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How to Take a Screenshot on iOS, Android, Windows PC, and Mac Devices

Both mobile devices and computers have built-in ways to capture a snapshot of the screen so you can easily save something or share it. Here’s a quick reference guide on how to do that.

Take a screenshot on iOS

Taking a screenshot on iPhone or iPad generally involves pressing a combination of 2 buttons at the same time and then releasing. The process differs depending on whether your device has a home button or not.

  • iPhone/iPad with Face ID (no home button): Press power and volume up buttons at the same time. This includes iPhone X or later, and 2018 or later iPad Pros.
  • iPhone/iPad with Home button: Press power and home buttons at the same time

See Apple’s official page on taking screenshots on iPhone and on iPad for more details with illustrations.

Take a screenshot on Android

Since Android devices have so many manufacturers, there could be many different ways to take a screenshot. However, you can try the following methods:

  • Method 1: Press and hold power and volume down buttons for a few seconds
  • Method 2: Press and hold power button for a few seconds, then select Screenshot

See Google’s official page on taking screenshots on Android for more details.

Take a screenshot on Windows

Depending on your version of Windows, there may be different ways of taking screenshots. The simplest method works on any version of Windows.

  • All Versions (Print Screen): The simplest method of taking a screenshot is simply to press the Print Screen key to copy your screen to your clipboard. Then you can paste it into any application that supports it. My favorite is image viewer (and light editor) IrfanView. Holding Alt + pressing Print Screen captures only the active window instead of the entire screen. On Windows 8 and higher, holding the Windows key + pressing Print Screen keys will save a .png file to your Pictures > Screenshots folder instead.
  • Windows 10 (Snip & Sketch): Press Windows logo key + Shift + S to bring up the snipping bar at the top of your screen, which gives you options between capturing a portion or the entire screen. The captured screen will be on your clipboard, and you will get a notification that opens in the Snip & Sketch app when you click it so you can make some basic edits before saving. See more details from Microsoft on how to take a screenshot in Windows 10.
  • Windows 8 / Windows 7 (Snipping Tool): Use the Snipping Tool app to take a screenshot with options from free-form to full-screen snip. This app is replaced by Snip & Sketch in later versions of Windows 10. See more details from Microsoft on how to use the Snipping Tool to capture screenshots.

Take a screenshot on Mac OS

Mac OS has several keyboard shortcuts built-in for various types of screen captures.

  • Full-screen screenshot: Shift + Command + 3 saves the screenshot to your desktop.
  • Selected area screenshot: Shift + Command + 4 will bring up a crosshair so you can drag the area to capture.
  • Window or menu screenshot: Shift + Command + 4 + Space bar will bring up a camera icon so you can select the window or menu to capture.
  • Clipboard capture: For any of the above, also hold Control to save to the clipboard instead of a file.
  • Screenshot app (Mojave and higher): Shift + Command + 5 opens the Screenshot app, which gives you more options including screen recording, timed delays, whether to show the mouse pointer, and where to save the file.

See Apple’s official pages on taking a screenshot on Mac and the Screenshot app.

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