Taking a screenshot is one of the most important features on any device, including your Mac. It’s great for capturing an image that you see in your browser or finding out how to do something.
With the right tools and shortcuts, you can easily take screenshots on a Mac and even edit them afterward. There are nine different ways to take a screenshot on a Mac (which is why this article is so long).
If you want to save time, here are the two fastest ways to screenshot on a Mac: Use Command + Shift + 3 (or 4) to take a screenshot without any tools. Then edit it in Preview. This is the fastest way to grab anything you see on your screen, from menus to entire web pages to games.
If you need editing tools, use the built-in Grab app (Command + Shift + 5). Use Grab when you need specific menu options or if you want to capture a video of your screen.
Take a Screenshot On a Mac
What Are Take a Screenshot On a Mac
Take a screenshot on a Mac is an easy process that allows you to capture the entire display of your Mac. You can then edit this image in the same way as you would any other image file.
It’s important to realize that taking a screenshot on a Mac doesn’t mean capturing an image of the entire screen at once.
Instead, it means capturing the contents of your display at any given moment. The good news is that this is a simple process, and there are some excellent free apps available for doing so.
Take A Screenshot On A Mac – Introduction
There are three main ways to take a screenshot on a Mac, and it is good to know all of them because you never know when one method will be better than another. On Windows 10, there are several ways to take screenshots and that can be confusing.
On macOS, it is much simpler: Choose the method that works for what you want to capture, whether it is part of the screen, the whole screen, or a specific application window. First up is the basic screen grab.
This captures everything on your display but is especially useful for capturing something in a single window. If you want to capture your entire screen—all the displays connected to your Mac—press Shift-Command (⌘)-3.
Your Mac captures the entire screen and saves it as a file on the desktop. The file name will look like “Screenshot 2018-08-01 at 08.45.00 AM.png”.
The second way is to use Command-Shift-4 instead. That turns your cursor into a crosshair that you can drag across any part of the screen (you can also press Space bar after this command to drag over just one window).
You will still take a screenshot, but when you let go of your mouse
1. Screenshot on Pre-Mojave Mac
If you are using a Mac that is running an earlier version of the operating system than Mojave, here is how you take a screenshot: Use Grab. You can use the built-in Grab app on your Mac to take a screenshot.
Grab is in your Utilities folder and comes with every Mac. In most versions of macOS, open Grab from the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder. Take a screenshot using Grab.
Open Grab and select Capture > Timed Screen. A five-second timer will start, and your cursor will change to a camera icon. Open whatever you want to screenshot, then click anywhere on the screen to take a picture of your entire screen or press Command-Shift-4 to take a picture of part of the screen ( you will then be able to select which part of the screen you want to picture).
You can also press Command-Z within 10 seconds after taking a picture if you want to undo it (a useful feature if you accidentally capture something that is not meant for public viewing). Save your screenshot as a file on your desktop (Grab saves all screenshots as TIFF files on the desktop by default), or paste it into an application such as Microsoft Word, Preview or Keynote.
By default, screenshots
- Mac Screenshot Screenshot of an Entire Screen (⌘+ Shift + 3)
Command+Shift+3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop Command+Control+Shift+3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard Command+Shift+4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop Command+Control+Shift+4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
Command+Shift+4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop Command+Control+Shift+4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard
Mac Screenshot Screenshot of a Part of the Screen (⌘+ Shift + 4). Mac Screenshot Screenshot of an Entire Screen (⌘+ Shift + 3).Mac Screenshot Screenshot of a Part of the Screen (⌘+ Shift + 4). Mac Screenshot Screenshot of an Entire Screen (⌘+ Shift + 3).
Mac Screenshot Screenshot of a Part of the Screen (⌘+ Shift + 4). Mac Screenshot Screenshot of an Entire Screen (⌘+ Shift + 3).
2. Mac Screenshot Take Screenshot of a Selected Area (⌘+ Shift + 4)
You can take a screenshot of any part of the screen with this key combination. Once you do, your cursor will change to a crosshair.
