How To Take a Screenshot on Android TV


Android TV is slowly gaining popularity in growing markets such as Kenya thanks to many and affordable televisions that ship with the official version of the OS. The space is also served with tons of Android TV boxes from the likes of Xiaomi and Safaricom (Ematic 4K TV Box).

These products ensure that we have access to some of the best apps for Android TV, mostly streaming apps.

However, some of us want to do more with our TVs. One of the most common issues we have since encountered is finding an easy way to take screenshots. The activity comes in handy when reviewing TV boxes or televisions running Android TV, and want to show a function/tutorial using a screen grab.

The task is engaging because there is no easy way to do that (unless you have the Ematic TV Box or Nvidia Shield TV, more of that in a minute), because Android TV does not have a native solution.

That aside, we have found out two ways to take screenshots on your Android. The methods solve one problem. The other is sharing those screenshots, but we have a solution for that too.

Method 1

This method uses a third-party app called Button Mapper.

  1. Head over to Google Play and search for Button Mapper
  2. Install and launch it
  3. The app will ask you to start Accessibility Service. Press OK.
  4. In the next menu, click on Device Preferences
  5. Find Accessibility and click on it
  6. Scroll down to Button Mapper.
  7. Open it and click OK
  8. In the app, you will see many buttons, including Home, Menu, and Volume buttons. The Home and Menu (if your remote has it) buttons are locked and need you to pay to unlock them.
  9. Other buttons are free. I have selected Volume Up.
  10. After opening it, click on Customize.
  11. You can choose if you want to single tap or double-tap the button. choose whatever works for you (I recommend double tapping).
  12. There are many actions, just scroll down to Screenshot. Enable it.
  13. Now when you double-tap the Volume Up button, it will take a screenshot.

Method 2

This method works if you have the Ematic TV Box sold by Safaricom.

  1. Press and hold the power button on your remote.
  2. The device will ask you to restart or take a screenshot.
  3. Choose screenshot and snap one.
  4. Easy.

Now that you have taken a screenshot, how are you going to share it? This is not very easy too, but it works.

Solid Explorer opens two windows on your TV for improved navigation
  1. Download a file manager app that allows you to access your Google Drive storage. Solid Explorer works perfectly for me.
  2. Open the file manager and scroll to the Pictures folder, then Screenshots. Your screenshots are in there.
  3. Assuming you have added your Drive Storage, sharing the screengrabs to your cloud is easy. Also, Solid Explorer opens two windows on your TV which should make the experience way better.
  4. You can then access them on your computer or mobile phone.