How to take a screenshot

Updated: 08/08/2017 by Computer Hope

ScreenshotThere are several ways to capture a screenshot. Usually, each method differs based on which computer operating system you are using and the content of which you take a screenshot. To proceed, look at the menu below and choose the approach that best suits your needs.

Taking a screenshot with Microsoft Windows

The simplest way to take a screenshot is to press the print screen key on the keyboard. This action captures an image of the entire screen and copies it to the computer clipboard. Once in the clipboard, paste that screenshot into Microsoft Paint, another image editor, Microsoft Word, or any program capable of accepting images.

Tip: If you press and holding the Alt key, and then press the print screen key, a screenshot of the active window is taken, instead of the fullscreen.

Tip: Windows 8 and Windows 10 users can press the Windows key + Print screen to take a screenshot of their screen and have the image automatically saved as screenshot.png in the My Pictures folder.

Tip: Windows Vista (not home basic), Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 users can also use the Snipping Tool to make a picture out of only a portion of the window.

Once the image has been successfully pasted into a program it can be saved or printed.

Taking a screenshot with macOS X

Apple macOS X users can take a screenshot of an entire screen by pressing Command + Shift+3. This action creates a new TIFF file on your Desktop.

To capture only part of the screen, press Command + Shift+4, and then select the area of the screen you want to screenshot.

Tip: To copy your screenshot to the clipboard instead of creating a file press Control + Command + Shift+3 or 4.

Once the image has been successfully created it can be opened and edited or printed.

Creating a screenshot with a Chromebook

To take a screenshot of the whole page press Ctrl+Chrome switcher key.

Tip: For non-Chrome keyboards press Ctrl+F5.

To take a screenshot of only part of a page press Ctrl+Shift + The Chrome switcher key.

How to create a screenshot in the Chrome browser

To take a screenshot in Chrome requires an extension to be installed. You can add the extension Awesome Screenshot to capture the whole page or parts of the page, selected area, or the entire page. You an also add the Screencastify extension to capture video within Chrome.

Apple and Android mobile device screenshot information

Android mobile devices - Due to Android smartphones and tablets having many manufacturers, the method for capturing a screenshot it not always the same. If done properly you should see a screen animation indicating that a picture was taken. The screen capture will be saved into your gallery.

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time.
  • Press and hold the Power and Home buttons at the same time.

Apple devices - On an iPhone or iPad, press the Home button and the top or side Sleep/Wake button at the same time. When done properly the screen should flash, and if the volume is turned up, you should hear a sound as if a picture had been taken. The screen capture will be saved into your pictures.

Screenshots with other software, programs, or games

If you are unable to successfully create a screenshot through any of other means, a third-party software program may be of use. Below is a listing of some screenshot programs you may want to consider.

Tip: With the Windows 10 Creators Update you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Alt+Prt (or customize your own shortcut) to take screenshots in games.

Games

Many games include an option that enables players to press the print screen or F11 key to capture a screenshot. This varies between games and it is recommended you refer to the game key options or the manual for information about this availability. If this is not available, see the next section.

Screenshots from movies

To grab a single screenshot image from a movie or video file, visit our page on how to capture an image from a movie in Windows Media Player.

Viewing, editing, and saving screenshots

Although many of the programs listed above allow you to capture screenshots, they may not have the appropriate features for making changes to your images. We suggest these image editors to perform cropping, rotations, or other similar tasks.