
3. How to screenshot on Android from the Power button menu
Some manufacturers include a Screenshot option in the Power button menu, most likely to accommodate users struggling with the first method. Since there's something you want to capture on your screen, you obviously know how to start your Android device, so you already identified where the Power button is. 🙂 Press-and-hold on it, and a menu should pop up on the right side of your screen. From the few options available, tap on Screenshot.
The menu pops back in, and your Android device takes a screenshot of your screen.
TIP: Any screenshot you take on your smartphone is stored in the Photos app, and Samsung also offers the Gallery app on its Android devices. Go through your Photos/Pictures tab or access the Library/Albums tab to find the Screenshots folder.
Check out our tutorial, Where are screenshots saved?, to learn more on this subject.
4. How to take a screenshot with a third-party app like Screen Master (works on all Android devices)
Fire up the Google Play Store and look for third-party apps for taking screenshots. There are many apps that help your screenshot on Android, but, in our opinion, one of the best is Screen Master: Screenshot & Longshot, Photo Markup. Install and open it - we created this tutorial if you need help getting an app from the Google Play Store.
Screen Master allows you to enable a floating button for taking screenshots, that is always available, or to "Shake to take screenshots" - both great options that some might prefer to take screenshots on Android.
The app also lets you customize other details about taking screenshots, like changing the screenshot format on Android. You can also use Stitch Photo to paste your screenshots on top of each other, although Samsung Galaxy users might prefer the built-in Scroll capture, discussed in the last section of this tutorial.
5. How to screenshot on Android Samsung devices with Palm swipe to capture
On top of the two methods we already went over, Samsung Galaxy devices offer several more options to screenshot on Android. Unfortunately, most of them aren't exactly intuitive, so it's best if you know what you're looking for. We'll start with "Palm swipe to capture," because it's awesome, and we can't quite understand why it's not present on every Android device. To enable the feature, open Settings, scroll down, and tap on Advanced features.
On the Advanced features screen, scroll down again, and then access "Motions and gestures."
The "Palm swipe to capture" feature has a switch next to it. Tap on the switch to turn the feature On. Alternatively, you can also press on "Palm swipe to capture" to access an additional screen.
On the next screen, you also get a switch to turn "Palm swipe to capture" On or Off. However, the animation underneath is of more interest because it shows you exactly how to use it. In short, position the edge of your hand perpendicularly, as if you'd like to karate chop your screen. Then, keeping that position, slide the entire side of your hand, gently brushing the screen from one edge to the other (either left to right or vice versa) to take a screenshot.
6. How to take a screenshot on Android Samsung devices from the Smart select panel
Another way to take screenshots on Android Samsung devices is by using the Smart select edge panel. You can use it to capture as much of the screen as you want, eliminating the need to further edit the images. Smart select is one of your Edge panels. To access it, first find the Edge panel handle. The handle looks like a scroll bar and is positioned somewhere along the edge of your screen (on our Samsung Galaxy, it was placed by default on the upper-right edge). Tap on it and drag your finger inwards to slide out the edge panel. You can even slide left or right to browse different Edge panels until you find Smart select. The two buttons on top let you decide the shape of your capture.
Resize the grid to fit what you want to capture, and finish taking a screenshot by pressing Done.
If you're having problems using this method to take screenshots on your Android Samsung device, you can configure some options by opening the Settings app. Then, tap on Display.
Scroll down and tap on the Edge screen option.
On top of the next screen, you can see an animation on how to access the Edge panels. Make sure Edge panels are On by tapping the switch next to the option. Press on Edge panels.
Next, you can see the available Edge panels and toggle the option from the switch on top. Smart select should be enabled by default, but feel free to add any other panels you want to use. If you followed all the steps to this point and can't locate your Edge panels, tap on the More option from the top-right corner.
Access the Handle settings, where you can customize your Edge panel handle to make it visible and easy-to-use.
7. How to use Bixby to take screenshots on Samsung Galaxy
If you're using Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant, you can have it take a screenshot for you on Android Samsung. Go to the screen you want to capture, make sure it's listening, and then say "screenshot" or "take a screenshot."
Bixby immediately captures your screen.
NOTE: We were prepared to include a Google Assistant section also in this tutorial, but, unfortunately, at the time we're writing this article, the feature is not working on any of our devices. The Google Assistant seems to recognize the command, but gets stuck loading when it's time to take the screenshot. At the time, Bixby appears to be the more reliable option if you insist on using your voice to take a screenshot.
BONUS: Use Scroll capture on a Samsung Android to take one long screenshot of what you're looking at
Samsung has one extra trick up its sleeve: the easily accessible Scroll capture button, that lets you take long screenshots, capturing all the data you need in one image. Every time you take a screenshot on your Samsung Galaxy device, the animated Smart capture menu bar is displayed at the bottom of your screen, offering more options.
If you can scroll on the screen you're on, whether it's a web page or an app menu, an extra option called Scroll capture appears on the left of the Smart capture menu. Its icon includes a downward double arrow bouncing up and down. Tap on it, and your Samsung Galaxy Android screenshots the area under your initial capture as well, automatically stitching the two together.
This feature is helpful when the data you want to share or save is too long to capture in just one screenshot. And that's not all: you can continue tapping the Scroll capture button to include the next screen until it either reaches the bottom or you are done capturing everything you wanted. A preview of your screenshot is displayed in real time in the lower-left corner, and you can press it to access your image when you're done.
Just keep in mind that the resulting screenshot can be very long, as you can see below.
Which way do you take screenshots on your Android?
As you can see, if you need to save what's on your Android device's screen, there are plenty of ways to do it, regardless of the Android device you're using. We work on several smartphones from different manufacturers, so we instinctively use the first (universal) method. However, on my Samsung Galaxy Android device, I prefer to take screenshots with "Palm swipe to capture" because it feels a bit like I'm scanning the screen with the edge of my hand. 🙂 What about you? Which methods to take screenshots do you prefer? Let us know in the comments, and if your Android has a special screenshot method, feel free to share it.