Android Screenshots: No Root Required with EVO

We’re not sure if this is a bug that will get fixed, an easter egg, or what, but when we heard reports of unrooted EVO users being able to use the screen capture app ShootMe, we had to test it out ourselves. And it worked! You’re looking at the results of our test on the left.

Previously, getting screenshots from an unrooted Android device required hooking it up to a P.C. that has the Android SDK installed. Applications in the Market that take screenshots, including ShootMe, all note requiring a rooted phone to work.

We tested this on a stock HTC EVO 4G distributed at Google I/O. Let us know in the comments if other screen capture apps work on your unrooted EVO, or if you’ve come across other methods of getting screen captures on unrooted devices.

Update: We’ve confirmed this does not work on an unrooted Nexus One. Seems to be something specific to the EVO.

Update July 16: The recent OTA update the EVO received closed the security loophole that allowed this, so it no longer works.

  • Confirmed here. Kind of lame to have to shake the phone to get a screenshot.

  • Also work on the G1.

  • John, you've got an *unrooted* G1 and ShootMe works on it?

  • Johnx

    you can yell too

  • Yup, works on my Evo 🙂

  • achilles

    Does not work for unrooted Droid. Keep getting message saying it needs root access.

    • Thanks for checking, Achilles.

    • Tee

      Achilles, did you find an app that worked with your unrooted droid?
      If you did, can you post it here please!

  • There was an app I came across in the last developer challenge that took screenshots on my unrooted G1, I still have no idea how they did it, but I bet they could charge $.99 for it and make a killing in the app store, if it was still possible.

    • That was Drocap. It used a vulnerable exploit path that has since been patched.

  • Sorry. No. My G1 is rooted.

  • Mao Ranma

    Works with -unrooted- Samsung Moment with 2.1 DE03 as well, I was pleasantly shocked!

  • Mobilehavoc

    Isn't this because these are "dev" Evos that were handed out? Maybe it has root as default because they're meant to be for devs. The real test will be with a retail device on June 4th.

  • PurplePenguin04

    do other apps that require root access work on the Google I/O EVO?

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  • CA2Indy

    Confirmed working on an unrooted Samsung Moment running 2.1 update.

  • Does not work on un-rooted HTC Desire

  • It works flawlessly on the HTC Aria!!!

  • Brit.

    this worked for my unrooted mytouch 3g slide. woot!

  • Brian

    Sad news here… Just updated my Evo and this no longer works. Too bad too, because I was going to take a bunch of screenshots for a review too!

  • Testing on my a Evo now, ill test on a Droid X next week.

  • arynam

    It worked before I update but after that its not working 🙁

  • Greg

    No luck on my Evo of 2 days old. I get the "must be rooted" message on initial boot.

  • thanks for sharing. nice post :p

  • ajl

    I tried it today on my EVO and it took me to a screen that said my phone wasn't rooted kind of disappointed

  • I added your blog to bookmarks. And i'll read your articles more regularly!

  • Zac

    Works perfectly on my T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide (not rooted)!!!!!

  • Tee

    does anybody know any screen capture apps that work for not rooted Motorola Droids?

  • Jim

    Test results on the Dell Streak: requires rooted access.

  • Works on my Epic 4G without root.

  • Alan

    No go on my 2.1 Droid X. 🙁

  • andrew

    Boooo doesnt work on unrooted samsung galaxy s. Says it needs root access

  • Steve

    I just downloaded it now on my Evo (Android 2.2 and the 3.29.651.5 OTA update from Sprint)and it works perfectly.

  • Works on my Samsung Galaxy S (SCH-I500) Android 2.1

  • Fred

    works great on EVO 2.2 with new ota update

  • Asger

    Didn’t work on Legend.

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  • Jeremy

    Works on EVO as of today with latest updates, etc. NO ROOT! 🙂 SWEET!

  • V

    doesn’t work on my rooted x10 mini, android 2.1. pics look scrambled. tried shaking and shouting.

    • Iva

      V, how did you get 2.1 on your x10 mini? Mine came with 1.6

      • V

        Iva, bought my x10 mini around november 8, 2010. it did come with 1.6. then i updated it to 2.1 through pc companion. please be aware that they released another update around dec 21, 2010 that doesn’t allow root (as at jan 8, 2011; if you root it).

  • evo 4g brand new with up to date android here and just decided to try it anyway even though the last edit on this post say it doest work.. well it works for me.

