How to take a screenshot with the iPhone

How to take a screenshot with the iPhone

While this might be second-nature to some, Apple doesn't tell you how to take a screenshot out of the box. So, not everyone may yet know that they can capture their iPhone — or iPad or iPod touch — screen content with just the touch of a button (well, two buttons actually).

To take a screenshot with your iPhone or iPod Touch, just press the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time. If you nail the timing, the screen will flash and you'll hear the same camera shutter sound that the Camera app makes when you take a photo.

To access and share your screenshots go to Photos and open the Camera Roll. (Note: Images updated to reflect iOS 7.)

How to take a screenshot with the iPhone

Here's a video showing all the screen capture steps:

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 120 comments. Add yours.

ken says:

I use it to take snapshots of google maps for me to switch between and websites / pics for viewing offline.

Jason Maltese says:

I figured this out the first week the 2.0 software and new iphone launched. At first i thought there was a glitch in the phone... FREAKED ME OUT.... I work for ATT and i finaly figured out that it did this when i was setting up the iphone for a customer. Not really sure why they put this but it sure does come in handy when you find something really cool and want to show your friends.

mcswan says:

I used it on two different occasions to capture a bug for a developer.

RsB says:

DAMN fun feature..took a screen shot...opened the photo...gave the iPhone to my buddy...he could not figure out why the icons were not working..he tried tapping..double tapping...index finger..thumb..nothing worked...HAHAHA...damn funny app

Chaunce says:

@RsB: not sure how your buddy didn't figure it out. When you tap on an image within the camera roll each finger tap to the screen displays and turns off the "camera roll header and footer" with the controls. Dragging the image would have moved it to the next image in line if there were one. If he double taps the image, the image will zoom. He must have not have had any experience with an iPhone before.

Sean says:

its easy to dupe retarted friends I guess. For that matter, RsB may be retarted also, since he didn't notice it and actually posted about it.

Zubair says:

this is well cool. I accidently took a screen grab, freaked me out ;) good functionality!!

anthony says:

coudnt work out how to do it until i found this blog. thanks

Ira says:

you'r a thunk Apple would actually publicize something that is a handy feature. I used to save some memorable (blush) SMS text messages.

Camilla says:

Didn't know that you could take screenshots from the iPhone screen... great :-))

Mitchell says:

@Ira. Scum!!! This don't work it just locks my phone :S

Mitchell says:

You can't accidently take a screen shot on iPhone or iPod Touch. You have to press two buttons? You accidently pressed them? Get real

Ptcoeur900 says:

I actually did as I was trying to shut off my phone

Nathan says:

My kids kept accidentally taking screenshots while playing games. I had no idea how they did it until I found this blog. So, it's possible.

Urska says:

Same here :) my 3 year old did it by chance so I googled how to do it...

Nenalabuenisima says:

Ummmm... U can actually take accidental screen shots. I have done it for months and I just googled it today after seeing like 12 pictures of my lock screen.

Jeffrey Ruta says:

Lots of Fantastic information in your posting, I favorited your blog so I can visit again in the future, Thanks

jordan says:

@mitchell
uhh ive accidently done it a couple times its two buttons i have ten fingers you get real

Mitchell says:

@Jordan don't be Dutch. cûñt, plus this don't work on my phone. It just locks it without taking a screenshot

Mitchell says:

@Jordan don't be sutch a çûnt

Kelly Wilson says:

My 20 month old was taking screen shots on my phone by accident, and I could never figure out how he did it lol. Love this feature, Thanks! :)

Terry Morse says:

This method is not working with an iPhone 3gs and software 4.0. Pressing the two buttons simultaneously brings up the shut down screen.

Zachary Guard says:

That's what "simultaneously" means, moron.

Bravesfan77 says:

Don't hold them down, just press both, for a second

Donald says:

I have a 3G and it works for me but it takes me a lot of tries before I snap one with those buttons.

Robert says:

worked for me and my 3gs upgraded to 4.0

Diana says:

it worked on my 3G with the 4.0 OS once but it won't work any more!

Ian says:

It works if you click and release. If you click and hold, it just goes to shut down screen

Liz says:

Interesting function...it came in pretty handy in proving that my friend's boyfriend was lying to her and the girl he claimed was "just" a friend!

Litz says:

so basically your a snooping bitch?

Choose Words Wisely says:

Please don't refer to women as bitches. It is disrespectful. Also, consider reviewing the proper use of your vs you're.

Still a bitch says:

If it looks like a bitch, sounds like a bitch, and acts like a bitch, it's a bitch.

Innocenn says:

Hey if you are (you're) going to insult people, learn proper grammar.

Bitch Police says:

You are (you're) a bitch too!

John says:

I get that it isn't helpful to shoot back with insults when complaining of being insulted... But Dude, you know you're being rude and obnoxious, so can you chill? I'm not coming back to read any reply, so don't bother trying to insult me, too.

basset hound training dogs says:

The two of my Labs take pleasure in apples, carrots, melon, and squash as snacks.

Maggie M says:

Thanks for the tip! Love it!

Golfudstyr says:

Uhh i just got smarter :-) dident know it could do this.. thanks

Lims says:

thnx a lottt :) I saw others doing it but dint know how to

Mist_ynight says:

My 3 year old niece took a screen shot and I had no idea how she did it. Thanks :)

matt says:

this tutorial is wrong: you need to hold down the shut down button and press the home button twice.

Tlt says:

THis is the only thing that worked for me.

Thx says:

Thx for the correction. I think that used to be the right way but wasn't working for me now. Your approach worked perfectly

JJ says:

Thanks for the correction Matt! You Rock!

