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How to Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone or iPad


Snapping a screenshot of your iPhone is a great way to preserve exactly what you see on the screen and, thankfully, it’s dead simple to do since the shortcut is built right into iOS.

There are all sorts of reasons this might be useful. Need to show the guys in the IT department how the company intranet portal looks weird on your iPhone? Snap a screenshot. Worried the flaky cellular service will make it difficult to pull up that coupon or boarding pass you need to use when you’re at the counter? Snap a screenshot of the on-screen barcode so even if you can’t load the webpage or app, you can still have them scan the code. Once you get in the habit of using the screenshot tool, you’ll find yourself using it in new ways all the time.

To take a screenshot on any iOS device—iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch—simply press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button (e.g. the power button) at the same time.

A screenshot of an article about screenshots to demonstrate screenshots, naturally.

The screen will flash white for a brief moment and the screenshot will be stored as a .PNG file in Apple’s Photos app, with all your screenshots conveniently in their own “Screenshots” folder when you’re in the Albums view.

You can open, edit, and send screenshots like any other photo on your iOS device, attaching them to your iMessages, emailing them, or copying them to your computer with a USB cable, just like any other photo. Note, however: if you use a program on your computer to copy photos from your iPhone, be sure that it will copy PNG files as well as JPG files—Google’s photo management software Picasa, as an example, will not copy PNG files until you instruct it to do so.


Interested in taking screenshots on more than just your iPad? You can read more about taking screenshots on other devices here.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don’t have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he’s interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you’d like.


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