Jun 15 AT 3:53 PM Taylor Wimberly 38 Comments

How To Capture Android Screens With Vista x64

Each time we post a set of Android images on our Flickr account, I get several request to explain the process of capturing screens.  I wrote a simple guide for using the Android app Screenshot, but it requires root access.  If you are looking for a free, easy to use method that works on most operating systems, installing the Android SDK(software development kit) is the way to go.

Included with the Android SDK is a tool named Davlik Debug Monitor(DDMS).  Once everything is installed properly, you can use DDMS to capture screens with a single click.  When I installed the SDK on my pc running Windows XP, I had everything working in under 5 minutes.  However, when I tried to get things working on Vista x64(idk why I’m running Vista) I ran into problems.

The following guide is for users running the 64-bit version of Windows Vista, but the same basic steps apply to different operating systems.

Part 1 – Ensure the Java Development Kit(JDK) is installed and working

Do not install the Windows 64 version of Java

Do not install the Windows 64 version of Java

Before we begin to install the Android SDK, we need to check if Java Development kit is properly setup.

  • Open up a command prompt window (Shortcut: Windows key + R, then type:  cmd)
  • Type the following in the command prompt:  java -version
  • If a version number is returned, the JDK is working. Skip to Part 2.
The correct response when checking Java version

The correct response when checking Java version

If java is not a recognized command then complete the following steps:

  1. Visit the official Sun Java site http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
  2. Download the latest Java SE Development Kit.  Current version at the publish of this article is JDK 6 Update 14
  3. When prompted for platform at download, select Windows and not Windows x64
  4. Install the JDK when download is finished.  Note the install location
  5. Right click on My Computer > Select Properties
  6. Go to the Advanced system settings > Find the Advanced tab and click Environmental Variables
  7. In the System variables window, scroll down to Path and click Edit
  8. At the end of the Variable value add the following path. Note a semicolon separates each path.  ;C:Program Files (x86)Javajdk1.6.0_14bin
  9. Hit Ok and return to a command prompt
  10. Type “java -version” (minus quotes) and this time you should see the version returned.
Edit the system variables to add the Java path

Edit the system variables to add the Java path

Part 2 – Download and unpack the Android SDK

Complete the following steps to unpack the Android SDK(Software Development Kit).

Part 3 – Launch Davlik Debug Monitor and begin capturing screens

After Java is working and the Android SDK is unpacked, you should be able to launch the Davlik Debug Monitor.

  1. Hook your phone to your PC via a USB cable
  2. If prompted to install drivers, search the SDK folder in “usb_drivers”
  3. Browse to the tools directory located in the Android SDK folder
  4. Locate the file ddms.bat and click to launch
  5. When Davlik Debug Monitor has loaded, find your device and click it
  6. Once device is selected, from the main menu pick Device > Screen Capture
  7. Preview the capture and then save it.  All images are saved as .png files
Note the Android device is highlight in the background

Note the Android device is highlight in the background

If clicking ddms.bat fails to launch the application, try the following steps:

  • Open up a command prompt and navigate to the Android SDK tools directory
  • Type ddms.bat
  • Look for any error messages that are present

Practice taking screenshots and share your results.  If you run into problems, someone here probably had the same issues and can offer you help.  Learn to take screenshots now, because our next contest will require you to share some with us.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    worked for me!

    • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

      And boy, Toggle Settings sure does have an ugly icon…

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Nice. Now I don’t have to take screens for you anymore.

    • http://Website neff starr

      still trying it fudge

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael

    Clark, a few questions.

    Toggle Settings seems similar to Locale. Is it any different or better than Locale?

    What are the two time and date widgets you have at the top of your home screen?

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael

    Great guide Taylor.

    Worked like a charm, and now I’m a screenshot-taking mofo!

    I’d post one, but, my home screen really isn’t anything that exciting. :-)

  • Drew

    Dalvik Debug does not find my phone :(

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Does Windows even detect the phone? Sounds like you might need to reinstall the drivers located in the SDK.

  • http://simplyblog.net Miguel | SimplyBlog


    I’m wanting to take some screenshots for the contest, I’m on a Macbook, how do I get it done? :) Thanks,


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  • Reggie

    The DDMS isn’t finding my phone either. It opens but does not list anything. My computer does find my phone as it gives me the option to mount and when I do the folder pops up on my computer screen. Am I doing something wrong?


  • http://twitter.com/rickyrescue Ricky

    I couldn’t figure it out. :\
    My computer does see the phone, I can mount it and view my files. But for some reason the DDM does not see my phone. I wonder what I did wrong. :(

  • Bharat

    can any of you guys help me out with the below issue

    I am able to launch the screen capture tool from devlik debugger but the problem with me is that the capture screen is very big. It is not fitting into the window. I am not getting the save,refresh options to proceed further.


  • punkmanj

    Ok I have everything installed. devlik will not see my phone. I have tried deleting the usb drivers, rolling back the drivers, and updating the drivers with no luck. can anyone help? I know the contest is over but I would still like to take screen shots.

  • s15274n

    Followed the guide to a tee and Dalvik will not see my g1. I see others are having this issue. How did you get a work around? Great guide by the way!

  • Nellis

    Doesn’t work for G3.

  • Mike

    Instructions are incomplete. Forgot a few critical steps.

    Phone isn’t showing up in DDMS? Do this. On your Droid goto Settings->Applications->Deveoplment and check and USB debugging. If your device is plugged in, it will probably ask you for drivers. Keep saying not to auto find drivers, when it asks for a disk, navigate to the SDK\usb_driver directory to select the driver. Just keep saying yes until it is installed. Windows will tell you it is running but Windows lies like a rug. Reboot. When it’s back up, launch DDMS plug in your Droid via USB and it should show up.

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  • http://www.algadon.com Chris

    Sigh. I have USB debugging enabled. I have installed the x86 JDK. I have downloaded/unzipped the Android SDK. I even installed it. The app runs, but it does not see the phone. Any thoughts?

    • http://Website Jaki


      I have the same problem as well.
      installed the latest android SDK, make sure usb driver is installed, USB debugging enabled on the phone, JDK installed also.
      i’m with nexus one. nothing shows up on ddms.

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  • http://Website Droidymcdroiderton

    In the command prompt for my tools folder, when i type ddms.bat it returns this:

    E/adb: Failed to get the adb version: Cannot run program “adb”: CreateProcess error+2, The system cannot find the file specified

    Please email me the answer to me: gdogmcstyles@gmail.com

  • http://Website Bob


    I got exactly the same problem and the same day…

  • http://Website Damian

    I got that too.

    If you modify the windows “path” variable to include the location of the adb executable you will find that it works.

    In Control Panel, System, Advanced System Settings and Environment Variables you will find the “path” environment variable, add it to that.

    The location of adb.exe when I downloaded the Adroid SDK was
    c:\Program Files\ Android \android–sdk-windows\platform tools

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  • http://Website jamesia

    i need help

  • http://Website Me2010

    Save yourself the hassle just use this , Works Great


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