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How to take a screenshot on your Xbox One

The Xbox One is capable of producing some truly jaw-dropping experiences, and sometimes you can’t help but stop and marvel at your television display. Whether you’re feasting your eyes on a beautiful in-game vista or celebrating a particularly lopsided victory in an online multiplayer, you might want to share the moment with anyone and everyone. Thankfully, the process for capturing screenshots on your Xbox One is extremely simple.

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Capturing a screenshot using an Xbox One controller

xbox one screenshot
Image used with permission by copyright holder

First, tap the Xbox button in the center of your controller — aka the big, circular logo button that lights up. This will open the Xbox Guide Menu. Once there, click the “Y” button to instantly take a screenshot. This will save a moment in a game for you to share and revisit.

xbox one screenshot
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Capturing a screenshot using voice commands

If you’re using a Kinect sensor — the proprietary motion sensor that was once bundled with the Xbox One — simply say, “Xbox, take a screenshot.” Alternatively, if you’re using an Amazon Alexa instead of the Kinect’s legacy commands, say, “Alexa, take a screenshot!” The latter command will work with your Kinect sensor or a headset, assuming you’ve enabled the feature.

To connect the Amazon Alexa to the Xbox One, start by going to either or log into the app on your smart device. Once on the Alexa homepage in the app, select Menu > Skills. Search for “Xbox” in the Skills section — the app will be published by Microsoft. Select this app, and the Microsoft login page should pop up. Use the username and password for the Xbox Live account that you want to connect and control with Alexa. This will prompt some permissions that players will need to approve, and then the links will be connected.

Once this is complete, head back to the Xbox and open System > Settings. Select Kinect & Devices and open the Digital Assistance option. You’ll be asked for your password again, but then you’ll be asked if you would like to enable Digital Assistance. Check the box to allow Digital Assistance, and head back to the home screen. Power on Alexa and say, “Alexa, pair with Xbox.” Alexa will give you the announcement that you can control the gaming system with a voice command!

xbox one
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Keep in mind, however, that you won’t be able to capture screenshots or video of the Xbox’s menu screens. You’ll also need to be in a game or app in order to save recordings or screenshots, and any time spent navigating menus will not be reflected in resulting video.

Sharing your screenshots

When you’re ready to share the screenshots you’ve taken, go to the Guide Menu by pressing the Xbox Button on the controller. At the end of the guide menu are a few options to choose from: Screenshot, Record That, Capture Options, and System Options. To open a list of recent captures, simply long-press the View button on the controller. Find and select the image you want to share, which will open a Share Panel.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

You’ll be prompted with a selection of outlets — among them Activity Feed, Twitter, OneDrive, and private messages — from which to choose. Once that’s taken care of, you’re finished! Your masterpiece will live on forever. You can also set your screenshots as your home background, or save them across different locations, in case your console is hooked up to an external storage device.

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Nick Hastings
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick is a Portland native and a graduate of Saint Mary's College of California with a Bachelor's of Communication. Nick's…
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