If tiny pictures keep appearing in the corner of your iPhone screen or if you keep finding weird pictures in the Photos library, you are probably taking screenshots by accident. To avoid this problem in the future, it is important to know how screenshots work.

How screenshots are triggered

IPhone screenshot buttons

To take a screenshot on an iPhone, you need to press a combination of physical buttons on the device. Here’s how it’s done in each generation:

  • iPhone X or later: Simultaneously press and hold the side button and the volume up button.
  • iPhones with a home and side button: Simultaneously press and hold the home and side buttons briefly.
  • iPhones with a home button and above: Simultaneously press and hold the Home and Up buttons briefly.

If you accidentally tap any of these combinations by accident, you will get a screenshot. This happens most often on iPhones without a home button. This is because the two trigger buttons are more likely to be pressed when your iPhone is in your pocket, slamming in your purse, or when you grab it.

You can try adjusting your grip to avoid pressing both buttons simultaneously. Unfortunately, starting with iOS 13, you can’t turn off screenshots.

However, there is a workaround.

How iOS 12 Helps Prevent Accidental Screenshots

To prevent accidental screenshots on iPhones without home buttons (like the iPhone X), Apple introduced a feature in iOS 12 that only allows screenshots when the screen is on. This greatly reduces the number of accidental screenshots.

To make sure you’re using the latest version of iOS on your iPhone, open “Settings,” then go to General> Software Update. Install all updates available for your device. If you have an older iPhone that cannot run iOS 12, you will need to upgrade to a newer iPhone to access this feature.

Soon: How to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version

How can “Raising to wake up” interfere with

Even if your iPhone is running iOS 12 or later, you can still accidentally trigger a feature called “Raise to Wake” and hit screenshot buttons. “Raise to Wake” wakes your iPhone from sleep mode whenever you physically lift it.

However, you can turn off this feature if you want. To do this, open “Settings” and navigate to “Display & Brightness”. Slide your finger down, then turn off the “Get up to wake up” option.


Once this option is disabled, your device will no longer wake up when you lift it, so it won’t be able to take as many accidental screenshots.

Soon: How to turn off “Raise to Wake” in iOS 10

Try another iPhone Case

Some iPhone cases cover the side buttons with a stiff material that can make it harder to press. Other cases hide these buttons in recesses, making them even more difficult to press. Normally this can be a problem, but it can also prevent accidental screenshots.

If you decide to go this route, find a good case that will suit your device and be sure to read the reviews!

Soon: What is the difference between phone cases, protectors, skins and cases?

If a screenshot reappears, simply swipe it to the left to take it out of your iPhone screen and make it disappear.