How To Take A Screenshot on Mac?

On Mac, knowing how to screenshot is a must-have skill regardless of whether it is to capture a moment worth remembering, save an important document, or grab an error message to diagnose an issue. There are several simple options for taking screenshots in Apple’s macOS that meet the needs of different users. By the end of this blog, you will know how to screenshot on a Macbook in various ways, enabling you to capture whatever you want from your screen with convenience.

How to Take a Screenshot on Mac?

The MacOS provides several methods of taking screenshots, all of which are suitable for varying needs. Here’s how to navigate these options:

1. Full Screen Capture


For those moments when you need to capture everything on your screen, macOS makes it simple:

  • Press Shift + Command + 3 simultaneously.
  • You’ll hear a camera shutter sound (if your sound is on), indicating that the screenshot has been taken.
  • The screenshot will automatically save to your desktop as a .png file, labeled with the date and time it was taken.
  • This method is perfect for when you need a comprehensive view of your entire screen.

2. Capturing a Selected Portion of the Screen

Sometimes, you only need to capture a specific part of your screen. Here’s how to screenshot on mac with the selection:

  • Press Shift + Command + 4. Your cursor will change to a crosshair.
  • Click and drag the crosshair over the area you want to capture. Release the mouse or trackpad button to take the screenshot.
  • Like capturing the entire screen, the file will save automatically to your desktop.
  • This method offers precision, allowing you to focus on exactly what you want to capture.

3. Capturing a Specific Window or Menu

To capture a specific window or menu without the background:

  • Press Shift + Command + 4, then press the Spacebar. The cursor will change to a camera icon.
  • Hover the camera icon over the window or menu you want to capture. The targeted area will be highlighted.
  • Click to capture the highlighted window or menu.
  • The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
  • This method is useful for tutorials or demonstrations where you need to focus on a particular window or menu.

Advanced Screenshot Tools in macOS

With macOS Mojave and later, Apple introduced a new screenshot utility that offers even more flexibility. Here’s how to screenshot on a MacBook using this tool:

  • Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the screenshot utility.
  • You’ll see onscreen controls for capturing the entire screen, a window, or a selected portion of the screen. There are also options to record your screen.
  • Select your desired option, then click “Capture” to take your screenshot.
  • By default, screenshots taken using this tool will save to your desktop, but you can change the save location from the options menu.
  • This utility also allows you to set a timer for your screenshot, choose where to save the screenshot and decide whether to show the mouse pointer in the screenshot.

Editing and Annotating Screenshots

Once you’ve taken a screenshot, you might want to edit or annotate it. You can do this easily without needing any third-party software:

  • Locate the screenshot file on your desktop and double-click to open it in Preview.
  • Use Preview’s markup tools to edit or annotate your screenshot. You can add text, shapes, and more.
  • Save your edited screenshot.

Tips for Efficient Screenshot Management

  • Change Default Save Location: If you prefer not to clutter your desktop, you can change the default save location of your screenshots by using the screenshot utility (Shift + Command + 5) and selecting “Options” to choose a new save location.
  • Clipboard Saving: If you’d rather not save your screenshot as a file, add Control to any screenshot command to copy the screenshot to your clipboard. You can then paste it directly into a document or image editor.
  • Quick Look: Quickly view a screenshot without opening it by selecting the file and pressing Spacebar. This is useful for checking if you captured the right content.


By following this guide on how to screenshot on Mac, you’re now equipped to capture anything on your screen efficiently. Whether you’re a long-time Mac user or new to macOS, mastering the art of taking screenshots can significantly enhance your productivity and digital communication. From capturing your entire screen to selecting specific windows or menus, macOS offers versatile screenshot capabilities that cater to a wide range of needs. 

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