Is it illegal to screenshot messages?

Have you ever wondered if Is it illegal to screenshot messages? Maybe you’ve seen someone screenshot a message and thought to yourself, “Is that legal?” 

Taking screenshots of messages and sharing them with others when required is the most common activity in today’s online lifestyle. However, there are only a few people who know the legal aspects associated with it. 

We’re going to explore the legality of screenshots in detail and answer the most common questions about the topic.

When Is It Illegal To Screenshot Messages? 


Screenshots are a great way to keep track of important messages and documents. However, it can be risky to take screenshots of text messages without the person’s permission. This is because text messages are considered private and can be accessed only by the sender and the receiver. 

The legality of taking a screenshot of text messages depends on some aspects. If you’re unsure whether something is legal or not, it’s always best to consult an attorney. 

In rare cases, when taking screenshots of emergency crews in action or police officers in progress, it may be legal to do so.  For the most part, screenshots of text messages are not legal without the person’s permission.

For example, many people hire freelancers on Facebook. Here, the hirer shares many details with the candidate who wants to get the job. Many times candidates take screenshots of messenger chat as proof of the commitments done by the hirer as well as hirer do the same. 

Now, the question arises that is it illegal to screenshot facebook messages? Here, the answer is no. You are taking a screenshot to keep clear with the term and conditions. 

Is It Illegal To Screenshot Someone Else’s Text Messages? 


When it comes to taking screenshots of text messages, there are certain legalities that you need to be aware of. For example, if you’re in an emergency and need evidence for a legal matter, a screenshot is acceptable. 

However, sending and receiving screenshots without the other party’s consent is considered illegal.  Always remember your surroundings while communicating via text message. As they are not private like phone conversations making a screenshot can reflect poorly on the sender as well as the receiver.

When Would It Be harm To Take Screenshots of a Text Message?


Taking screenshots of text messages is generally seen as a bad idea. This is because it can be considered illegal depending on the jurisdiction you are in. Also, it is frowned upon if you are not the sender or recipient of the message. 

Regarding personal use, taking screenshots of a conversation between two people who are part of that conversation isn’t considered an offense. However, if you screenshot a message without consent from either person involved, it may constitute harassment or an invasion of privacy.

When it comes to the legality of screenshots, it is important to keep things in perspective. Screenshots taken for personal use are not considered as part of the act of messaging. This is because they are simply a visual record and don’t amount to interception or eavesdropping. 

However, screenshots that are saved in a file become illegal if used for any other reason than personal communication. For instance, if you save a screenshot or share it with someone else, it is illegal.  This will be considered as taking an unauthorized copy of somebody’s private information.

Can I Screenshot Messages Without The Sender Knowing?


Yes, it is legal to screenshot messages without the sender knowing as long as you are not breaking any laws. This means that you can take a screenshot of a message without the sender’s permission but you can’t misuse it. If this screenshot is used to blackmail or defame the person, it will cause legal action against you. If there will be no harm to the sender, you can take screenshots of messages without the sender knowing it. 

However, always ask the sender if they want their message to be copied before they take screenshots. If they do not want it copied, you are free to screenshot it as you please. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


Is it legal to screenshot a conversation if I’m not the one who sent the message?

No, it is not illegal to screenshot a conversation if you are not the person who is sending or receiving the messages. However, always ask your recipient before taking a screenshot.

Is it legal to screenshot a message if the sender has not given me their consent?

As long as you are not breaking any laws, taking a screenshot of a message without the sender’s permission is generally legal. However, there may be specific cases where taking a screenshot of a message without consent could be considered illegal, such as in cases involving child pornography or hacking. Always ask your recipient if they want their conversation to be copied before screenshots.

What are the exceptions to the rule that it is legal to screenshot a conversation?

There are a few exceptions to the general rule that it is legal to screencap a conversation. The most common exception is if the message being sent is confidential; in which case taking a screenshot of the message could be considered breaking privacy laws. Another exception occurs when someone specifically indicates that they do not want their message copied and screenshots were taken.



We hope you get a clear answer to the question Is it illegal to screenshot messages. In general, it’s legal to screenshot text messages if you are the person who is receiving the message. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Such as if the message is being sent to someone who is not allowed to see it or who can misuse it to harm the sender.  

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