How to take an iPhone 4 screenshot

August 15, 2010

Have you ever wished that you could capture the screen of your iPhone 4 and send it to someone? As it turns out, Apple thought of that too. It is super easy and built right into your shiny new iPhone 4.

At the upper left corner is a captured screen shot of my iPhone home screen, made almost instantly on the phone itself and then mailed just as easily to my MacBook Pro and turned into a thumbnail graphic used to illustrate this column. I just happened to run across this function while reading the iPhone 4 manual during a non-busy moment and thought that I would pass it along to you.

When you have the screen that you want to capture displayed on the face of your iPhone, press the “Home” button and the “Sleep/Wake” buttons at the same time. When you release the two buttons, you will hear the sound of the iPhone camera “shutter” opening and closing. Then just look in the camera roll and there is your screen capture.

After I captured the screen, I used the iPhone Photos app to mail it to myself on my OS X computer, then used Preview to rotate it and resize it to the dimensions used for the thumbnails that accompany our columns. Total elapsed time? Less than 30 seconds. Feel free to amaze your less-technical friends with that factoid.

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8 Responses to “How to take an iPhone 4 screenshot”

  1. Jason:

    This has been a feature long before iPhone 4 came out.
    Welcome to last century.

  2. Kate:

    Yes it is an amazing feature – however isn’t restricted to the iPhone 4. I still own a 3G iPhone, and have been using this function for the entire time I have had the phone.

  3. scar-non:

    You have been able to do that for years LOL

  4. Fowzo:

    Where is the sleep wake button?

  5. oilseeker:

    Thank you for the tip! I knew that this was possible but hadn’t figured out how to do it before. It was very useful this morning when I needed to send a capture of settings to a coworker.

  6. Ted Burger:

    It does not seem to work on my CDMA iPhone4. I get the click and the screen blink but no pic in the camera roll on the phone. After the screen blink the phone is at the ‘slide to unlock’ screen.

  7. Emm:

    For a CDMA phone, you first hold down the home button and then quickly press the sleep/wake button twice.

  8. Janet:

    I don’t care how long the feature’s been available, I’m brand new to the iPhone and found this post very helpful. Thanks!! (Fowzo, the sleep/wake button is the long narrow button on the top of phone, on the right.)

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