The word screenshot is a contraction of screen and snapshot. Also known as a screen grab or a screen capture, a screenshot is a picture - a static image - of what's on your screen at any given moment. You might use screenshots to show off your gaming prowess, or to show a tech-savvier friend a weird error message so they can offer advice.

It's easy to take a screenshot on an iPhone or iPad. You only need to press two buttons.

  1. Press the sleep/wake/power button (at the top-right or on top of your device).
  2. Press the Home button (below the screen) at the same time.
  3. The screenshot will be saved to your Photos app.

How to take a screenshot on iPhone or iPad

If you want to know how to do the same thing on other Apple devices, see our How to take a screenshot on a Mac and How to take a screenshot on Apple Watch articles.

Taking a screenshot on the iPhone X

Apple's new iPhone X hasn't got a Home button. Instead, you press the power/sleep button and the volume up buttons at the same time.

Taking a screenshot on the iPhone 7

The 7 and 7 Plus haven't got traditional Home buttons. Instead they have solid-state digital Home buttons that only simulate a click instead of actually moving down.

But even though they work differently, they're used in the same way. To take a screenshot on the iPhone 7, simply press the Home button and power/sleep buttons at the same time.

Taking a screenshot if the buttons don't work

If the sleep button or Home button on your iPhone or iPad doesn't work properly, it's still possible to take screenshots.

Take a look at our workaround for broken iPhone power buttons. This simple tip explains how to create a 'software button' on your iPhone or iPad screen that you can use if the hardware buttons have malfunctioned. Sure enough, this software button can be used to take screenshots too.

Tap the little circle (which is activated via the Settings apps - go to Settings, General, Accessibility and scroll down to AssistiveTouch and turn it on) to bring up the palette of options, then tap Device, then More, and you'll see a Screenshot option. Tap it and iOS will grab a screenshot.

How to take a screenshot on iPad or iPad

Screenshot troubleshooting

It may take a few attempts to get a screenshot because the first time you might accidentally turn off the iPhone, or press the volume control button on the opposite side to the power button too hard.

It can be a bit fiddly doing this while doing something cool and screenshot-worthy in a game, as all iOS games reviewers discover.

How to take a screenshot on iPhone or iPad

The screen will flash once, to show it's captured an image, you'll also hear the camera's shutter sound effect unless you have your phone on mute.

Where can I find my screenshot?

The screenshot will be saved to your Photos app.

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Tap on the Albums tab at the bottom
  3. You'll find your screenshot in All Photos and also an album called Screenshots

You can also find your screenshot in Moments on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Tap on Photos on the left side
  3. Assuming your Screenshot was only just taken it will be at the bottom of Moments

How to take a screenshot on iPad or iPad

How to send a screenshot to a friend

If you want to send this screenshot to someone, perhaps to ask their advice, or because you think it will interest them, follow these steps:

  1. Select the image in the photos app
  2. Tap the share icon (bottom left, looks like a square with an arrow coming out of it)
  3. Select the means by which you want to share - Message, Mail, Facebook, for example
  4. Add the details of the person you want to share with and send

You can also add an image to a Message or a Mail by tapping the arrow beside the text box, then tapping the camera icon and locating the image from Photos.

How to take a screenshot silently

If you have ever taken a screenshot of something while on a crowded train and then felt embarrased when the sound of the shutter alerts the person opposite you to the fact that you might just have ttaken their photo, you might be wondering how to take a shot without making a sound.

To take a screenshot in silence just make sure you turn your iPhone or iPad to mute first by sliding the button above the volume control buttons to off.

How to convert iPhone and iPad screenshots from .png to .jpg

iOS saves screenshots in the .png format; this can be a little confusing, since it saves images taken by the Camera app as .jpgs. (There are valid reasons for this distinction, but we shan't concern outselves with them here.)

However, what if you want to send the screenshot to someone as a .jpg, or upload it to a service that doesn't accept .png files? You'll need to convert it.

Some clever iPad and iPhone users have tried to come up with ways to convert the image on the iOS device itself - one technique involving DropBox is discussed on this forum thread.

But we find that the simplest solution is to save the image to your Mac (plug the iOS device into the Mac, open Image Capture, select the iPad or iPhone in the lefthand menu, scroll down to the bottom of the list of images and drag-and-drop the screenshot on to your Mac's desktop - or you could simply AirDrop it across to your Mac) and then open it in Preview or another image-editing program.

To turn your screenshot into a Jpeg in Preview follow these steps:

  1. Open the screenshot in Preview
  2. Click on File > Export
  3. Where it says Format, click on the dropdown menu and choose JPEG and Save