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How to: Take Screenshots with the DROID X

This guide is almost exactly the same as our guide for taking screenshots on your Droid 1 without rooting, but wanted to make sure all of the new Droid X owners out there knew the process.

The tutorial we’ll walk through will first of all help you install the Android SDK which enables you to perform all kinds of fun without being rooted.  The most most important though, might be the ability to take shots of your beautiful home screens.

Follow the entire process after the jump!


1.  First thing we need to do is download both the Android SDK which is compatible with your operating system and the Java SDK.

2.  Once they have finished downloading, go ahead and install the Java SDK.

3.  Then unzip the Android SDK into a folder you will remember later.

4.  While those steps are finishing up, go into your Droid app settings and check the box for “USB Debugging.”  (Settings>Applications>Development>USB Debugging)

5.  Head back to the folder where you unzipped the Android SDK, look for the “SDKSetup.exe” and run it.

6.  When the setup opens, you will be prompted with “Choose packages to install” at which point you can choose which APIs and other software you want to install.  The most important package you need to install is likely at the bottom and should be titled “USB driver package.”  Make sure to “accept” that.  At this point you can also start unselecting unwanted packages, but should probably keep the 2.2, 2.1 and 2.0.1 APIs.

7.  Click “install” and allow for whichever APIs you’ve selected and the USB driver to download and install.

8.  Once everything has finished, go ahead and connect your Droid to your PC via USB cable.

9.  If for some reason your Droid is not recognized by your computer, you now have the USB drivers ready for installation in the Android SDK folder you unzipped earlier (called usb_driver).  Please move forward with USB driver installation at this time if you need to.  The rest of you can go forward to step 10.

In Windows, click start, right click on “My Computer” and choose “Manage.”  Choose “Device Manager” and you should see your Droid X listed.  If there is a question mark over it, right click on it and choose “Update Driver.”  Navigate to the location of the USB driver you downloaded with the SDK.  Choose the folder it’s located in and select OK.  If for some reason that USB driver doesn’t work, try this one.

10.  In your Android SDK folder, open the folder titled “tools” and look for “ddms.bat”.

11.  Open “ddms.bat” and wait for your phone to connect.  You’ll know it’s connected when the “Log” starts becoming populated with info. Clicking on the listed device under “Name” will also connect you.

12.  On your Droid X, navigate to whichever screen you wish to take a screen shot of.

13.  Choose “Device” and “Screen Capture” in DDMS.

13.  DDMS will take a screen shot and let you preview it.

14.  Click “Save” or any other option you wish and you have officially taken your first screen shot!  BAM!

And feel free to share any of your fabulous screenies.  I’d love to see how everyone rolls with a screen shot of your desktops.  Enjoy!

  • The Barry Law Group

    So since most of you are buying devices that run one of these two versions of Android, let’s talk about how you can take screenshots and them …

  • JOE


  • Nya

    Aint nobody got time for that…

  • Yourmom
  • NateLover

    Do you have to do this every time to take a screen shot?

  • Swttlkr2003

    Thank God for the IPhone………

  • Anzaborego

    Thank you so much for describing what to look for if things don’t work at first. Cheers!

  • Bernicednl

    Its actually really easy! Just a lot of words here in the way! LOL! 

  • Faggyourmother

    you know i have downloaded all the files mentioned…nothing works…there are ALWAYS missing files from the places mentioned to download from…faulty…ill do it my own way…

  • Anonymous

    Try a simple way: I found an app called “Screen Capture Shortcut Donate”. Got it from the Market and works like a dream.  Another easy way that works on my Fascinate is to hold the back button down for 2 seconds then press the power button…click, you have your screenshot!
    ~ Fascinate Galaxy S – unrooted ~

  • tristan1749

    I’ve got a video on this that might help, at freewifiphonecalls.com. It’s really not that hard. Worked for me the first time. You just have to make sure you have the right Java for your system and follow the steps. I also use HTC Sync to sync my phone with my pc. 

  • whit


    •  Because this is for people with no permissions on their phone.  Its a lot easier to do anything when you have the proper permissions (aka root).

  • ccino

    that’s ridiculous. why can’t you just press two buttons at once like with the iphone/ipod? lame.

  • Gsparesa

    Short 30 minute bike ride through Coyote Hills (SFO) while in AFib. For those that don’t know, AFib sucks the life out of you.

  • Gsparesa

    For Linux (Ubuntu) users this procedure is vague but usable. Usable only if you know your way around the Linux OS. I have accomplished the articles goal using my limited knowledge of Linux. I am an Afib patient. It has been really cool taking DroidX screen shots of my heart rate charts that I captured from CardioTrainer. Props to the the author, Kellex, for sharing this article with us. I would never have otherwise guessed to exploit the DroidX debug capabilities together with the Dalvik Debug Monitor to capture screen shoots. I use the heart rate charts in my heart journal which I forward to my cardiologist during our visits.

  • Gahleexholly

    ok, so how can you take screen shots by just using your phone??

