How to take a Screenshot on Mac?

There are three different ways of taking a screenshot if you own a modern Mac. But all of them involve keyboard shortcuts. However, if you own a MacBook Pro having a Touch Bar, there is another method. macOS Software also provides you with several options for saving, deleting, or opening those screenshots easily. You can apply the same tips to the latest models also, such as MacBook Pro with M2 Chip and MacBook Air also.

How to screenshot on mac
How to screenshot on mac

Let’s take a look at some of the methods you can choose to take a screenshot on Mac.

1.      Cmd-Shift-3

You can use this shortcut for capturing the screenshot of your Mac’s entire screen.

2.      Cmd-Shift-4

You can use this keyboard combo for turning the cursor into a crosshair. You can then drag it for selecting a part of the screen to capture. Releasing the mouse button then will take the shot.

You may use some other options as well after you hit “Cmd-Shift-4”.

·         Press & Release the Space bar

After pressing & releasing the spacebar, the crosshair will turn into a camera icon. You can move that icon over any window you want for taking a screenshot of. The screenshot taken this way will feature a “White Border” around that window with some drop shadow as well.

·         Press & Hold the Space bar

After you drag crosshair for highlighting a specific area, don’t release the mouse button. This will lock in the size and shape of that area but will allow you to reposition on the screen. It is a good option if the area you selected initially is a bit off. You just need to hold down the spacebar for repositioning it before you release the mouse button for taking a screenshot.

·         Hold down “Shift” Key

After you drag crosshair for highlighting a specific area, don’t release the mouse button. This will lock in each side of that selected area you made with crosshairs. This will not only let you save the bottom edge, but you can move the mouse as well for positioning that edge.

After that, release the “Shift” key instead of the mouse button ad press it again. This will reposition the edges of your selected area. Toggling between the two edges also becomes easy; you just need to keep the touchpad engaged while pressing the “Shift” key at the same time.

3.      Cmd-Shift-5

This shortcut command was introduced few years back in macOS Mojave. It calls up some parts of the panel along with screen capture options. You get to see three screenshot buttons on your screen for capturing it entirely or a part of it. But that doesn’t end here; you can also record your entire screen or some selected part using the buttons. On the left side of the screen is an “X Button” for closing the screenshot panel. Or you can use the “Escape” key also for this purpose.

Moreover, you will see an “Options” button on the right side of the screen. You can choose where you want to save that screenshot; Documents, Mail, Desktop, Messages, Clipboard, or any other location. And don’t forget to set a 5-second delay so that you may not lose any item while engaging the screenshot tool. The tool automatically enables “Show Floating Thumbnail” by default. This will put a small preview thumbnail (in the lower right corner of your screen) of the screenshot you just captured. This procedure is quite similar to the one we witnessed for iOS. But you can’t turn this preview thumbnail on your iPhone. However, Mac lets you do that also. And you also have the option of showing the mouse pointer in video or screenshot.

If you see the screenshot panel causing hindrance, you can just move it anywhere on the screen by grabbing its left edge and dragging it. So, it’s quite easy to take a screenshot on Mac, particularly if you follow the built-in keyboard shortcuts. And if one or two keys aren’t working, you can opt to go for others keys also (mentioned in method 2).

Now, let’s take a look at how you can screenshot on Mac that has a touch bar as well.

4.      Cmd-Shift-6: Touch Bar MacBooks

If you have an older MacBook Pro or the latest version of it, you can screenshot on it as well. The screenshot will show you what’s in front of you, on the Touch Bar. Just press “Cmd-Shift-6” for taking a skinny and wide screenshot of the Touch Bar.

Easy Annotation

By embracing the “Floating Thumbnail”, you will have access to different “Markup Tools” for annotating your screenshot. You can let the thumbnail slip away, or you can swipe it away as well. This will save it to the spot where you previously saved the screenshot. Click on “Floating Thumbnail” and a new window will appear containing all the markup tools. You just need to right-click it for:

  • Saving the screenshot to Documents, Clipboard or Desktop.
  • Opening it in Photos, Messages, Mail or Preview
  • Showing in Finder
  • Deleting it
  • Opening in the Markup Window
  • Closing and saving it.

Mac screenshotters don’t work as effectively as they should with the Cmd-Shift-5 shortcut. But since you get the option of annotation without opening any preview, this one is more reliable. And deleting the messed-up screenshots when you can’t handle them is another good thing. Apart from that, a good addition is a 5-second delay which most other shortcuts don’t offer. So, this is one of the best ways of taking a screenshot on Touch Bar.

If for some reason if you can’t take a screenshot on mac, check this article on how to fix it.


MacOS doesn’t allow you to take a screenshot for safety purposes. But you can use various keys to do that as well. This isn’t some kind of hack; it’s just a way to save whatever is on the screen. Even though the method of taking a screenshot on an iPhone is simple, Mac doesn’t offer that much flexibility. So, just take a look at the options mentioned above and choose the one that suits your device the most.