How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac Computer: Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to our article on how to take a screenshot on your Mac computer! Whether you want to capture a funny meme, a memorable moment, or an important email, taking a screenshot on your Mac is an easy and useful skill to have. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to take a screenshot on your Mac and provide some helpful tips along the way.


Step 1: Locate the screen you want to capture

Explanation: Before you can take a screenshot on your Mac, you need to decide what you want to capture. This could be a picture, a webpage, an email, or anything else on your computer screen.

To capture a specific window, click on the window to make it active. To capture the entire screen, make sure no windows are selected.

Step 2: Press Command + Shift + 5

Explanation: This keystroke will open the screenshot tool on your Mac. You can also access the tool by searching for “Screenshot” in Spotlight or Launchpad.

Step 3: Choose your screenshot type

Explanation: The screenshot tool gives you several options for capturing your screen. You can choose to capture your entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion of your screen.

If you choose to capture a portion of your screen, drag the crosshairs over the area you want to capture.

Step 4: Adjust screenshot settings

Explanation: Once you have selected your screenshot type, you can adjust settings such as the file format, location, and timer.

For example, you can choose to save your screenshot as a JPG, PNG, or PDF file. You can also choose where the screenshot will be saved on your computer and set a timer to delay the capture.

Step 5: Click “Capture”

Explanation: When you are ready to capture your screen, click the “Capture” button in the screenshot tool. This will take the screenshot and save it to your chosen location.

Step 6: Access your screenshot

Explanation: Once you have taken your screenshot, you can access it by opening the file location you selected in step 4.

Your screenshot will typically be saved as a PNG file and will have a filename that reflects the date and time it was taken.

Step 7: Edit your screenshot (optional)

Explanation: If you want to edit your screenshot, you can do so using the built-in Markup tool on your Mac.

To access Markup, open your screenshot in Preview and click on the “Markup” button. This will open a toolbar that allows you to add text, shapes, and other annotations to your screenshot.

Step 8: Save or share your screenshot

Explanation: Once you have edited your screenshot (if desired), you can save it or share it with others.

To save your screenshot, click “File” > “Save” and choose a file location and format. To share your screenshot, you can attach it to an email, upload it to a cloud service, or share it on social media.

Step 9: Use keyboard shortcuts for quick capture

Explanation: If you need to take a lot of screenshots, you can save time by using keyboard shortcuts instead of opening the screenshot tool every time.

For example, you can use Command + Shift + 3 to capture your entire screen or Command + Shift + 4 to capture a portion of your screen.

Step 10: Take screenshots with Touch Bar (if applicable)

Explanation: If you have a Mac with a Touch Bar (such as a MacBook Pro), you can also take screenshots using Touch Bar shortcuts.

To do so, press and hold the Command key and then tap the screenshot icons that appear on the Touch Bar.

Step 11: Use third-party screenshot tools

Explanation: If you need more advanced screenshot capabilities, there are several third-party screenshot tools available for Mac.

Some popular options include Snagit, Skitch, and Lightshot, which offer features such as screen recording, annotation tools, and cloud syncing.

Step 12: Troubleshoot screenshot issues

Explanation: If you encounter issues while taking screenshots on your Mac, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.

For example, you may need to free up disk space, reset your keyboard shortcuts, or update your operating system to the latest version.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use keyboard shortcuts for quick capture

Explanation: As mentioned in Step 9, using keyboard shortcuts can save you time when taking screenshots. Be sure to memorize the shortcuts for the types of screenshots you take most often.

Tip 2: Customize your screenshot settings

Explanation: In Step 4, we discussed how you can customize your screenshot settings. Experiment with these settings to find the options that work best for you.

Tip 3: Use Markup to edit screenshots

Explanation: The Markup tool in Preview can be a quick and easy way to add annotations to your screenshots without having to open a separate image editing app.

Tip 4: Save screenshots to a cloud service

Explanation: If you use a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive, consider saving your screenshots to your cloud storage instead of your local hard drive. This can make it easier to share and access your screenshots from multiple devices.

Tip 5: Use third-party screenshot tools for advanced features

Explanation: If you need more advanced features such as screen recording or annotation tools, consider trying a third-party screenshot tool like Snagit or Skitch.

Tip 6: Use screenshots for troubleshooting

Explanation: If you encounter an issue with your Mac, taking a screenshot of the error message or problem can be a helpful way to troubleshoot and seek support.

Tip 7: Organize your screenshots

Explanation: To keep your screenshots organized, consider creating a dedicated folder or using tags to label screenshots by category or project.

Tip 8: Adjust screenshot resolution for different devices

Explanation: If you plan to use your screenshots on different devices (such as a phone or tablet), consider adjusting the resolution to optimize for each device’s screen size and resolution.

Tip 9: Delete old screenshots regularly

Explanation: To free up disk space on your Mac, consider deleting old or unnecessary screenshots on a regular basis.

Tip 10: Practice with different types of screenshots

Explanation: To become proficient at taking screenshots on your Mac, practice with different types of screenshots, such as capturing specific windows or selecting a portion of your screen.

We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through the process of taking a screenshot on your Mac. With these tips and tricks, you can easily capture and share your computer screen with others.

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Take Screenshot on Computer Mac


1. Easy and Convenient – Taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is a breeze. There are built-in tools that make the process both quick and easy, so even those who are not tech-savvy can do it with ease.

2. Can Be Shared Quickly- Screenshots can be shared with others super fast. You can email them or send them through other messaging apps, making it a great way to share information with others.

