Maybe you only need to take occasional screenshots on Mac, are a power user with advanced workflows, or in between, follow the simple ways to take screenshots on Mac with free built-in Mac OS tools or with third-party software. We’ll pay attention to keyboard shortcuts, tips and tricks, advanced options, and customization.
Mac OS Mojave and later, Macs get the Screen Capture app hidden but accessible to everyone with more advanced controls like timer, save to destination selection, show/hide the mouse pointer, remember last selection, screen recording controls, and more.
The best part is that the enhanced screenshot functionality is free for all Mac users without downloading the app.
However, if you are looking for a more sophisticated and quality way to take screenshots on Mac, third-party apps will be the way to go. We will discuss both below.
Take a screenshot of the whole screen
To capture the entire screen, press and hold Shift + Command + 3. If you are using multiple monitors, it will take and save a screenshot of each monitor.
When you take a screenshot, you will see a small thumbnail preview in the lower right corner of your screen, which you can click on to edit the screenshot. Check out the “screenshot menu” guide below for info on how to turn it off if you don’t want to use it.
Capture a specific section or window
If you don’t want all parts of your layer to be captured, you can use this method. To charge a specific amount of your screen, press Shift + Command + 4. Your mouse cursor will change to crosshairs. Then you can click and drag this crosshair across any area on your screen. Release the mouse or trackpad button to capture the selected region, or you can press the Esc key to cancel.
That’s not all you can do this way. After pressing Shift + Command + 4, you can push other keys to open more options:
Capture a specific window: Press Shift + Command + 4 key, then press Spacebar. The crosshair will turn into a camera. Hover the camera cursor over the window you want to capture and click on it. When the screenshot is saved, it will have a gray border around it.
Lock the shape and size: After dragging the crosshairs to mark the highlighted area, press and hold the Spacebar. This locks the box so which can’t resize it. Then you can remove the box anywhere on the screen. Release the Spacebar to take your screenshot.
Adjust the height and width: Press and hold the Shift key after dragging the crosshairs to mark the highlighted area. You can adjust the height and width of the box. You can switch between height and width by simply holding down the Shift key. Then Release the mouse or trackpad button to take a screenshot.
Use screenshot menu
Current versions of macOS (Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, and Monterey) come with an app for Screenshots. To open this application, press the Shift + Command + 5 key. In the Panel, a small menu will appear at the bottom of the screen.
There are three icons on the left, allowing you to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a specific window, or the part you want to highlight. The following two icons on the right can record a video of the whole screen or only the highlighted part.
The Capture button on the right will take a screenshot.
There is also an Options menu. This menu can choose where to save the screenshot, how long it takes you to press “Capture” and the screenshot taken, and more.
Noteworthy on this menu is the Show Floating Thumbnail option, which is enabled by default. After taking a screenshot, a small thumbnail will appear next to the bottom right corner of the screen when this is allowed. That will not save the screenshot to the computer until this thumbnail disappears after a few seconds.
However, you can also click on this thumbnail before it disappears to open the screenshot in a new window. In this window, you can edit it like a draw or type it, crop it, share it via your Apple ID account, or delete it.
Take a picture of the Touch Bar.
Not all Mac computers have a Touch Bar menu, but you can easily take a screenshot of it if you have one.
If you want to show others something in the Touch Bar menu, you can take a screenshot by pressing Shift + Command + 6. This will immediately capture whatever is on your Touch Bar.
Where to find screenshots of your Mac
By default, screenshots appear on your desktop layer. Automatically