Click and drag it to select the area of the screen you want to capture. Release the mouse or trackpad button, and your screenshot will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.
You can also hold down the space bar after you have clicked and dragged, which allows you to move the selection around the screen before taking a screenshot.
If you just want to take a screenshot of an open window (like this article), press Command-Shift-4, then press the SpaceBar. Your cursor will turn into a camera icon and you can click on any open window to snap a picture of it.
The screenshot will automatically be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.
- Press Command+Shift+4. Drag to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the entire selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging.
- When you have selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button.
- If you want to take the screenshot, click somewhere on your desktop or press the spacebar to save it as a file.
If you do not want to take the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key before clicking to exit.
3. Mac Screenshot Take Screnshot of a Selected Portion Using The Crosshair (⌘ + Shift + 4)
In this guide, I am going to show you ow you can take screenshots on Mac. It is a very easy task and I will be using keyboard shortcuts.
So let us get started. Take Screenshot of a Selected Portion Using The Crosshair (⌘ + Shift + 4).
First, press the Command + Shift + 4 key combination on your keyboard. You will see that your cursor has turned into a crosshair.
Now move your cursor to where you want to start the screenshot and then click and drag your mouse to make a selection. Your selection will be highlighted in blue when you are taking the screenshot.
After selecting an area, release the mouse button or trackpad to take a screenshot of the selected section. You can also use the spacebar from your keyboard to toggle between windowed and crosshair mode.
In windowed mode, moving your cursor over any window will highlight it in blue (similar to what happens when you hover over icons) and clicking on it will take a screenshot of that window only.
You can also cancel taking screenshots by pressing Esc on your keyboard before releasing the mouse button or trackpad; this means that no screenshot will be taken if you press Esc before releasing the button.
4. Mac Screenshot Command + Control + Shift + 4
Mac Screenshot Command + Control + Shift + 4. Screenshot on your Mac with Grab Utility.
Grab is an app that is already on your Mac, and it is super easy to use. To open Grab, go to the Applications Folder in Finder and then go to Utilities.
Screenshot on your Mac with Grab Utility. Once you open it, click Capture on the menu bar at the top of your screen.
You can choose from options such as Selection, Window, Screen, or Timed Screen. For example, if you would like to take a screenshot of a portion of your screen, select Selection.
Your cursor will turn into a crosshair pointer that you can drag over the area that you want to copy. After you release the mouse button or trackpad, a screenshot of what you selected will be taken.
You will see a thumbnail of this in the corner of your desktop (or in the bottom-right corner if you are using a trackpad) for about a minute before it disappears automatically. If you do not see the thumbnail in either location for about a second or two before it disappears on its own, check out our guide to troubleshooting screenshots on Macs.
You may also see an image file pop up on your desktop depending on
5 . Screenshot on Post-Mojave Mac
To take a screenshot on a Mac: Highlight the area you wish to capture by dragging your cursor over it. If you want to take a screenshot of an entire window, position your mouse over the window and press the SpaceBar.
Press Shift+Command+3 to take a screenshot of your entire screen. Press Shift+Command+4 to turn the mouse into a crosshair pointer so that you can select the area of the screen to capture.
Click and drag the pointer to select an area. When you release your mouse or trackpad button, find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.
You can take a screenshot on your Mac and easily save it to the desktop using any of these three methods: Press Shift-Command-3, which saves a full-screen screenshot to your Desktop.
Press Shift-Command-4, which turns the mouse cursor into a crosshair reticle. Move the reticle over the area you want to capture and click to save a screenshot of the area to your Desktop.
Press Shift-Command-5, which opens up a panel with options for screenshots.*
1. Mac Screenshot Command + Shift + 5
Screenshot Mac Command + Shift + 5. I do not know why, but I am always forgetting the Mac screenshot command.
It is really easy to remember what Control + V is, but it is a bit more difficult to memorize the Mac keys for screenshots. So, here they are!
