Shortcut Keys for Taking Screenshots on Windows, MacOS and ChromeOS


Taking a screenshot is one of the most basic things to do on PCs and laptops. Data can be easily shared and conveyed using a screenshot from your laptop or PC, showing off what's on your screen. Sometimes, taking a screenshot requires prompt capture, and the best way to take screenshots without any delay is to use the shortcut keys on your keyboard.

In this article, we talk about all the different shortcut keys for taking screenshots on Windows, MacOS and ChromeOS devices.

Shortcut Keys for Taking Screenshots on Windows

Windows 10 and Windows 11 have different shortcut keys for taking screenshots. Let's take a look at all of them:

Print Screen

In Windows laptops and PCs, the Print Screen button can be used to capture screenshots easily. 

By default, the Print Screen button will be configured to copy the image on the clipboard without any windows popping up or to summon the screenshot capture tool in Windows.

You can also configure the Print Screen button to open the Snip & Sketch tool on Windows 10 and Windows 11. Here's how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
  2. Toggle "Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping". 

Now, clicking the Print Screen or PrtScn button will open the Snip & Sketch tool 

  • Rectangular Snip
  • Freeform Snip
  • Window Snip
  • Full-screen Snip

Selecting any of these options after the PrtScn button will let you take different styles of screenshots. 

Windows + Print Screen – Automatically Save Screenshots

You can use the Windows + Print Screen shortcut to automatically save the screenshot. Pressing these keys will make the screen dim for a moment, indicating it has taken and saved the screenshot. The screenshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder on your PC or laptop.  

Alt + Print Screen – Capture The Current Window

If you want to quickly capture the current window screenshot, you can use the Alt + Print Screen keyboard shortcut. This will copy the screenshot of the current active window to your clipboard.

Shortcut Keys for Taking Screenshots on MacOS

Now let's check the different keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots on MacOS:

Cmd + Shift + 3 – Capture The Whole Screen

To capture the whole screen on your Mac, use this shortcut.

  1. Press CMD + Shift + 3 together.
  2. The screenshot will be saved on your desktop after briefly appearing on the bottom right side.
  3. To save the screenshot to the clipboard instead, use this shortcut: CMD + Ctrl + Shift + 3. 

Cmd + Shift + 4 – Capture A Specific Area

To capture a selected area on the screen, use this shortcut on your Mac.

  1. Press CMD + Shift + 4 together.
  2. A screen selection tool will show up and you can use this to select a specific area to capture. 
  3. The screenshot will be shown briefly in the bottom right area of the screen and saved to your desktop.
  4. You can use the shortcut CMD + Ctrl + Shift + 4 to just copy the image to the clipboard instead.

CMD + Shift + 5 – Summon Screen Capture Tools

You can summon the screenshot-capture tools that are available natively in MacOS to take screenshots. Here's how to do it:

  1. Press CMD + Shift + 5 together.
  2. This will pull up the different screenshot capture tools such as: 
    1. Capture the entire screen.
    2. Capture the selected window.
    3. Capture the selected portion.
    4. Record the entire screen.
    5. Record the selected portion.
  3. You can also set the save location to Desktop, Preview, Documents or a custom location. 

Cmd+Shift+6 – Capture Touch Bar

If you're using a Macbook with a touch bar, you can use these steps to take a screenshot of the touch bar:

  1. Press CMD + Shift + 6 together.
  2. This will capture what's shown in the touch bar on your desktop.    

Shortcut Keys for Taking Screenshots on Chrome OS

Screenshot Key / Ctrl + Show Windows / Ctrl + Shift + F5 – Full Screen Screenshot

There are different shortcut keys for taking screenshots on ChromeOS, such as:

  • The dedicated Screenshots key.
  • Ctrl + Show Windows.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F5

Not all devices might not have the dedicated Screenshots key or the Show Windows key. So use the shortcut that's available on your device.

Here's how to take a full screenshot on your Chromebook:

  1. Press the Screenshot key on your Chromebook. If your device doesn't have that button, press the Ctrl + Show Windows button. You can also use the Ctrl + Shift + F5 if your device doesn't have the Show Windows button.
  2. The screenshot tool will open on the screen, and you can choose 3 options from it:
    1. Take a full-screen screenshot.
    2. Take a partial screenshot.
    3. Take a window screenshot.
  3. Select the one you want from here.

The screenshots will be saved in the Downloads folder on your Chromebook.

Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows – Partial Screenshot

To take a partial screenshot, use the Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows shortcut. This will open the screenshot tool for partial screenshots directly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1) My shortcut isn’t working!

Sometimes, the Print Screen button might be disabled for taking screenshots. That might be the cause of the shortcut key not working. To fix it, press the Windows button + U shortcut and open Ease of Access. Click Keyboard and check if the Print Screen option is turned off, turn it on.

2) Where are my screenshots saved?

In Windows, the screenshots will be saved under the Screenshots folder in Pictures. In MacOS, the screenshots you take will be saved to the desktop. In ChromeOS, the screenshots will be saved to the Downloads folder.

3) Can I change my shortcuts?

Yes, you can customize the keyboard shortcuts on Windows and MacOS. In Windows, you have to use third-party programs like WinHotKey and you can do it from System Preferences on MacOS.

4) What is the PrtSc key's function?

The PrtSc key or Print Screen is the dedicated shortcut button in PCs and laptops to take screenshots.

5) How can I crop my Screenshot?

You can crop screenshots while taking, them by selecting the partial screenshot option and taking a partial screenshot.