Here's how to take a screenshot on Mac or Windows PC

A simple guide on how to take screenshots on a Mac or Windows PC.

Credit: Getty Images
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What You Need:

  • A Mac or PC
  • The Lightshot application for PC (highly recommend)
  • A positive attitude

Time Needed

5 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Whether it's reporting a technical problem to IT or emailing an image to a friend, screenshots are a part of life. It's pretty easy to do on a Mac, but PC is a different story. I wouldn't say it's difficult, but it's not as intuitive as you'd expect. There are a couple of different ways to take screenshots depending on what you're trying to capture. So, without further ado, here are some helpful tips to get you started:

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

How to take a screenshot of the entire screen

  1. Press shift + command + 3 to take a picture of the entire screen
    entire screen keyboard
    Credit: KB Parallels
    Whether you're showing off your cool Star Wars-themed desktop background or just capturing content, taking a snapshot of the entire screen is pretty straightforward on a Mac. Once you've entered the command, you'll hear a snapshot sound, which indicates that you've successfully taken a picture of the whole screen.
  2. Locate the screenshot (.png file) on your desktop
    File Name
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    Your screenshot will automatically appear on your desktop. It'll be a.png file named "Screen Shot" with the date and time.
  3. Open the file and gaze lovingly at your masterpiece

How to capture a selected area of the screen

  1. Press shift + command + 4. The pointer will turn into a tiny cross
    portion screen keyboard
    Credit: KB Parallels
    This is great if you're looking to capture something specific, like a hilarious meme or a poignant passage from a personal blog.
  2. Drag to select the area you wish to capture. Release the mouse or trackpad to take a screenshot
    Portion
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    To cancel, press the ESC key on your keyboard or select cancel on the Touch Bar (if you're using a MacBook Pro). When you release, you should hear a snapshot sound.
  3. Locate the screenshot (.png file) on your desktop

How to capture a window

  1. Press shift + command + 4. The pointer will turn into a tiny cross
  2. Press the space bar. The crosshair will turn into a camera
    Entire Screen Camera
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    If you're using a MacBook Pro, select the camera icon on the Touch Bar.
  3. Click the touchpad or mouse. To cancel, press the ESC key or select cancel on the Touch Bar
  4. Locate the screenshot (.png file) on your desktop

How to capture a menu

  1. Open the menu
  2. Press shift + command + 4. The pointer will turn into a tiny cross
    portion screen keyboard
    Credit: KB Parallels
  3. Drag to select the area you want to capture
    Menu
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    You can adjust the size of the gray box by moving the tiny cross around.
  4. Locate the screenshot (.png file) on your desktop

How to capture a screenshot of the Touch Bar

  1. Press shift + command + 6
    Touch Bar
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    Not the most exciting image in the world, but there you go.
  2. Locate the screenshot (.png file) on your desktop

How to take a screenshot on a PC

How to take a screenshot of the entire screen

Capturing a screenshot isn't as intuitive on PC as it is on Mac, but it's still pretty easy to do. First we'll go over how to do it without installing any third-party programs, but we highly recommend you scroll down and check out Lightspot, a free app that brings Mac-style functionality to Windows 10. Lightspot really does a bang up job of eliminating those extra steps.

  1. To capture a screenshot of your whole screen and save it to the clipboard so you can paste it later, press the Print Screen key on your keyboard
    Print Screen
    Credit: How To Geek
    Typically, the Print Screen key is to the right of the function keys. Depending on your keyboard, it may also be listed as "PrtScn."
  2. If you want to capture the window you're currently using, hold down the alt key and and press Press Screen. Any other programs you may be using will be left out of the shot.

How to find/save your screenshot

  1. Select the Windows Start button on the bottom left corner of your screen
  2. Select Applications
  3. Open Paint. Yes, this archaic tool still exists
  4. Press control + V to paste your screenshot from the clipboard
    PC Paint
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
  5. Select the floppy disk icon to save

How to edit/crop your screenshot

  1. Open Paint
  2. Click on the Select button in the toolbar
    Select Options
    Credit: Reviewed.com / Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo
    You can chose a rectangular outline or a free-form outline.
  3. Drag to select or outline the area you'd like to keep
  4. Click on the Crop button in the toolbar

How to use Lightshot (highly recommended)

  1. Install Lightshot or add the Chrome extension

Lightshot is a free screenshot app for PC and Mac. It's a blessing, really, especially if you're a PC user, as you don't have to mess around with Paint or open up additional programs. In other words, it brings Mac-style screenshot functionality to Windows 10.
2. To take a screenshot, you can either press the print screen key on your keyboard or click the Lightshot icon on the bottom right of your screen. When you take a screenshot, the screen will dim slightly
3. Click and drag to highlight the area you want to capture
4. Release the mouse/trackpad to edit, upload, share on social media, and so on

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below