Google Pixel XL: Taking a Screenshot & Finding the Control Buttons

Blaze celebrating the Pixel XL arrival

My Google Pixel XL arrived on Saturday,November 19, 2016.

After opening it and going thru the set up procedure….the Pixel XL promptly downloaded Android 7.1 Nougat thereby making this techy geek nerd very very happy.  After all, this is one of the reasons I ordered the Pixel XL from Google: That I would get the latest and greatest operating system as soon as it becomes available. Next up is going to be 7.1.1 (according to rumors).

I am currently writing a blog detailing my experiences with the Pixel XL (Android 7.1 Nougat) in a week or three, but, right now, I wanted to post a couple of quick usage hints that I had to fumble through to find out how to do.

Taking a Screenshot with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL (Android 7.1 Nougat)

UPDATE May 16, 2019:  With Android P and Beta version 3 of Android Q using my Pixel 3 XL, simply hold down the Power button and select “Screenshot” from the given menu items.  VERY cool! 🙂

For this blog, I need to take screenshots of my phone to show you what is going on……A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. 🙂

To take a screenshot with the Pixel and Pixel XL you have to press, and hold, the power button and the volume DOWN button at the same time.  I use two hands…..


When you do this correctly (believe me….it takes some practice) the screenshot will show briefly on your phone in a window surrounded by a white border….then it will go into your Photos.

Here is a screenshot of my Pixel XL:


Easy as 3.14 (once you get the hang of pressing those two buttons at the same time)

Finding the Control Buttons on Android 7.1 Nougat


The “control” buttons on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL (Android 7.1 Nougat) are virtual buttons, not physical buttons.  The “Home” button is a circle in a circle (see the above screenshot), the “Back” button is a sideways triangle (a filled in less-than sign), and the “Take me to Previously Opened Apps” button is the square.

SOMETIMES……when you are playing a game, or watching a Cardboard VR video, the virtual control buttons disappear (I suspect to give you a full screen viewing experience).  BUT… to do you get out of the game? or Video?  or whatever…..??

Here is one of my favorite games, City Island 2, without the control buttons:


With my old phone, with physical buttons or light up fixed “buttons”, I simply hit the home button, or the back button, and was out of the game.

Can’t do that with the virtual buttons on the Pixel or Pixel XL……

After swiping my finger (in desperation….) from the bottom of the phone to the middle, the control buttons appeared!

Magic!  🙂


Now…..I just hit the home “button” or the back “button” to get out of the game!



With any new phone, or version of operating system, there are always new things to learn.

I hope this helps those who have just gotten their new Google Pixel or Pixel XL.

HINT: The Pixel and Pixel XL both use a nano sim (my Galaxy Note 4 used a micro sim which is larger than the nano…..duh), so I hoofed it down to our local AT&T store to have a nano sim burned for my Pixel XL, which took all of 10 minutes even with much of the staff googling at my Pixel XL.

Now…..AT&T works great!  Wow, cool!!!

But, more on that in the upcoming blog on using my Pixel XL…..

Geek on!


, , , ,
%d bloggers like this: