One question I see new Chrome OS users ask often is: ‘How do I take a screenshot on a Chromebook?’

The answer is surprisingly easy once you know how (and it’s why we include the screenshot shortcut in our list of essential Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts everyone should know about).

So if you want to learn how to take a screenshot on a Chromebook (or refreshed your memory on how to do it) here’s our essential refresher on all the essential screenshot shortcuts in Chrome OS.

Takes Screenshot on a Chromebook the Easy Way

Google Chrome OS has a screenshot feature built-in by default. You do not need to install a Chrome extension, download a random app, or turn on a hidden feature to take a screenshot on your Chromebook.

Assuming you have fingers and a working device, you already have everything you need!

To activate the Chromebook equivalent of print screen and take a screenshot press the Ctrl and Window Switcher keys at the same time:

take a screenshot on a chromebook

The screen will flash white for a brief moment then a notification will appear to tell you that a screenshot was taken.

Click the screenshot taken notification to open the screenshot in the file manager, ready to upload/edit/e-mail elsewhere.

a chromeos notification of a screenshot taken

Can I take a cropped screenshot instead?

If you only want to screenshot a specific area of your screen you can take a cropped shortcut (also known as a partial screenshot).

Just press the ctrl, Shift and window switcher keys on your the Chromebook to activate cropped screenshot mode:

take partial screenshot on chromebook

As soon as you press this keyboard shortcut the screen will dim and your mouse pointer will turn in a cross-hair.

Click and drag out a box over the portion of the screen you want to take a snap of. The moment you lift your fingers off of the touchpad (or stop clicking with a mouse, if you’re using one) the screenshot will be taken.

As before, you get a notification to tell you the screenshot was successful which you can click on to open the related image in the Files app.

There’s a Screenshot Menu Shortcut too

Not a fan of fancy finger-flexing keyboard shortcuts? No worries! Your Chromebook also has a “Take screenshot” option tucked away in the Settings > More Tools menu:

take a screenshot in chrome OS using the settings > more tools menu

You can use this menu option at any time to screenshot your Chromebook’s entire display.

As before, click on ‘Screenshot taken’ notification to immediately open the corresponding image file in the Chrome OS file manager. 

The only downside to using the menu method is that Chrome stays on screen; there’s no timer or delay to allow you to minimise Chrome and/or focus a different app to take a snap of.

Using a Chrome OS tablet?

If you use your Chromebook as a tablet (because it can fold back into one) then you can take a screenshot in tablet mode by pressing the power and volume down buttons on the side of the device at the same time.

Over to you

Regardless of which method you use, all screenshots you take 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 you upload your screenshots to the web!
How To
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