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How to Take a Screenshot on iPhone

Grace Pinegar
Grace Pinegar  |  October 1, 2018

I can still recall the first time I was shown how to take a screenshot.

I was in high school, and a friend had the new iPhone. As in, one of the first iPhones.

He had us image search our favorite male celebrity and choose a picture we liked. And then I saw it: that little on-screen flash that would capture searches, conversations and the funny tweets I wanted to remember for years to come.

If you’re new to the iPhone, there is still time to learn how to get your favorite male celebrity from your phone screen to your camera roll.

Or if that’s not of interest, you can learn to screenshot for literally any other purpose, such as saving a recipe, or sharing some email praise from a client.

(Not looking to screenshot on an iPhone? Those wondering how to screenshot on Android, PC computers, or any other device can checkout our article how to screenshot on any device)

How to screenshot on iPhone

Apple is known for its innovation. This is especially true for its ever-evolving iPhone products. To best prepare you, we’ve included instructions on how to screenshot various versions of the iPhone, similar to how to take a screenshot on a Mac.

How to screenshot on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and all earlier phones

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and all earlier models all have the same setup as far as buttons go. There’s the circular home button below the touch screen, the volume buttons on the left side of the phone, and the lock/unlock button on the right side of the phone. This is true even for the original iPhones in 2007.

For this reason, the method of creating a screenshot will be the same on all of the aforementioned devices.

Step One

Go to the image you want to screenshot by pulling it up on the screen. For example, if you want to screenshot a recipe you saw on someone’s Facebook wall, open Facebook and go to that post.

Because phone screens are smaller than computer and iPad screens, it’s possible you won’t always be able to get all of what you want at the same time. This is okay; you’ll simply have to take a few different screenshots in order to get all the information you’re wanting to keep or send.

Now that your phone is prepped and on the screen you want to capture, you’re ready for the next step.

Step Two

A screenshot is taken by holding down the lock button (located on the right of the phone) and the home button (the circular button at the bottom of the iPhone screen) at the same time. 

how-to-take-a-screenshot-iphone

 

You have to hold them at the same time because individually, each button has its own command. Pressing the home button will take you home, and pressing the lock button will shut your screen off and lock the phone.

Pressing both buttons at the same time sends a different command to capture the screen. For this reason, it is difficult to take a screenshot with one hand. I recommend pressing the home button with your left thumb and pressing the lock button with your right thumb.

If you’ve performed the steps correctly (it’s not as difficult as it sounds, and will get easier with practice, I promise!) you’ll see a visual confirmation of the image creation. The screen will flash white (almost like a camera flashes) while it creates the image. If you have your volume turned up, you’ll also hear an actual shutter sound which also confirms your success.

Step Three

Now that you’ve successfully completed the screenshot, you can find it saved in your camera roll. If you’re using the software version iOS 10 or earlier, the screenshots go directly to your camera roll.

From your camera roll, you can choose to edit or markup, view, or send a screenshot. 

iphone-screenshot

 

If you’re using iOS 11, you have a few more options. When you take a screenshot with iOS 11, the screenshot appears as a small icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. This is so you have the option to deal with the screenshot quickly, and delete it after should you so desire.

If you click on the tiny icon of the screenshot, a few options come up. You can:

—Markup the photo on the spot. This means you get to use iPhone’s marker tools to draw on the picture. This is useful if there’s a certain part of the screenshot you want to point out. For example, you could circle the address on a business page so your aunt knows what to put in her Google maps.

—Put a magnifier over the screenshot so as to enlarge certain aspects of the image.

—Add text to the image

—Add your digital signature, which is helpful if you’re trying to screenshot and send a document, or prove identity

—Put shapes on the screen such as speech bubbles or frames

—Have the option to message the screenshot directly to others, email it, upload it to linked social media profiles, add it to notes, assign to a contact, print, and more

Once you send, save, or otherwise distribute the screenshot, you can press “done” in the upper left-hand corner. From here, you’ll be given two choices. You can either save the screenshot to photos, or delete it altogether.

iphone-screenshot-cropping

 

If you took the screenshot solely to send to someone quickly, the delete feature definitely comes in handy. You don’t have a multitude of unnecessary screen captures clogging up your memory and photo albums.

