Screenshots on Android…

Just a quick blog on how to take screenshots on Android :

Getting a screenshot on the Android device is possible with the installation of the Android SDK on your computer.

You don’t necessarily need to install eclipse, I found out; though you can if you want to.

0) install Java (on the mac it’s as simple as typing java in a command shell)

1) install the SDK from here :

a) basically amounts to unzipping and setting paths, you don’t necessarily need eclipse.
b) then running the /platform-tools/android and installing 2.1 and up and the tools folder.

2) set the android device to have USB debugging turned on.  It should be in the application-> development -> USB debugging

3) once you got all that set and the android device plugged into your system, check to see if the computer recognizes the device being plugged in by running the command : adb devices

adb is a tool that’s in the android-sdk/tools directory.  Read more about it here:

4) If it recognizes, you’re in good shape and want to run: ddms

It’s yet another tool, which you can read about here :

5) select the device in the devices category, and then go under devices file menu and select screen capture.


Some additional troubleshooting:

1) If you’re on froyo and you’re using VM, you may have to adjust the USB method of connecting.  You can interchange it to be PC Mode, Power Only and Storage.  Unplugging and replug in after you change the setting to see i the VM or the main computer (which ever is preferred) recognizes the device through adb devices.

2) If you’re on Windows, you may need to download USB drivers

3) If you’re on Ubuntu, you may need to edit a file in the etc directory.  It should be explained in the directions for install.


1) Really.  you don’t need eclipse, though… if you do install eclipse and want to run it, you can.  If you followed all the steps for installing eclipse as well as the sdk, did the pointing of the directory and downloaded the android plugin… you can find the ddms by going to “Windows” or “Views” (I forgot which) -> “Perspective” and then select other to show the DDMS perspective.  From there, select the device and you’ll see a little photo icon, or you can use devices menu and screen capture.

2) ddms and adb are worth a read into.


About shizen008

Breaking things and getting in trouble for it since '74. Disclaimer: I am not responsible if I make your head explode reading this blog! The writings here are my own expression and not of any companies. I currently work on being a QA for B2G aka Firefox OS
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