Over the course of the past couple of days I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my reviews here the site and from Tweets I’ve posted regarding screenshots.  Usually they are along the lines of, “How did you take your screenshots?”

Natively, Windows Phone does not have a way to take screenshots.  It is a huge (underline, underline, bold, bold) problem, especially for those of us who blog.  After all, I’d like to provide you screenshots, not device shots of a particular screen.  They look better!  Fortunately there is an easy way to do this and I’ll show you in this How To.

Here is what you will need:

  • A Windows PC running Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit is fine)
  • The Windows Phone 7.1 SDK (Free)
  • .NET Framework 4.0
  • A Windows Live ID
  • $9 to get an unlock token from ChevronWP7
  • Screen Capture v3 from XDA Developers

The first thing you need to do is download & install the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK from Microsoft.  This is a free download and allows you to develop applications for Windows Phone should you want to do that after this little exercise.  The SDK can be found at this link

 

Next, download the .NET Framework 4.0.  That can be found at this link.  Some of you may already have this installed and may not need it but it is required in order for the next part of the process to work.

 

Third, go to http://labs.chevronwp7.com to purchase an Unlock Token.  You will need your Windows Live ID to get the token which you will need in order to Developer Unlock your phone.  The cost of the token is $9 US and this is a completely aboveboard operation.  The team at ChevronWP7 have the full blessing and support of Microsoft.  The key is that if you want to publish apps, you have to join the Windows Phone Developer Network for $99 from Microsoft.  If you don’t want to develop and only want to unlock so you can side load applications, then you go to ChevronWP7.

 

Once you log in to ChevronWP7 and purchase your token, you need to download either the 32 or 64 bit tool to actually unlock your Windows Phone.  Connect your Windows Phone to your PC but don’t start up Zune.  If Zune starts then let the sync finish and then shut it down, leaving your device connected.  Install the tool and it will automatically run.  It will prompt you to enter your device token and you enter it in and about 30 seconds later your device is unlocked.  Now here is the really good news.  If you do an update to your phone it may re-lock.  If it does, just go back to ChevronWP7, download the tool again and enter your token number again.  It is good for that phone no matter how many times you use it.  That said, you will need a token for each phone you plan to unlock.  Leave your Windows Phone connected to your PC.

 

With your Windows Phone now unlocked, go over to XDA and download the Screen Capturer v3 app here.  The file is downloaded as a .xap app.  Think of it as the new .cab file.  Now go on your PC and go to Start and type in application deploy in the search box.  Start the Application Deploy app then navigate to where you downloaded the Screen Capture file.  It will then install the app on your Windows Phone.

 

Start Screen Capturer on your Windows Phone.  There is a great help page in the app to walk you through it but basically you start the app then tap the Start Capture Task button.  Once you do that you navigate on your phone to where you want to capture the screenshot and press the camera button on your Windows Phone.  After you take each shot you will be asked if you want to continue taking shots (yes) or if you are done (no).  Once you are done you will see a toaster popup on the top of the screen telling you that recent files need to be saved.  Tap that toaster and you will be taken back into the application to the Recent page.  Now just tap the images you want to save and they will automatically be moved to your Saved Pictures album in the Pictures Hub.
Screen Capture in Menu

Screen Capture in Menu

Screen Capturer help page

Screen Capturer help page

Screen Capturer Recent Images

Screen Capturer Recent Images

Now you can capture screenshots of your Windows Phone just like I do for my reviews.