How to easily take a screenshot on a Chromebook 

How to easily take a screenshot on a Chromebook

Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices are great if you need a simple, affordable machine to access the Internet. However, Google’s browser approach to everything can cause some confusion, especially for common functions like taking a screenshot on Windows or running them on MacOS.

Even though even the best Chromebooks don’t have a “print screen” key, learning a screenshot on a Chromebook is actually pretty easy, whether it’s capturing the entire screen or just part of it.

Quick Tips:

  • Hold Ctrl + “Change window” pressed a full screen image
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + “Change Window” button to capture a partial screenshot.

Take a full screen capture

To take a screenshot of everything on your Chromebook screen, hold down the “Ctrl” key and press the “Change Window” key. The last button is usually on the top row between the Full Screen and Brightness buttons below and is represented by multiple squares.

After pressing both buttons, a notification will appear in the list at the bottom of the screen and let you know that your screenshot has been saved. Screenshot image files are stored directly in the Chromebook’s “Downloads” folder, so you can take and take screenshots offline. They are stamped with the date and time of recording. You can select the image file by clicking the notification and opening the Downloads folder.

If you have a Chromebook with a 360° , such as a pixel book, you can use another method to capture a full-screen capture. Press Power and Volume Down at the same time if you’re using Chrome OS 64.0.3282.134. This is great if you’re in tablet mode, where using the keyboard is far from convenient.

How to take a partial photo

A portion of the screen can only be saved in Chrome OS. How to do this?

Step 1: Hold down the “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys at the same time, then press the “Switch” key

Step 2: Chrome’s cursor is temporarily replaced by a crosshair. Click and drag a square over the part of the screen you want to save and release the trackpad or mouse button.

The partial screen capture is saved in the Downloads folder, as is a full screen capture.


More tips and tricks

Copying screenshots

Chrome OS does not save screenshots as copied images like Windows does when the “Print Screen” button is pressed.

Watch the notification that appears above the system clock if you simply want to copy a screenshot (for example, to paste into an image editor). Click the “Copy to Clipboard” button and press Ctrl + V if you want to paste it.

Editing Screenshots

While Chrome OS will allow you to share your screenshots, you should learn to use Chrome’s built-in image editor if you are more experienced. To get access to:

Step 1: Open the Downloads folder and double-click the screenshot to open it in the image viewer.


Step 2: Click the Pen icon in the lower right corner of the window to open Edit mode. The bottom of the window displays tools for cropping, rotating, and adjusting brightness.

Step 3: When finished, click the pencil icon again to complete your changes. You cannot save copies with the built-in editor, so you may want to manually copy the image before working on it.

Using external keyboards

If you’re using a Chrome-based desktop (aka Chromebox) or if you have an external keyboard connected to your Chromebook, the keyboard will likely use a default function key instead of Chrome & #39 is the row of buttons itself.

The good news is that the function keys do the same job – F1 goes back, F2 goes on, etc. The F5 key works like a “switch window” button on standard keyboards, so the screenshot command becomes Ctrl + F5.

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