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CameraBeing able to take a quick screenshot of something that we see on our computer screens is very convenient. I actually have a post on my site that describes how to use the printscreen button on laptop computers that I wrote because so many people seem to want to know how to capture screenshots.

Now that Android powered tablet computers are becoming so popular, a lot of people are wondering how to take Android screenshots. In this article I’ll be teaching you how easy it is to take an Android screenshot without root level access on tablets that are running Google’s tablet OS. I’ll also show you two ways to capture a screenshot on Android powered cell phones without rooting your phone.

Taking an Android Screenshot In Version 3.0

We’ll start off with the easy stuff first. If you have a device that is running Google Android version 3.0 (Honeycomb) or higher, taking a snapshot of your screen couldn’t be easier. FINALLY, Google realized that this is a feature that people really want and now this functionality is built right into the OS. At the bottom of any devices that are running Honeycomb, you’ll see what is called the “system bar”. This is where your navigation icons live in this version of the operating system.

The fourth icon over from the left is the Android screen capture icon. All you have to do is tap this icon and a photograph of whatever happens to be on your screen at the moment will be saved to the device’s photo gallery.

Screenshot Android

After you have your screenshot saved to the gallery, you can do whatever you want with it. I usually email it to myself which makes it a snap to get the images onto my computer.

Using An Android Screenshot App

Due to the fact that Google was a bit shortsighted and they didn’t include screen capture functionality in their earlier versions of the OS, developers were forced to take matters into their own hands and create apps that can be used for taking Android screenshots. The problem with these apps is that most of them require that you root your device and a lot of people just aren’t comfortable doing that.

There is an app in the market called “No Root Screenshot It” that was made by a developer by the name of Edward Kim. It’s not a free app but it only costs $4.99 to buy it. If you decide to purchase it, you’ll also have to download and install a free app onto your computer and your phone will have to be connected to your computer via a USB cable.

I’ve personally never used this app but after looking through some of the reviews in the Android Market, people seem to have a lot of complaints about it. The most common complaints seem to be that it’s difficult to get set up and to find the right drivers for your computer. Several others reported that they had to set the app up each time they restarted their phone. If you ask me, this just isn’t acceptable.

Taking Screenshots On Android Google’s Way

This is the method that I use when I want to take a screenshot on my Android powered cell phone. I must admit that getting everything setup on my computer was time consuming and frustrating. I had several problems with the installation but now that it’s on my computer, I just have to connect my phone with a USB cable and I can capture screenshots on Android at will.

Here are the basic steps that I went through to get this done.

  1. I downloaded and installed the free Android SDK (software development kit) onto my computer.
  2. I downloaded and installed the free Java Development Kit (JDK) onto my computer.
  3. I set my phone up to “Enable USB Debugging” mode.
  4. I connected my phone to my computer with a USB cable.
  5. I launched a program called “ddms” (Dalvik Debug Monitor)which I found in the “tools” directory that was created when I installed the Android SDK onto my computer.
  6. Whenever ddms is running on my computer, my phone is listed in the “name” window and I just click on it.
  7. Lastly I simply click the “Device” option at the top of the screen and then select the “Screen Capture” option.

Here’s an image of the screen that is used to capture a screenshot on Android using the ddms app.
ddms screenshot

Like I mentioned, it was a pain getting this all installed and working but now that it’s done, I have no problems at all grabbing screenshots from my smartphone. I MUCH prefer the ease of capturing an Android screen shot with the one touch button on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 but at least I can get images of my Android screens from my cell phone when I need them now.

None of the tips I’ve shared with you today require that you have root level access to your phone so give them a try the next time you need to immortalize something that you see on your mobile device.


I receive compensation due to affiliate links or endorsements on this website: Disclosure of Compensation