How to take screenshots of your Android based phone from Windows

This tutorial will walk you every step of the way through the process of taking screenshots of your Android phone.

  1. Start out by downloading and installing the drivers for your Android phone.
  2. On your Android phone, select Settings.

    android menu

  3. Then select Applications -> Development -> and enable USB debugging by placing a check in the box next to it.
  4. android menu

  5. Now you’ll need to download the Android SDK from Select the Windows version, and save the file. It’s not a huge file, but it’s not small either. Depending on your Internet connection speed, it might take a while to download.

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  7. Once the download has completed, unzip the file to somewhere on your hard drive that you’ll remember. Your C:\Program Files\ folder is one good place, but anywhere will do.
  8. Now you’ll need to download the JDK (Java Developers Kit) from Don’t be confused by the number of different files that are available to download on that page – the one you’ll need is Java SE Development Kit (JDK). Again, the download can take a while.

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  10. Once completed, run the JDK installation. Click Next all the way through until you’re done (the installation is very straight forward).
  11. Now plug in your Android Phone, if it isn’t already.
  12. Locate the folder you unzipped the Android SDK in (step #5 above), open the Tools folder and double-click ddms.bat (it might be titled just ddms if you don’t show extensions).
  13. The first time (but not subsequent times) you open the Android SDK DDMS, you’ll be prompted with a window (see screenshot below) asking if you’re willing to send usage statistics to Google. Review the Google Privacy Policy if you’re unsure if you want to enable or disable this feature. Click the Proceed button to finish opening DDMS.
  14. The Dalvik Debug Monitor will open. Make sure your device is listed in the upper-left window, and select it by clicking on it once.

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  16. To take a screenshot, select Device > Screen capture …
  17. The Device Screen Capture window will open, and display whatever is being displayed on your Android phone.
  18. On your phone, navigate to the screen you want to capture.
  19. Back in the Device Screen Capture window, click the Refresh button.
  20. The screen you want to capture (again, the one you navigated to on your Android phone) should appear. Click the Save button.
  21. Choose a name for your screenshot, then select a location to save the file. Click the Save button.

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  23. Repeat steps 14 – 17 to take more screenshots.
  24. That’s it!

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Home » Mobile Phones » Android » How to take screenshots of your Android based phone from Windows

10 thoughts on “How to take screenshots of your Android based phone from Windows”

  1. Great walkthrough. Had an app on an unused phone that I needed screenshots of (app no longer on Google Play). This really helped. Thanks!

  2. Whoever took the time to post this .. thank you. I am very non-technical but followed the steps and wasable to get my text for court. You rock – thanks!

  3. Sunil Kamat says
    People who are facing problem in running ddms need to add the sdk path to your PATH system environment variable.

    I was having problems as DDMS was showing the error message: “Failed to get the adb version: Cannot run program “adb”: CreateProcess error=2, The system cannot find the file specified.” Your reply helped me solve it.

    For those who don’t understand, open up your System properties (right-click on Computer > select Properties > click Advanced System Settings). Click on Environment Variables. Under the System variables section, find the variable called Path. Double-click on it to edit it.

    WARNING: Be careful to not change the variable name or delete the variable value. If you accidentally do anything harmful, click the Cancel button and start again. Deleting the value of the Path variable can seriously damage your system. Proceed carefully.

    Press the End key on your keyboard while the text cursor’s focus is in the Variable value box. If your Android SDK is stored in the folder “C:android-sdk-windows” add the following text. If your SDK is stored in a different folder, change the text accordingly and add it.


    Take note that you must start with a semicolon as shown below to separate the new entries from the rest of the Path variable value. Also, make sure that the above paths actually do exist in your SDK folder. If they don’t, you’re probably doing something wrong.

    Click OK to everything once you’re done. Then you can run DDMS again, and you should see your phone listed.

    Additional Tip: It’s best to extract the Android SDK to a folder in the root of the drive, such as “C:android-sdk-windows”. Extracting it to a folder deep inside your hard-drive (such as your Documents or Downloads folder) can cause the SDK to not function properly.

    I hope the author of this great article will consider including the above information in it.

  4. Your way works!!! Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it. It’s the simplest and easiest instructions!

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