Using a Chromebook To Take a Screenshot


Taking screenshots on a Chromebook is slightly different from taking screenshots on a Windows PC or Mac, but it’s still a simple process. The keyboard commands are simple to use and remember, whether you want to capture the entire screen or just a portion of it.

Learn how to take a screenshot on a Chromebook with keyboard shortcuts or a stylus by reading on.

We also provide additional tips and tools for capturing the screen of your Chromebook.

Some quick hints

  • To take a full screenshot, hold down the Ctrl + Show Windows keys.
  • To capture a specific area, hold down the Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows keys.

Take a complete screenshot.

To take a screenshot of your entire screen, press the following keys at the same time:

Show Windows (Ctrl+Shift+Shift+Shift+Sh

As shown above, the latter button is usually found in the top row between the Full-Screen and Brightness Down buttons. It looks like a rectangle with two lines, and it takes the standard F5 key on keyboards.

When you press both keys simultaneously, a notification appears in the bottom-right corner of your screen, showing a thumbnail of your screenshot, as shown above. By clicking the thumbnail, you’ll be taken to the Downloads folder, where all screenshots are saved by default, making them available offline. You can also access screenshots by selecting Images or Downloads from the blue Files folder-style icon on the Shelf.

All screenshots in Chrome OS are labeled with the date and time they were taken.

Because Chrome OS saves screenshots locally on your device, you won’t be able to access them on Google Drive unless you manually upload them. To do so, take the following steps:

Step 1: Open the Files app and choose either Images or Downloads from the left-hand menu.

Step 2: Choose the image you want to upload. For multiple uploads, click the check icon on each screenshot (thumbnail view) or use a mouse or touchpad to draw a box around the files (list view).

Step 3: On the top-right corner of the screen, click the Share button.

Step 4: From the drop-down menu, choose Save to Drive. You can send the screenshot to other accounts, such as OneDrive and Dropbox, as shown below. More information on how to use Google Drive can be found in our guide.

If you have a Chromebook with a 360-degree hinge, such as a Pixelbook, skip ahead to the “Screenshots in Tablet Mode” section of this guide for a touch-based alternative.

Related: Tips And Tricks For Chromebooks And Chrome OS

Take a photo of a specific location.

You can create a window to capture a portion of the screen in addition to a full shot. Here’s how to do it: Show Windows (Ctrl + Shift + Ctrl + Shift + Ctrl + Shift

Step 1: Press and hold the Ctrl + Shift keys simultaneously, then press the Show Windows button.

Step 2: The screen dims, and the cursor changes to a crosshair for a brief moment. Start one corner of your capture area with the crosshair and hold down the mouse button or touchpad.

Step 3: Using your mouse or finger, drag the cursor across the screen until a box appears. To complete the box and capture the screen, let go of the mouse button or lift your finger.

Like a full screenshot, the captured window is saved to the Images and Downloads folders.

Note: If you’re using Chrome OS 88 or newer and used flags to enable the new Screen Capture utility, the new toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen, with the Screenshot and Partial buttons selected by default. There are also buttons to switch between Fullscreen and Window modes.

  • In tablet mode, screenshots
  • Make use of the buttons.

Many Chrome OS 2-in-1 and tablet devices may not have immediate access to a keyboard. Don’t worry; you can use a simple screenshot shorthand in tablet mode. Simultaneously press the following physical buttons: Volume Down + Power.

The screenshot is registered on your screen, and an image of the entire screen is taken.

Use a stylus for complete capture.

A stylus can be used to take a screenshot of your entire screen. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Tap the stylus (or the pen).

Step 2: Tap the Capture Screen option with the stylus. This takes a picture of your entire screen.

Use a stylus to capture a portion of the image.

Do you only want to capture a portion of your screen? Take the following steps:

Step 1: Tap the stylus (or the pen).

Step 2: Tap the Capture Region option with the stylus.

Step 3: Touch and hold your starting point on the screen with the stylus.

Step 4: Create a box by dragging your stylus to the final point.

Step 5: Take your screenshot and release it.

Other helpful hints

Copying and pasting screenshots

In contrast to Windows, Chrome OS does not automatically copy screenshots to the clipboard when you press the Print Screen button.

Watch for the notification that appears above the system clock when you take a screenshot if you want to copy it (for use in an image editor, for example). Click the Copy to Clipboard button as shown above, and then press Ctrl + V to paste it.

Alternatively, locate and select your screenshot, then press Ctrl + C to copy it to the clipboard, followed by Ctrl + V to paste it — just like in Windows.

Making changes to screenshots

Chrome OS screenshots are ready to share, but if you need to edit them first, learn how to use the built-in image editor. Here’s how to put it to use:

Step 1: On the Shelf, click the blue Files folder icon and select Images or Downloads from the left-hand menu.

Step 2: To open your screenshot in the Gallery app, double-click it. Right-click the file and choose Gallery from the pop-up menu if it isn’t your default image viewer.

Crop & Rotate, Rescale, and Lighting Filters are all available from the toolbar at the top of the Gallery app. Each tool opens a panel on the right side that allows you to change the settings. The Lighting Filters tool, for example, includes sliders for Exposure, Contrast, and Saturation, as shown above.

You’ll see buttons to undo and redo any changes you make in addition to the three main editing tools.

Step 3: When you’re finished, click the blue Save button to return to the original file and save your changes. Alternatively, you can save the edited image as an altered copy by clicking the blue down arrow icon.

Making use of external keyboards

If you’re using a Chrome OS-powered desktop (Chromebox) or an external keyboard plugged into a Chromebook, the keyboard will most likely have a standard function key row rather than Chrome’s dedicated button row. Here are the Chrome OS commands that take the place of the traditional function keys:

  • F1 — Go to the previous page;
  • F2 — Go to the next page;
  • F3 — Refresh
  • Fullscreen (F4)
  • F5 — Display Windows
  • F6 — Diminish the brightness
  • F7 — Brightness Boost
  • F9 — Reduce Volume F8 — Mute
  • F10 — Boost Volume

On a standard keyboard, press Ctrl + F5 to take a screenshot. Press Ctrl + Shift first, then F5 for a partial capture.

Read Also: Resetting a Chromebook

Other screenshot applications

The built-in image tools in Chrome OS are a little lacking, but there are plenty of apps and extensions available on Google’s Chrome Web Store to help add functionality. Here are a few suggestions:

Lightshot: Lightshot is a great beginner option for dragging and dropping screenshots over any part of the screen. You can make changes to the screenshot in real-time, then save or send it to the cloud. It’s simple to use and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Save an entire page as an image without taking multiple screenshots with FireShot. You can save in a variety of formats and send them to OneNote or email directly.

Awesome Screenshot: For those who want a more comprehensive, powerful tool, Awesome Screenshot lets you choose between screen capture and screencasting, allowing you to capture video at any time. The app also supports annotations and easy blurring.

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