How to Screenshot on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by William on July 19, 2024 | Approved by Cesar C

In the digital age, capturing your screen's display can be incredibly useful, whether for work, a tutorial, or even just sharing a funny moment with friends. You might wonder how to do this if you're a Mac user. This article will guide you on how to take screenshots on Mac using a built-in option or third-party software.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. 8 Ways to Take a Screenshot on a Mac
Part 2. How to Find Your Screenshots on Mac
Part 3. Troubleshooting and FAQs of A Screenshot on Mac

8 Ways to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

There are multiple ways to take screenshots on MacBook and other Macs, and you can choose the one based on your needs:

1. Capture the Entire Mac Screen

This is probably the easiest way to take a screenshot on Mac. You just need to press and hold the "Command + Shift + 3" keys simultaneously. Once you release these keys, the screenshot will be automatically saved on your desktop.

2. Take a Part of the Screen

If you only need to capture a specific area of the screenshot on MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, and more, you can do so by pressing the "Shift + Command + 4" keys. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair; drag it to select the area of the screen you want to capture. After releasing the mouse button, a screenshot of the chosen location is saved to the desktop.

3. Capture a Specific Window or Menu

With the window/menu, you want to capture open, hold down the "Shift + Command + 4 + Space" keys simultaneously. Your cursor will change to a "camera" icon; click on the target location to capture it.

Tip: If you want to exclude the shaded portion of a window or menu, hold down the Option key while clicking.

4. Capture the Touch Bar

Taking a screenshot of the Touch Bar on a Mac is quite simple. All you need to do is simultaneously hold down the "Shift + Command + 6" keys. You'll find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

Remember, this way only works if your Mac has a Touch Bar.

5. Screenshot on MacBook or Other Mac use Grab

The Grab utility is a program in macOS that allows you to take screenshots of Apple's computer screen. However, since macOS Mojave (10.14), the Grab utility has been replaced with the Screenshot app.

If you're using an older version of macOS, here's how to take screenshot on Mac:

  1. Navigating to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Grab.
  2. Once Grab is open, you will see the "Capture" menu at the top of the screen. Here, you can choose from several options: Selection, Window, Screen, and Timed Screen.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions After choosing the screenshot you want to capture. For example, if you choose "Window," you'll be prompted to select the window you want to capture.
  4. After you've taken your screenshot, it will open in a new window. You can save the image by going to the "File" menu and selecting "Save."

Remember, Grab does not automatically save your screenshots - you must manually keep them before you exit the program.

Since macOS Mojave (10.14), the Grab utility has been replaced with the Mac Screenshot app. To do this, you can use the following method to screenshot from MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and more.

6. Use the Screenshot Panel

The Screenshot Panel on Mac is a user-friendly tool that provides multiple options for capturing screenshots or recording videos of your screen. It can be accessed by pressing "Shift + Command + 5" on your keyboard. Here's a brief guide on how to screenshot on Mac:

At the bottom of the panel, you'll find additional options, such as where to save the screenshot on Mac, showing a timer before the screenshot, and showing the cursor in the screenshot.

7. Take screenshots on Mac using the command line

This Mac screenshot method requires specific skills on your part. If you want to challenge yourself, then follow these steps on how to crop a screenshot on Mac:

7.1. Capture the entire screen and save it to your desktop:

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities, and find Terminal.

  2. Open it and enter any of the following commands:

    screencapture ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
    screencapture -T 5 ~/Desktop/screenshot.png (Screenshot after 5 seconds delay)
    screencapture -x ~/Desktop/screenshot.png (The sound made when there is no screenshot)
    screencapture -t jpg ~/Desktop/screenshot.jpg (You can also change the screenshot format to png, pdf, tiff, and gif)

Remember to replace ~/Desktop/screenshot.png with your desired file path and name.

7.2. Capture a selected area:

  1. Type "screencapture -i ~/Desktop/screenshot.png" in Terminal.
  2. Drag the crosshairs to select the area you want to screenshot.

8. Use the Free Snipping Tool

Although Mac's built-in snipping tool is convenient, it has limitations, such as no annotation option, inability to edit screenshots, lack of cloud storage, etc. If you want a comprehensive tool to help take screenshots on Mac, you can try Flameshot.

Here's how to screenshot on MacBook, iMac, and other Macs using Flameshot:

  1. Install and open Flameshot on your macOS.
  2. Click the Flameshot icon in the system tray to start taking a screenshot.

  3. Once you've taken a screenshot, you can immediately annotate it with shapes, arrows, text, and more.

  4. After capturing and annotating your screenshot, save it to a location of your choice on your Mac or copy it to the clipboard for easy sharing.

In addition to Flameshot, there are many free programs to take screenshots on Mac, such as LightShot, TinyTake Capture, and Snagit. You can try them one by one and choose the one that suits you. You can also click here to view more snipping tools on MacBook, Mac Pro, iMac, and more.

How to Find Your Screenshots on Mac

When you take a screenshot on a Mac, the photo is saved directly to the desktop by default. This makes it easy for you to find and access the screenshots quickly. However, the save location has been changed if you cannot see screenshots on the desktop. In such cases, you can follow the steps below to check your Mac screenshot:

  1. Press "Shift + Command + 5" to bring up the Screenshot toolbar. Click on "Options" and look at the "Save to" section to see where your screenshots are being saved.
  2. Press Command + F to open the search bar and type "Screen Shot" into the search bar (as this is the default name for screenshots on Mac). This will show all files named "Screen Shot," including all your screenshots on Mac.

Troubleshooting and FAQs of A Screenshot on Mac

Taking a screenshot on MacBook Pro/Air, Mac Pro, iMac, and more is generally an easy process. However, you might encounter some issues from time to time. Here are some common problems and solutions:


Taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is a quick and easy process to capture the best moments on your screen with the methods provided in this article. Whether you need to capture the entire screen, just a portion, or edit the screenshot, this has you covered. So, next time you need to share a snippet of your digital world, remember these easy steps.