  • I switched from the iPhone to the Droid X. I really have to say, the iPhone is decent – but I like to mod my software. Apple has taken such a hard stance against third party applications and development that I ditched the iPhone altogether.

    The Droid X is a much better piece of hardware anyways, so I’m not missing much.

  • laura

    why is there just not native support for it?!?!

  • Louie A

    The DDMS wont open saying there is an error. What to do now?

  • joel

    just get an iphone

  • joel

    just get an iphone

    • Or you can get a Samsung Galaxy S phone that is running Android 2.2, all you have to do is press back and power at the same time and voila you have a screen shot photo. On Euro versions it’s different for Galaxy S owners. They have to hold back and home to take a screen shot picture.

  • Msombloski

    didn’t work for me

  • AdvisorBob

    I downloaded and installed the Java SE Development Kit 6u23 for Windows x64. Every time I attempt to install the Android SDK I get a message that the Java SE Development Kit (JDK) has not been installed. I am unable to install the Android SDK because of this. Does anyone have any solution for this issue?

  • Mark

    I get cannot find ADB…help

  • i tried but when i get to the second page of the Android SDK it tells me that i need to download a JDK and when i do it wont allow me to go any farther the “next” button stays grayed out.

  • Caprich96

    i cant root i keep getting a white page with a lot of errors

  • David Riewe

    the ddms.bat fails to build the path correctly on windows xp

  • Well if you let your phone die completely it will not even turn on when you first plug it in. The battery has to have a little charge and seems to take quite sometime. Thanks for sharing the info

  • It enables you to perform all kinds of fun without being rooted….which I think is very good.

  • It is one of the custom weather icon packs. There are several to download & choose from while you are configuring your BW.

  • But with rooting comes the possibilty for use of wifi tethering ….and not have to pay an extra 20 a month for it.awesome! That was super easy. You rock!

  • But with rooting comes the possibilty for use of wifi tethering ….and not have to pay an extra 20 a month for it.

  • Have to run in safe mode, but works terrific.

  • Thanks to share this process of downloading,it makes easy to done this…..

  • This seems like a popular post in some forums,This is running OSX 10.6.4. btw, and taking screenshots of my droid x. Hope this post helps someone!

  • elohimito

    awesome awesome awesome awesome! That was super easy. You rock!

  • guestX

    very easy didn't take long at all – only thing, when i got to step 10 – the ddm didn't start to populate anything… oh well – i got android & java sdk properly which is really what matters

  • epc

    its not letting me update my driver? it says insert disc.. then i do it manually and it does nothing i tried downloading the other driver and same thing?

    • epc

      alright! i installed diff. driver and worked like a charm thx 4 the step by step

  • Rskap67

    Looks like way too much work. I will wait for a one click method.


    These steps worked like a charm on DROID X..

  • alken2626

    is sdk the only way root 2.2 on {droid x} one click

  • Vanlanjl78

    I have found this to be exteremly helpful! I deploy cell phones for my company and have been wanting a way to create word document walkthoughs for my users without having to root a company paid for phone. i am wondering if this will work for the EVO though, or if there is a similar process, as I deploy the EVOs and Droid 2s the most. actually forgot to mention this process works on the Droid2 also.

  • Vanlanjl78

    I have found this to be exteremly helpful! I deploy cell phones for my company and have been wanting a way to create word document walkthoughs for my users without having to root a company paid for phone. i am wondering if this will work for the EVO though, or if there is a similar process, as I deploy the EVOs and Droid 2s the most. actually forgot to mention this process works on the Droid2 also.

  • thanks a lot, worked on my Epic 4G

    • Jim Lindbloom

      If you do the 1 click “root” then you can use the app “Shootme” for prt/scrns. Just shake on the screen you want and the shutter clicks … pretty cool.

  • Nicholas Sanford90

    like what??

  • TechTrekker

    Here is a link to the screenshot of my D1:http://i33.tinypic.com/34qtnva.jpg

  • Confused on the Java… didn't see my OS listed( running a Mac on Leopard) just wondering why there is a zip SDK file for Mac, but not the Java… would appreciate help anyone can offer.

  • mine wont open…. it opens then closes

  • Mmidolphinfan85

    Have to run in safe mode, but works terrific.

  • dr154

    nice lil trick that i didnt know…

  • Duray3

    when i run the sdk setup i get a error messege that says this
    Failed to fetch URL https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/repository/re…, reason: HTTPS SSL error. You might want to force download through HTTP in the settings.

    then there is no option for the usb package or anything

    anyone got a idea what to do here?

  • ty

    we need as app for this..

  • djenks24

    I just rooted and got rid of all the Bloatware (So happy!!!) Isn't there an app that I can download to take screen shots on the phone. NVM I guess I can just look for myself.

    • the screenshot app is called shootme..have fun

  • StephanC

    Huh, I actually started using this method last night to retrieve an app list from my Droid (Yeah the one with the broken screen). It works great especially since you can refresh the image whenever you need to.

  • antintyty

    that's to much work….

