How to Take a Screenshot on the Xbox One

The Xbox One console you have in your living room isn’t the Xbox One Microsoft released back in 2013. Just like it did with the Xbox 360, Microsoft has added out new features for owners through software updates. Some would say it’s been even more aggressive, rolling out changes and tricks that users request monthly with break neck speed. One day, users are complaining about the Xbox One having a feature. The next month it’s there, ready for them to take advantage of. Taking a screenshot on the Xbox One is one of those features users have been asking for consistently.

One of the reasons screenshots on the Xbox One have come up again and again is the stiff competition Microsoft faces in the console market. Sony’s PS4 gaming console has offered screenshots for some time. PS4 users can capture and save screenshots directly to a flash drive. Microsoft seems to have focused on integrated video instead, delivering a top-notch Twitch experience and video clip recording.


Here’s how to take a screenshot on the Xbox One in a game using nothing but your controller or Kinect 2 sensor. To be clear, our tutorial features the Xbox One March Update that’s been delivered to members of the Xbox Preview Program. As such, you may or may not have the feature available on your console just yet. If you do notice that it’s missing, don’t worry. If Microsoft stays true to form, we can expect the update to arrive to everyone sometime in March.

Screenshots are a great way to highlight a moment in your game and an easy way to make your Xbox One’s home screen a bit more interesting. Also, they just look cool.

Turn on your Xbox One by pressing the Xbox logo on your controller or by saying, “Xbox, On” if you have a Kinect 2 sensor plugged into your console.


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Now go to the My Games and Apps area and select the game you’d like to play. You can also just say “Go to…” and the name of the game. To take screenshots you’ll need to be in an Xbox One game. For the purposes of this tutorial we’re taking screenshots in Dragon Age Inquisition, massive role-playing game from Electronic Arts.

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Play your game until you’re ready to take a screenshot on your Xbox One. Double tap the glowing Xbox One logo on your controller to open the Snap menu. You’ll need to do both presses quickly or you’ll be sent to the Home screen instead.

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Now press Y to take your screenshot.

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Immediately, you’ll notice a pop-up inviting you to see your screenshot inside the Upload Studio app. Hold down the glowing Xbox One logo to see the picture you just captured inside Upload Studio.How to Take a Screenshot on the Xbox One (6)

Press A button on your controller. From here you can set a screenshot as background for your Xbox One’s home screen. A post on the Xbox Wire news blog about the March Xbox One Update indicates the company plans to roll out sharing to Twitter and more. Exactly when that sharing will arrive isn’t mentioned in the blog post. There’s no way to save them onto an external hard drive of flash drive yet either.

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That’s how you take a screenshot on the Xbox One. To be clear, you can skip past the Snap Menu if you want by simply saying “Xbox, take a screenshot” if you’re using a Kinect 2 sensor. This is the most seamless method and definitely better than having to deal with the Snap menu overlay.

Select Manage Captures in the Upload Studio app to delete any saved screenshots or even video. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when users will able to see the screenshots they capture on Microsoft’s Xbox website.

Whether all users will be able to capture screenshots remains unclear too. Microsoft’s Xbox website says that Game DVR – recording video clips and saving them to Xbox Live – requires a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. It makes sense that Microsoft might require an Xbox Live subscription to save screenshots to Xbox Live too.