Taking a screenshot on Android is easy, but the process isn't the same for every device. Before you learn how to take a screenshot you should check which version of Android your smartphone or tablet is running. If you have a relatively modern smartphone (post-2011), such as a Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S5, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z/Z1/Z2 or Nexus 4/5, then you should be running at least Android HoneyComb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean or KitKat, which makes taking a screenshot a doddle. See all Android How-To tutorials.
If your smartphone is running Gingerbread (Android 2.3) or below then taking a screenshot can be more difficult, but we'll come to that later on. See also: How to run Android apps on your PC or laptop
How to take a screenshot on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat: Galaxy S3/S4/S5, HTC One, Xperia Z/Z1/Z2, Nexus 4/5 and other new Android smartphones.
There are two main ways that you can take a screenshot on Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and above.
The first and easiest way to take a screenshot on Android 4.0 and above is to simply press and hold your smartphone's power and volume down button at the same time for 1- to 2 seconds. On some phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, you will instead need to combine the volume down button with the Home button. You should then hear a shutter noise and the screen will flash; there will also be a screenshot notification in the drop-down notification bar from which you can access your screenshot.
The second method is simple, too. On some phones the 'Take a screenshot' option is available from the Power off menu. Press and hold the power button for 1- to 2 seconds until the power options screen appears. If the option is available select 'Take a Screenshot'. Don't worry, it will take a screenshot of whatever is behind this menu.
How to take a screenshot on Android 2.3 and below
If you're running Android 2.3 and below then you're going to need to download an app to take a screenshot. This is where things get a little confusing as the effectiveness of the screenshot apps on offer vary from smartphone to smartphone.
If you're willing to pay for an app to enable you to take screenshots on your Android smartphone - and you don't want to go through the hassle of rooting your Android device - then you should try the app No Root Screenshot It (£2.99). Bear in mind that “This application will instruct you to download and install a free desktop application on your Windows or Mac. Once installed, you must run the desktop application with your phone attached to your computer. This will enable screenshots on your phone.”
If you're unwilling to pay for a screenshot app, the only advice we can offer is to search the Google Play store and trial a number of apps based on their star rating and find an app that works well with your device.
Go to the next page to see other ways to take screenshots on Android smartphones and tablets.
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