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How to take a screenshot of an application if Android's security policy does not allow

Written by: Ilia

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Android devices are used to communicate in social networks, visit websites, watch movies, play games, capture videos. Android can also be used to take screenshots. In some cases, the error "Android can't take screenshot due to security policy" occurs.

Let's discuss what to do if Android can't take a screenshot due to restrictive security policy.


Disable incognito in Chrome mobile browser

When you use the Chrome mobile browser for browsing, you can take screenshots without a problem. Meanwhile, when navigating in incognito mode, you won't be able to take a screenshot.

In order to turn off the protection on your phone, you need to:

  1. Run Chrome on your Android smartphone or tablet.
  1. Type chrome://flags in the address bar.
  1. Type "Incognito Screenshot" in the search box on the new screen.
  1. Select the "Enabled" option from the drop-down list of options.
  1. Relaunch Chrome to take effect.
  2. Try to take a screenshot again on Android.

How to disable screenshot security in Firefox

To take screenshots in incognito mode while navigating in the Firefox mobile browser follow the next steps:

  1. The latest version of the browser should be installed on the Android. Otherwise, update the application via Google Play.
  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. To access the main menu tap on the button with three dots (on the right, at the top or in the bar at the bottom, depending on your browser settings).
  3. Select the Settings option.
  1. Scroll down the screen and tap on "Private Browsing" from “Privacy and security section”.
  1. In the new window, set the "Allow screenshots in private browsing" switch to "On".

The security policy does not allow to take screenshots in the application

Some Android apps disable screenshots capturing. For example, financial apps could disable this feature for security reasons. This would prevent you from sending any personal financial information to a hacker or install spyware apps.

In this case, you can find a workaround: install similar app, which does not prohibit screenshots.

If an open application gets in the way

Sometimes an application blocks screen capturing. To close problematic app on Android, you need to

  1. Tap the multitasking button at the bottom of the screen, next to the Home and Back buttons.
  2. As a result, window with programs list will open. Its contents depends on manufacturer and operating system.
  1. To close an application, tap on the cross in the top right corner of the application window.
  2. In some older versions of Android, use a Recycle Bin icon instead of a cross.

How to take a screenshot with Google Assistant

  1. Before trying to take a screenshot with Google Assistant, you should make sure that you can take screenshots in incognito mode in Chrome and Firefox browsers.
  2. If your device doesn't have the Google Assistant app installed on it, you need to install and set it up manually.
  3. Open the Assistant and swipe from bottom to top for the Google Assistant screen.
  4. Tap on your profile icon on the top right.
  5. Scroll down the Settings screen until you see the "General" option. Tap on it.
  6. Tap on the "Use Screen Content" option and set the "Use Screenshot" switch to "On".
  7. To take a screenshot, open the program you want to take a screenshot of.
  8. Say "Okay, Google, take a screenshot”.
  1. The assistant will take the screenshot.

Changing your Google account

If the Android phone is issued to the company you work for, chances are they installed a security policy that makes it impossible to take a screenshot.

Also, the security policy applies after you add a corporate account to your smartphone. It's worth asking IT stuff to have them change the security policy that makes it impossible for you to take a screenshot.

If it's a personal phone and you don't need a company account, you can delete it. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings,
  1. Tap on Accounts (Accounts and Backup on Samsung),
  2. Tap on Manage accounts,
  3. Remove unnecessary Google account,
  1. Create and switch to another account.

Use Android emulators to take a screenshot

In addition to the methods described above, you can also install an Android emulator on your personal computer and take a screenshot through the emulator window.

1. BlueStacks is one of the most popular Android emulators. It can work with a variety of programs, but still it was created to run games.

2. NoxPlayer is considered the easiest and fastest emulator. Via the settings, you can set the performance, screen resolution and FPS.

3. MEmu - application is very similar to NoxPlayer in its functions, also allows you to configure the performance and take screenshots. There are buttons on the sidebar that allow you to take screenshots and record video from the screen. Applications can be installed either from your computer or from Google Play.

4. Andy is a free emulator with nothing unnecessary. You can change the orientation of the display and switch to full screen mode, take screenshots of any application, regardless of the security policy.

5. Gameloop is a free emulator provided by Tencent, the same company that made Call of Duty and PUBG for the Android operating system. This application is designed for gamers. It allows you to customize the graphics. In addition, the application works well with the mouse and keyboard PC.