This option appears when you press “done” in the top left-hand corner.

Another aspect of phones using iOS 11 or later is that they are equipped with a separate photo album for screenshots. You may not know this yet, but it’s quite easy for screenshots to overtake your phone.

Whether you see something funny, or someone emails you a coupon code you’d like to keep, or there are instructions to enter a contest you’re interested in, the amount of screenshots in your phone grows rapidly.

With a separate album, you’re able to better organize and sift through the screenshots that matter. Plus, you don’t have to go scrolling through your entire photo album filled with dog pics (in my case) in order to find one screenshot you took two weeks ago.

By going to your screenshot album, you have less information to rifle through and you’re able to find what you’re looking for faster.

Related: Try your hand at photography and learn how to use portrait mode on the iPhone.

How to screenshot on iPhone X

Do you remember when Apple changed the charging cable, and later changed how earbuds and headphones fit into their later models?

Well, I suppose it was time to change things up again because the iPhone X has a different system of buttons than the previous versions.

The iPhone X is lacking the traditional “home” button, which is the circular button located underneath the iPhone screen. Because of this, the method of taking screenshots is slightly different.

Here’s how to take a screenshot with the iPhone X:

—As with the other iPhones, you still have to open the phone up to the screen or image you’re wanting to capture. Zoom in, zoom out, highlight words; do whatever it is you’re wanting to do to get the perfect screenshot for your purposes.

—Press and hold the button on the right side of the phone at the same time as you hold the volume up button on the left side of the phone. This is the top button of the two buttons on the left side of the phone.

iphone-x-screenshot

 

—Just as it did previously, the screen will “flash” similar to a camera and even make a camera shutter noise if your volume is up. (My advice? Don’t have your sound on at work unless you want your co-workers to know you’re fiddling around on your phone during office hours!)

Why should you take screenshots?

The screenshot revolutionized the way we communicate. Instead of furiously texting friends, family and colleagues extended explanations, we can simply capture what’s on our screens and quickly send it over.

I’ve used screenshots for anything and everything.

When my mom wants to know flight information on a day when she’s picking me up from the airport, I can easily just send her screenshots. In one picture, I am able to communicate gate number, terminal, flight number, and flight times.

If I see an event on Facebook and I’m curious if a friend wants to go, I can screenshot the details and send it over. They are able to view the title, time, day, and description all in one shot. Screenshots have also made us a more careful culture, in my opinion. We have to be aware that anything we say or do can end up as a permanent fixture in someone’s phone memory. This is especially true of Snapchat, the photo and video sharing app whose appeal is that footage disappears after 24 hours. Users quickly learned that once screenshotted, photos never truly disappear.

As with all technology, it has brought both innovation and greater concern for privacy. Screenshotting has gives us the ability to hold onto tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram stories, and more even after posts are deleted. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that you never know who is looking at what you’re posting or even sending as a private message.

With that small disclaimer being said, screenshots are still a fun way to share things with friends, family, and colleagues throughout the day. Many a time I’ve seen an advertisement or article regarding something I was just talking about, and I’ll send that over to a friend so they can see it, as well.

Or perhaps there’s a joke on Twitter I know a friend will enjoy, and I send it over to them on G-chat so we can both have a laugh about it. Just like any other modern method of communication, screenshotting is a way to connect and share the little moments in our daily lives.

Hopefully, by now, you feel comfortable with the process and are ready to try it with something you’ve been wanting to save.

So get out there, pull up that recipe for pecan pie, and screenshot it for easy access at the grocery store. Because you’re a great baker, and your friends and family would love to try out that pecan pie.

For more info on screen recording different devices, check out the best free screen capture tools in 2019, as well as:

Grace Pinegar
Author

Grace Pinegar

Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and now content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, and has come to tolerate, if not enjoy, the opposition of Chicago's seasons. (she/her/hers)