Taking a screenshot on a Chromebook may be a little different from what you’re used to on a Windows laptop or MacBook, but the process is still that simple. Regardless of whether you want to capture the entire screen or just want to participate, the keyboard controls are easy to use and remember.
Screenshot on Chromebook can be useful for several reasons. For example, you can send copies of error messages to support services, show a friend what your screen looks like in-game, or record a tweet that you think will be deleted in a few minutes. All today’s laptops offer ways to take screenshots, including Chromebooks.
Chromebook can be a bit confusing to take screenshots in it for someone who comes from a different platform, especially since their keyboards are somewhat different from those on Mac or Windows computers. Some keys found on other laptops are missing as new ones are added. But once you know the basic keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots, you’re good to go.
Read on to learn how to take screenshots on a Chromebook using keyboard shortcuts or a pen. We also list additional tips and tools to help you capture your Chromebook screen.
How to take a full screenshot on Chromebook.
Simultaneously press the following buttons to take a screenshot of everything on your screen:
Making use of Ctrl + Switch Window
The last button is usually in the top row between the full-screen and glossy down buttons, as shown above. It looks like a rectangle, followed by two lines, and replaces the typical F5 key on standard keyboards.
As soon as you press both buttons, a notification with a thumbnail of your screenshot will appear in the lower right corner. Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to the “Downloads” folder. All screenshots are located here by default, so you can access them offline. You can also access this folder by clicking the blue icon for the Files folder style on the taskbar.
Chrome OS shows all screenshots of the date and time they were taken.
Since Chrome OS stores screenshot locally on your device, they are only available on Google Drive if you manually upload them to the cloud. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Step 1: With the file app open and the download folder open, click the icon next to the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar so that the screenshots are displayed in the thumbnail view (if it is not yet ready).
- Step 2: Select the screenshot you want to download. If there are multiple uploads, click the “Review” icon in each screenshot.
- Step 3: Tap the ‘Share‘ button seen at the top right corner.
- Step 4: Select the Save to disk option from the drop-down menu. As shown below, you can also send the screenshot to other accounts like OneDrive and Dropbox. For more helpful tips, see our guide to using Google Drive.
If you have a Chromebook with a 360-degree hinge like a Pixelbook, go to the “Screenshots in tablet mode” section of this guide for another touch method.
How to capture a specific area when taking a screenshot on Chromebook
Based on the latest version of Chrome OS, you can now create a window to capture a subscreen. Google previously switched to capturing a single window. As of version 83, however, this no longer seems to be the case. It is like it is:
Making use of Ctrl + Shift + Change Window
- Step 1: Simultaneously hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys and then press the Change Window key.
- Step 2: The screen darkens, and the cursor temporarily turns into a crosshair. Use the cross to begin a corner of your detection area and hold the mouse or trackpad.
- Step 3: Drag the cursor on the screen with the mouse or finger until a field is created. Release the mouse button or lift your finger to complete the picture and capture the screen.
The captured window is saved in the “Downloads” folder like a full-screen image.
How to Screenshots in tablet mode
Screenshot with the buttons
Many tablets and 2-in-1 tablets with Chrome OS may not have instant keyboard access. Don’t worry: there is a short form of the simple screenshot that you can use in tablet mode. Simultaneously press the following physical buttons:
Power + volume down buttons
Your screen saves the screenshot and takes a photo of the entire screen.
Use a stylus/pen for full capture.
You can also take a screenshot of the entire screen with a pen. It is like it is:
- Step 1: Tap on Pen/stylus.
- Step 2: Tap the Screen capture option with the stylus/pen. A screenshot of the entire screen is taken.
Using a pen/stylus for partial capture
Would you like to capture only part of your screen? Follow these steps:
- Step 1: Tap on 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: Drag your pen to the endpoint and create a box.
- Step 5: let go to take your screenshot.
Other tips and tricks regarding screenshot on a Chromebook
- Copy screenshots
Chrome OS does not automatically send screenshots to the clipboard, such as when you click the Print Screen button in Windows.
If you want to copy a screenshot (for example, to paste it into an image editor), note the notification that appears on the system clock when you take a screenshot. Click the Copy to Clipboard button as shown above, then press Ctrl + V if you want to paste it.
Otherwise, find the screenshot on your Chromebook, select it, and press Ctrl + C to copy it to the clipboard and Ctrl + V to paste it, just like with Windows.
- Edit screenshots
The screenshots taken by Chrome OS can be shared. However, if you need to edit them first, familiarize yourself with the built-in image editor. How to get there:
- Step 1: Click on the blue folder icon in the taskbar to open the Downloads folder.
- Step 2: Double click your screenshot to open it in the image viewer.
- Step 3: Click the pencil icon in the upper right corner to enter edit mode.
The tools for cropping, rotating and adjusting the brightness are displayed in a toolbar above the taskbar (see below):
Step 4: When you’re done, click the pencil icon again to complete your changes, or click Exit just above the system clock.
You cannot save copies with the built-in editor. You may want to manually copy the image first to keep the original raw image.
- Use external keyboards
If you’re using a Chrome OS (Chromebox) desktop PC or an external keyboard that’s connected to your Chromebook, the keyboard is likely to use a standard feature row instead of Chrome’s dedicated row of buttons. Here are the Chrome OS commands that replace the classic function key commands:
F1 – Previous page
F2 – Next page
F4 – fullscreen
F5 – change window
F6 – decrease brightness
F7 – increase brightness
F8 – silence
F9 – decrease volume
F10 – increase volume
To take a screenshot, type Ctrl + F5 on a standard keyboard. For a partial capture, first press Ctrl + Shift and then F5.