Cant take screenshot due to security policy

Found an amazing picture and liked it. Now, do you want to store it on your phone for later? Go ahead and take a screenshot! Ah! What is that? You see an error message pop up on your screen that says that you cant take screenshot due to security policy. Don’t quite understand it? Let us explore it together and understand the different scenarios where it happens, and why it happens. and How can we fix it? Many times it happens that we come across amazing home decor ideas, a beautiful painting, or an amazing dress that we do not want to lose, and the easiest way to capture it is by taking a screenshot because we all know, once you move ahead, it will just disappear in the black hole called the internet and it will be very difficult to find the same thing again.

Scenarios and Reasons why it happens?

Are you trying to take a screenshot in an app or in a browser? Based on where you are trying to take the screenshot, there might be different scenarios as to why you might be getting that error. We will dig into each scenario in depth and understand what might be blocking our ability to take a screenshot. Additionally, we will discuss a few general reasons why you might not be able to take a screenshot without any error.

cant take screenshot due to security policy
cant take screenshot due to security policy

Scenario 1: Browser-level restriction

Are you trying to take a screenshot on any of the web browsers like Chrome or Firefox and not able to do so? There could be multiple reasons for this starting from a restriction from the website owner. Some websites post exclusive content of individuals and it might be protected by copyright. If that content gets stolen and misused without the author or owner’s permission it might be troublesome so the website admins restrict screenshots being taken. Secondly, if you are using browsers like Chrome or Firefox in incognito mode, you get the security restriction pop-up. The sole purpose of incognito mode is to ensure privacy and allowing screenshots violates that. Therefore, generally, it is not allowed but in the next segment, we will discuss how to bypass this and fix cant take screenshot due to security policy in incognito mode as well. 

Scenario 2: App-level restriction

Many apps also do not allow the feature of capturing screenshots and this is to protect our data from falling in the wrong hands or to adhere to the copyright protection act. One such example is a banking application. Users might not be able to capture screenshots on any of the pages of the banking app. Some malicious software in your phone could be taking a screenshot without your knowledge and can cause severe damage to the app administrators to restrict it. Similarly, if you have a work profile setup on your phone and have apps like company portal installed, to protect confidential company data, taking screenshots is restricted. Outlook is one such example of an application that will not let you screenshots if you have a work email ID setup.

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Scenario 3: Device level restriction

On your mobile phone or any device, there might be settings that will restrict capturing screenshots. This also might be one reason for the security policy error. Some devices are given to employees by their work organizations or schools. These devices might have restricted taking screenshots due to their company policies. However, if you have a privately owned device and are not able to take screenshots then it might be disabled from the time you bought the device.

Scenario 4: Storage issue

This issue will not give you a security policy error but will simply not let you take a screenshot as it does not have enough memory space to store it. You might have to delete a few unwanted images or applications to make space and then it should work.

How to fix the cant take screenshot due to security policy?

There are different solutions or workarounds to fix this issue in the above-discussed scenarios. Let us take up each scenario and discuss the fix for the same. In addition to that, we will check out a few more ways to overcome the error and take our desired screenshot without any issues.

To fix browser level restriction

There are different ways to fix it on different browsers. For this article let us consider the 2 most widely used browsers which are chrome and firefox. If you are searching for something on google chrome in incognito mode and want to take a screenshot then one way is to copy the link and open it in a normal window and then attempt to take a screenshot but if you want to take a screenshot in incognito mode only then try the following steps for google chrome:

  • Unlock your phone and open the google chrome web browser.
  • Type chrome://flags in the address bar and hit enter.
  • On the next screen, type “Incognito Screenshot” in the search bar and search.
  • If that option is available for your device and chrome version, it will display in the search results.
  • If you don’t find anything in the search results, it would mean that this feature is not available for your device. But, if you do then go to the next step
  • Expand the menu below it and select “enabled”
  • Once done, click on the “Relaunch” button for the changes to reflect.

Try to capture screenshots now and you should be able to do it even in incognito mode.

Another widely used browser is Mozilla Firefox, let us see how can we fix it on the firefox browser:

  • Unlock your phone and open the firefox browser
  • On the top right of the screen, you will see the three dots, click on them to open the menu
  • Click on “Settings”
  • Scroll down to “Private Browsing” and click on it.
  • On the next screen, set the “Allow screenshots in private browsing” to on.
  • Close and relaunch the application

Now, try to capture a screenshot and you should be able to do it in private browsing too without any issues. 