Screenshot Command: Command + Shift + 4 The above screenshot command will turn your mouse into a crosshair. You can click and drag to select the area you want to capture.
This will save the image to your desktop as a PNG file by default.
If you want to take a screenshot of an open window, select that window and then hit Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar As of macOS Mojave, Apple made some changes to the way screenshots work on Macs. While the basic steps remain the same, there are some minor differences you will want to be aware of:
Summary: To take a screenshot on a Mac, press Command + Shift + 3 to capture the whole screen, or Command + Shift + 4 to capture a section of the screen. To record video of your screen, press Command + Shift + 5.
2. Mac Screenshot Command + Shift + 6
- Mac Screenshot Command + Shift + 6. Press Command + Shift + 6 to copy your Mac’s entire screen, the same as pressing Print Screen on a PC. You will see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen if you have a newer version of OS X, and you can press Control to open it, just like on an iPhone or iPad.
- Your Mac screen will be saved as a PNG file automatically on your desktop. Mac Screenshot Command + Shift + 4 + Space Bar. You can also take screenshots of specific windows on your Mac by pressing Command + Shift + 4 and then hitting the spacebar.
- This turns your cursor into a camera and you simply click the window you want to capture. A screenshot of that window will appear on your desktop as a PNG file (you can also drag the thumbnail to another location).
To capture a part of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4. When the cross-hair cursor appears, drag it over the area you would like to capture.
To cancel, press the Esc (Escape) key before you release the mouse button.
3. Mac Screenshot Screenshot Thumbnails
How to Take a Screenshot on Mac. You can capture your entire screen or just part of it. You can also record a video of your screen.
Take a screenshot on your Mac To take a screenshot, press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 3. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot.
Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop. Where screenshots are saved By default, screenshots save to your desktop with the name ”Screen Shot 2023 at [time].png”.Take a screenshot of part of the screen
Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 4. Drag the crosshair to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
After you release your mouse or trackpad button, find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop
4. Mac Screenshot Annotatng The Screenshots
One of the best things about Ma OS X is that you can take screenshots without any third party software. You just hit a key command and voila, you have got a screenshot of your entire screen or just a portion of it. It is great!
But what if you wanted to add some annotation or highlighting to the screenshot? That is easy too! When taking your screenshot, simply press and hold the Control key and click the thumbnail that appears in the corner of your screen.
This will launch the markup tool that lets you add arrows, shapes, text and more.
Here is how to use this tool:
- Press Command-Shift-4 to take a screenshot of part of your screen. Press Command-Shift-3 to take a screenshot of your entire screen.
- Press and hold Control while clicking on the thumbnail that appears in the bottom right corner of your screen. Select ‘Markup’ from the menu that pops up on the right side of your screen.
- Use tools in the toolbar at the top right of the preview window to add annotations to your image.
3. Taking Screenshots With Third-party macOS Screenshot Apps
Taking screenshots on a Mac is easy — once you know the shortcuts. If you are new to macOS and have never taken a screenshot before, or if you just want to be sure you are using all the features of the built-in screenshot tool, read on for all the available options.
The built-in macOS screenshot tool will serve most people well, but there are some great apps out there that offer more flexibility, too Once you get used to it, taking screenshots is easy: Command+Shift+3 takes a full-screen screenshot and saves it to your desktop. Simple enough!
But there are other ways to take screenshots in macOS: Command+Shift+4 turns your cursor into a crosshair and lets you select a portion of the screen. And Command+Control+Shift+3 lets you take a screenshot of your Touch Bar (if you have one).
Just about every Mac user takes screenshots. You can do it with the built-in macOS screenshot tools, but there are third-party screenshot apps that let you take more powerful and precise screenshots.
Here are some of our favorite third-party tools for taking screenshots on your Mac.
1. How To Take a Screenshot With Monosnap On Mac
Download and install the Monosnap app. Open your Applications folder and double-click on the Monosnap icon to open the app.
