Taking a screenshot on a Mac is a simple and useful skill, whether you’re capturing a funny conversation, a glitch to report, or an image you found online. macOS provides several options for taking screenshots, giving you the flexibility to capture your entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion of your screen. Here’s how to do it.
1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts: To take a screenshot of your entire screen, use the keyboard shortcut
Command (⌘) + Shift + 3. When you press these keys, your Mac captures the entire screen and saves the screenshot as a file on the desktop.
2. Using Grab Utility (on macOS Mojave or earlier): If you’re using an older version of macOS, you can use the Grab utility to take a full-screen screenshot. Find Grab in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder. Once open, select the “Capture” menu and choose “Screen.” After a countdown, the entire screen will be captured.
Mac Window Screenshot
1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts: To capture a specific window, press
Command (⌘) + Shift + 4 and then hit the Spacebar. The cursor will change to a camera icon. Now, click on the window you want to capture. The screenshot will be saved as a file on the desktop.
2. Using Preview: Another way to take a screenshot of a window is to use the Preview app. Open Preview, click on the “File” menu, and select “Take Screenshot” followed by “From Window.” Then click on the window you want to capture.
Selected Portion Screenshot
1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts: For more selective screenshots, press
Command (⌘) + Shift + 4. This will change your cursor into a crosshair, which you can drag to select the area you want to capture. Release the mouse or trackpad button to take the screenshot, which will be saved to the desktop.
2. Using Screenshot App (on macOS Mojave or later): From macOS Mojave onwards, Apple introduced the Screenshot app, which can be launched by pressing
Command (⌘) + Shift + 5. This opens a small panel at the bottom of your screen with various options, including capturing a selected portion of the screen. You can drag to select an area and then click “Capture” to take your screenshot.
If you need a timed screenshot, the Screenshot app also has this feature. After opening the app with
Command (⌘) + Shift + 5, click on “Options” and set the timer for either 5 or 10 seconds. Then select the type of screenshot you want to take, and the countdown will begin.
Saving and Finding Your Mac Screenshots
By default, screenshots save directly to the desktop. However, with the Screenshot app, you can set a different save location by clicking on “Options” and choosing a folder or location, including clipboard, Mail, Messages, and more.
If you’ve accumulated many screenshots and are having trouble finding them, you can search for them using Spotlight (
Command (⌘) + Spacebar) by typing “screenshot” into the search field. All screenshots are saved as ‘.png’ files by default.
Editing Mac Screenshots
After taking a screenshot, you might need to edit it. You can double-click on the screenshot to open it in Preview, where you can crop, rotate, and annotate it. Alternatively, the Screenshot app allows you to quickly mark up your screenshot immediately after taking it.
- If the shortcuts don’t work, check your keyboard settings in System Preferences to ensure the keys are set up correctly.
- If your screenshots are not appearing on the desktop, check your clipboard or other specified locations.
- Remember that some apps with protected content may not allow screenshots for security or copyright reasons.
Capturing what’s on your Mac screen is easy once you get the hang of it. Whether you’re making tutorials, saving evidence of your digital achievements, or simply sharing what’s on your screen, mastering the art of taking screenshots on a Mac is an essential skill in today’s digital world.