Chromebooks 101: Take screenshots on your Chromebook

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Screenshots can be helpful for several reasons. For example, you can send copies of error messages to support services, show a friend what your game screen looks like, or save a tweet that you suspect will be deleted in minutes. Today’s laptops all include ways to take screenshots, and so do Chromebooks.

Chromebooks can be a bit confusing for someone coming from a different platform, especially since their keyboards are slightly different from those used on Macs or Windows PCs. Some keys present on other laptops are missing while new ones have been added. Fortunately, there are two ways to take screenshots on Chromebooks: by using key combinations or by using the Quick Settings popup.

Screenshots via Quick Settings

  • Click on the clock in the lower right corner of your screen. This will you Quick Settings menu.
  • Click on the Screen capture icon. (It looks like a circle in a square.)

The Screen Capture icon is located in the side pop-out menu; it looks like a circle in a square. (You may see a smaller version without the text.)

At the bottom of the screen you get a small menu with different icons. From left to right they include:

  • Screenshot (for still shots)
  • Screen recording (for video recording)
  • Take full screen screenshot
  • Take a partial screenshot (a crosshair icon will appear; click and drag it until the part of the screen you want to copy is highlighted, then release it).
  • Take a Windows screenshot (for a single window)
  • Settings

Screenshot with menu at the bottom

The Screen Recording menu offers you several options.
Image: Google

Clicking the Settings icon allows you to customize your audio input, decide whether your microphone should be live, and select the folder where you want to save your screenshots or recordings.

Using the keyboard

A faster way to take a screenshot is to use keyboard shortcuts.

To take a full screen screenshot, use the Ctrl + Show windows keys combination. The Show Windows key, which looks like a rectangle with two lines on the right, is located on the top row of the keyboard. (It’s the equivalent of the F5 key on a PC keyboard.)

Chromebook with 'show windows' key

The “Show Windows” button is in the center of the top row.

  • press the Shift + Ctrl + Show windows keys to get the same menu you would get by going to the Quick Settings menu.

Save and edit your screenshot

After you capture the screenshot, a copy of the screenshot will appear in a pop-out window just above the Quick Settings menu. Click on it to show it in the folder. Every screenshot you take will automatically enter the Downloads folder — but you can change which folder you want to save it in via the Settings button in the Screen capture menu.

After the screenshot appears, you can save, edit or delete it.

After the screenshot appears, you can save, edit or delete it.

You can also click on the edit or remove tests. The Edit button takes you to a fairly handy app that lets you do basic tasks like crop and rotate, rescale, annotate, or adjust the lighting.

Screenshot shown with editor

You will be given a number of options to edit the screenshot, including resizing.

Update June 3, 2022, 9:30 a.m. ET: This article was originally published on January 14, 2020 and has been updated to reflect changes in the operating system.

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