Bjolliff says:

thank you!!!! that is correct matt.

Sworks says:

Works better if you follow the tutorial. Holding the lock button and pushing home twice will take the screen shot but then lock the screen.

Nancy says:

Yes you need to click home twice. Thanks ! The other explanation didn't work for me.

Mharrsn84 says:

Thanks! That did work!!!

Meh says:

I only need to press it once O.o

Jerlalou2000 says:

tnx for your simple but great info...

Nat says:

This is what worked for mine! Iphone 4s

Daaang says:

Screen shot with the camera. Haha

Mandypants says:

This is perfect for taking shots of text messages to use in court!

yourname says:

Hardly seems binding since it would be easy to photoshop whatever you want into a conversation...

Momma says:

It is useful and allowed as evidence in court as the service provider can provide the logg of exact messages sent so it can be verified

Brittney says:

How do you take a screanshot if your lock button is broke?

suzanne579 says:

This was so helpful! It also works on iPhone 4

Albiss78 says:

thank you very much i got it

Nitin Yatish says:

Please let me know how to get this application.

Chrisone12 says:

Couldn't get it to work on iphone4. mmm? But hey Matt. You were right. Thank you so much. Pity they couldn't get it right in the first place.

Lololil says:

How do you get the URL?

Mendozamaggie says:

Just press the home button and "lock" button at the exact same time... Works everytime.

Leeleelob says:

Yipee!! tapping the home button twice does work! xx

just me says:

sit back down where you belong in the corner of the bar with your high heels on

Yogendra Joshi says:

awesome!!!.. just TOO FEW people know this!

Nikeisha Wilson says:

4s Verizon can't find the screenshot as listed above once taken

b!%esar says:

I just tried it, and you only need to press both buttons simultaneously once...

Phil says:

You only need to pres the 'O' button once with the iOS5, so Meh is right; dunno how it works with previous versions though.

Phil says:

Correction: Press simultaneously On/Off and 'O' buttons to snap shot the screen you're at; if you hit the On/Off first then 'O' button it would still make the screentshot, however, it would lock your phone too so no need the hassle - use the first approach :)

Eryn says:

Thank you! Super helpful... I kept seeing pictures of screenshots on Facebook, etc., but no one I asked ever knew how, and I've been wondering for a while now. Thanks!!!

Nguyenjack2012 says:

Is there an app cause my sleep button is jam. And I can't screenshot.

helix2301 says:

I did not realize this was so easy or I could even do this on my iPhone. I saw a texting window screen shot on Facebook and had to know how this was done.

Di says:

This works for me ! Cheers

Cheese says:

I knew that already but still awesome! It would be cool if you could take a video as well. Is there an app or something to do that?! I have an iPod touch 4g and I've been wondering how to do that for a while

Igotdaswag says:

If you have the upgraded iPhone4 you have to click home then the lOck screen:) but keep the home button down till after you press the lock:)

Jeff says:

This is not working for me on a VZ iPhone 4s. Holding the Home button invokes Siri and then the screen lock button just locks the screen. TIA

Danielle says:

I have the same phone as you, Jeff - try this: press the home button (but don't release it) but IMMEDIATELY after you start pressing the home button, press the Lock button. Gotta do it fast, before Siri comes on. I just tried this, worked for me first try.

Kaitlyn says:

Danielle's idea works really well, worked 1st try but you do have to press the lock buttonSTRAIGHT after!

tom banion says:

comment #1 worked for me, but it took a few times to get it right. Don't give up on a few tries. That is Igodtaswag that is.

Investment Network says:

Thank you for sharing. I have accidentally made a screenshot and now I know how to make new ones. Thank you again!

Gwyn says:

Thanks so much!! So helpful!!

Mic says:

Thanks a lot! I thought all along that screenshot for my iphone is not possible, I was very envious of Android phones, but this works perfectly, thanks!

Parker says:

This was not working for me on the iPhone 4s even is I did it quickly but if you do it in reverse order (hold down lock then press the home button) it works!

Jeff says:

It works on the 4S. I did it before and just did it again. The snapshot goes into your photos folder.

Chris says:

The order is the other way around, press lock and hold it the press home. If you wait too long before pressing home it will bring up the lock screen. But if you do lock first my 4s consistently gives screenshots

Joe says:

My asshole is bleeding after i tried this why????

Clark Smith says:

I love this feature! Thanks, forgot how to take a screenshot, Googled and found your site. Simple ;)

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Hello says:

Very Helpful! I use this to take pictures of these slutty bitches that i know from school on facebook to show to my friends! love it!

bowerylights.com says:

Wow the coupons are awesome.Working fine on my new Compete account.

hello says:

can you do it with the iPhone 4s?

Nitin says:

I tried in my 3Gs just a clicked work for me.
Hold these buttons not works perfect everytime.

Nitin says:

I tried in my 3Gs, Just a clicked work for me. Holding these buttons seems not works perfect everytime.

Tommyt says:

Thanks so much! Be interested in more iPhone tidbits, what a handy little gizmo! Works on my Verizon 4S fine.
** Press Home button first then press Sleep QUICKLY as in above posts, worked first time.

Clive Bryan says:

I have tried this on my 4s and it only works sporadically.
Does anyone else have this problem and does anyone have a solution please?

James Collar says:

Ha, I just had to look this up because while trying to perform a hard reset of my iTouch I snapped a screenshot and was like "WTF why did my camera just go off"? Never even thought to think that there was a way people were doing those screenshots on Twitter LOL

needanothergear says:

Just signed up to say thanks. Really appreciate the tip on screen shots!