How to take a screenshot or video on a Nintendo Switch and view those files later

It's easy to take and view screenshots on a Nintendo Switch.Benjamin Gilbert/Business Insider
  • To take a screenshot on the Nintendo Switch, you'll just need to press the console's dedicated screenshot button.
  • On all official Nintendo Switch controllers, the screenshot button is on the left side, or left Joy-Con.
  • Pressing the Switch's screenshot button quickly will take a screenshot, while holding it down for a moment will save a video of the last 30 seconds of gameplay.
  • Screenshots can't be taken in certain apps, or during certain moments of gameplay.

Both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U let you take screenshots, but only through the Miiverse social media app.

The Nintendo Switch follows this trend, but upgrades it. You can now take screenshots at any time just by pressing a button, and can even share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Here's how to take a screenshot on your Nintendo Switch, and how to find those pictures or videos later.Advertisement

How to take a screenshot on your Nintendo Switch

All official Nintendo Switch controllers — whether it be a Joy-Con pair or the Pro Controller — have the screenshot button on the left side.

It's the bottom-left button, underneath the four directional arrows, and it's a square with a circle inside of it. If you have a Switch Lite, the button is in roughly the same spot on the left side of the screen.

The screenshot button is a small square, with a circular indentation inside of it.Nintendo; skitching by William Antonelli/Business Insider
You can use it in two ways:
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  • Press the screenshot button quickly to take a single screenshot. Pressing it multiple times in succession will take multiple screenshots.
  • Hold the button down for a second to take a video of the last 30 seconds of gameplay.

Some games, like "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," have their own screenshot functions — taking a screenshot using the in-game screenshot function will save the picture to your Switch's memory.

To access your screenshots later, simply return to the home screen of your device, and click the Albums button, the blue one in the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
To access your screenshots later, return to the home screen and go to Albums.William Antonelli/Business Insider
Note that while the screenshot button works at nearly any time, there are a few apps it's disabled in. You can't take a video of the home screen, for instance. And you can't take any pictures or videos in the Albums app.Advertisement

To transfer the screenshots from your Switch later, you can use an SD card or social media account. Check out our article, "How to transfer screenshots from your Nintendo Switch to another device, so that you can edit or share them with others" for more information.

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