How to Screenshot on Macbook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Capturing a screenshot on a MacBook is a handy skill to have, whether you need to save an important document, share an error message, or keep a memorable conversation. The process is simple and can be done using a few keyboard shortcuts. Let’s dive into how you can do this in a snap.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Screenshot on MacBook

Taking a screenshot on your MacBook can be done in several ways, depending on what you need. Are you capturing the whole screen, a window, or just a portion? We’ll cover all three.

Step 1: Capture the Entire Screen

Press Command + Shift + 3 simultaneously.

When you press these keys together, your MacBook captures the entire screen. A thumbnail of the screenshot will briefly appear in the corner of your screen, then disappear, saving the image file to your desktop by default.

Step 2: Capture a Portion of the Screen

Press Command + Shift + 4, then drag to select the area you want to capture.

After pressing the combination, your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag to select the part of the screen you wish to capture. When you release the mouse button, the screenshot will be taken.

Step 3: Capture a Specific Window

Press Command + Shift + 4, then press the Spacebar, and click on the window you want to capture.

This changes the crosshair into a camera icon. Hover over the window you want to screenshot, and it will be highlighted. Click, and only that window will be captured in the screenshot.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, the screenshot will be saved. By default, it goes straight to your desktop, but you can change this location if you want. The file will be a .png, which is a high-quality image format.

Tips for How to Screenshot on MacBook

  • If you want to copy the screenshot to the clipboard instead of saving it, add the Control key to any of the combinations mentioned above.
  • You can change the default location where your screenshots are saved by using the Screenshot app found in the Utilities folder.
  • If you’re using macOS Mojave or later, you can use the Screenshot app to set a timer for screenshots.
  • The default file name for screenshots is “Screen Shot [date] at [time].” If you take multiple screenshots in a day, they will be numbered sequentially.
  • To quickly edit or share your screenshot, you can click on the thumbnail that appears after capturing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the Screenshot app on my MacBook?

The Screenshot app is located in the Utilities folder, which you can find by opening Finder, going to the Applications folder, and scrolling down to Utilities.

Can I take a screenshot on a MacBook with a touch bar?

Yes, you can. Press Command + Shift + 6 to capture the entire Touch Bar.

What if I want to cancel a screenshot while I’m selecting an area?

Simply press the Escape key before releasing the mouse button, and the action will be canceled.

Can I change the format of the screenshot file?

Yes, you can change the format from .png to other formats like .jpg, .gif, .tiff, etc., using Terminal commands or third-party apps.

Is it possible to take a screenshot on a MacBook without a keyboard?

Yes, you can use the Screenshot app or third-party apps to take screenshots without a keyboard.


  1. Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen.
  2. Command + Shift + 4, then drag to capture a portion of the screen.
  3. Command + Shift + 4, press Spacebar, then click to capture a specific window.


Capturing screenshots on a MacBook is an essential skill that’s useful in many scenarios, from work-related tasks to personal use. Once you’re familiar with the keyboard shortcuts, it’s a breeze to take screenshots whenever you need them. Remember, there are options to capture the whole screen, a portion, or a specific window, and you can even set a timer for the action or save your screenshots to a different location.

If you’re a visual learner or want to explore more advanced functions, the Screenshot app in macOS Mojave and later versions offers a user-friendly interface with additional features. It’s beneficial to get comfortable using this tool as it can enhance your productivity and make your digital life a bit easier.

So, go ahead and give it a try! How to screenshot on MacBook is a simple yet powerful tool at your fingertips. Happy capturing!

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