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To fix app level restriction

To be honest, there is not much that can be done if restrictions are set up at the application level by the app administrators. These restrictions are usually enabled on financial or banking-related apps, company-specific applications having confidential data, or apps that host copyright-protected content. It is better if these restrictions remain as is because they are for our own security but if you would still like to be able to take screenshots.

You may contact the app admin and discuss if there are any workarounds using which this can be achieved. Or some apps or higher versions may have a feature to enable the feature to take screenshots so visit the app settings and try to explore if there is any such option. You may contact the helpdesk as well to discuss your issue and the need to take screenshots and they will be able to guide you through it.

To fix device level restriction

Let us try to understand the next segment of the fix which might be set up at the device level. If the device is owned by an organization or school, the easiest way would be to get in touch with the administrator and discuss with them if it is a company policy. They would be able to guide you through the next steps to get access to be able to take screenshots or workarounds if any.

However, if you have a privately owned phone and still are not able to take screenshots due to the security error, make sure that you do not have any application like Intune company portal which takes the admin rights on your phone and restricts certain functions. If you do, you might want to delete those apps to regain the ability to capture screenshots. On the other hand, You may also explore the device settings if anything is disabled by default and can be enabled to be able to take screenshots without any issue.

Third-party applications to take screenshots

Another way that can help you capture screenshots is by using a third-party application instead of your phone’s in-built feature. There are thousands of applications available on the google play store which could help you achieve this. One important point to note while dealing with third-party apps is to ensure that they are verified applications and do not have any hidden or malicious intent. You can do so by checking the comments, ratings, and a number of downloads of the application.

Another thing to be careful about is the permissions the app requests. Make sure you give permissions only to whatever is required and nothing else. Why would an app try to take a screenshot require your contact details, right? Once you are sure that an application is genuine you can download it and use it to take screenshots. Be aware and do not take screenshots of confidential information like passwords or bank details or work-related confidential information.

Cast screen onto another device

This is another interesting method, it might not be the most ethical one so be careful that you do not leak any confidential information by chance or use copyright-protected content without proper permissions. So, one way is that you take a picture of the subject from another device. Secondly, you can even project your mobile screen on another device or mirror your screen on another device and then take a screenshot of that. Below are the steps to do so:

  • Go to settings
  • Scroll down to “connections and sharing” and click on it
  • On the next screen, scroll down to “Cast” and toggle it to ON state
  • Now connect your device to the other device or else connect them to the same network or WiFi.
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This way you will be able to see whatever is on your device on the other device as well. This feature might not be available on a few android devices so just explore and check if it is.

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Conclusion

It is annoying to not be able to achieve what you are trying to, be it taking a simple screenshot. But in the pressure to succeed, we must not forget to be careful and aware of what we are doing. Unknowingly we might land ourselves in trouble. There is a reason why something might be restricted and it is very important to understand that before trying to bypass it.

At that moment you might get a sense of achievement but in the long run that one step might prove to be a disaster. Imagine downloading a genuine-looking but a malicious third-party app to capture a screenshot of your bank details. The kind of damage that can be done is unimaginable, right? Or unknowingly using some copyright-protected image on your website, might land you in big trouble so just be aware of the risks and then take any action. Hope this article helped you understand the reasons behind the cant take screenshot due to security policy errors and resolve them.

FAQs

Q: Can I take a screenshot of my bank app screen to send my details to a friend?

Most financial applications which have sensitive data do not generally allow screenshots as they could be misused in the wrong hands. Such apps usually give an in-app option to copy the necessary information, another way is to manually type in the details and send them.

Q: I was able to take a screenshot on one website but why can’t I do so on another?

There might be a website-level restriction setup. Some websites host exclusive content protected by copyright and therefore might restrict users from taking screenshots. A workaround in such cases would be to copy the browser link and share it.

Q: Can I change the security policy defined on an app and be able to take a screenshot?

You can definitely explore the possibility by going to app settings but usually, the setting comes at a global app level that is it is applicable to all users using the app and can only be modified by the application administrators. It is done to protect against copyright infringement.

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