  • Nobody

    Works on my unrooted Evo – droid 2.2, build 3.299651.5 – 3.29.624.5

    Figured I’d just let you guys know. . . .

  • Labant

    Explain this image:

    Unrooted Samsung Transform. No app. It just happened while I was messing with it the first week I had it. Any ideas?

  • Sunohara

    Tested on Samsung GT-i9000 Galaxy S which shipped with 2.2 Froyo
    Unrooted and it WORKS.
    That was a surprise.

  • Marc

    Yup. Works on my unrooted Galaxy S too, I couldn’t find a screen grabber to work before update to 2.2, nice 😀

  • pam

    I recently downloaded photos from my sd card in my evo, and to my surprise, I found 30 or more accidental screenshots. I do not have any screenshot apps, and I can’t find any info as to why or how this happened. Anyone out there have a clue?

    • jesseDroid

      My only guess is that a friend or boyfriend installed an app w/o you knowing that does it. I could be wrong.

  • Bratman

    Guess what Evo 2.2 with the last software update 3.70.651.1 Not Rooted, works perfect.
    Shake it and the shutter sounds and you got capture… but watch yourself from hitting the volume rocker… YES! And thanks to whom ever figured that out.

  • Sky

    I know I’m late but does not work on my samsung intercept but def works on verizon thunder bolt umm maby because its so similar to the evo . . . Also when I had a g1 I made a few accidental screen shots while I was using a home rplacemnt called sweether home don’t know if it helps but . . . Hopefully it does

  • RabidDingo

    Just tried it on my uprooted EGO and it worked. No problem. Only issue is that it mark the photos with their logo, unless you hide the app as an option. No way to”un-hide” the app.

  • Juan C.

    IT WORKS!!!!!! YEAH !! @ EVO Froyo 2.2
    Funciona super bien, no root required!

  • Jason S

    I just tried the shoot me on my Samsung Epic (2.2.1) and the device is unrooted and I am not able to use this program

  • SDroid

    I downloaded it on my EVO 4g and it says “failed starting server. Please check you have ***ROOT*** access on your device and enabled access to the lower level graphics.” Please help 🙁

    • Jason S

      SDroid: That is the same message that I got yesterday.

  • Root required on HTC Desire. 🙁

  • Why is it such a problem to get screenshots on driods? Very damned annoying imo.

  • Iwantedtoputmynamehere

    It works on my Samsung Mesmerize!! I think I’m still on Android 2.1

  • Yazzy310

    Does not work on my EVO 4g . Since I updated my HTC software today

  • guest

    After the most recent update on the EVO, it no longer works on unrooted devices. 6/7/11

  • Tuitillidie249

    Says I have to have root access.

  • Pamela

    Doesn’t work for me anymore after I updated to Gingerbread. SAD DAY. :'( WHY THE HECK DID THEY CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE?!?! WOULD NOT have updated the software if I had known this.

  • tristan1749

    There are some that say Froyo 2.2 is able to take screenshots with a back>power or back>home sequence. I don’t have one, so I can’t veryify.  If you still haven’t figured yours out, try my video at It’s free, no gimmicks. Looks complicated, but it’s really not. 

  • Bluintheye

    New OS update installed for my Evo today and now Shoot Me will not work anymore! get the message  “Failed Starting Server. Please check that you have ***ROOT*** access on your device.” I’m so bummed…

  • Doesnt work. Still telling me i need root access

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  • Ana


  • Redsrus3k

    It makes me wanna get a freakin iPhone….yes, I just threw up in my mouth! GEESH! How hard can it be to get an app without invading your phone by rooting?! This feature should have been on the phone to begin with!!!! Good gosh!!!!!!

  • Yungtom007

    I just downloadedthis and it did not work on evo LIARS

    • Swade1989

      If you upgraded to 2.3 then it wont work but if you still have 2.2 then it should work

  • EVOuser

    Doesnt work after update on EVO. Dont even like the update, if i would have knew i wouldnt have updated

  • Swade1989

    didnt work for me either

  • syllable

    have to have a rooted phone. still.

  • Gary

    Gingerbread update blew it for me. I can no longer use the Shoot Me app. Thanks HTC (or whoever is responsible).

  • RC40203

    just hold the power button and press home, this takes screen shot on the Evo without an app.

    • mifune

      only on the 3D uselss for older models

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