How to take a screenshot on your Google Pixel Watch

Knowing how to take a screenshot of your Google Pixel Watch is a great way to document bugs and performance issues on your watch so you can get help. You might also want to take a screenshot of your watch face to show others or even document important notifications.

While other smartwatches like Apple Watch and Samsung’s Wear OS Galaxy Watches offer an easy and straightforward way to take a screenshot by pressing both side buttons, Google did not include that option on its Pixel Watch.

Google does include a tool in its Watch app that allows you to take screenshots of your watch, but it’s a hidden feature.

This article outlines in a detailed step-by-step guide how to enable this feature so you can take screenshots of your Pixel Watch.

So let’s get to it!

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How to take a screenshot of your Google Pixel Watch

Unlike many other smartwatches on the market (think Apple or Samsung), you cannot take a screenshot on your Pixel Watch directly on the watch. Instead, you use your paired phone and the Google Watch app.

The process is similar to smartwatches that run the older Google Wear OS, like the Fossil Gen 5. However, you must first place your watch and phone in Developer Mode.

Unfortunately, at this time, you must be in Developer Mode to capture screenshots.

Before you start, ensure your Pixel Watch and phone show up connected to each other, then follow these steps.

Turn on Developer mode on your Pixel Watch

The first step is to turn on Developer mode on your watch. Although you can easily turn this mode on, you cannot easily turn it off! Currently, the only way to turn it off is by resetting your watch back to factory settings.

  1. On your watch, press the Digital Crown and open the Settings app. Settings app on Google Pixel Watch
  2. Scroll down and choose System. Google Pixel Watch System Settings
  3. Use the Digital Crown or your finger to scroll down and select About. Google Pixel Watch About setting
  4. Scroll down and tap Versions. Google Pixel Watch Versions settings
  5. Locate the Build number. Google Pixel Watch build number
  6. Repeatedly tap on it until you see the message No need, you are already a developer. Enable Developer mode on Google Pixel Watch

Turn on Developer mode on your phone

Once you turn on Developer mode on your watch, you must also turn it on for your paired phone. These instructions are for my Pixel phone–enabling developer mode may differ for your model phone.

  1. On your phone, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap About phone.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and repeatedly tap the Build number until you see the message You are now a developer or No need, you are already a developer.
    Google Pixel phone turn on Developer mode

Take a screenshot on your Google Pixel Watch

With Developer mode enabled on both your Pixel Watch and phone, you should now be able to capture a screenshot on your watch.

  1. First, choose what you want to screenshot on your watch so it’s showing on your watch’s screen.
  2. Then, open the Google Watch app on your phone.
  3. Verify your watch shows as Connected to the Watch app. Google Pixel Watch app watch shows as connected
  4. You should now see a three vertical dots button at the app’s top next to the Updates bubble. Google Pixel Watch app More button or Menu button three dots
    1. If you don’t see either the Updates bubble or the three-dot button, swipe down from the top of your phone.
    2. If you still don’t see it, ensure you enable developer mode on your watch and phone.
  5. Tap that three-dot button
  6. Verify that your watch’s screen still shows what you want to screenshot. It might have locked depending on your screen’s time-out settings, so tap the screen to wake it.
  7. Tap Take screen shot on watch. Screen shot and developer menu in Google Pixel Watch app
    1. If asked, choose the app you want to share your screenshot with. We use the Google Photos app.
    2. Choose if you want to share screenshots from your watch just this once or always.
  8. Immediately look for a notification that the Watch app has a screenshot ready to send. If you don’t see it, open your phone’s notification center.Screen shot notification in Google Pixel Watch app
  9. Open that notification. You should see your screenshot as a photo ready to upload to your Google account. upload screenshot notification in Google Watch app
  10. Tap the Upload button at the bottom.
  11. You should get a confirmation that the photo is uploading. Pixel Watch app uploading screenshot to Photos app
  12. Once uploaded, open the Photos app and confirm the screenshot shows up. Find Google Pixel Watch screenshots in Google Photos app

How to turn off Developer mode

At this time, once you turn on Developer mode on your Pixel Watch, the only way to turn it off is to reset your watch back to factory settings. 

However, you can use your watch normally, even with Developer mode on. It doesn’t impact your user experience at all. So many people choose to ignore it instead of resetting their watches.

Now, you can turn off Developer mode on your phone. And it’s easy!

Once you turn off your phone’s developer options, it automatically disables the developer menu in the Google Watch app, so you won’t see the three-dot menu and cannot take more screenshots of your Pixel Watch.

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Scroll down and tap System.
  3. Choose Developer options at the bottom. Developer options on Google Pixel phone Settings
  4. Toggle off Use developer options. Disable developer options on Google Pixel Phone

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you can now take screenshots of your Google Pixel Watch. 

If you had trouble, ensure you enabled Developer mode on the Watch and its paired phone. 

Also, restarting both devices after making those changes can help each detect the other is in developer mode. 

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A. Beth Whittenberger
I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. Additionally, I was a writer, content producer, and editor on the popular tech blog AppleToolBox. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives! Connect with me on LinkedIn!


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