I understand that earlier versions of Android do not support a native screen capture feature, unless provided by the specific device, or you have a rooted device, or you have the Android SDK and link via USB. However, I have read that ICS should support a native screen capture, but the suggested volume down + power combo in that article does not work for me.

I have also tried home + power, as seems to work on other devices, but that does not work for me either.

The official Android Developers site for 4.0.x states that this should be possible, but doesn't say specifically how...

Sharing with screenshots

Users can now share what's on their screens more easily by taking screenshots. Hardware buttons let them snap a screenshot and store it locally. Afterward, they can view, edit, and share the screen shot in Gallery or a similar app.

I have a generic (DGM T-703) 7 inch tablet with ICS (Version 4.0.3)

  • 1
    @onik: Ah YES, that's it (I feel a little stupid)! But crucially it's [Power]+[VolDown] (in that order) for a couple of seconds, not [VolDown]+[Power]! If I hit the [VolDown] key first I simply get the volume control on the screen and eventually the device switches off because I've been holding the power button for 5 seconds! If you'd like to put that as an answer, I'll accept, thanks! :)
    – MrWhite
    May 17, 2012 at 12:04

2 Answers 2


The Power+Vol- combo isn't instant, you have to hold it for a couple of seconds. And, as you noted, press the Power button first or you'll get the volume control and power off your phone.

  • Wow, this is a useful trick! On my upgraded Nexus S it's tricky to get right though, but it does work. May 18, 2012 at 17:37
  • How well this works I think is dependent on hardware (or maybe it has been improved in later versions of Android)? As mentioned above, on my tablet this is a little tricky. However, on my (new) Nexus 4 phone I've been able to get a screenshot every time without fail.
    – MrWhite
    Apr 2, 2013 at 9:01

After seeing onik's reply I tried the screenshot feature on my phone. On my Nexus S, upgraded to ICS 4.0.4, I have to press the Power+Vol - buttons simultaneously. Anything else gives me a volume-down or power-off situation.

  • I do find that at times the device is more tolerant of a marginal (<1sec) delay between pressing [Power] and [Vol-]. And at other times I can't seem to trigger the screenshot at all!?
    – MrWhite
    May 18, 2012 at 22:40

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