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Automate taking localized screenshots of your iOS and tvOS apps on every device

Check out the new fastlane documentation on how to generate screenshots

snapshot generates localized iOS and tvOS screenshots for different device types and languages for the App Store and can be uploaded using (deliver).

You have to manually create 20 (languages) x 6 (devices) x 5 (screenshots) = 600 screenshots.

It's hard to get everything right!

  • New screenshots with every (design) update
  • No loading indicators
  • Same content / screens
  • Clean Status Bar
  • Uploading screenshots (deliver is your friend)

More information about creating perfect screenshots.

snapshot runs completely in the background - you can do something else, while your computer takes the screenshots for you.

Get in contact with the developer on Twitter: @FastlaneTools

FeaturesInstallationUI TestsQuick StartUsageTipsHow?Need help?

snapshot is part of fastlane: The easiest way to automate beta deployments and releases for your iOS and Android apps.


  • Create hundreds of screenshots in multiple languages on all simulators
  • Configure it once, store the configuration in git
  • Do something else, while the computer takes the screenshots for you
  • Integrates with fastlane and deliver
  • Generates a beautiful web page, which shows all screenshots on all devices. This is perfect to send to Q&A or the marketing team
  • snapshot automatically waits for network requests to be finished before taking a screenshot (we don't want loading images in the App Store screenshots)
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After snapshot successfully created new screenshots, it will generate a beautiful HTML file to get a quick overview of all screens:



This tool automatically switches the language and device type and runs UI Tests for every combination.

Why should I automate this process?

  • It takes hours to take screenshots
  • You get a great overview of all your screens, running on all available simulators without the need to manually start it hundreds of times
  • Easy verification for translators (without an iDevice) that translations do make sense in real App context
  • Easy verification that localizations fit into labels on all screen dimensions
  • It is an integration test: You can test for UI elements and other things inside your scripts
  • Be so nice, and provide new screenshots with every App Store update. Your customers deserve it
  • You realise, there is a spelling mistake in one of the screens? Well, just correct it and re-run the script


Install the gem

sudo gem install snapshot

Make sure, you have the latest version of the Xcode command line tools installed:

xcode-select --install

UI Tests

Getting started

This project uses Apple's newly announced UI Tests. We will not go into detail on how to write scripts.

Here a few links to get started:

Quick Start

  • Create a new UI Test target in your Xcode project (top part of this article)
  • Run snapshot init in your project folder
  • Add the ./SnapshotHelper.swift to your UI Test target (You can move the file anywhere you want)
  • (Objective C only) add the bridging header to your test class.
    • #import "MYUITests-Swift.h"
    • The bridging header is named after your test target with -Swift.h appended.
  • In your UI Test class, click the Record button on the bottom left and record your interaction
  • To take a snapshot, call the following between interactions
    • Swift: snapshot("01LoginScreen")
    • Objective C: [Snapshot snapshot:@"01LoginScreen" waitForLoadingIndicator:YES];
  • Add the following code to your setUp() method


let app = XCUIApplication()

Objective C

XCUIApplication *app = [[XCUIApplication alloc] init];
[Snapshot setupSnapshot:app];
[app launch];


You can try the snapshot example project by cloning this repo.

To quick start your UI tests, you can use the UI Test recorder. You only have to interact with the simulator, and Xcode will generate the UI Test code for you. You can find the red record button on the bottom of the screen (more information in this blog post)



Your screenshots will be stored in the ./screenshots/ folder by default (or ./fastlane/screenshots if you're using fastlane)

If any error occurs while running the snapshot script on a device, that device will not have any screenshots, and snapshot will continue with the next device or language. To stop the flow after the first error, run

snapshot --stop_after_first_error

Also by default, snapshot will open the HTML after all is done. This can be skipped with the following command

snapshot --stop_after_first_error --skip_open_summary

There are a lot of options available that define how to build your app, for example

snapshot --scheme "UITests" --configuration "Release"  --sdk "iphonesimulator"

Reinstall the app before running snapshot

snapshot --reinstall_app --app_identifier ""

By default snapshot automatically retries running UI Tests if they fail. This is due to randomly failing UI Tests (e.g. #372). You can adapt this number using

snapshot --number_of_retries 3

Add photos and/or videos to the simulator before running snapshot

snapshot --add_photos MyTestApp/Assets/demo.jpg --add_videos MyTestApp/Assets/demo.mp4

For a list for all available options run

snapshot --help

After running snapshot you will get a nice summary:


All of the available options can also be stored in a configuration file called the Snapfile. Since most values will not change often for your project, it is recommended to store them there:

First make sure to have a Snapfile (you get it for free when running snapshot init)

The Snapfile can contain all the options that are also available on snapshot --help

scheme "UITests"

  "iPhone 6",
  "iPhone 6 Plus",
  "iPhone 5",
  "iPhone 4s"

  ["pt", "pt_BR"] # Portuguese with Brazilian locale

launch_arguments(["-username Felix"])

# The directory in which the screenshots should be stored
output_directory './screenshots'

clear_previous_screenshots true

add_photos ["MyTestApp/Assets/demo.jpg"]

Completely reset all simulators

You can run this command in the terminal to delete and re-create all iOS and tvOS simulators:

snapshot reset_simulators

Warning: This will delete all your simulators and replace by new ones! This is useful, if you run into weird problems when running snapshot.

You can use the environment variable SNAPSHOT_FORCE_DELETE to stop asking for confirmation before deleting.

Update snapshot helpers

Some updates require the helper files to be updated. snapshot will automatically warn you and tell you how to update.