    • dizzysmile

      Hell no.

  • I use Picme found at http://androidappreview.net/picme/ the only catch is you need root. Works well!

  • Timoh

    Getting anxious to get my X, I think at lunch today I'm going to head down to Verizon and see if they can give me my NE2 12 days early. Even if they do I probably wont get the phone until early August anyway, unless they got a secret shipment in.

    • kellex

      OH yeah they will definitely give you an upgrade early. You fit right in line with that eligibility. Get down there now!

      • Timoh

        Just got back. Overheard the guy tell another customer it's about a week out for shipping so I left and called VZW. They wouldn't bump my NE2 credit up but they did overnight me a new battery for my Omnia(should hold me over for 12 days). I think they've stepped up their customer service lately.

  • All this for screens shots! I hope the boys(girls?) are hard at working rooting the X.

  • The_Other_Ray

    Is it just me but this blog post is showing up as being on july 22 at 3:30 p.m.?

    • Timmah

      Not just you. xD

    • tbaybe

      i had that problem with one yesterday. weird!

    • jiggaman508

      Yea I noticed that as well…

      • The_Other_Ray

        Ok good cuz I thought maybe it was ground hogs day. 🙂

  • Bella


    • Bella

      Much harder to get the 7th post than the 1st. Example: The guy in this thread that posted “first” actually was the second poster…. lol

    • Epic lameness

  • Bella


    • I see the point you are trying to make.

      You are still 1000 times more obnoxious than the firsters.

      • Bella

        Isn't posting numbers for posts lots of fun and terribly funny? Of course “First” is the most hilarious! The first post is some really funny stuff… but second, third, fourth and so on is also very very funny!

        Now here is the real trick: The process for taking a screenshot looks like a real pain in the neck. (try to write something somewhat related to the topic)

      • Bella

        I will answer your question because it is a very good question, and I agree with the deletion and flagging of these stupid posts.

        There are plenty of people that are sick of having THEIR time wasted by having to skip hundreds of “FIRST” posts.The kids that started this trend of course say it is all in good fun. But there is little difference in the “fun” in posting first than the fun in posting second or third. I am not the first or only person that finds the endless first posts a distraction from what we are here for. I click on a topic to get others opinions or tips and have to sift past all the kids posting “First”.

        Posting “First” is no different than posting “Second”. “Second” is no more annoying or silly than “First”. If someone is going to out of the way to delete a second post, they should do the same for first.

        The Twilight reference of who someone likes better… Edward or Jacob was simply to get the “FIRSTERS” all excited for a few minutes.

  • Bella


  • Bella


    • tbaybe


      • Bella

        In a strange way I think 2nd, 3rd, 4th… is much funnier than “First”…. Anybody can get 1st…. it takes a comedian to get 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

        • Bella

          Of course they remove a “2nd” or “3rd” numbered post, but 1st and all the nonsense that goes along with it are perfectly acceptable? First is all in good fun but 2nd isn't?

          • Octotron

            No… if you want to get down to it, you are obnoxious. Complaining about something someone else does and then taking it 3 to 4 steps farther is the quickest way to be annoying and lose your privileges.

            Knock it off.

      • Just flag it.

  • Thank you! I don't feel comfortable rooting just yet but have wanted this function. I'll try later today! Anyone have success with this yet?

  • 1st.

    this looks harder than actually rooting

    • kellex

      It is a giant pita, but once you get it, it works for all devices. Plus with the Android SDK installed you can do some stuff that without being rooted that rooted users do. 🙂

      • brandonmee

        but with rooting comes the possibilty for use of wifi tethering (I like barnacle)….and not have to pay an extra 20 a month for it.

        • Yea wifi tethering is definately the way to go. Im trying to use barnacle but for some reason its not working. I must be doing something wrong and I can't find anything online that can help me. When i hit start, it says it could not bind to DHCP port:address already in use.

          • brandonmee

            you must be on 2.2? Touch the notification soft button while in barnacle and then click settings. Then check skip wpa_supplicant. Now you are good to go…o and you will have to update to the latest barnacle in the market to have that option. It was the authors way of fixing the 2.2 problems.

          • WOW, THANKS a lot!! That was so simple i wish i tried doing that haha

        • Just use the PDANet app, you don’t need to root anything for free tethering.

      • Kellex, for example?

        My boy has an X, and he comes to me for all things tech, so I'd love to tell him I can help him can some root type functionality.

        • kellex

          Well you can push a new boot animation onto a phone.

          • Mrpicolas

            The droid-life boot animation is nice

          • No clocking type features yet eh?

            Hahaha, he was drunk the first night he got it telling everyone he could hack it already and whatnot. I had to let him down gently.

          • hey Kellex, this site is getting crazy popular these days…is a forums section possible?

          • Seconded.

            Or at least a “slowchat” type of feature.

      • Nicholas Sanford90

        like what??

  • g35


    • brandonmee

      Yeah if you let your phone die completely it will not even turn on when you first plug it in. The battery has to have a little charge and seems to take quite sometime.