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How to Take a Really, Really, Really Long Screenshot on Your iPhone

This trick helps you capture way more than your average screenshot.

an iPhone SE
Apple has a better way to take screenshots.
Patrick Holland/CNET

Everyone knows how to take a screenshot on their iPhone. You push in the volume up and side buttons and voila! You've captured exactly what's on your screen -- nothing more, nothing less. However, that may not always be enough, especially if you're trying to capture anything that extends above or below what you can see on your screen.

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Hidden within iOS is a scrolling screenshot feature that allows you to snap multiple pages with only a single screenshot. There are third-party apps you can use to stitch together individual screenshots and create a longer one, but a scrolling screenshot makes the process easier.

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If you want to save a film script in Safari or a long PDF in your email, here's what you need to know to take scrolling screenshots on your iPhone.

And if you're interested in learning about other hidden iOS features, check out this sneaky way to secretly message someone else on iOS and the hidden trackpad that lives in your iOS keyboard.

What is a scrolling screenshot?

A full-page screenshot, or scrolling screenshot, captures an entire page -- webpage, document or email -- without you having to take multiple screenshots and then stitch them together. For example, if you wanted to screenshot a 116-page document in Safari, you would only have to take a single screenshot to capture the entire thing.

How to take a scrolling screenshot on your iPhone

To take a scrolling screenshot, do the following:

1. First, take a regular screenshot on your iPhone. If you have Face ID, quickly press the side button + volume up button. With Touch ID, it's side/top button + home button.

2. Tap the screenshot preview that appears in the bottom-left corner. It appears for about five seconds, so you must be somewhat swift.

3. Next, go to the Full Page option. Underneath Full Page, you'll see a preview of the entire scrolling screenshot on the right side, along with a larger preview in the middle. You also have tools to crop the scrolling screenshot, in case it's too long.

4. Once you're finished editing the scrolling screenshot, hit Done. You'll see two options: one to save the scrolling screenshot and another to delete it.

5. Finally, tap Save PDF to Files to save the scrolling screenshot.

You must choose a folder to save the scrolling screenshot in. By default, the Files app will select the last folder you saved something to or the Downloads folder.

Taking a scrolling screenshot on an iPhone

In order to take a scrolling screenshot, you must first take a regular screenshot.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

How to view scrolling screenshots on your iPhone

All scrolling screenshots are converted to PDFs, so they're saved to the native Files app. To view your scrolling screenshot, open the Files app, go to the folder in which your screenshot was saved and tap the screenshot.

Here you can rename the file, draw on it, leave comments and more. You can also share the scrolling screenshot, but the other person must have Files or another PDF-reader to view it.

The Files app on iOS

All your scrolling screenshots live in the Files app.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET