Windows Phone, released in 2010, is officially discontinued from production and won’t receive updates, security or otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that the millions of devices vanished into thin air after Microsoft’s decision. We feel empathy for those users, many of which purchased their device new from the store, not knowing what’s coming. Others have quickly moved to other platforms, and we’ve already demonstrated how to take an Android screenshot and how to take a screenshot on iOS devices. But for those who stayed loyal, here’s how to take a screenshot on Windows Phone.
What is a screenshot?
We’ve already made an in-depth explanation of screenshots. But for those that are in a time crunch and don’t have the time to read it, here is a short definition. A screenshot is a bitmap image of the visuals displayed on a computer, phone, TV, or a similar device. That image is generated at the exact moment a designated key is pressed or an option in a program or application is chosen.
How to take a screenshot on Windows Phone 7, 7.5, and 7.8
Microsoft never implemented an option to take screenshots by default on these operating systems. At that time, only people who received developer-unlocked phones were able to take screenshots for testing purposes.
How to take a screenshot on Windows Phone 8
Before you start, you need to know the layout of smartphones using these operating system versions. Look at the right side of the phone. You will spot either 3 or 4 buttons, depending on the model of the phone. In both cases, you only need to know about the first two buttons from the top, although they perform 3 functions. Those functions are Volume Up, Volume Down, and Power On/Off. The volume button is designed to look like a single button but is actually two buttons in one.
Now, look at the front of the phone. Although the older models used to have physical buttons for Back, Start (Windows logo), and Search, this is very unlikely with devices using Windows Phone 8 and later. It is almost guaranteed that those buttons won’t be buttons at all, but capacitive sensors under the glass that register your touch. Nonetheless, the layout will be the same. With that explained, here’s what to do.
- Navigate to the application or a screen you desire to capture in the form of a screenshot.
- Press on the Start ”button” (Windows logo) and the Power Off/On button at the same time.
- Keep holding until you either hear a camera shutter sound or you see Saving to Screenshots… at the notification bar in the top left corner of your screen, or both.
How to take a screenshot on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Phone 10
Only need to know about the first three functions and two buttons from the top. Those are Volume Up, Volume Down, and Power On/Off.
- Be on the screen or application you want to take a screenshot of.
- Press and hold down both Volume Up (first from the top on the right side of the phone) and the Power On/Off button at the same time.
- You will hear a camera shutter sound. Additionally, you will see a message that states Saving to Screenshots… in the top left corner of the screen.
Where are screenshots saved?
You first need to know that all screenshots taken are by default saved with a PNG image extension. Additionally, the base location is the phone’s internal memory in the majority of cases. But it can also be on an SD card, if you have one, and if you changed the operating settings for storing pictures. What makes it easy is the name of folders remains the same regardless.
- On Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. Open your Photos app.
- Open the Screenshots folder.
- You should see every screenshot you’ve taken.
- On Windows 8.1. Open your Files app.
- On Windows 10 Mobile. Open the File Explorer app.
- Based on your storage choice, navigate to the internal memory folder or the SD card folder.
- Open the Pictures folder.
- Locate the Screenshots folder and open it.
- You should see all of your screenshots inside.
There’s an easy way to see your screenshots if you own a Windows computer. This is useful if you want to see the screenshots on a bigger screen, if your phone screen is broken or malfunctioning, or if you want to keep a copy as a backup.
- Pick up a USB cable you received in the package with your Windows Phone.
- You’ll know which end to connect to your computer because it will look identical to that of a regular flash drive. Connect the other to a female port (typically at the bottom) on your Windows Phone. No drivers are required.
- Open My Computer/This PC. Open the new drive, called either WP7, WP8, or WP10.
- Navigate to the folder named Pictures, then to a folder named Screenshots.
- All of the screenshots you’ve taken will be inside.
How to take a screenshot on Windows Phone using a Windows computer
Now that you know how to connect your Windows Phone to your Windows computer, you can also take screenshots there. This is useful if your phone screen is broken, or if the buttons we mentioned above stopped working.
- Download the official Project My Screen App for Windows Phone on your computer.
- Install and run the app.
- Connect your computer to your Windows Phone using the steps 1. and 2. above.
- A window will pop up on your phone, stating: A computer is trying to display your phone’s screen content. Are you okay with this?
- Tap on yes.
- A window mirroring your phone screen will appear on the screen of your computer.
- Go to the app or window you want to take a screenshot of.
- Option 1.
- Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard.
- On some keyboards, it’s shortened to Prnt Scrn or Prt Scn.
- Open Paint, Photoshop, GIMP, or any other image editing tool.
- Press CTRL (or Control) + V on your keyboard to paste the captured image into the program.
- Edit the image to your liking, and save it with a name and extension you want.
- Option 2.
- Open the Start bar by pressing the Windows logo key on your keyboard.
- Start typing ‘Snipping Tool‘ and open the app of the same name.
- Click on New in the top left corner.
- Highlight the part of the screen taken by the Windows Phone.
- Save the screenshot by clicking on the floppy disk icon in the middle of the menu.
- Choose the location, name, and extension of the image.