How to Take a Screenshot on Your PC, Phone, and Tablet

Have you ever wanted to take a photo of your screen?

Maybe your IT guy is asking you what’s wrong with your computer, and you have no idea how to describe it.

Or maybe you saw a great video, and it’s moving too fast to read.
Capturing what you see on your screen by taking a screenshot is useful for a few reasons:

1. Save information: Take a screenshot to save recipes, videos, articles, graphs, etc. and read them at your leisure.

2. Share information: Send a screenshot to friends and family with a few taps of a button. This is especially useful in social media or text messages.

3. Capture errors: Use a screenshot to show tech support exactly what you’re seeing.

4. Save time: Taking a screenshot is quicker than copying information by hand.

But first…

What is a Screenshot?

A screenshot is a picture taken by your device that captures the visible items on your screen. The picture is stored as a static image file, readily available for you to pull up later for reference.  

Some people may call it a screen grab or screen capture.

Do I need to buy software to take a screenshot?

Nope! Screenshot functionality is built into your device’s operating system. And it’s really easy to do.

How to take a screenshot on a Windows PC or laptop

Capture the Entire Screen

  1. Hit Print Screen or PrtScrn or Alt+PrtScren or Alt+Fn+PrtScrn (what you see on your keyboard depends on your computer)
  2. Open your preferred program like Microsoft Word, Paint, or Adobe Photoshop
  3. Paste the screenshot to view, edit, or save your image

Capture a Part of the Screen

  1. Hit Windows Key+Shift+S
  2. Open your preferred program like Microsoft Word, Paint, or Adobe Photoshop
  3. Paste the screenshot to view, edit, or save your image

Use Snipping Tool

Your Windows device may come with a program called Snipping Tool.

Source: wikipedia.org

  1. Open Snipping Tool in your taskbar or list of programs
  2. Click New to select the part of the screen you want to capture, or Options to see other options
  3. Select File to save, email, or print your screenshot

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

To take a screenshot on a Mac, you have two options.

Capture the entire screen

Command (⌘)-Shift-3

Hit these keys at once to take a screenshot of your entire visible screen.
Capture a part of the screen

Shift-Command (⌘)-4

Hit these keys at once to select the part of your screen you want to capture.

This is useful when you only want to screenshot a specific portion of your screen like an error message.

Advanced screenshot options (MacOS Mojave only)

Shift-Command (⌘)-5

Hit these keys at once to see different screenshot options. You can capture still images, or record video of your screen.

How to take a screenshot on your Android

Hold down the Power button and Volume Down button

  1. Press and hold the Power button
  2. At the same time, press and hold the Volume Down button
  3. If your screenshot is successful, your phone will make an audible click (if your sound is enabled)
  4. Find your screenshot in the Screenshots folder of your image gallery

Note: Pressing these buttons down together can be tricky. Keep trying, and soon you’ll be a screenshot pro! Or, try the options below.

Ask Google Assistant or Bixby

  1. Activate your virtual assistant by saying “Hey Google” (for Google Assistant) or “Hi Bixby” (for Samsung Bixby)
  2. Ask your assistant to take a screenshot (try this: “Hey Google, take a screenshot”)
  3. Find your screenshot in your images gallery  

Using Palm Swipe (For some Samsung phones)

Source: samsung.com

  1. First, enable Palm Swipe
    • Go to your phone’s Settings
    • Search for and select Palm Swipe to capture
  2. Set your hand vertically on the left or right edge of your screen like you’re going to karate chop your phone
  3. With your hand in position, swipe horizontally across the screen like your hand is scanning the screen
    • Note: This may take a few tries to be successful
  4. If your screenshot is successful, your phone will make an audible click (if your sound is enabled)
  5. Find your screenshot in the Screenshots folder of your image gallery

How to take a screenshot on your iPhone or iPad

For iPhone X or later

  1. Press and hold the right Side button
  2. At the same time, press the Volume Up button
  3. Your screen will flash white and you will hear a click like a camera shutter if your sound is enabled
  4. Find your screenshot by going to Photos > Albums > Screenshots

For iPhone 8 or earlier

  1. Press and hold the Power button located on the right side of your phone
  2. At the same time, press the Home button
  3. Your screen will flash white and you will hear a click like a camera shutter if your sound is enabled
  4. Find your screenshot by going to Photos > Albums > Screenshots

For the 2018 iPad Pro (no home button)

  1. Press and hold the Top button
  2. At the same time, press the Volume Up button
  3. Find your screenshot by going to Photos > Albums > Screenshots

For all other iPads (with home button)

  1. Press and hold the Top button
  2. At the same time, press the Home button
  3. Find your screenshot by going to Photos > Albums > Screenshots

And that’s it! Easy enough, right? Knowing how to take a screenshot is an easy shortcut that can save you time.

When to take a screenshot

You can probably think of a lot of things to screenshot now! But here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Screenshot boarding passes and QR codes to make check-ins to flights and events as simple as possible
  • Remember event details by taking a screenshot of the invitation
  • Capture digital receipts like payment confirmations for your records
  • Never forget another grocery item: Screenshot items from text messages or from your grocery app to make it easy to find
  • Create a “wishlist” by screenshotting items you’d like to buy in the future – perfect for birthdays, holidays, or to treat yourself  
  • Share computer errors and problems with tech support
  • See something funny online? Screenshot it, and share it with friends via text or social media
  • At work, take a screenshot of presentations or important emails so they travel with you

Test it out and you’ll master this little hack in no time!

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