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How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy S6, or any other Android device

Taking a snapshot of your Android phone’s screen is not hard, and there are all sorts of other situations where a screenshot would come in handy, from sharing your home screen setup with friends to obtaining pictorial proof of your new high score in a game. These days, it’s not hard, either!

This guide uses the Samsung Galaxy S6Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 4Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy Note as examples.

We’ve also included a guide to taking a screenshot on any other Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2, 4.3), KitKat (4.4), or Android 5.0 Lollipop device (that’s most of them).

Related: How to take a screenshot on a PC, Mac, iOS.

How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy with a hand swipe

Taking a screenshot on the Galaxy S6 (or almost any other Galaxy phone) with a hand swipe is easy.

  1. Set your hand vertically on either side of the screen, and shape it like you are karate chopping the phone.
  2. Horizontally swipe across the screen like your hand is a photo scanner.
  3. You should hear the camera shutter, see a screenshot move across the screen, and receive a notification that a picture has been saved to the gallery.
  4. It takes a few tries.

How to check if “Palm swipe to capture” is enabled on your Galaxy

If you can’t get it to work, you may have to enable the feature in Settings.

  1. Open Settings > Motions and gestures (in the Motion category).
  2. Tick the Palm swipe to capture box.
  3. Close the menu and find the screen you want to capture.
  4. Enjoy!

How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy phone using buttons

This should work on the Galaxy S6 and older phones like the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Zoom, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy Tab 3 Pro, Galaxy S4 Mini, and Galaxy S3. Any Samsung phone that has a Home button should work.

  1. Press the Power and Home buttons at the same time.
  2. Hold for a second, until a shutter sound is heard or you see a visual indicating a picture was taken.
  3. This can be awkward to get right. You need to hold the Power button slightly before pressing the Home button, then hold them both down.

How to take a screenshot on an older Galaxy using a hand swipe

If your Samsung phone is older than a Galaxy S4 (2013), you should try this technique.

  1. Open Settings > Motion.
  2. Scroll down and find Hand Motion, then Palm swipe to capture, and tick the box.
  3. Close the menu and find the screen you want to capture.
  4. Set your hand vertically on either side of the screen and shape it like you are karate chopping the phone.
  5. Horizontally swipe across the screen like your hand is a photo scanner.
  6. You should hear the camera shutter, see a screenshot move across the screen, and receive a notification that a picture has been saved to the gallery.
  7. It takes a few tries.

How to take a screenshot using the S Pen

This technique is on the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note Pro, and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). There are two new ways to take screenshots. To use these, you have to open the Air Command menu, which you can do by pulling out the S Pen stylus, or by hovering the pen over the screen and clicking the button on it.

  • Scrapbooker: This is a selection in the Air Command radial menu. It lets you draw a circle around a part of the screen to take a screenshot. After you take a picture of part of the screen, you can add tags, notes, and categories to organize the pic. You can access the photo from a special scrapbook app on the device.
  • Screen Write: This feature was also on the Note 2, but that device lacked an Air Command menu. Select it from the options to take a screenshot. You can then write notes on top of the image. There are options to change your pen color and size if you want to get creative.
  • Just hold the button and tap: On all S Pen Galaxy devices, you can also hold down the button on the S Pen and touch the pen to the screen, holding it there until you see and/or hear a screenshot being taken. This technique is best on the Note 2, Note 8.0, and original Note 10.1.

How to take a screenshot on any other Android device

Taking a screenshot on any other Android phone or tablet (as in, not a Samsung device) is pretty easy, but a little different.

  1. Press the Power button and Volume down key at the same time.
  2. Remember to hold them until you hear a click or a screenshot sound.

For older Android phones, such as those running 2.3 Gingerbread (go buy a new phone, please), you’ll need to head over to the Google Play Store, where there are several apps that will do the job for you. Screenshot ER and Screenshot UX are popular choices, but require you to root your phone. You can also take a look at No Root Screenshot It if you don’t want to root your device.

If you’re using Android 4.4 KitKat or 5.0 Lollipop and share a screenshot after you take it, the text field will automatically include the date and time you took the photo. You can delete it if you wish.

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Guide updates

Updated on 4-14-2015 by Jeffrey Van Camp: I added the Galaxy S6 to this roundup and did some formatting cleanup to make it easier to read.

Updated on 10-23-2014: We’ve added the Galaxy Note 4 to this guide. Taking a screenshot on the Note 4 is the same as any other Galaxy device. You can use the palm swipe gesture, the Power+Home button combination, or the S Pen.

Updated on 10-13-2014: Added a new instructional video.

Updated on 4-15-2014 by Jeffrey Van Camp: Added Galaxy S5.

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