iOS takes a screenshot of app every time it is sent to the background(may be to show as a thumbnail when viewing recent apps. Details are available here.

I did a little research and came to understand that the same feature is used by android also. This stackoverflow question deals with it.

This is a security issue if these snapshots are being stored somewhere in the device and is accessible to other apps. I wanted to test this feature for my app. But no idea where android store these snapshots. I did some Googling but found nothing about the storage location. Does anyone know this? Is this accessible to users other than root?


If what are you asking for is the location of the thumbnails displayed by Android when switching apps, then (on my LineageOS 13) they are stored inside /data/system/recent_images as PNG files called x_task_thumbnail.png (x being a possibly random number).

Since the thumbnails are owned by user system and group system, and their octal permissions are 600, you do need root to access them in whatsoever way.

  • 1
    +1. I think your interpretation of question is correct +1. Deleted my answer – beeshyams Apr 12 '17 at 10:30
  • Couldn't find the directory in my Lenovo running Kitkat. :( – Anonymous Platypus Apr 12 '17 at 11:56

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