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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Similar existing Android applications…

    OTHERS INTERESTED IN SAME ISSUES RealVNC has been investigating these issues and indicated that there is a need for public API’s for screen access and remote control. RealVNC has given a design proposal: Remote control of Android devices…

      • 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).

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 🙁

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. 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…

  13. 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!!!!!!

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