How to take screenshots of your Android based phone from OS X

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

  1. On your Android phone, select Settings.
  2. 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 http://code.google.com/android/download.html. Select the Mac OS X (intel) 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 SDK to a location on your hard drive that works for you.
  8. At this point, make sure your Android phone is plugged into your Mac (via USB) if it isn’t already.
  9. Open the SDK folder, and select the tools folder from within it. Double-click the ddms file.

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  11. A Terminal window will pop up – ignore it, but don’t close it.

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  13. Then a “usage statistics” window will open. Google asks if you’d like to enable usage statistics – review the Privacy Policy and then decide for yourself if you’d like to help out. Click the Proceed button to continue.
  14. The Dalvik Debug Monitor will launch. Select your device from the Name column in the upper-left most box.

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  16. Now select Device -> Screen capture… from the top menu.
  17. The Device Screen Capture window will appear, along with whatever screen is currently being displayed on your Android phone. On your Android device, navigate to the screen you want to capture. When that screen is being displayed on your device, click the Refresh button at the bottom of the Device Screen Capture window.
  18. With the screen you want to capture being displayed, click the Save button.
  19. Give the file a name and select the location you want to save it in. Click the Save button.
  20. And now you’ll have a screenshot of your Android screen.
  21. Repeat steps 11 to 13 to take more screenshots. That’s it!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Sudheendra August 23, 2010, 9:24 am

    Hi,

    I am trying to develop a Remote Test tool application which runs in background under Android 1.5+ SDK Emulator version Environment. The purpose of this application is to capture the screen shots on Real Physical Device OR Emulator and store in SDCARD, whenever User browses from one screen to another, using this application during running phase. If you have related info / code package for the same, please send it. Thanks. I appreciate your valuable feedback/support and oblige.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon,
    Thanks,
    Narasimha

  • Albie January 20, 2011, 7:40 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    I have a problem though.
    It goes all ok till point 7. Than an error pops up: <>
    Can anyone help?

  • CBix November 30, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Thank you!!

    FOR MAC USERS:
    I got hung up on the adb not being included in the starter SDK package, and I am a dummie when it comes to this. Figured out how to install the additional packages.
    1.) Double click on the “android” file in the “tools” folder, within the SDK folder you downloaded. (/android-sdk-macosx/tools/android)
    2.) Click on “SDK Platform-tools” & the lastest “SDK platform” then install.
    (image on this page for reference: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing.html)
    3.) Once installed, copy the “adb” file that is in the “platform-tools” folder, it into the “tools” folder.
    (/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools/adb ——> /android-sdk-macosx/tools/adb)
    *** Hope this helps anyone who’s lost or confused by developer jargon.

  • Korn December 6, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Thank you CBix for the tips!

  • Marc February 12, 2012, 2:27 pm

    @CBix: Brilliant! Thank you

  • jason May 1, 2014, 4:15 pm

    It helps! Thanks a lot. Just add a reminder. If you have an IDE opened, try to open DDMS there. Otherwise, you will very likely got “Could not open Selected VM debug port (8700)” error.

  • Olof Thorén October 7, 2014, 10:47 am

    Thanks! Much helpful!

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