How to Take Screenshots on a PlayStation 5

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

Screenshots are a staple of computing, whether you want to create a how-to guide or just want to share something cool with your friends. Gaming is no exception, and in the past taking screenshots of a gaming console was needlessly complicated. This is, fortunately, no longer the case if you own a PlayStation 5, and gamers won't have any trouble taking snapshots of their favorite moments.

This guide will take you through taking screenshots on your PlayStation 5. It's a simple enough process.

Taking a Screenshot

To create a screenshot on a PlayStation 5 you need to use the Create button. It's the small, oblong button on the left side of the controller, circled in the picture below.

If you press this button once it will bring up the Create menu at the bottom of the screen. This menu allows you to perform a number of different actions, all related to the creation of gaming content for online use. The first option that pops up is 'Take Screenshot', which is exactly what you want. Select this option and the PlayStation 5 will immediately take a shot of the screen, removing the menu bar from the bottom in the process.

There. You have a screenshot. Piece of cake. Want to make it a bit easier? Hold down the Create button for a second rather than just pressing it. This will automatically create a screenshot for you without bringing up the menu. You'll know it was successful if a small icon with a checkmark appears in the top-right corner of the screen and you hear a chime.

You can also change how this process works. Go into Settings, then Accessories, then Controllers, then Shortcuts for Create Button under Related Settings. This menu will allow you to swap the functionality of the Create button. If you would rather create a screenshot without holding down the Create button, choose the 'Easy Screenshots' setting. This will allow you to take a screenshot just by hitting the Create button once, without needing to hold it down or pull up the Create menu.

In addition to all this, you can also change the format of your screenshots. Go to Settings, Captures and Broadcasts, and Screenshot Format. This will allow you to switch between JPG and PNG for your file format. Note that the PlayStation 5 will not convert screenshots retroactively, so if you want your JPG to appear as a PNG instead you'll either need to convert the screenshot in a different program or take the screenshot again with PNG as your chosen format.

Editing a Screenshot

The PlayStation 5 has some editing tools included that allow you to make simple changes to a screenshot before you ship it elsewhere. There are two ways to get to the PlayStation 5's editing tools:

  • Pull up the Create menu. On the left side of the bar is a picture of the last screenshot you took. If you click on it you'll bring up a side menu that allows you to cycle through the last fifteen screenshots you took, with options for each. Choose Edit, the second option from the left.
  • Go to the Media Gallery. Go to Settings, Storage, Console Storage, and Media Gallery. Here you can see all of your screenshots, and can sort them by date or file size. Click on one of the screenshots and the option to edit will be right in the middle.

The editing tools included with the PlayStation 5 allow you to crop a photo or add simple text, like so:

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While not exactly robust, these editing options should be sufficient for the majority of situations where you need to make changes to a screenshot.

Retrieving a Screenshot

Once you have your screenshot ready to go you'll want to transfer it from the PlayStation 5 to the internet or another storage device. This is where things get slightly tricky, though the process is still pretty easy. We'll have a look at both options.

Transferring a Screenshot to Another Service

In order to send a screenshot directly from the PlayStation 5 to a third-party service you'll first need to make a connection with your PlayStation account. Go to Settings, Users and Accounts, and Link with Other Services. This will bring up a menu with five options: Apple, Spotify, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. Choosing any one of the five will allow you to log in to that service on the PlayStation 5. Do this successfully and you'll have created a lasting link between your PlayStation 5 and that service.

Go to the screenshot you want to send via the Media Gallery and choose Share. This will bring up the Share menu, where you can choose from your connections and send the screenshot wherever you want. You can also use this menu to send screenshots to friends or groups, if you like. The process is pretty much the same.

Want to share more than one screenshot? You can. On the left side of the Media Gallery there is an option to Select Multiple. Choose it and you can checkmark your screenshots, choosing which ones you'll send to an outside service. Select Share once you've chosen the screenshots you want to send along and the PlayStation 5 will begin transmitting them to your social media.

Transferring a Screenshot to Another Device

If you'd rather not use social media for posting your screenshots you can also send them to an external hard drive. You can plug the hard drive into the PlayStation 5's USB ports, located on the front and rear of the console. Note that not every external hard drive will immediately work, and the PlayStation 5 may need to perform repairs on the drive before it will be recognized by the console.

Once you've plugged in an external hard drive, scroll to your screenshot via the Media Gallery and choose More, then Copy to USB Drive. Assuming your hard drive has enough memory available a copy of the screenshot will be uploaded to the hard drive. As with sharing to social media, you can also choose Select Multiple in the Media Gallery and Copy to USB Drive to copy the screenshots en masse.

Deleting a Screenshot

Screenshots don't take up a ton of space on their own, but if you take enough of them on a regular basis they can eat up precious gigabytes. To delete a single screenshot go to the Media Gallery and choose Delete, which appears as a trash can. If you want to get rid of significant number of screenshots - or potentially all of them - choose Select Multiple, pick the screenshots you want gone, and Delete.