Thursday, 4 August 2011

Taking Screenshots on the Samsung Galaxy S without Root

Try this nice and simple way to take screenshots with your Samsung Galaxy S I9000

About a week after buying my Samsung Galaxy S (I9000) i noticed some odd pictures showing up in my gallery of what appeared to be screenshots of my home screen. After a little searching, I found out that within this particular handset, Samsung have built in the ability to take screens of your device without the need for rooting.

'home' and 'back' buttons

To create a screenshot, simply press and hold the 'back' key and then press the 'home' key. You'll receive a notification on the handset confirming a screenshot has been saved, along with a shutter sound. The screenshot will save to your phone memory in /sdcard/ScreenCapture.

home screen capture

'The Catch'

Unfortunately as the key combination requires the 'back' button to be pressed first, this will often cause the handset to perform the standard back function of any apps you may be using, making screenshots of running programs a bit tricky to execute. I've found that by pressing both keys simultaneously then immediately releasing them (quick tapping both keys), the screenshot will be successful. Not always, but often. 

Pressing 'back' in the below app would normally send me back to the home screen, but by using the 'quick tap' method, I can grab what I need:

'quick tap' to prevent the hardware 'back' command

Will it work with other Samsung models?

Its very possible that Samsung have made similar additions on their other handsets to allow nice little tricks like this one, so it might be worth trying. Similarly, if anyone knows of any other hardware commands that I can try out, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. On IOS dude its the Home plus Power button to take a screen shot, could it be something similar. Maybe not an Android specific key combo but maybe be a Samsung customization.

  2. Yes mate, definitely not android specific, its something Samsung has added - cue another Apple lawsuit ;)