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How to print screen on a Mac

Need to take a screenshot on your Mac? We’ve put together this guide to teach you how to do it in just two steps.

The quickest way to capture your screen on a Mac or MacBook is to use your computer’s built-in shortcuts. These allow you to capture the whole screen, a select portion of the screen or a window simply by holding a combination of keys on your keyboard. 

Apple automatically saves screenshots to your desktop but, if you’d rather store them neatly in a folder, you do have the option to change the default location in the Screenshot app. You can also manually drag the thumbnail to your chosen folder as the image is saving. 

Read on to learn how to print screen the entire screen on a Mac, or scroll down to the Troubleshooting section of this guide for shortcuts you can use to capture specific windows, menus and portions of your screen. 

What you’ll need: 

  • A Mac or MacBook

The Short Version 

  1. Press and hold Shift, Command and 3 
  2. Wait for the image to save to your desktop

How to print screen on a Mac

  1. Step
    1

    Press and hold Shift, Command and 3 at the same time

    This will capture the entire screen. To learn how to print screen a specific portion of the screen or a single window, scroll to the bottom of this guide. how to print screen on a mac

  2. Step
    2

    Wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop

    Or click the thumbnail in the corner of the screen to edit the image first. how to print screen on a mac

Troubleshooting

How to print screen a portion of the screen on a Mac

If you don’t want to capture the entire screen and instead want to select a specific portion, press and hold Shift, Command and 4 at the same time. 

This will bring up a crosshair. Click and drag to select the portion of the screen you want to print screen and let go to save the screenshot.

How to print screen a window or menu on a Mac

To capture a specific window or menu, just press Shift, Command, 4 and the space bar at the same time. 

This will bring up a camera icon. You can click on any window or menu to capture it and save it to your desktop. The tool will automatically save the window’s shadow to your image, but you can press and hold the Option button as you choose your window to prevent this if you want.

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