A screenshot, also known as screen capture or a snapshot, is an image that shows the contents displayed on your computer screen. Once you’ve taken a screenshot, it can be saved as an image file, and you can edit it. The screenshot feature is useful in various situations, such as providing software reviews or sharing screen pictures with your colleagues. 

Taking a screenshot on your Mac is extremely easy. However, if you’ve recently switched from Windows to Mac, you may wonder how to take a screenshot as there’s no ‘Print Screen’ key on your Mac keyboard. 

You don’t have to worry about turning on screenshots on your Mac because the feature is always on by default. You have to remember the key combinations mentioned below for capturing different types of screenshots. There might even be instances where you’re faced with the problem of screenshots not working on your Mac. If you’re wondering, why can’t I screenshot on my Mac, the problem might be one of the following:

  • Check the screenshot shortcuts tab under Keyboard in the System Preferences and ensure they’re check marked
  • A benign system error may prevent the screenshot from working, and restarting your Mac should resolve the issue 

How to take a screenshot on Mac?

Unlike Windows, Mac doesn’t come with a Print Screen key on the keyboard. Instead, you can take screenshots easily with a combination of shortcut keys. Read along to learn how you can easily capture a window, the entire screen or a portion of the screen. 

Capture the entire screen 

If you’re using Catalina, Mojave, Big Sur or Monterey, follow these steps to capture the entire screen:

  1. Press Shift + Command + 5 to bring up the screen capture menu 
  2. Select the Capture Entire Screen icon 
  3. To take a screenshot, click anywhere on the screen you wish to capture, or you can click on the Capture to take screenshots option. 
  4. When the screenshot is captured, you’ll see a thumbnail at the corner of your Mac’s screen. Click on the thumbnail to edit the screenshot. 

If you use a Mac of an older version, you can capture the whole screen by pressing Shift + Command + 3. You’ll find the screenshot on your desktop unless you’ve changed the screenshot saving location. 

Screenshot a window 

Users of macOS Mojave and later can capture a window by pressing Shift + Command + 5. The screenshot toolbar will appear where you will select the Capture Selected Window icon. Then, click on the window you want to capture. After that, a thumbnail will appear, and you can click on it to edit the screenshot. 

Alternatively, you can press Shift + Command + 4 > press Space, and you’ll find the pointer changed to a camera. Next, click on the window you want to screenshot. This keyboard shortcut is used with all macOS. 

Capture a specific portion of the screen 

macOS Mojave or higher users need to press Shift + Command + 5 and choose the Capture Selected Portion icon from the toolbar. Then, drag the mouse to select the area you wish to screenshot and click on Capture. 

For all macOS users, the traditional way of taking a screenshot still works. You have to press Shift + Command + 4 and drag your mouse to the specific part of the screen you want to capture. Once you release the mouse, the screenshot will be taken. 

Screenshot the Touch Bar 

Press Shift + Command + 6 to take a screenshot of what is being displayed on the Touch Bar. For this shortcut to work, your macOS has to be Sierra 10.12.2 or later. 

Capture a menu 

First, see the content of the menu by clicking on it. Second, press Shift + Command + 5 and choose either Capture Selected Portion or Capture Selected Window. The process is available to macOS Mojave or later users. 

Users of older macOS versions need to press Shift + Command + 4 after seeing the content of the menu. Then, drag the mouse to the menu where you wish to take a screenshot. When you release the trackpad button or mouse, press Space, and the pointer will be changed into a camera icon. After that, click on the menu to capture. 

How to change the default save location of screenshots on your Mac?

Screenshots taken on Mac using the Shift + Command + 3 shortcuts or Shift + Command + 4 shortcuts get saved on the desktop. To change the default location where screenshots get saved, follow these steps:

  • Click Finder Window > press Shift + Command + N and create a folder 
  • Launch the Terminal app > type the command ‘defaults write com.apple.screencapture location’ and press Space 
  • Drag the folder you’ve created into the Terminal window and press Enter 

If you are running macOS Mojave or later, press Shift + Command + 5 to bring up the screen capture panel, then select Options and click Other Location to choose a destination. 

So, keep these in mind the next time you’re taking a screenshot on your Mac.

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