How to REALLY take a screenshot in Windows Phone 8

I thought this might be worth sharing.

Windows Phone 8 introduced a built in way to take a screenshot – no extra apps necessary.

However if you search for this you will find many, many sites and pages that say something like

“it’s easy – just press the Windows button and the power button simultaneously

Now the first thing is to always be cautious about anything that claims to be easy. [ tip : if you are ever in a meeting and you are looking for volunteers to do something, just wait for someone to say “oh, that should be easy..” – and there you have your volunteer! ]

The second thing is to ask the question “what is simultaneous? ”.  Things are only simultaneous at the granularity at which you are measuring time.  In other words, if you are “fingers and thumbs” like me then trying to press two buttons on different sides of your phone at the same time can be a bit tricky to achieve the desired result.

When I was first trying to get this right, I kept on seeing this:


which is the option to talk to your phone initiated when you press the Windows button first (by a fraction of a second) and then the power button.

If you want to consistently take a screenshot, press and hold the power button first and then press the Windows button. If you do it in that order, you do not have to be too quick. As long as you press the Windows button before the “slide down to power off” message appears then you should be fine.  When the screenshot happens you get a nice loud reassuring “picture taken” sound effect.