How to Take a Screen Shot on iPhone 3G and 3GS

By Aaron Parson

Capture any image on your iPhone 3G or 3GS's screen by taking a screenshot, then view and share it in the Photos app.

Things You'll Need

  • IPhone, IPhone 3G, IPhone 3Gs, or IPod Touch
  • Any image pulled up on your IPhone

Old 3G and 3GS iPhones can't install the newest version of iOS and therefore lack many of the new features Apple releases every year, but you don't need a new phone to take a picture of your screen. Since Apple introduced screenshots in iOS 2, the method to capture an image has remained the same: press both the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons at the same time.

Take a Screenshot

To capture an image of the screen, simultaneously hold the Home button on the front of the phone and press the Sleep/Wake button on the top edge of the phone. You'll hear a camera shutter noise and the screen flashes to indicate the screen capture.

Screenshots capture almost exactly what you see on your screen, including the status bar, menus, keyboard, pop-ups and most other system objects, as well as the actual content of the current app. One system object that won't show up in screenshots is the AssistiveTouch button, if you have it turned on in iOS 5 or 6. Also, if your screen is malfunctioning -- such as lines through the screen or water damage spots -- a screenshot doesn't show the screen as you see it but as it would appear if the screen were functioning properly.

Tip

To help take the perfect screenshot, you might need to use several fingers or get another person's help. For example, if you want to capture an image of your screen while holding a multi-touch gesture in place -- such as a pinch to zoom that bounces back when you let go -- you'll need to press both buttons while keeping your fingers on the screen.

See Your Screenshots

Screenshot in the Camera Roll

The iPhone saves screenshots to your camera roll, just like photos taken with the camera. Open the Photos app, open the Camera Roll album and tap a screenshot to see it. From there -- just like with photos -- use the Share button to email the picture or, in iOS 3 and above, text the picture.

Tip

  • When viewing screenshots in the Photos app, it's easy to mix up the status bar and buttons on the screenshot with the actual status bar and buttons in the Photos app. Tap the center of the image to hide the real status bar and the Photo app's buttons and see only the picture. Tap again to bring them back.
  • Copying screenshots to your computer works identically to copying photos to your computer.
  • The iOS Software Development Kit for Mac can save iPhone screenshots directly to a Mac OS X computer. Select the iPhone in the SDK's device list and click Take Screenshot.