How to take screenshots on Android when the app doesn’t allow it

How to take screenshots on Android when the app doesn’t allow it

One main advantage of Android that has made many tech enthusiasts prefer it over other mobile operating systems is that it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. With Android, you can install anything, and you can customize practically everything about your phone.

Having said all that, there are still some things you can’t do. As an example, for various reasons, some apps decide to restrict you from taking screenshots of the app. In turn, for various reasons, you might want to take a screenshot anyway. Read on to find out how to work around this limitation.

Why do some apps limit screenshots?

Annoying as it is, developers don’t limit screenshots for no reason. Be it privacy or security, there is always a hint of reason to do this.

Most banking and payment apps block screenshots for security reasons. Chrome blocks screenshots in incognito tabs and windows for privacy reasons. Another example would be Telegram’s self-destructing photos, where you can’t capture them with screenshots.

Regardless of why the developers decided to limit screenshots, you can still take screenshots anywhere you want. You just have to get your hands a little dirty.

There are various methods of taking screenshots in apps that won’t let you. Some methods work in most apps, but not all. Here we take a look at two of these methods: A simple method that works in some cases, and an advanced method that should work every time.

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Method 1: Use Google Assistant

Some screenshot blocking Android apps only block the screenshot button combination on your phone. This means that you can bypass the restriction if you use a method other than pressing the button combination to take a screenshot.

Google Assistant is a built-in app in most Android phones that allows you to take screenshots without using the button combination.

  1. Open the app you want to take a screenshot of.
  2. Activate Google Assistant. You can do this by saying Hey Google! or press and hold the home key depending on your settings.
  3. Say or write Take a screenshot. Google Assistant will now take a screenshot.

Simple as this method is, it has a low chance of success as most apps that are serious about blocking screenshots have predicted this method. For example, if you use Google Assistant to take a screenshot from an Incognito tab in Chrome, you will take a screenshot, but the screenshot will be a black screen.

If this method didn’t work for you, move on to the next section where we describe a method that will allow you to take screenshots of any app on your phone.

Method 2: Take screenshots with scrcpy

This is the ultimate method as it can bypass virtually all kinds of screenshot limitations in Android apps. scrcpy is a lightweight screen mirroring program that allows you to view and control your Android phone’s screen on your PC. When you mirror your Android phone’s screen on your computer, you can simply use print screen or snipping tool to take screenshots.

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scrcpy is available on Windows, macOS and Linux. You can install scrcpy with Homebrew on macOS. Check the download link below for more information on installing scrcpy on Mac and Linux.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to install scrcpy on Windows, which you can do using Scoop. Read our article on how to install Scoop to get started.

Download: scrcpy (free)

Once you’ve installed Scoop, it’s time to install scrcpy.

  1. Open Command Prompt. You can do this by searching for cmd in Start Menu.
  2. Once inside the command prompt, run the following command: scoop install scrcpy
  3. This command will call Scoop to install scrcpy. This may take a while depending on how fast your connection is.

Now that you have scrcpy installed, the next step is preparing your phone. In order for scrcpy to access your phone’s screen, you need to enable USB debugging on your Android device. You must have developer mode enabled to do this.

  1. Go to Settings on your Android phone.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Developer opportunities.
  3. Press the switch next to it USB Debugging to change it to On.

Now both the phone and the computer are ready. Connect your phone to your computer’s USB and let’s get to the final steps.

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Enter the command scrcpy and press enter.

A window will open and you will be able to see your phone’s screen. You can even use your computer mouse and phone keyboard through this window to navigate and type. Now with your phone’s screen mirrored on your computer, you can freely take screenshots using print screen and other screen capture methods.

Catch anything and everything

Although some apps try to restrict you from taking screenshots in the app, try as they might, they will fail if you are persistent in taking your screenshots. Now after reading this article, you know how to take screenshots in any app regardless of its limitations. After all, it’s your phone and you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

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