Take a screenshot on Mac (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)

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There are four easy keyboard shortcuts to capture your screen on Mac, all of which involve combining three keys: Shift + Command + number keys. This article will also show you where your screenshot goes on Mac and how to change the default location where they are saved.


Knowing how to screenshot on your Mac can be handy in many ways, whether it’s an iMac or a MacBook. When you browse online and come across something interesting, you might want to share it with your friends and families. Yes, you could send a link, but what if you only want them to see a specific portion of the image. That’s where screenshots come in.

A screenshot lets you capture fully or partially what’s on your MacBook or iMac screen. You can screenshot a gaming page, a spreadsheet, a folder, a web page, basically anything you can see on your MacBook or iMac screen.

The best part of it all is that Apple has built the macOS, especially recent versions (Mojave and Catalina) to be seamless and easy to use, and that includes taking a screenshot. After taking your screenshots, you can edit and share them using many options. All screenshots you take will automatically be saved as “Screen Shot,” including the time and date they were taken.

The process of taking screenshots on a Mac is simple, as it only takes a single keyboard shortcut. There are four different shortcuts to take a screenshot on a Mac; which one you use will depend on how you want to capture your screen.

Command bar (Shift+Command+5)

Better yet, if you’ve updated or purchased your Mac since 2018, you can use the advanced screenshot app command bar, which is available in the recent versions of macOS Mojave and Catalina. You can use the “Shift+Command+5” to open the app at the bottom of your screen.

The screenshot app command bar lets you capture either the entire screen or just a portion of the screen. You can also record the entire screen or just a portion of the screen. It also comes with more editing tools and options. The screenshot app has seven primary buttons and options.

  • The first three buttons let you take a full screenshot of the screen, a specific window, or a selected portion of the screen.
  • The fourth and fifth buttons let you record all or part of the screen.
  • The sixth button labeled Options lets you choose or change the default location to save your screenshot. You can also set the screenshot timer delay to 5 or 10 seconds and choose whether to show or hide your cursor.
  • When you are ready to take the screenshot, click on the seventh button labeled Capture.

If you don’t want to deal with the screenshot app command bar or you’ve not upgraded to Mojave or Catalina, you can still use any of the simple shortcuts below to take a screenshot.

Screenshot an entire screen (Shift + Command + 3)

All methods for taking screenshots on a Mac involve using three keys together: Shift + Command + number keys.

To take a full screenshot on Mac, press Shift + Command + 3 keys together. If you’re using more than one monitor, it’ll capture the screen of every monitor and save the screenshot.

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Screenshot part of the screen (Shift + Command + 4)

To highlight and screenshot a portion of the screen, press Shift + Command + 4 keys together. Your mouse cursor will change into a crosshair.

Click and drag the crosshair across the select area of the screen you want to capture, then let go — as soon as you let go, your Mac will capture all the images in the highlighted box.

There is more you can do with this shortcut.

If you want to screenshot a specific window, press Shift + Command + 4, and then press the spacebar, the crosshair will change into a camera icon. Click on any window you want to capture to take a screenshot of that window. The screenshot will have a gray border around it once it’s saved.

That’s not all with this shortcut…

If you press Shift + Command + 4, your mouse cursor will change into a crosshair. Click and drag the crosshair to create a highlighted box, and then press and hold the spacebar; it’ll lock the highlighted box so it can’t change size. You can then move the highlighted box anywhere on the screen. Release the spacebar to take the screenshot or press Esc to cancel the screenshot.

You can also adjust the height or width of the highlighted box. Drag the crosshair to create the highlighted box, and then press and hold the shift key. You can then move your mouse up or down to adjust the height, and right or left to adjust the width. Release your mouse to take the screenshot.

Touch Bar (Shift + Command + 6)

Not all Macs have the Touch Bar, but if you’ve got a MacBook that has one like the 16-inch MacBook Pro or another model, then you can use this shortcut to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar. The Mac Touch Bar is a long-wide thin touch screen built into the keyboard.

If there’s anything currently displaying on your Touch Bar you’d like to capture and show to others, press Shift + Command + 6. This shortcut command will instantly take a wide skinny screenshot of everything on your Touch Bar.

If your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar, using the Shift + Command + 6 commands will do nothing.

Where to find screenshots on a Mac computer

It’s easy to know where screenshots go on your Mac.

By default, any screenshots you take on your Mac will be saved to your desktop, labeled with the name “Screen Shot,” followed by the date and time. It will be saved as a .png file.

You can also copy the screenshot to your clipboard by holding down the control key while taking the screenshot. The clipboard is where anything you copy (Command +C) goes to — to save the screenshot or anything copied on your clipboard, press Command + V.

How to change where screenshots go on Mac

If your Mac is operating with a recent macOS Mojave version or later, you can use the screenshot app command bar to change the default location of where your screenshots are saved. To do so, open the app with the shortcut Shift+Command+5, go to the Options menu, and select the default location to save your screenshots.

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