3. High-Quality Images – The screenshots taken on Mac computers are of high quality, making them perfect for use in graphics and other design work that requires crisp, clear images.

4. Flexible – You can take a screenshot of your entire screen, a portion of it, or a single window, giving you lots of options and making it easy to get exactly what you need.

5. Great for Clarification – Screenshots can be a great tool for explaining something or clarifying information. You can show exactly what you mean and what you’re talking about, making it easier for others to understand.

6. Can Help Solve Problems – Screenshots can be useful in helping solve technical problems. They can be used to capture error messages and other issues, which can then be shared with support technicians.

7. Can Be Used to Create Tutorials – Screenshots can be used to create tutorials and other instructional materials, making it easier to teach others how to use different programs or complete various tasks.

8. Saves Time – Taking a screenshot can be faster than trying to write out or explain something in words, making it a time-saver.

9. Multiple Uses – Screenshots can be used for various purposes, so investing the time to learn how to take them can be beneficial in many ways.

10. Built-In Tools – Mac computers come with built-in screenshot tools, making it even easier to take screenshots quickly and easily without having to download any additional software.


1. Can Take Up Too Much Space – If you take a lot of screenshots, they can take up a lot of space on your computer’s hard drive, which can lead to slower performance.

2. Can Be Overused – Screenshots are a great tool, but they can also be overused. Sometimes, taking a screenshot is not the best way to explain something, and other methods may be more effective.

3. No Audio or Video – Screenshots only capture images, so they can’t be used to record audio or video.

4. Not Ideal for Capturing Motion – Screenshots capture a static image, so they are not ideal for capturing motion or movement.

5. Can Be Misleading – Without proper context, a screenshot can be misleading. It’s essential to provide enough information to ensure that the person viewing the screenshot understands what they’re looking at.

6. Not Ideal for Capturing Web Pages – Taking a screenshot of a web page can be tricky, as the screenshot may not capture the entire page, or it may include portions of the browser that you don’t want to see.

7. May Not Work With All Programs – Some programs may have restrictions that prevent you from taking screenshots or may not work well with the built-in tools on your Mac computer.

8. May Not Be Secure – Screenshots can contain sensitive information, so it’s crucial to ensure that they are kept secure and used appropriately.

9. Requires Some Skill – Taking a screenshot may seem easy, but it does require some skill and knowledge of the various methods available to get the best results.

10. Not Ideal for Collaboration – While screenshots can be shared quickly, they may not be the best way to collaborate with others as they do not allow for real-time communication or editing.


1. How do I take a screenshot on a Mac?

To take a screenshot on a Mac, press Command + Shift + 3. This will capture the entire screen.

2. Can I take a screenshot of just a specific window?

Yes, you can take a screenshot of a specific window by pressing Command + Shift + 4, and then pressing the spacebar. This will turn your cursor into a camera and allow you to click on the window to capture it.

3. Where are the screenshots saved on a Mac?

By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop with a file name like “Screen Shot [date] at [time].png”.

4. Can I change where my screenshots are saved?

Yes, you can change the default save location for your screenshots by using the Terminal app and entering the command “defaults write location [path]”. Replace “[path]” with the path to your desired save location.

5. How do I take a screenshot of a specific area?

To take a screenshot of a specific area, press Command + Shift + 4. This will change your cursor to a crosshair, which you can use to select the area you want to capture.

6. What if I want to take a screenshot of a menu?

You can take a screenshot of a menu by pressing Command + Shift + 4, and then holding down the Control key while clicking on the menu. This will capture the menu and save it as an image file on your desktop.

7. Can I take a screenshot using only my mouse?

Yes, you can take a screenshot using only your mouse by downloading and installing third-party screenshot software, such as Snagit or Skitch.

8. How do I take a screenshot of a website?

To take a screenshot of a website, you can use your browser’s built-in screenshot tool or a third-party extension. For example, Google Chrome’s screenshot tool can be accessed by pressing Command + Shift + P.

9. Can I edit my screenshots?

Yes, you can edit your screenshots using the Preview app that comes with your Mac. Preview allows you to crop, rotate, resize, annotate, and add text to your screenshots.

10. What if I accidentally take a screenshot?

If you accidentally take a screenshot, you can simply delete it by dragging it to the Trash or right-clicking on it and selecting “Move to Trash”.

11. Is there a way to take a screenshot without the sound?

Yes, you can take a screenshot without the sound by pressing the Option key along with any of the previously mentioned screenshot combinations.

12. Can I share my screenshots directly from my Mac?

Yes, you can share your screenshots directly from your Mac by clicking on the Share button in Preview or by dragging the image file to an email, messaging app, or social media platform.

13. How do I take a screenshot of a video?

You can take a screenshot of a video by pausing the video at the frame you want to capture, and then using the Command + Shift + 4 or Command + Shift + 3 keyboard shortcut to take the screenshot as usual.

How to Take Screenshot on Computer Mac

Taking a screenshot on your Mac computer can be a useful way to capture information quickly and easily. Whether you need to save an image of something for work, or you want to keep a record of a conversation you had online, learning how to take screenshots can be a life-saver. Fortunately, taking screenshots on a Mac is relatively simple, once you know how.


Learning how to take screenshots on your Mac can be an incredibly useful skill, and it’s one that’s well worth taking the time to master. Whether you’re trying to save an image for future reference, or you want to capture a conversation for posterity, screenshots are an easy and effective solution. So, if you own a Mac and you haven’t yet learned how to take screenshots, take the time to give it a try. We’re confident that once you see how easy it is, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Thank you for reading and happy screenshot-taking!