How To

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

Although Android is a more open platform than iOS, there are still some things you can’t do on Google’s mobile platform. Capturing screenshots within apps that prohibit the act is one of them. This is due to the screen containing sensitive information or content protected by digital rights management. So it’s a good thing we have a trick up our sleeve called rooting! Yes, even in 2020, it is still useful for those who need it the most. So, if you want to grab a freeze frame to meme up, spoil a drama series, or keep some backup passcodes handy, we’ve got a way for you by this guide of how to take a screenshot.

There are at least a few ways to get around app screenshot restrictions. Using a video capture app or Google Assistant to take a screenshot does not work — the output is either blocked or distorted, as seen below in Amazon Prime Video.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

We’ve updated our article on how to take a screenshot once more to include some solutions suggested by readers in the comments section — many thanks to them! One method necessitates connecting to your computer, while the others will necessitate root access.

Scrcpy (ADB tool)

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

Since writing this article, I’ve discovered that it’s a portmanteau of “screen copy,” but regardless of how you pronounce it, this command prompt program allows you to mirror, interact with, and record the screen of your Android device. In other words, scrcpy has more applications than just taking screenshots, but better overkill than under kill, right? The app is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows from this GitHub page. Check that USB debugging is enabled on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve downloaded and exposed scrcpy, launch a console or command prompt from the file’s location and run:

scrcpy -r nameyourfile.mp4

It will capture a full-resolution video of your device’s screen. You can end the recording session in some installations by pressing Ctrl+C. Others will have to unplug their device. With the commands found here, you can customize a variety of aspects such as orientation, framerate, and size.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

Of course, you could just not bother and use your preferred computer-based capture tool to take some photos. In this case, the output quality is highly dependent on your monitor, except if you force a higher resolution, but scrcpy can definitely be used in this manner. If you’re just collecting a bunch of passwords or login codes — Google Authenticator v5.10 isn’t the best example to use, but unlike most on-device screen recorders, you can use the tool on Chrome Incognito tabs — you’re pretty much fine here.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

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Some purposes, on the other hand, are a waste of scrcpy. If you’re already on a computer and have a Netflix or Amazon Prime account, you’re better off screen capping your favorite show from a browser. Sccpy appears to be on its way out with Android 12. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the new OS version had effectively closed the channel through which the program allows users to screenshot content from apps that prohibit the action. In short, the OS requires a privileged or ‘secure’ display to show secure content, and scrcpy was able to create one on your computer using adb.

On Android 12, this is no longer possible. Consider using scrcpy with an older device if you don’t want to put in too much effort on your screenshots. But what if you’re watching something and only have your phone with you? The good news is that you can get around the screenshot security fence. The (slightly) bad news is that you’ll have to do some preliminary research.

SmaliPatcher (Root, Magisk)

SmaliPatcher is another way to capture screenshots. Unlike scrcpy, root methods attempt to prevent apps from setting FLAG SECURE, which prevents users from taking screenshots or recording videos in the first place. The advantage of this method for obtaining screenshots in places where you normally cannot is that it eventually works as a Magisk module. However, while you will need to “create” the module yourself, you can do so in 5 to 10 minutes with a simple tool called the Smali Patcher courtesy of fOmey, a developer and XDA forums regular — you can read their full write-up here or get straight to downloading the tool by clicking here or on this Google Drive mirror link. Now, let’s take it one step at a time:

  • Check that USB debugging is enabled on your Android device.
  • Connect your phone to your computer using the ADB tool. Check that your phone is recognised by running: adb devices
  • [email protected] should be downloaded and extracted before running SmaliPatcher.exe.

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SmaliPatcher requires at least 3GB of RAM, NET Framework 4.7.1 or later, Java, and an Android 6.0+ device on your computer.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

There are a lot of great patches you can use here, but the one we want is Secure flag. Select that checkbox and click the ADB PATCH button to the right. The tool will then generate a patch named [email protected], which will eventually appear in the same folder as SmaliPatcher.exe. You can then side load it onto your phone by opening Magisk, going to Modules in the side menu, tapping the + icon, and selecting that zip file. The device should then be restarted.

Alternatively, you can boot into recovery and load the zip file using an ADB sideload command.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

And we’ve arrived! Despite fOmey’s warning that some of the tool’s patches may not be compatible with Android 10 devices, we were able to make it work with our Pocophone F1. Unfortunately, some apps will not be affected by this patch — Amazon Prime Video, banking apps, and others will continue to block you — so your mileage may vary. However, if you need to capture a still image on your phone by any means necessary, this is a good option.

Xposed (Root… and Magisk for some users)

An alternative root method is to install the Xposed Framework on your device — there’s a simple module that simply disables the system’s secure flag. Follow the instructions from the official Xposed repository if you’re still using an Android device running 4.0.3 to 4.4 (most versions of Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, or KitKat). This XDA forums page has instructions for Android Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat users. If you already have Magisk installed on your Android Pie or 10 machine, all you need to do is obtain a module of a module (don’t worry, it’s not that difficult). You must first install the Riru Core framework, followed by the Riru EdXposed module, and finally the EdXposed Installer.apk, which will install the ultimate module in question. The links above will take you to their respective GitHub pages; you can find the first two in Magisk’s downloads section, or you can download the Core and EdXposed modules from GitHub and induce via recovery if you prefer.

How to take a Screenshot on Android when an App is not Allowing?

Once the Framework is installed on your device, download and install the DisableFlagSecure.apk from the Xposed repo. Then, open your Xposed or EdXposed installer app, navigate to the modules list, and enable DisableFlagSecure. Reboot your device, and she’ll blow!

How to Protect Privacy on Android Phones?

I’m not going to bore you with more Authenticator and Netflix screenshots because, yes, they work. However, I will only share this blank Amazon Prime Video screenshot — unlike the Smali method, you can take a screenshot on the app, but the content will be blanked out. I suppose it makes all the difference in the world. We hope you’ve learned to take a screenshot you need, however you do it.

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