You will notice there is a new icon in your menu bar.
Click this to adjust preferences and access all of the screenshot options in our guide below. Take a screenshot of an entire screen: Click on the Monosnap menu bar icon, then select “Screenshot” from the dropdown menu.
This will take a screenshot of your main display. You can also select “Screenshot” from the File menu Take a screenshot of part of a display: Select “Region” from the Monosnap menu bar icon to open a crosshair cursor you can use to select any area on your screen.
Take a screenshot after a timed delay: Select “Delayed Screenshot” from the Monosnap menu bar icon, then choose any time interval between 0 and 5 seconds. When you click “Start Timer,” you will have that many seconds to get into position before your screenshot is taken.
Take a timed screenshot using Grab: If you do not want to install an extra app, it is possible to take
2. How To Take a Screenshot With Apple’s Grab On Mac
It is not a technical feat, but it is a lot easier to take a screenshot with Apple’s Grab app on the Mac than it is on many other operating systems. Grab is one of the simplest and most useful apps in the Mac App Store.
You can use it to snap actions, but you can also use it to save screenshots of webpages and screenshots of your Mac’s desktop into a single document or separate images. To take a screenshot using Grab, do this:
- Open Grab. Click on the screen or trackpad yu want to capture (you might have to move your cursor over the area you want to capture).
- Hold down on the keyboard combination that works for you (usually Command-Shift-4 for a full-screen shot; Command-Shift-3 for a screenshot of just the active window).
The screenshot will appear in a new window. It will look like whatever you were looking at when you took the screenshot, but if you are taking a screenshot of an app that supports Grab, the photo will be saved in .dmg format and saved in your Pictures folder by default.
Why Do You Need a Screenshot On Mac?
Tech-savvy people know the power of a screenshot. You can use it to save online receipts, to create instructions for using software or websites, or even to capture an error message for troubleshooting purposes.
For Windows users, screenshots are easy: just press the PrtScr (or Prt Scr) button on your keyboard, then paste the image into your favorite image editor. However, Mac users do not have that luxury.
To take a screenshot on a Mac, you need to learn some new keyboard commands and hotkeys. We look at a lot of images and screenshots when w are working on our Macs.
They are in documents, emails, webpages and more.
We also take plenty of screenshots ourselves to capture the contents of a window or a website for sharing, discussing, or saving for later. Many apps and websites will let you copy or save an image to your Mac’s Clipboard or to your Photos app.
But there are still times when taking your own screenshot is handy. You can take a screenshot on your Mac with built-in tools that come free with macOS.
Where Do You Find Saved Screenshots on a Mac?
When you take a screenshot on a Mac, the image is automatically saved to your desktop. You can change this destination to any folder you want.
If you are trying to find a screenshot you have taken on a Mac, look on your desktop. That is where they are automatically saved.
If you are not seeing them there, check your Finder settings: Open a new Finder window and open the Preferencs menu bar item.
Click on the Sidebar tab and make sure your Desktop is selected in the list of Places. By default, screenshots are saved as .png files with sequential names, like “Screenshot 2020-03-19 at 08.45.00 AM.png.”
The file names contain the date and time when each screenshot was taken, so it is easy to see which is which unless you have taken multiple screenshots in quick succession.
To learn how to take screenshots on a Mac and how to edit them, check our guide “How Do I Take a Screenshot on My Mac? (Shortcuts, Tools & More)”
How To Have Lower Resolution Images When Taking Screenshots On A Mac?
To capture the entire screen: Press Shift-Command (⌘)-3 To capture a portion of the screen: Press Shift-Command (⌘)-4, then drag the crosshair to select the area to capture. To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging.
To cancel, press the Escape (esc) key before you release the button. To capture a window: Press Shift-Command (⌘)-4, then press the Spacebar.
The pointer changes to a camera icon . Move the camera icon over a window to highlight it. To cancel, press the Escape (esc) key before you click.
