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.

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Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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86 Comments

  1. @miguelrios
    May 24, 21:30 Reply

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

  2. achilles
    May 24, 23:02 Reply

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

    • Tee
      August 18, 17:15 Reply

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

  3. Luke
    May 25, 01:55 Reply

    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.

    • Chuck Falzone
      May 25, 02:27 Reply

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

  4. John
    May 25, 02:18 Reply

    Sorry. No. My G1 is rooted.

  5. Mao Ranma
    May 25, 02:48 Reply

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

  6. Mobilehavoc
    May 25, 12:25 Reply

    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.

  7. CA2Indy
    June 06, 22:14 Reply

    Confirmed working on an unrooted Samsung Moment running 2.1 update.

  8. Branev
    June 14, 14:11 Reply

    Does not work on un-rooted HTC Desire

  9. mrjoe90
    June 22, 17:41 Reply

    It works flawlessly on the HTC Aria!!!

  10. Brit.
    June 23, 16:29 Reply

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

  11. Brian
    June 28, 10:57 Reply

    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!

  12. arynam
    July 03, 23:20 Reply

    It worked before I update but after that its not working :(

  13. Greg
    July 12, 17:45 Reply

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

  14. khay
    July 13, 06:59 Reply

    thanks for sharing. nice post :p

  15. ajl
    July 17, 01:03 Reply

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

  16. free fishing game
    August 03, 02:24 Reply

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

  17. Zac
    August 11, 17:29 Reply

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

  18. Tee
    August 18, 17:17 Reply

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

  19. Jim
    August 23, 09:05 Reply

    Test results on the Dell Streak: requires rooted access.

  20. Anton
    September 03, 10:32 Reply

    Works on my Epic 4G without root.

  21. Alan
    September 19, 17:40 Reply

    No go on my 2.1 Droid X. :-(

  22. andrew
    September 20, 05:51 Reply

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

  23. Steve
    September 25, 03:47 Reply

    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.

  24. Bill
    September 26, 01:49 Reply

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

  25. Fred
    October 11, 15:07 Reply

    works great on EVO 2.2 with new ota update

  26. Asger
    October 14, 06:29 Reply

    Didn’t work on Legend.

  27. Jeremy
    October 30, 00:45 Reply

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

  28. V
    November 10, 06:21 Reply

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

    • Iva
      December 11, 16:47 Reply

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

      • V
        January 07, 21:57 Reply

        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).

  29. jimkelly
    November 26, 16:04 Reply

    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.

  30. Nobody
    December 14, 11:29 Reply

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

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

  31. Sunohara
    January 21, 07:08 Reply

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

  32. Marc
    January 22, 12:18 Reply

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

  33. pam
    January 26, 18:34 Reply

    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
      January 29, 20:36 Reply

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

  34. Bratman
    January 27, 01:12 Reply

    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.

  35. Sky
    February 02, 10:01 Reply

    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

  36. RabidDingo
    February 02, 10:17 Reply

    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.

  37. Juan C.
    February 11, 14:43 Reply

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

  38. Jason S
    February 23, 19:10 Reply

    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

  39. SDroid
    February 24, 12:35 Reply

    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
      February 24, 18:15 Reply

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

  40. Greg Nixon
    April 19, 19:17 Reply

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

  41. Yazzy310
    June 03, 15:44 Reply

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

  42. guest
    June 07, 20:43 Reply

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

  43. Pamela
    June 11, 17:12 Reply

    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.

  44. tristan1749
    June 11, 23:03 Reply

    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 freewifiphonecalls.com. It’s free, no gimmicks. Looks complicated, but it’s really not. 

  45. Bluintheye
    June 11, 23:34 Reply

    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…

  46. Ana
    June 26, 21:17 Reply

    IT DOSENT WORK ANYMORE, THE SHOOTME APP REQUIRES A ROOT NOW.

  47. Redsrus3k
    June 27, 05:20 Reply

    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!!!!!!

  48. Yungtom007
    June 30, 03:56 Reply

    I just downloadedthis and it did not work on evo LIARS

    • Swade1989
      July 08, 19:09 Reply

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

  49. EVOuser
    June 30, 14:44 Reply

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

  50. Gary
    July 29, 19:05 Reply

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

  51. RC40203
    January 25, 16:26 Reply

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

    • mifune
      February 07, 17:42 Reply

      only on the 3D uselss for older models

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