How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S21, including smart select options

(Pocket-lint) – Since Samsung removed the physical home key on its handsets – way back when the S8 launched – the method of taking a screenshot has changed. And with a modern Samsung Galaxy S device, such as the S22 series, you might end up launching Bixby or loading the power-off screen instead.

So how do you take a screenshot on your Galaxy S21 or S22 (or, indeed, older device such as the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S20)? There are a number of different options, with some Samsung additions to make it more useful than your average Android device. Here’s how.

Galaxy S21 or S22 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 showing on the screen.
  2. Press volume down and the standby/power button on the right-hand side at the same time – but only briefly, not for too long.
  3. The screen will be captured, flashing and saving in the “screenshots” album/folder in the gallery.

If you’re using much older hardware, from the Galaxy S7 or before, such devices instead use a combination of the standby button and the home button.

You’ll need to make sure that this is a quick press of the two buttons – whichever device you possess – because a longer press-and-hold will launch the power control screen.

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Galaxy S21 or S22 screenshot using smart capture/screenshot toolbar

The next thing to know about screenshotting on a Galaxy S series is that smart capture – which is 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.

  1. Ensure that the toolbar is turned on in settings > advanced features > screenshots and screen recorder. It will be on by default; the setting is called ‘Show toolbar after capturing’.
  2. When you screenshot (using buttons or palm swipe, latter described 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.
  4. Want the original screenshot to be delated after sharing from the toolbar? That can also be selected from settings > advanced features > screenshots and screen recorder > ‘Delete after sharing from toolbar’.

Galaxy S21 or S22 screenshot using palm swipe gesture

An alternative method that Samsung offers is one that’s been available for a few generations of S series, using a gesture control. This is how to get it to work.

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  1. Head into settings > advanced features > motions and gestures > ‘Palm swipe to capture’.
  2. With this option toggled on, 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 – including by accident.

Galaxy S21 or S22 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.

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Smart select is an edge panel, which you can swipe into from the edge screen (when activated).

  1. Head into settings > display > ‘Edge panels’ and ensure this is toggled on.
  2. Click into this menu and you can enable the smart select edge panel – select ‘Panels’ then scroll right to select it. You can enable multiple panel types, such as Apps too.
  3. Then head to the page you want to capture from.
  4. Open the edge panel with a swipe from the side of the screen. This may take multiple swipes if you have multiple panels enabled.
  5. Choose the shape or type of selection you want to make – rectangle, oval, pin to screen or (best of all) create a gif via ‘Animation’.
  6. 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.
  7. You’ll then be shown what you’ve been captured, with the option to draw, share, save, and in the case of text, extract it so you can paste it elsewhere.
  8. 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.

Galaxy S21 Ultra or S22 Ultra screenshot using S Pen

Since the S21 Ultra launched there’s been compatibility with the S Pen stylus, but only for the Ultra model in the range. The S22 steps things up again by including an S Pen stowed in the body. One of the S Pen’s great features is activating smart select with ease, allowing you to take selections using the stylus. Here’s how.

  1. Eject the S Pen from the body (S22 Ultra only) to activate Air Command by default (it’s a pop-up menu).
  2. Choose ‘smart select’ from this menu and, as per above, create and save your selection as you choose. It’s a really handy feature of the S Pen.
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