XDA Basics: How to take a Screenshot or Record your phone screen on Android
Are you not sure how to take a screenshot on Android? Android phones and tablets offer a number of ways to take screenshots, and if none of them work, you can always use an app to capture your Android phone’s screen. In this guide, we’ll talk about all the different ways you can take a screenshot on Android, regardless of the device manufacturer. Additionally, we’ll also tell you how you can record your Android phone screen.
But before we continue, let’s talk about what a screenshot or a screen recording is exactly.
What is a screenshot?
A screenshot is essentially a photograph of what’s visible on your device’s screen. When you take a screenshot, your phone’s software captures what’s on the screen and saves it to your device. Typically, you’ll find your device’s screenshots in the Gallery app under the Screenshots folder.
As a screenshot captures your device’s screen, it has exactly the same dimensions as the screen resolution. So if you’re taking a screenshot on a phone with full-HD resolution, the resulting screenshot will be 1920 x 1080 pixels. Also, the screenshot files are saved using the .png file type on Android.
What is a screen recording?
Unlike a screenshot, which is just a picture, screen recordings capture a video of what’s happening on your device’s screen. From the moment you begin recording your phone screen to the moment you end it, everything is captured and saved in your device’s gallery. Screen recordings also have the same resolution as the device resolution and are saved as .mp4 files.
Navigate this guide:
- How to take a screenshot on Android
- How to record your phone screen
How to take a screenshot on your Android phone or tablet
The standard method to take a screenshot on Android
Pretty much all Android phones allow taking screenshots using the combination of volume-down and power buttons. Just press these two buttons simultaneously and a screenshot will be captured. If you’re new to taking screenshots, you might have trouble timing the button presses but if you’re unsuccessful one time, you can always try again. Depending on which phone you’re using, the volume down and power buttons may be located at different places than the phone in the picture above.
Once the screenshot is captured, on the bottom left or bottom right on the screen, depending on the device manufacturer, a preview of the screenshot will show up. On other devices, the screenshot capture information may appear in the notification shade. You can open the screenshot from any of these places to edit or share it. You can also go to your phone’s gallery app and open the screenshots folder to view all the screenshots taken by you.
On older Android phones and tablets, if the vol-down + power button combination is not working, you can try the home button + power button combination to take a screenshot.
Taking a screenshot using the power button menu
In the newer Android versions, you can also capture a screenshot through the power menu. Long press the power button and choose ‘screenshot’ from the power menu to capture your phone’s screen.
Using ADB to take a screenshot
You can also use ADB to take a screenshot on your Android phone. It’s fairly simple if you already have ADB set up on your computer. If not, follow our guide on how to install ADB on Windows, Linux, or macOS to set it up first.
Once you’ve ADB set up on your computer, you can use one of the the following commands to capture a screenshot.
To save the screenshot on your computer:
adb exec-out screencap -p > screen.png
To save the screenshot on your phone:
adb shell screencap /sdcard/screen.png
Use an app to capture a screenshot
You can also use an app to capture screenshots on Android. There are a lot of apps in the Google Play store but Screenshot Easy and Screenshot Touch are two great apps that let you take screenshots as well as record your phone’s screen without much hassle. You can also edit the screenshots with these apps as well as capture full webpages using scrolling screenshots.
How to Record your phone screen on Android 11
Starting from Android 11, Google’s mobile operating system has started offering a native screen recording function.
- If your phone runs on Android 11 or newer, swipe down twice from the top of the screen to access the full list of visible Quick Settings.
- You’ll see a screen record icon but if that’s not immediately visible, you can swipe right to find it.
- If you still can’t see the icon, tap the pencil icon to edit the list of visible Quick Settings, and drag screen record to the visible Quick Settings.
- After you tap on the screen record icon, the system will ask whether to record audio or show touches on the screen. Select the options you need and tap on Start. Now it’ll show a quick countdown and begin recording your phone’s screen.
How to record your phone screen on Android 10 or below
Even though Android 10 and older versions don’t come with a native screen recording function from Google, some manufacturers have added their own versions. You can use those functions or download an app like AZ Screen Recorder from Google Play.
AZ Screen Recorder works with devices running Android 5.0 and newer and includes a number of features. You don’t need root access, and there’s no recording limit. As long as you have space on your Android phone, you can record your screen with this app. You can also pause and resume recording, or use input from your phone’s selfie camera. Moreover, the app lets you make GIFs from your screen recordings as well as take screenshots.
How to record screen using ADB
Apart from taking screenshots, you can also use ADB to record your phone’s screen. Use the following command to record the phone screen. After you have run the command, your phone will keep recording the screen until you stop it using Ctrl-C.
adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/example.mp4
The recordings are saved on your phone’s internal storage.