How (not) to make screenshots on an iPhone

How (not) to make screenshots on an iPhone
Mac Tip #418, 06 January 2010

A friend complained about the weird photos that kept appearing on her iPhone. Somehow she was making screenshots. Here’s what she was doing, by mistake, and how to make screenshots only if you intend to.

Note: this works the same for both iPhone and iPod touch. I’ll just write iPhone below, as it’s shorter.

Make a screenshot

To make a screenshot on your iPhone press and hold the Home button and quickly press the Power button. Then release both. The screen flashes and the iPhone makes a sound like a camera shutter.

A picture, or screenshot, of whatever was on screen when you pressed this combination of buttons is added to the Camera Roll in your Photos.

An iPhone screenshot.

An iPhone screenshot of a partially loaded MacTips web page.

Translucent stripes on the iPhone.

Translucent stripes on the iPhone. I took a screenshot of an empty screen!

Didn’t work?

  1. Be sure to press the Power button very quickly after you press and hold the Home button or your iPhone will simply exit whatever app you were viewing and return to the Home screen.
  2. If the iPhone simply switches off then you pressed the Power button before the Home button. Start with the Home button instead.

Delete Photo or Cancel on the iPhone.

Delete Photo or Cancel on the iPhone.

Delete the screenshot from Photos

If you accidentally make a screenshot, or just don’t want to keep it, then:

  1. Find the thumbnail picture in the Camera Roll in Photos on the iPhone.
  2. Tap once on the thumbnail image to view the full-size picture. Translucent gray bands appear at top and bottom of the screen. A Trash Can icon is in the lower band, at right.
  3. The translucent bands disappear after a few moments. If necessary, tap the picture once to make them visible again.
  4. With the translucent bands visible, tap the Trash Can icon to delete the picture. An alert appears, with a red Delete Photo button and a Cancel button.
  5. To change your mind and keep the photo tap the Cancel button. The buttons disappear and the picture is retained in the Camera Roll.
  6. To go ahead and delete the picture from the iPhone tap the Delete Photo button. The Trash can tilts, opens its lid, the picture is sucked into the Trash Can and deleted.

Coming soon: how to stop iPhoto from opening up when you plug your iPhone or iPod touch in to your Mac.

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  1. Esther said:

    And how to make screenshots with a “press” state effect?
    For example: when pressing on a key at the keyboard, an amplification popups up of that letter. Or when pressing a system button, its colour changes. How to achieve making a screenshot of those interactivities? Thanks in advance!

  2. Pingback: How (not) to make screenshots on an iPhone — Mac Tips | Mac Affinity

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