How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21, including smart select and smart capture - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 11 January 2022

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21, including smart select and smart capture

Samsung made a major change when it launched the Galaxy S8, removing the physical home button. That's the same on the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S20 and now the Galaxy S21 meaning that screenshots on a newer Samsung phone are different to older models, like the S7.

You have a number of different options when it comes to taking a screenshot, with some Samsung additions to make it more useful than your average Android device. Although there's been some refinement in the S20, the principles are basically the same as they were on the older devices. 


Here's how to take a screenshot on the new Samsung Galaxy S20 or S21.

Galaxy S20 or S21 screenshot using buttons

Samsung supports the conventional Android method of taking a screenshot using button presses:

  1. Make sure the content you want to capture is on the screen.
  2. Press volume down and the standby button on the right-hand side at the same time.
  3. The screen will be captured, flashing and saving in the "screenshots" album/folder in the gallery.

Note that this is different to the Galaxy S7 and previous devices that used a combination of the standby button and the home button. You also need to make sure that this is a quick press - because a long press and hold will launch the power controls.


Galaxy S20 or S21 screenshot using smart capture/screenshot toolbar

The next thing to know about screenshotting on the Galaxy S20 or S21 is that smart capture - now called screenshot toolbar - will do a whole lot more for you. This is something fairly unique to Samsung and lets you instantly do things to your screenshot, rather than having to go and open it up on your gallery app.

  1. Ensure that smart capture is turned on in settings > advanced features > screenshots and screen recorder (it will be on by default)
  2. When you screenshot (using buttons or palm swipe, below), you'll get additional options at the bottom of the page in a banner (as shown above). You can draw, crop or share, but the most useful is scroll capture, marked by the arrows pointing down.
  3. Tap scroll capture to include parts of the display you can see, for example on a long webpage - it's really useful.

Galaxy S20 or S21 screenshot using palm swipe

An alternative method that Samsung offers is one that's been on the past few devices, using a gesture. This is how to get it to work.

  1. Head into settings > advanced features > motions and gestures > palm swipe to capture. Make sure this option is toggled on.
  2. Swipe the side of your hand across the display. You can swipe left or right, both work.
  3. The screen will be captured, flashing and saving in the "screenshots" album/folder in the gallery.

Note that if you've mastered the button pressing and don't want to swipe to capture, you can turn off palm swipe so it never happens.

Galaxy S20 or S21 screenshot using smart select

This third method isn't a complete screenshot, but it's a very useful way of capturing information that's on the display, using a feature called smart select. If you've been a Note user in the past, some of this might sound familiar.

Smart select is an edge panel, you can swipe into it from the edge screen.

  1. Head into settings > display > edge panels. Through this menu you can enable firstly edge screen itself, but also the smart select edge panel.
  2. Head to the page you want to capture from.
  3. Open the edge panel with a swipe until you get to smart select.
  4. Choose the shape or type of selection you want to make - rectangle, circle, pin to screen or best of all, create a gif.
  5. You'll return to the capture page with a frame for making that selection. Resize or reposition the frame and press done. If creating a gif, hit record, then stop when you're done.
  6. You'll then be shown what you've been captured, with the option to draw, share, save and in the case of text, extract that text, so you can paste it elsewhere.
  7. If pinning a selection, this will then have the captured selection hover over everything until you close it down. It's really useful for information you want refer to, like an address or reference number.

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