No Root Screenshot It Review

No Root Screenshot It Review

Aug 4, 2011

It boggles the mind that there isn’t a simple mechanism for taking screenshots on Android. I can’t think of a single good reason for this ability not to be turned on, or for the amount of rigamarole — yes, rigamarole — required to add it. I know this is going to shock everyone, but my phone isn’t rooted and I have no desire to root it, ever. But, you know, every Thursday, it sure would be nice to be able to take clear, quick pictures of the interface.

Enter No Root Screenshot It. From the title, the true purpose of this application may be confusing to some, and while they may find it completely shrouded in mystery, I’ll try to make it 100% clear: No Root Screenshot It is an app for Android that allows you to take a screenshot of your Android device’s screen. And the best part? You don’t have to root your phone.

Finally, you can take screenshots of your phone’s interface in various states of being and have them conveniently stored on your phone for later retrieval. Like this one, for example:

Once you’ve got the app set up, you can choose from a variety of options to take a screenshot. For example, you can “pin” a button to the notification bar and tap it to take a shot. Or, if you’re in a game or other app that doesn’t show the notification bar, you can simply shake your phone. You can set a delay, or have the shot taken immediately. There are a few other options you can set, including where to store the images, image format, size and more. All in all, taking a screenshot is an extremely simple process. Getting the app to work, however, isn’t.

Unfortunately, just because you don’t have to root your phone doesn’t mean there isn’t still rigamarole associated with taking a screenshot. For one, the app requires you to install the ScreenshotItEnabler application on your PC or Mac (no option for Linux users). You then have to set your phone to go into “USB Debugging” mode when you plug in the USB cable. Next, you connect your phone to your computer via USB cable, run the “ScreenshotItEnabler” application and enable the ScreenshotIt app on your phone.

After that’s finished, you can snap as many screenshots as you like, until you reset your phone. At which point, you’ll have to go through the entire enabling process again. But that’s the least of the problems with this app.

I had hoped No Root Screenshot It would be the answer to my prayers, except that it doesn’t seem to work very well. Shots of the phone’s home screen come out just fine, but what about shots of games and apps? Twitter, Google+, the web browser, text messaging and other apps didn’t work at all. Meanwhile, it crashed almost every game I tried it with.

At its worst, No Root Screenshot It would crash my phone and need to be reset if I tried using it with an app it didn’t like. Of course, that means going through the whole enabling process one more time. Quite annoying. Given the US$4.99 price tag, I’d recommend skipping this one.

No Root Screenshot It Review Rundown

User Interface - The user interface is dead simple, except for the option to set where you want to store the images. You have to type the path directly rather than choosing a directory through the interface. Other than that, there isn't much of an interface to use.
Functionality - It's hard to say this app functions properly when it's so fussy. Sometimes, it just works and takes a screenshot. Other times, it says it can't and asks if you enabled the app via your computer -- even after you just did. Other times, it causes a catastrophic failure and the phone requires a reset. I can't say I had a good experience while testing it out.
Performance - Does not get along with graphically intensive games in full screen. An option to automatically save a screenshot without interrupting the foreground app to show me a preview of the shot I just took would probably save a lot of headaches.
Usefulness - This is a very useful app that is reduced nearly to uselessness due to a number of problems. I can't use it to take screenshots of certain games or apps without crashing, and it only seems to work under very specific conditions. And just what would I do if the app needed to be enabled and I were nowhere near a computer? An app I can't use isn't useful at all.
Overall - Unless you really need this app, I'd recommend skipping it. The frustrations I experienced weren't worth the US$4.99 price tag. Find some way to eliminate the need to plug it into a computer just to get basic functionality and make it a lot more stable; then I'll find it worth the price.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as,,, and even
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  • Tiger

    everytime it shows me the screenshot preview… its messed up any solution pls?