It’s not unknown that Google has not provided for a screenshot feature on Android devices up until Android 2.3 or Gingerbread, except only for a very few devices.  The reason cited for this is to prevent possible security breaches.  It’s curious, though, that taking a screenshot is a basic feature in Apple devices such as the iPhone.

Android users who want to take screenshots resort to third party apps all of which, sadly, require rooting.  Some choose the more complicated route by using the Android SDK.  I previously wrote a “how to” guide in taking screenshots on an Android device, one which requires installing the app MyPhoneExplorer, an option that requires a computer to take a screenshot.  It’s one of the articles getting traffic on this blog so I know that a lot of people are looking for ways to take screenshots on their Android devices.

With the release of Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, it appears that Google has changed its policy with respect to taking screenshots or screen captures.  On the Galaxy Nexus, taking screenshots is one of the built in features.  I was so glad when I learned about this since as a blogger, I need to take screenshots on my phone once in a while.  If this feature is on the Galaxy Nexus, it’s almost sure that this will be present in all future Ice Cream sandwich phones and tablets.

Take a screenshot on the Galaxy Nexus is quite easy.  It’s done by simply pressing the power button and the lower volume button simultaneously for about two seconds.  On the Galaxy Nexus, the power button is located on the right side while the volume rocker is located on the left side.

After pressing the buttons, a smaller version of the screen will zoom out and then fade out.  This means that a screenshot has already been taken.  Then at the notification bar above, the words “Saving screenshot” will appear.  The screenshot will then be saved in the phone’s Gallery under a folder named Screenshots.

It’s safe to assume that this method of taking screenshots or screen capture will be made uniform on future Ice Cream Sandwich devices, but manufacturers may of course do it differently.  What’s important is, there’s finally a built-in screenshot feature on Ice Cream Sandwich devices.


Author is one of the most active tech blogs in the Philippines. We deliver interesting and relevant stories about the latest trends in technology, developments in mobile phones and social media, and modern digital and geek culture.


  1. This has been built in as long as I can remember all you have to do on older versions of android is hit home and power at the same time you might have to hit power slightly before you hit home or vice versa but it was definitely in 2.x versions of android as I used it often. What I now hate is how they keep changing how it’s done. The epic 4g touch you had to slide the edge of your hand from left to right on the screen to do it. Pick a method and keep it. I should not have to keep looking it up every time android goes up one point version.

  2. Thanks alot.. I have this SG nexus for a month, and i don’t know how to Print screen,.. thank you for the info! :D

  3. Thanks for the info. I have been trying to figure out how to do this on my nexus, other than accidentally.

  4. For tablets, try press and hold the “key” that show what are the apps that are running!

  5. Galaxy Nexus_Canada Reply

    Awesome feature.. works great with my galaxy nexus. i have been using galaxy nexus for quite a while but never did i know it had this feature built in. Thank you for the well detailed article! Now i fully enjoy my phone. Keep up the good work

  6. Works well on the Samsung galaxy tab 8.9 running ova 4.0.4 (custom ROM)

  7. This does not work for the nexus but in sgs2 you can press on home and than on power

  8. On Samsung Galaxy S2 with Ice Cream Sandwich it works just fine with Power+Volume Down for 2 seconds.
    Holding down power button for 2 seconds will bring up the power menu, but there is no “print screen” option on SGS2.

    Thank you very much… VERY helpful!

  9.  It is more simple: When you press-&-hold  the on/off for short time, a menu appears on the screen, & the last option on that menu is “print screen”. Bingo.

  10. Thanks so much..i have been trying to figure this out since i got my nexus…

  11. Thank you! Answered my question in about 10 seconds. No wonder this is a top hit on Google. Nice job! 

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