I have been looking for a way to do screen capture on my Android phone without having to resort to rooting.  Screen capture is a fairly easy trick to implement on a smartphone and comes natively on the iPhone.  However, Google has not included this feature on Android phones possibly for security reasons.

There are third party screen capture apps available on the Android Market but they all require rooting your Android phone.  For the uninitiated, rooting is similar to jailbreaking on the iPhone, which means you have to install a root version of the Android OS for you to take total control over your phone.   But rooting a phone takes a lot of heart to do since you might do something that could make your phone unusable.

Android users that don’t want to root their phones have resorted to using the Android SDK to do screen capture but that method is a bit complicated.  There is an easier way to do it.

Here is how to do it.

1.   Download and install the MyPhoneExplorer application from here.  This app is mainly used for Sony Ericsson handsets but it has support for Android phones.

2.   Download and install your Android phone’s drivers from here.  If your Android phone is an HTC, you’re in luck.  Just download the HTC Sync app which you can find here.  There is no need to download the drivers separately.

3.   Put your Android phone on debugging mode by going to Settings > Applications > Development.  Check the “USB Debugging” option.

4.    Upon connecting your Android phone to your computer, use the “Charge Only” mode.

5.   Run the MyPhoneExplorer program on your computer.

6.   Click on “Sync”.  This will recognize your Android phone and sync data.

7.   Go to “Extras” on the Menu bar.  Click on the “Load Screen Shot” option.

8.   This will bring you to a window display duplicating your phone’s screen.

9.   Click on “Save As” if you want to take a screen shot.  It will prompt you to enter the file name before saving.

10.   To take other screen shots, go to your phone then put it on the display you want to take screen shot of.  Then click on “Refresh” on the MyPhoneExplorer display.  It will duplicate whatever is on your phone screen at that moment.  Or you may simply tick the “Refresh Automatically” button to automatically refresh the screen.

That’s it! Hope this helps.


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  1. UltrabookUser Reply

    It’s a good thing that newer version of phones (Jelly Bean) don’t need this anymore. Screen capturing is so much easier now and no need to root your phone.

  2. It’s easier for Samsung, just hold power button and home key at the same time. :)

  3. KatiThonkaPairojtanachai Reply

    If you use samsung phone click home button and then click the close screen button.

  4. Thanks for discovering and posting this method.  No rooting required for my aging HTC Glacier running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Yes!  Only worked though after I installed HTC Sync,  My previously installed HTC USB Android driver was not robust enough to recognize the connection in charge only mode.

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  7. ok it works on my computer but i still want to be able to do it on my phone without my laptop…..i might as well root it.

  8. there is an easier way to do it. Just press and hold the power & the volume button (this feature is only working in ICS), but if you have an HTC, there is even an easier way, hold the power button for like 1.5 sec and then press the home button (in the middle at the bottom). There it is, enjoy

    •  Just tested the first option (holding power and the volume button) on my Verizon Motorola droid HD MAXX and it worked like a charm!  It even made a new folder called screenshots and placed the shot in it.  Good lookin out Anonymous!

  9. ok so it looks like i can only do screenshots off my fone i im on the computer ???

  10. it wont let me sync it……. why????? uhhh im so mad im almost there everything else is working fine grrrrr SOMEONE PLZZZZ HELP ME I BEGG YOU!!!

  11. I installed the app, however, I am still getting the “Connection to phone could not be established:  No device attached to USB”  error message.

  12. If you dont have load screen shot, hit control phone and it will capture screen

      • Thanks for your article technobaboy, but ujjwal jain points out a solution that works for LG P930 and 2.3.5

  13. danielskirs Reply

    when i press extras , i dont have the load screenshot option. help !

  14. Chrisurquidez Reply

    it seems that the “control phone” option doesn’t work if connected through wifi…BUT when I try using my usb cord, it says no device in usb. HELP!!! 

    • Were you able to get this loaded and working?  I am also getting the “Connection to phone could not be established:  No device attached to USB” error.

  15. It would be nice if there was actually a “Load Screen Shot” option in this software. I downloaded this recently, and no option exists for this. Fucking bullshit. Get it straight, or get the fuck out!

    • It’s integrated into “Control phone” right now.
      It’s a freeware, what do you expect?

  16. i did as the instructions said but when i click on sync it keeps on saying that there is no device attached to usb. please help.

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  18. KID_CHAINSAW Reply

    This worked -almost- perfectly. I still wish there was a way to take a screen cap without connecting to my PC, but aside from that, perfect. Thanks.

  19. I installed the app, but the Load Screenshot option does not appear !

    Any ideas ?

  20. useless app
    just press the Power+Home button and you have a screen shot in your folder

    • technobaboy Reply

      this is only available on certain samsung phones. for others, it’s not available.

    • lol that was what i was looking for… i remember holding my home button and it would just take a screenshot by itself, and i did it again but it wouldn’t work… i knew i had to press another button.. haha, thanks!

  21. Jennifer Fox Reply

    thanks for posting! i was able to install and screen capture on Evo – wish was a built in feature, but hey this will work for now.

  22. fuck your app.  my phone htc desire hd and this fucking app didn’t work

  23. This is the only thing that works on my Evo 4G! Thanks so much for the info. I wish I didn’t have to connect to my laptop, but this sure beats not being able to screen capture.

    • technobaboy Reply

      you’re welcome.  yeah, this is the easiest alternative out there. unless you are brave enough to root your handset :)

  24. Will_salmon Reply

    Or you can just click the home and back button at the same time for the galaxy ace…

  25. installs and syncs easily with my Samsung Galaxy S2. Screencapture works only for the first screen. I always get an error message when updating the screen

  26. This worked great! And as the person below me said it’s Phone Keypad now as well. Thank you for this great tutorial!

  27. thanks! btw it’s not load screenshot anymore, it’s phone keypad

  28. I dont know why anyone would say it was complicated. I downloaded the installed, was connected to my phone, had my screenshot and was syncing my contacts in less than 5 minutes

  29. Does not work on my Desire Z android 2.3.3 and Windows 7 64-bit.
    When hitting the sync burron this error message appears:
    Connection to phone could not be established: SocketError: 10061 – Connection is forcefully rejected.

  30. I’m using a Mac – OS 10.6.7 running VMWare Fusion w/ WIndows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Everything worked great except in the article is says to connect CHARGE ONLY and I kept getting and error when trying to sync – so I switched it to HTC SYNC and it worked great!

  31. zoidian1883 Reply

    Samsung Galaxy ace has a built-in screen capture feature..By just pressing and holding the back button and then pressing the Home key you’ll have screen capture of your phone…

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