I read that you need to hold the volume down button and power button simultaneously to take a screenshot. I've tried this many times and I just can't get it to work. Most of the time the volume lowers, sometimes the screen locks.

Update: Sometimes it's very easy to take screenshots, but usually it's impossible. It's likely a hardware or software defect. Many times I'm also unable to unlock the screen on my Nexus 4. I'm confident it's not a timing issue.

  • Are you pressing both buttons at the same time
    – samnaction
    May 29, 2014 at 13:13
  • @sameer to the best of my abilities. Maybe there's a few milliseconds delay between pressing both buttons, but I try to press them at the same time.
    – Dennis
    May 29, 2014 at 13:44
  • I really hope stock Android gets a more convenient and discoverable way of taking screenshots. It shouldn't be so difficult for the user to perform such a simple common action. IMO this is a big UX blunder.
    – Dennis
    May 29, 2014 at 13:48
  • How many seconds are you holding the buttons for?
    – 1990clb
    May 29, 2014 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


If the buttons don't work, you could always try using ADB from a computer. Root is not required but USB Debugging must be enabled. Then just run:

adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/screen.png
adb pull /sdcard/screen.png
adb shell rm /sdcard/screen.png

These commands will produce a screenshot and save it in the sdcard directory (on some devices, including the Nexus line, have an emulated sdcard partition in the internal storage; so don't worry about this), pull to your computer, and then deletes it from your phone.

Unfortunately, one would think that this would be easier on stock Android. But that's why so many aftermarket versions or apps exist: to provide the missing functionality that people can cherrypick from and customize as they please. Below is an example of a simpler and nicer interface from which to take screenshots, which was added to stock 4.4.3 Android using GravityBox [KK] (root and Xposed required).


  • Aha. So to make a screenshot from the android device, I always need to have it connected to another computer.
    – ott--
    Feb 17, 2015 at 22:13

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