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How to Take A Screenshot on a Chromebook

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There’s one question that I see new Chrome OS users ask with a fair bit of frequency:‘How do you take a screenshot on a Chromebook?’

It’s actually surprisingly easy once you know how (which is why I also included in my list of ‘10 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Chromebook User Should Know‘).

But for those yet to learn it, or those who’ve simply forgotten, here’s a quick refresher.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook

Let’s say you need to take a snap of your entire screen. To do this you press the ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Window Switcher’ keys at the same time:

take a screenshot on a chromebook

If you just want to capture a specific area of the screen just add shift to the key combo, like so:

take partial screenshot on chromebook

If you’re on the Dev Channel of Chrome OS you’ll also find a new “Take screenshot” option is available from the “More tools” drop-down in the Chrome Menu.

After hitting the shortcut the screen will briefly flash white and a notification to confirm its success (or failure) will follow.


Clicking on the notification will open the Chrome OS file manager. All screenshots are saved as high-quality .PNG files, and stored in the Downloads folder for easy retrieval.

Don’t forget to check for, hide or obscure any sensitive information, like e-mail addresses or embarrassing photos, before uploading your screenshots to the web.

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  • S. Murphy

    Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
    is the best extension for screenshots. I absolutely love it!

    • Vicente de Piérola

      Same here.

      • sweeney

        me too

        • cheese

          i like giraffes

          • Candy

            I like turtles

          • Waffles

            I like pancakes.

          • mouse

            i like cheese

          • Anonymous

            I like dicks

  • lee colleton

    Every shortcut can be referenced on the Chromebook with Ctrl+Alt+/
    Shift+/ (aka. ? ) shows hotkeys and hotkey combos in Gmail and Google+ and Google Drive etc.

  • alvaro guzman

    Sometimes i get a black picture, or a distorsioned image =/, anyone else?

  • Gaurav Bidasaria

    here is a great collection of guides to take a screenshot on any device and any OS.

  • Lillie Stephenson

    Does anyone know how to get like skype on their Chromebooks?

    • Lexie M

      Sadly, you can’t. The Chromebook doesn’t support Skype. :( I have tried and I found out that it is not possible, but Google is supposed to make the future Chromebooks support Skype!(:

      • Chris Hick

        try Google Hangouts instead

        • Dalton

          IM+ is a alternative you cant video chat but you can text your skype buddies

    • krazieCx garcia

      got to apps chroe store and look up skype and it gives u a choice to download

  • wellswmn97

    When I go to get it out of the downloads it tell me it does not support that and that I need to go to Chrome apps to find something that does. Now how do I get the screenshot that i took??

  • Chris Hick

    awesome, thanks. I knew about Ctrl but hadn’t realised Ctrl+Shift gave you the cropping option

  • Fred in CT


  • Hola

    Thanks so much!!! This is great!

  • asdf


  • Irene Collin

    Except the default way of pressing shortcuts to take a screenshot, you can also use third-party screenshot tools to achieve it. Discover more solutions here.

  • David Streever

    Kind of a terrible tool, honestly. I just bought an Acer Chromebook, with touchscreen, and was really disappointed to not see any way to draw right on it. Seriously? This should be built right into the OS; it’s the perfect feature for one of these.

    • Katie Malfoy

      Dunno what you’re going on about. It works fine on my Samsung Chromebook!

      • David Streever

        Well, if I just want a screenshot, sure! but I think at this point it’d be nice to have better screenshot tools that have a range of features/options.

        My HTC One M8 camera lets me draw on the images, modify them, etc, with no work at all; it’s built right in. I’m just not sure why the Chrome OS doesn’t have a pretty simple tool built in.

  • Rudolf Nanne

    Evernote Web Clipper! It was quite a search and I’ve tried them ALL –TechSmit Snagit (too less editing), Awesome Screenshot (clumsy blur, no highlight marker), Nimbus (clumsy blur, no highlight marker), Lightshot (no blur, no eclipse) Screen Capture by Google (no longer available), qSnap (clumsy blur, no highlight marker) FireShot (no editing) – but there is fortunately the perfect Chromebook replacement for Microsoft Snipping Tool and this is called “Evernote Web Clipper”. Try it yourself!

  • Nora Carrington

    I never get the notification.

  • Johnny La Rue

    This works but I can’t seem to take a screenshot of a chrome remote desktop window? I’ve tried the full screen and the partial screen variation.

    • cameronDB

      Hey, Johnny, did you ever figure out a solution?

      I’m trying to take a screenshot of an SAP error on my remote Windows 8.1 desktop. Both PC and chromebook are having NONE of it…

  • conor grant

    thanks very helpfull

  • alex

    if I use a generic keyboard (i use a chromebox) how can I take screenshots?

    • LeeWw

      I use ctrl + F5 on my logitec keyboard

  • Gabby


  • ᗪᗩᖇK ᕼEᗩᖇTᘔ

    Thank you!

  • lolerz3245

    Thank you so much i am doing a project and i needed to take a screenshot on Prezi so i can print it

  • Brett Schletty

    why can’t i save a screenshot on chromebooks

  • ellesha

    it wont work for me! can any one help?

  • Specter Sixonenine

    massive cool

  • coolgrirl24

    omg your awose t4hank you so much

  • coolbooy24

    yeee boiiiii

  • Jo

    doesnt work

    • nasdaq

      Have you tried: Fn + Window Switcher keys?

      • Jo

        thanks for replying; found hardware error, functions as normal now.

  • BarbarianPrincess

    This doesn’t work on my Acer C720 Chromebook. I even tried Shift / Alt / and the screen icon at top of keyboard – no luck. Looks like the commands differ, depending on which brand Chromebook you own.

    • Emily

      Hi — I have the same Chromebook — were you able to find a solution?

      • Emily

        Nevermind I figured it out.

        You hold — CTRL+SEARCH+windowswitcher key that looks like a square with two lines on the right — that does a full screen shot —

        If you add the shift key to that combination you get the curser to do the selection screenshot —

        Once you have taken the screenshot a box appears on the bottom right letting you know your screenshot has been captured.

  • unmasteredchief

    works just hit ctrl/shift ctrl and hold if shift ctrl hold the buttons anddrag you will see a black box let go when you are done and you will see screenshot has been taken

    • Emily

      Sorry — can you explain that one more time — still not getting it — I am on the Acer C720 too

  • jen

    extremely helpful!

  • Jaiden khang

    What is the window switcher key???????

    • brother hoot

      It is the key beside the key that is beside the reload key.

  • Addie

    the window switcher key should be beside your “darken brightness” key if you have a toshiba chromebook

  • mikebar

    Beautiful wallpapers & ad-free google search!

    Check out the all new SearchTop™ from wow/chrome!





  • XXDarkMatterXX502

    thank you.

  • John Hixson

    After I take my screen shot using the handy dandy keyboard combo shown above can I paste it to an email or document? I do that with other screen shot software like greenshot and snip it. This seems to save it to the clip board?