How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

Here's how to use a keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot on your iMac or MacBook.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Want to learn how to screenshot on your Mac using key combinations rather than your trackpad or mouse? Keyboard shortcuts work on the iMac and MacBook. Here's how to take a screenshot with keyboard shortcuts. Once you're done, you may want to learn how to organize your Mac's desktop to keep those screenshots in order!

Related: How to Back Up Your iPhone to a Mac without iTunes

We've already written about how to take a screenshot on any iPhone, how to take a full-page screenshot on an iPhone, and how to take a screenshot with Siri on your iPhone. For more great Max tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's learn how to take a screenshot on your Mac (desktop or laptop), including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

How to Use the Mac Screenshot Commands

If you're interested in learning another cool Apple computer tip, we can also show you how to change the default browser on your Mac!

For now, here's how to take screenshots on a Mac:

  1. To begin, find the area you want to screenshot on your Mac, then locate the Command (or Cmd) ⌘ and Shift ⇧ keys on your keyboard. My keyboard has a Command key on both sides of the Space Bar, and the Shift key at the lower-left corner.

    command and shift keys on mac keyboard
  2. To take a full-page screenshot, press and hold the Command key, then press and hold the Shift key, then press 3, then release all three.
  3. To screenshot one area of the screen, press and hold the Command key, then press and hold the Shift key, then press 4, then release all three. A plus-shaped snipping tool will appear; use it to outline the area to screenshot and release when finished to take the screenshot.
  4. For Macs running macOS Mojave and later, use Command-Shift-5 to open a menu of screenshot options that include the entire screen, a selected window or portion, where the screenshot is saved, a start timer, and even the option to screen record all or a part of your Mac screen.
  5. To find your screenshot, open the Finder and look in Recents (unless you specified a different location using Command-Shift-5).

    screenshots are located in desktop

Now you know how to take a screenshot! Next, learn how to use the exit full screen shortcut on your Mac.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.