Click your mouse or trackpad or press the Spacebar. To exclude the window’s shadow from the screenshot, press and hold the Option key while you click.
To copy a screenshot to the Clipboard instead of making a file: Press and hold Control while you take any of the screenshots above.
The easiest way to do this is to use Preview.app (it comes pre-installed on every Mac). Open the file with Preview.
Then go to File -> Export as PDF… Or simply use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + E and then again Command + E.
A window will open where you can choose a different resolution for your image.
What Do You Do If Screen Capture On a Mac is Not Working?
Screen capture on a Mac is easy, but what do you do if your screen capture is not working? Well, here are a few things to try if you are having issues with this. First, check the keyboard.
It is possible that an option has been disabled or something is wrong with your keyboard. It may be helpful to remove any peripherals like an external mouse and turn off Bluetooth to see if that helps.
If it does not , it is time to try some other fixes.
If you go into System Preferences, then click Security and Privacy, then click General and make sure Allow Applications Downloaded from Anywhere is checked, this may help. This is especially true if you recently downloaded software for your Mac and now the screen capture feature is not working.
If you have already tried these things and your screen capture on Mac is still not working, then there may be something else going on with your computer. You may need to reset the PRAM or the NVRAM in order to get it working again.
This can be done by clicking Command + Option + P + R at startup until the computer restarts again.
Best Screnshot Apps For Mac
There is no doubt that macOS Mojave has some great screenshot tools. With a simple keystroke shortcut, you can capture your entire desktop, a portion of your desktop, or a single window on your desktop.
The only problem is that the screenshots taken using these macOS tools are not very refined. If you are looking to take more advanced screenshots on your Mac and add some useful annotations, here are some of the best apps for doing so.
- CleanShot X CleanShot X is a gorgeous app for taking and editing screenshots on your Mac. It has a beautiful interface, and it is really easy to use — plus, it is free! With CleanShot X installed on your Mac, you can take a screenshot by clicking on the menu bar icon, or by using the global hotkey ⌘⇧5. Once captured, the screenshot will be saved to your clipboard and opened in an editor where you can annotate it with shapes, text arrows or text boxes.
- You can also highlight areas in the screenshot with different colors and crop the image if needed. Once you are done annotating the screenshot, you can save it as an image (.png) or share it directly to Mail, Messages or Slack.
Take A Screenshot On Mac – Frequently Asked Questions
Mac users know that it is not always the most intuitive operating system, but one thing it does have going for it is well-understood screenshot commands. Many of these are obvious shortcuts like Command + Shift + 4 to take a screenshot, but some can be downright confusing.
Here are some of the more useful commands for taking screenshots on your Mac: Command+Shift+4 : This is the default keyboard shortcut for taking screenshots. To change this, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screenshots and check the box next to “Take a screenshot.”
Command+Shift+3 : Similar to Command + Shift + 4 , this also works as an alternative keystroke in case you find yourself accidentally pressing Command+Shift+4 . You can also change this key binding by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screenshots and checking the box next to “Take a screenshot with third-party apps.”
Command + Shift + 4 , then hit the Spacebar: This is another common command for taking screenshots. It is one of my personal favorites because it adds a little more action to it than just hitting 4 .
Command + Shift + 5 : This takes a screenshot of your entire screen.
Take A Screenshot On Mac – Summary
Mac OS X is a great operating system with many unappreciated features. One of these is the ability to take screenshots and save them as files – other than the clipboard.
While it is possible to use the keyboard shortcut command + shift + 3 to take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it as a file on your desktop, there are other options.
There are actually 9 different screenshot commands on Mac OS X that you can use, depending on what you want to do with your screenshot after it has been taken. Some of these commands will take a screenshot and save it as a file, while others will save it to your clipboard.
This article summarizes the 9 different Mac OS X screenshot commands and lists some other useful screenshot resources. Taking a screenshot on your Mac (the act of taking an image of the screen you are viewing on your Mac) is simple and quick, but there are also many options.