How to Take a Screen Shot on My Mac: The Ultimate Guide

Welcome to the world of Mac users! Taking screenshots on Mac is a common task that you would need to perform at some point in time. Whether you want to record something that’s relevant to you or to share it with a colleague, a friend or to store it for later references, you should know how to take a screenshot.

In this article, we will guide you with an easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on your Mac. From taking a full-screen shot to a selected area of the screen, we will cover all the necessary details.


Step 1: Full Screen Shot

For a full-screen shot, press Command-Shift-3. This will capture an image of your entire screen and save it to the desktop.

Step 2: Screenshot of a Window

Want to capture just one specific window? Press Command-Shift-4, then the Space bar. Your cursor will turn into a camera which you can move over any open window. Press the mouse or trackpad, and it will capture an image of the window and save it to the desktop.

Step 3: Select Area to Screenshot

Press Command-Shift-4 and then drag the cursor to select the specific area on your screen you want to capture. Let go of the cursor to capture a screenshot of that selected area, which will be saved on the desktop.

Step 4: Copy to Clipboard

If you don’t want to save the screenshot to your desktop, you can also copy it directly to the clipboard by pressing Control-Command-Shift-3 (for a full screen shot) or Control-Command-Shift-4 (for an area shot).

Step 5: Timed Screenshot

If you need to take a screenshot with a time delay that replicates your movements, use Command-Shift-5. Click the “Options” button that pops up on the screen and select “5 or 10 seconds” from the timer drop down. Simply click “Capture” to begin.

Step 6: Taking a Screenshot of Touch Bar

To capture an image of your touch bar, use a keyboard shortcut: “Shift-Command-6.’ This method will only work on Mac models with a touch bar feature.

Step 7: Use Grab Utility

If you’d like an alternative way to take screenshots, use Grab Utility which is built into your Mac. You can open the Grab Utility by navigating to “Applications,” then select “Utilities” and click on “Grab.” Use this method to capture timed screenshots, specific points, or full-screen shots.

Step 8: Screenshots with Preview

Preview is another build-in app that you can use to take screenshots. Open Preview. Head to “File,’ and click “Take Screenshot” to access the drop-down menu for full-screen screenshots, specific areas, and timed screenshots.

Step 9: Screenshots with Third-Party Apps

There are plenty of third-party Mac apps that can perform all sorts of tasks. Apps like CleanShot, Snagit, and Skitch offer powerful, additional functionality to make your screenshot taking experience better than before.

Step 10: Editing Screenshots

Once captured, you can edit screenshots in preview or third party software to add text, adjust image size, cropping or rotate the image to fit your preferences properly.

Step 11: Organizing Screenshots

Once you’ve taken screenshots, it’s important to keep them organized. Sort them by date or subject (or both) and store them in folders that are easy to access.

Step 12: Deleting Screenshots

Unnecessary screenshot files can take up lots of space on your Mac. You can delete them by dragging them to the trash or using Command-Delete.


By following these steps, you can take screenshots on your Mac without any difficulty. It’s an essential task that can be used for personal or professional purposes. Different methods offer varied functionality, so make sure to use the one that fits your needs. Organizing your screenshots correctly will help you find them when you need them.

Tips and Tricks

Tips 1: How to Find Stored Screenshots?

If you’re struggling to locate captured screenshots, access the “Finder” function and click on “Desktop.” Your screenshot files should appear there.

Tips 2: Play with Keyboard’s Screenshot Shortcuts

You can customize shortcut keys for taking screenshots in your Mac by going to “Keyboard” in “System Preferences.”

Tips 3: Resizing Screenshots to Anyone’s Preferred Size

You can change the size of your screenshots via the preview application to match with anyone’s preferences. Simply navigate to “Tools” and click “Adjust Size”.

Tips 4: How to Share Screenshots Flawlessly?

Use software like Dropbox, WeTransfer, or Google Drive to share screenshots easily and quickly. Keep in mind the image format, whether it’s JPG or PNG as resolution may vary.

Tips 5: Regular Screenshot Editing for Consistency

By using the same editing software regularly, you can streamline the editing process and save yourself time and effort.

Tips 6: Backing Up Screenshots Consistently

Make a habit of backing up your screenshot files regularly on an external hard drive or cloud storage system like iCloud, OneDrive or Google Photos.

Tips 7: Various Screenshots App, Various Functions

Different third-party apps offer unique functions when it comes to screenshotting, so check them out to find the one that suits your requirements.

Tips 8: Adjusting Image Appearance

You can adjust the image appearance for more clarity with image applications like Photoshop or Lightroom; this will help you to retain the highest possible image quality.

Tips 9: Using Emojis for Screen Captured Images

For a more expressive message, add emojis to your screenshot before you share them.

