How to save a SnapChat image or video

Posted: 2nd June 2013 by Jab in Casual, Useless Info

So you have this cool app called SnapChat – and you get clips all day long of cute pictures and funny videos – and within seconds its gone. Never to be found again. Or is it?  With a little digging and a some hacking – I believe to have found a clue on Android at least.

This will require your phone be ‘rooted’ if you don’t know what that is – this may be too advanced for you – google it – then come back.

You will need a Android App called SSHDroid – it is free ‘with ads’ but still will work –
You will need a Mac / Linux or PuTTY (Win) and a Terminal Opened
You will need a folder on your extSdCard to store the SnapChats

Download SSHDroid from Google Play and open after it has installed.

It will give you an IP address that you can use to connect to via SSH in my case
ssh root@

After you connect it tells you the default root password .. simply enter this info in .. and .. … you are connected to your Android Phone via SSH

Now you will need to do 1 thing first before you start hacking away to find where these SnapChats are located. So here is some education … Directly from SnapChat

When someone sends a snap, it is uploaded to our servers, the recipient(s) are sent a notification that they have a new snap and the Snapchat app downloads a copy of the message. The image or video from the message is stored in a temporary folder in the device’s memory. This is sometimes in internal memory, RAM or external memory like an SD Card—depending on the platform and whether it’s a video or a picture.

 And furthermore
While an unopened snap is being stored on the device, it’s not impossible to circumvent the Snapchat app and access the files directly. This isn’t something we support or encourage and in most cases it would involve jailbreaking or “rooting” the phone and voiding its warranty. If you’re trying to save a snap, it would be easier (and safer) to just take a screenshot or take a picture with another camera.

With that being said .. as you can see .. yes .. the Snaps are stored locally to your device temporarily until you decide to open them and then they disappear forever.

Now for the fun part …

So you got a notification you got a new SnapChat – Well lets open that App right up – and DO NOT CLICK ON ANY SNAPS – just leave them in there .. we want them to dl to your phone in that ‘temporary’ folder remember.

Next back to your terminal window.
cd /data/data/

This is the ‘temporary’ directory in which your snaps are stored.
Doing a ls on the directory you get something like this

-rw------- 1 u0_a211 u0_a211 66682 Jun 2 22:28 h1a81hurcs00h1372307294812.jpg.nomedia
-rw------- 1 u0_a211 u0_a211 13570 Jun 2 00:16 h1a81hurcs00h1372313771871.jpg.nomedia
-rw------- 1 u0_a211 u0_a211 66682 Jun 22 00:16 h1a81hurcs00h1372313772277.jpg.nomedia

Notice they end in .nomedia –

Next you can copy them to a more remote location for your viewing pleasure – or storage.
If you haven’t already .. create a folder on your extSdCard – I called mine Snapchat – you can do this with your file browser on your phone

Now lets copy these files out of here and into your remote location in /storage/extSdCard/Snapshat

cp h1a81hurcs00h1372313771871.jpg.nomedia /storage/extSdCard/Snapchat/

Once those files have been copied – you can then cd to that directory and ‘rename’ the files

cd /storage/extSdCard/Snapchat
mv h1a81hurcs00h1372313771871.jpg.nomedia picture1.jpg

‘mv’ is the universal command to rename a file in unix. Plus if you noticed I just renamed it to whatever I wanted ‘.jpg’ .. if you do not take off the .nomedia you will not be able to view what it is.

So now that you have moved the files that were in the ‘temporary’ folder you can then go back to SnapChat and view your snaps. You can then use your File Browser on your phone and navigate to the folder where you copied your Snaps and then renamed them, and they will be there forever.