How to take a screenshot in VR with the Samsung Gear VR

Man with tattoos using Samsung Gear VR

Have you ever been in the middle of a cool virtual reality experience and suddenly wanted to take a picture of something that just came in view? You’ll likely fiddle your fingers around your Samsung Gear VR headset until you give up in frustration. Don’t worry, there is actually a simple way to take a screenshot in virtual reality on your Gear VR and share it with your friends on social media.

The screenshots taken on the Gear VR will be JPG files with a 1024 × 1024 resolution. Your full panoramic view in the experience will not be captured, so you have to make sure you get the right shot. While it’s not as easy as taking a screenshot on a PC, taking a screenshot in virtual reality on the Gear VR isn’t all that difficult either.

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Keith Nelson/ Digital Trends

Step 1: Find what you want to capture — Taking a screenshot in VR is a bit more complicated than pressing a few buttons quickly, so your best bet to getting a good one is to find what you want to capture and press pause on the experience. Even if you pause the experience right at the moment you want to capture, the experience will resume once you are readying it for a screenshot.

There will be a five second timer before the screenshot is taken, so you will have to be quick to click the pause button. I suggest pausing the experience a few seconds prior to the moment you wish to screenshot, giving yourself more time to pause it at exactly the frame you want.

Step 2 : Capture the image — Once you’ve got the image in VR you wish to capture, hold down the back button on the upper-right hand side of the headset for three seconds. That will take you out of the experience and into the settings page. From there, hover the cursor over the Capture & Share tab and click. In this section, you’ll see the screenshot button, which is located right above the Screenshot Gallery of all of the images taken in VR.

Once you click on the screenshot button, you will be taken back to the experience in progress. A red dot will flash for five seconds in the upper right hand corner of your view. Once the five seconds are up, the screen with briefly flash black. You’ll even hear a camera shutter sound, indicating that the screenshot was taken.

Voila! In no time at all you were able to capture a screenshot in VR.

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Keith Nelson Jr/Digital Trends

Step 3: Locate the image — There are a few ways to find your VR screenshot on your phone after it’s taken. After the screenshot is taken, you will still be in the experience. Return to the Capture & Share section by following the same steps you took to get to the Screenshot Gallery. Your screenshot should be viewable in the gallery immediately after it’s taken. The most recent screenshot will be the first one on your left, right above the Back icon. You can then click on your screenshot to get a bigger view of the image.

Another way is by removing the phone from the headset and clicking the Home button on your phone until you are taken back to the home screen. Tap the Apps button at the bottom of the screen to reveal all of the apps. Scroll down your list until you come across the stock Files app, which comes pre-installed on your Samsung Galaxy phone.

If you then click on the Images icon, your recently captured screenshot should be at the top of the pile. If it is not, click on the the three dots in the upper left-hand corner to bring up the Sort By menu. From there you can select the Time and Descending options to make sure your newly-taken screenshot can be at the top.

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Step 4: Share your screenshot — What good is a screenshot if no one sees it? Because Facebook is the default sharing option in the Gear VR, it’s the easiest way to post your screenshot on social media. If you want to share your screenshot on Facebook, then you will need to either log in to the Oculus Store with your Facebook account or link your Facebook account with your Oculus profile.

If you have never connected your Facebook account to an Oculus Store account, you’ll need to click on the Log-in with Facebook option at the Oculus Store sign-in screen. It will take you to the Create Account section where you can choose your username. Once you’ve chosen your username, click on Create & Continue. You will then have to input a 4-digit Oculus PIN and then click continue. Once you confirm the email attached to your Facebook account is the one you wish to get notifications from the Oculus Store at, then your Facebook will be fully linked to your newly created Oculus account.

If you already have an Oculus account, linking your Facebook account is even more intuitive. You click on the Friends tab at the bottom of the of the screen of the Oculus app. Clicking on the Find Facebook Friends will send you to the Link Your Facebook Account screen where you can then link your Facebook account to your Oculus account. Click Connect To Facebook button at the bottom and you will be taken to the Facebook login module. Once you enter in your Facebook credentials, your Facebook account will be linked to your Oculus Store account.

Once linked, you can easily share your VR screenshots on Facebook, just like you would any other photo. First, you have to click on a photo from your screenshot gallery, which will bring up the option of adding a caption to your photo. Under the caption section you can choose if you want the photo to be shared publicly, with friends, or only with yourself on Facebook. After you’ve made you selections, you can click on the Share to Facebook button at the bottom right. Within seconds your new VR screenshot will be posted on your Facebook page.

There is no way on the Samsung Gear VR to natively share a screenshot to other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. However, there are some relatively straightforward workarounds. After you have captured your screenshot and located it in your phone’s storage folders, you can long press the file until the Share option is presented. Clicking on the Share option will bring up all of the apps you can share your screenshot to, including Instagram and Twitter, assuming you have both official apps installed on your phone.