Tips 10: Using Screenshots for Privacy Protection

Protect your privacy while sharing screenshots by blurring out sensitive information like passwords, emails or addresses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Screen Shot on Your Mac

Taking a screenshot on your Mac is a simple process that has numerous advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of them below:


Advantages Description
1. Easy to use Taking a screenshot on a Mac is a simple process that can be done with just a few clicks.
2. Useful for troubleshooting Screenshots can be helpful in troubleshooting issues with your Mac and communicating the problem to others.
3. Saves time Taking a screenshot can save time by allowing you to quickly capture information or images that you can refer to later.
4. Useful for presentations Screenshots can be used in presentations to illustrate a point or provide visual aids.
5. Shareable You can easily share your screenshots with others through email, messaging apps, or social media.
6. Privacy protection Taking a screenshot can be useful in protecting your privacy by capturing evidence of any online harassment, cyberbullying, or any other fraudulent activities.
7. Can capture anything With screenshot, you can capture just about anything on your Mac’s screen, including videos, games, photos, text, and other essential information.
8. No additional software required Since taking a screenshot comes as a built-in feature in your Mac, you don’t need to install any additional software to do it.
9. Multiple capture options You can choose among several capture options, including full screen, individual windows, selected areas, or timed captures.
10. Annotate and edit You can easily annotate your screenshots using default Mac’s tools or third-party apps, such as Preview or Skitch.


Disadvantages Description
1. Limited editing options The built-in editing options are quite limited, so you may need to download third-party apps for more advanced editing tools.
2. Limited storage space Screenshots can take up a lot of storage space, especially if they are high resolution and frequent.
3. Not good enough for videos Taking a screenshot cannot capture videos, so you will need to install a third-party app or use the built-in screen recording tool to capture a video.
4. Quality may vary Depending on the resolution and size of your screen, the quality of the screenshot may vary and may not capture all the details you need.
5. Security issues Taking a screenshot may have potential security risks, especially if you’re capturing sensitive information or confidential data.
6. May disrupt the workflow Constantly interrupting your workflow to take screenshots may be time-consuming and could negatively impact your productivity.
7. Can be confusing for new users For new users, taking a screenshot may not be that intuitive and may require some guidance before using it efficiently.
8. Needs to be saved manually You will need to manually save each screenshot which may be an extra step that might be time-consuming.
9. Not all third-party apps support native screenshots Some third-party apps may not support the native screenshot feature, meaning you may need to use different tools for different apps.
10. May not capture real-time changes If you need to capture real-time changes or movements, like a video game or animation, taking a screenshot is not the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Taking Screen Shot on Your Mac

1. What is a screen shot?

A screen shot is a snapshot of your computer screen that allows you to capture and save a visual record of what is currently displayed on your monitor.

2. Why would I want to take a screen shot?

You may want to take a screen shot for a variety of reasons, such as documenting an error message to send to technical support, capturing part of a webpage or image for reference, or creating instructional materials.

3. How do I take a screen shot on my Mac?

Press Command + Shift + 3 on your keyboard to capture the entire screen. Press Command + Shift + 4 to select a specific area of the screen to capture.

4. Where are my screen shots saved?

By default, screen shots are saved to your desktop with a filename that includes the date and time of the capture.

5. Can I change where my screen shots are saved?

Yes, you can change the default save location in the Screenshot app preferences of your Mac.

6. How do I take a screen shot of a specific window?

Press Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar, then click on the window you want to capture. The screen shot will be saved to your desktop.

7. Can I take a screen shot of a menu or tooltip?

Yes, press Command + Shift + 4 and then press the Spacebar to change the cursor to a camera. Click on the menu or tooltip to capture.

8. How do I take a screen shot of a Touch Bar on my MacBook Pro?

Press Command + Shift + 6 on your keyboard to capture the Touch Bar.

9. Can I take a screen shot with a timer?

Yes, press Command + Shift + 5 to access the Screenshot app, then click “Options” to select a timer. After the designated time, the screen shot will be captured.

10. Can I edit my screen shot?

Yes, you can edit your screen shot using the Preview app or other third-party image editors.

11. Can I take a screen shot of a video?

Yes, you can take a screen shot while a video is playing by pressing Command + Shift + 4 and then selecting the area of the screen where the video is playing.

12. How do I take a screen shot on a Mac without a keyboard?

If your Mac has a Touch Bar or a trackpad, you can use the Screenshot app to take a screen shot without a keyboard.

13. Can I take a screen shot of a scrolling window?

Yes, you can use third-party apps like Snagit or the built-in Screenshot app to capture scrolling windows, web pages, and long documents.

How to Take a Screen Shot on My Mac

Do you need to take a screenshot on your Mac but don’t know how? Don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple! Whether you need to capture your entire desktop, a specific window, or just a portion of the screen, your Mac comes with built-in tools to get the job done.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, taking a screen shot on your Mac is a useful skill to have. It’s helpful for sharing information with others, troubleshooting technical issues, or simply saving something for your own reference. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to quickly and easily capture whatever you need on your Mac’s screen. Remember, practice makes perfect, so give it a try and don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings and options.

Thank you for reading this article on how to take a screen shot on your Mac. We hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy screenshotting!