After owning an iPad for a couple of years, last week I purchased my first iPhone. I've been well aware of the feature where you press the power button + Home key, and iOS will take a screenshot of the display.

Today I tried to take a screenshot in my iPhone and after numerous attempts it just won't work. Could this be a problem with the hardware or is there an alternative way of taking a screenshot?

  • A quick comment on the various tags. I've posted a few different iPhone related tags because after a bit of searching, it looks like this affects a few different types of iPhones, but doesn't seem to be a problem with older (pre-i4) models. Tagging is used to help people find their answers. Since this appears to be specific to the 4/4s models, I thought it appropriate to apply both tags.
    – RLH
    Jun 21, 2012 at 13:05
  • There should be a video showing how to do this...
    – GEdgar
    Jun 21, 2012 at 15:15

3 Answers 3


Numerous people have reported the problem above and, unfortunately, this is being caused because you are instructed to "release both the power and home buttons at the same time."

Releasing two buttons at the same time, at computer processing speeds is impossible, so this could be problematic for some of us. However, I have discovered that if you follow the mechanism outlined below, you will be able to always take a screenshot.

  1. Press and hold the power button.
  2. Tap the home button.
  3. Release the power button.

Your screen will flash, and your image will be saved to your camera role. This is effectively the same operation as you are instructed to do on every HOWTO page on the internet.

However, if you were releasing the power button a little faster than the home key, you were preventing the operation from taking place.


After reading stuffe's comment on Ryokuchasan's answer, I decided to test out a few different way's of pushing these buttons and seeing if I could take a screenshot.

It turns out, The following operations all produced a screenshot, in addition to my instructions above.

Option #2

  1. Press and hold the home button.
  2. Press and hold the power button.
  3. Release the home button. (Image is saved)
  4. Release the power button.

Option #3

  1. Press and hold the power button.
  2. Press and hold the home button.
  3. Release the power button. (Image is saved)
  4. Release the home button.

It was the fourth, and final means of attempting this that has failed. See below.

  1. Press and hold the home button.
  2. Tap and release the power button. (iOS locks the device)
  3. Release the home button.

This may be a bug, or intentional. I think what is going on is that myself, and numerous others have been 'tapping' the power button, while holding the home. I know this answer is a bit overkill but I think it's worth documenting the full observation of this issue for reference.


Great news! Since iOS 7's recent release, I recalled this problem. After loading the OS, I attempted the fourth method, outlined above, that wouldn't work. In this case, iOS took the screenshot and did not lock my device. Apparently this was a bug and it has been fixed.

  • wow thanks for taking your time and trying this out
    – Chrisii
    Jun 21, 2012 at 21:28

Many people find it difficult to do. It requires pressing and releasing the Home and Power buttons together very quickly.

I do it this way:

  1. Press and Hold the Power button
  2. Quickly press and release the Home button.

If you see a momentary flash of white on the display you were successful and will find the screenshot in the Camera Roll of the Photos app.

  • Wow, you posted that faster than I could. This was a question that I was planning (and did) decide to answer on my own because I knew others were having this problem and not finding a solution.
    – RLH
    Jun 21, 2012 at 13:10
  • 2
    Out of interest, it works regardless of which button you hold, and which you tap. I do it the other way, press and hold home, tap power, let go of home - same result. It's not really an issue I've ever heard about, but I imagine it's easy for one of your buttons to gum up a little and make timing an issue if you try for both simultaeniously.
    – stuffe
    Jun 21, 2012 at 13:53

Whatever screen you are on, just hold the home button and then press and release the "power" button. your screen will flash and it will save a picture of whatever was on the screen at the time.

Your photo of your screen will be saved on your Gallery. enter image description here

To take a photo with the Camera, simply open the Camera app to start recording or to take a picture.

  • Thanks for posting an answer. Yes, I (and many others) were aware of how to do this. The problem was, as I outlined, that if you released the buttons in the wrong order, the screenshot would not be taken. I've retested this bug with iOS 7. I can no longer replicate it.
    – RLH
    Jan 15, 2014 at 13:16

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