Basically you can run

snapshot update

to update your SnapshotHelper.swift files. In case you modified your SnapshotHelper.swift and want to manually update the file, check out SnapshotHelper.swift.

Launch Arguments

You can provide additional arguments to your app on launch. These strings will be available in your app (eg. not in the testing target) through NSProcessInfo.processInfo().arguments. Alternatively, use user-default syntax (-key value) and they will be available as key-value pairs in NSUserDefaults.standardUserDefaults().

  "-firstName Felix -lastName Krause"
name.text = NSUserDefaults.standardUserDefaults().stringForKey("firstName")
// name.text = "Felix"

snapshot includes -FASTLANE_SNAPSHOT YES, which will set a temporary user default for the key FASTLANE_SNAPSHOT, you may use this to detect when the app is run by snapshot.

if NSUserDefaults.standardUserDefaults().boolForKey("FASTLANE_SNAPSHOT") {
    // runtime check that we are in snapshot mode

Specify multiple argument strings and snapshot will generate screenshots for each combination of arguments, devices, and languages. This is useful for comparing the same screenshots with different feature flags, dynamic text sizes, and different data sets.

# Snapfile for A/B Test Comparison
  "-secretFeatureEnabled YES",
  "-secretFeatureEnabled NO"

How does it work?

The easiest solution would be to just render the UIWindow into a file. That's not possible because UI Tests don't run on a main thread. So snapshot uses a different approach:

When you run unit tests in Xcode, the reporter generates a plist file, documenting all events that occurred during the tests (More Information). Additionally, Xcode generates screenshots before, during and after each of these events. There is no way to manually trigger a screenshot event. The screenshots and the plist files are stored in the DerivedData directory, which snapshot stores in a temporary folder.

When the user calls snapshot(...) in the UI Tests (Swift or Objective C) the script actually does a rotation to .Unknown which doesn't have any effect on the actual app, but is enough to trigger a screenshot. It has no effect to the application and is not something you would do in your tests. The goal was to find some event that a user would never trigger, so that we know it's from snapshot. On tvOS, there is no orientation so we ask for a count of app views with type "Browser" (which should never exist on tvOS).

snapshot then iterates through all test events and check where we either did this weird rotation (on iOS) or searched for browsers (on tvOS). Once snapshot has all events triggered by snapshot it collects a ordered list of all the file names of the actual screenshots of the application.

In the test output, the Swift snapshot function will print out something like this

snapshot: [some random text here]

snapshot finds all these entries using a regex. The number of snapshot outputs in the terminal and the number of snapshot events in the plist file should be the same. Knowing that, snapshot automatically matches these 2 lists to identify the name of each of these screenshots. They are then copied over to the output directory and separated by language and device.

2 thing have to be passed on from snapshot to the xcodebuild command line tool:

  • The device type is passed via the destination parameter of the xcodebuild parameter
  • The language is passed via a temporary file which is written by snapshot before running the tests and read by the UI Tests when launching the application

If you find a better way to do any of this, please submit an issue on GitHub or even a pull request :+1:

Also, feel free to duplicate radar 23062925.


Check out the new fastlane documentation on how to generate screenshots

fastlane Toolchain

  • fastlane: The easiest way to automate beta deployments and releases for your iOS and Android apps
  • deliver: Upload screenshots, metadata and your app to the App Store
  • frameit: Quickly put your screenshots into the right device frames
  • PEM: Automatically generate and renew your push notification profiles
  • sigh: Because you would rather spend your time building stuff than fighting provisioning
  • produce: Create new iOS apps on iTunes Connect and Dev Portal using the command line
  • cert: Automatically create and maintain iOS code signing certificates
  • spaceship: Ruby library to access the Apple Dev Center and iTunes Connect
  • pilot: The best way to manage your TestFlight testers and builds from your terminal
  • boarding: The easiest way to invite your TestFlight beta testers
  • gym: Building your iOS apps has never been easier
  • scan: The easiest way to run tests of your iOS and Mac app
  • match: Easily sync your certificates and profiles across your team using git
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Frame the screenshots

If you want to add frames around the screenshots and even put a title on top, check out frameit.

Available language codes

ALL_LANGUAGES = ["da", "de-DE", "el", "en-AU", "en-CA", "en-GB", "en-US", "es-ES", "es-MX", "fi", "fr-CA", "fr-FR", "id", "it", "ja", "ko", "ms", "nl", "no", "pt-BR", "pt-PT", "ru", "sv", "th", "tr", "vi", "zh-Hans", "zh-Hant"]

To get more information about language and locale codes please read Internationalization and Localization Guide.

Use a clean status bar

You can use SimulatorStatusMagic to clean up the status bar.

Editing the Snapfile

Change syntax highlighting to Ruby.

Simulator doesn't launch the application

When the app dies directly after the application is launched there might be 2 problems

  • The simulator is somehow in a broken state and you need to re-create it. You can use snapshot reset_simulators to reset all simulators (this will remove all installed apps)
  • A restart helps very often

Determine language

To detect the currently used localization in your tests, access the deviceLanguage variable from SnapshotHelper.swift.

Need help?

Please submit an issue on GitHub and provide information about your setup

Code of Conduct

Help us keep snapshot open and inclusive. Please read and follow our Code of Conduct.


This project is licensed under the terms of the MIT license. See the LICENSE file.

This project and all fastlane tools are in no way affiliated with Apple Inc. This project is open source under the MIT license, which means you have full access to the source code and can modify it to fit your own needs. All fastlane tools run on your own computer or server, so your credentials or other sensitive information will never leave your own computer. You are responsible for how you use fastlane tools.