4 ways to take a screenshot on a Mac computer

The easiest way to take a screenshot on a Mac is through a keyboard shortcut.If you press Shift + Command + 5, you’ll open the Mac screenshot menu, which lets you take both screenshots and videos.Pressing Shift + Command + 4 lets you take a quick screenshot, and Shift + Command + 3 captures the entire screen at once.

You can take high-quality screenshots on any Mac computer, and then edit or share them however you like. If you’ve bought or updated your Mac since 2018, you even have access to the advanced screenshot menu, which will let you take videos of your screen too.

Here are four ways to take screenshots on a Mac – and they only take simple keyboard shortcuts.

Quick tip: Your Mac lets you take videos of your screen as well as screenshots. Check out our article on how to screen record on a Mac for more info.

Mac screenshot shortcuts

Every method for screenshotting on a Mac uses the Shift, Command, and number keys.

Keyboard ShortcutFunctionShift + Command + 3Capture a screenshot of the entire screen.Shift + Command + 4Highlight a specific part of the screen to screenshot.Shift + Command + 5Open the screenshot menu to record video or edit your screenshot options.Shift + Command + 6Take a screenshot of the Touch Bar, if your Mac has one.

Shift + Command + 3: Take a screenshot of the entire screen

To capture your entire screen, press and hold down Shift + Command + 3. If you’re using multiple monitors, it’ll take and save screenshots of every monitor.

When you take the screenshot, you’ll see a small thumbnail preview in the bottom-right corner of your screen, which you can click to edit the screenshot. Check out the “screenshot menu” guide below for info on how to turn that off if you don’t want it.

Shift + Command + 4: Capture a specific section or window

To capture a specific part of your screen, press Shift + Command + 4. Your mouse cursor will turn into a crosshair. You can then click and drag this crosshair across any area of your screen. Let go of the mouse button or trackpad to capture the selected area, or press the Esc key to cancel.

That’s not all you can do with this method. After pressing Shift + Command + 4, you can press other keys to unlock more options:

Capture a specific window: Press Shift + Command + 4 and then hit the spacebar. The crosshair will turn into a camera. Hover the camera cursor over window you want to capture and click on it. When the screenshot is saved, it’ll have a gray border around it.Lock in the shape and size: After dragging the crosshair to create highlighted area, press and hold the space bar. This locks the box so it can’t change size. You can then drag the box anywhere on the screen. Just release the spacebar to take your screenshot.Adjust the height and width: After dragging the crosshair to create a highlighted area, press and hold the Shift key. This allows you to adjust the height and width of the box. You can toggle between height and width by pressing the Shift key. Let go of the mouse button or trackpad to take the screenshot.

Shift + Command + 5: Use the screenshot menu

Current versions of the macOS (Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, and Monterey) come with a Screenshot app. To open this app, press Shift + Command + 5. A small menu panel will appear at the bottom of the screen.

The three icons on the left allow you take a screenshot of the entire screen, a specific window, or a highlighted section. The next two icons to the right will let you record a video of the entire screen, or just a highlighted section.

The Capture button on the far right will take the screenshot.

There’s also a menu labeled Options. This menu lets you choose where to save your screenshot, how much time you want between pressing “Capture” and the screenshot being taken, and more.

Of note in this menu is the Show Floating Thumbnail option, which is turned on by default. When this is enabled, after you take a screenshot, a tiny thumbnail of it will appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen. The screenshot won’t be saved to your computer until this thumbnail disappears after a few seconds.

However, you can click this thumbnail before it disappears to open the screenshot in a new window. In this window, you can draw or type on it, crop it, share it via your Apple ID account, or delete it.

Grab an image of the Touch Bar

Not all Mac computers have the Touch Bar, but if you have one, you can take a screenshot of it.

If there’s something on your Touch Bar that you’d like to show others, you can screenshot it by pressing Shift + Command + 6. This will immediately capture everything on your Touch Bar.

Where to find your Mac screenshots

By default, screenshots appear on your desktop. It’ll automatically be titled “Screen Shot,” followed by the date and time you took it.

You can also change the location that your screenshots get saved to. Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the screenshot menu, then click Options. Use the menu that appears to select a new Save to location.

Quick tip: If you hold down the Control key while you take your screenshot, it’ll copy the screenshot to your clipboard instead of saving it. You can paste the screenshot anywhere that allows you to insert images.

4 ways to take a screenshot on a Mac computer

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