How to take a screenshot on a Chromebook

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How to take a screenshot on a Chromebook

Screenshots are a convenient way to take a picture of your screen and save it for later use. To take a screenshot on a Chromebook, press the Ctrl + Show Window keys at the same time. Read on for more details and key Chromebook screenshot features not to be missed.

What is a screenshot?

Screenshots are a quick snapshot of what’s on your screen at a given point in time.

This is handy for information you want to access but may not have the next time you look for it. Things like a tweet or Instagram post that might have been deleted; a recipe you want to reference for later; or a still image from a video game, TV show, or movie that you want to send to your friends.

Screenshots are a basic and important tool right at your fingertips.

What are the different types of screenshots?

There are several different types of screenshots to choose from – all are available on your Chromebook.

  • A full screen capture is a screen capture of the entire screen
  • A window screenshot is an image of the window you are currently working in
  • A partial screenshot captures part of the screen
  • A screen capture captures a video of your desktop

What’s different about taking a screenshot on a Chromebook?

If you’re used to MacBooks or Windows laptops, there’s another trick to taking a screenshot on a Chromebook.

The first thing to note is that Chromebook keyboards don’t have numeric function keys (F1, F2, etc.), so you’ll need to become familiar with Chromebook’s unique keys, which are located on the top row your keyboard.

Pay special attention to the Show Window button. It looks like a rectangle with two vertical lines on the right side and is in the middle of the top row. The Show Window button is the key to almost all of the keyboard shortcuts we’ll look at below.

How do you take a screenshot of the entire screen?

A full-screen screenshot takes a picture of everything that’s on your screen. To take a full-screen photo, press the Ctrl + Show Window.

keys at the same time

How to take a partial screenshot?

A partial screenshot captures part of the screen.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Show Window.
  2. Click and drag the crosshair icon to select the area you want to capture. If you’re not happy with the area you selected, drag the small dots on the corners and edges of the window until you get the box the size you want.
  3. Click Capture.

How to take a screenshot of a window?

This captures the window you are currently working in – not including the tray, desktop, or other open windows.

Note that there is no keyboard shortcut for taking a window screenshot. Instead, follow the instructions below on how to use the Quick Settings panel and select the window icon in the last step.

How do you take a screenshot with quick settings?

The Chrome OS 89 update offers users the ability to take a screenshot of the Quick Settings panel on your shelf. The Quick Settings menu is located on your desktop. It’s the group of icons that show you the time, battery level, and WiFi connection.

  1. Click on the Quick Settings
  2. box

  3. Click Screen Capture
  4. Choose one of the full screen, split screen or window icons

How do you take a screenshot in tablet mode?

You are using your 2-in-1 device in the tablet mode and don’t have direct access to a keyboard? There’s a handy screenshot shortcut for you too. Press the power and volume down keys at the same time to automatically take a screenshot of the entire screen.

Note: You can’t take a partial screenshot with this, but you can still crop your screenshot later using an image editor.

How to take a screenshot with an external keyboard?

There’s also an easy workaround for anyone using an external keyboard that doesn’t ship with Chrome OS. Since your keyboard layout, especially the top row keys of Chrome, is slightly different, the above keyboard shortcuts will not work. Instead, do the following:

  • For a full screenshot, press ctrl + F5
  • For a split screen, press ctrl + shift + F5

I have an older version of Chrome. How do I get the same built-in screen capture tool?

If you have an older version of Chrome (OS 88 or earlier), you can enable Chromebook’s screen recording tool using Chrome Flags.

Flags are Chrome’s experimental features. Many flags are in the testing phase before being introduced in future updates and may break the user experience.

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Copy and paste this into your browser: chrome://flags#screen-capture
  3. Select Enabled from the drop down menu
  4. Restart Chrome
  5. Take a screenshot using one of the methods above

Where are Chromebook screenshots stored?

All Chromebook screenshots are saved as PNG files. You can access the screenshot files in your Downloads folder, in the Notifications pop-up tab, or in your Tote.

How do you access the screenshots in the Downloads folder?

To find your screenshots through the Downloads folder, do the following:

  1. Open the Launcher. This is on your desktop tray and looks like a dot inside a circle.
  2. Select files.
  3. Go to My Files > Downloads.

All screenshots are automatically saved to your Downloads folder. The filename is “Screenshot” followed by the date and time the screenshot was taken.

If you can’t find it, select “Date Modified” so that the most recent file is at the top. If you took your screenshot recently, it should be listed as the first file.

How do you access screenshots from the Notifications tab?

Alternatively, you can access your screenshot by clicking on the “Notifications” tab. It’s a small pop-up window that appears in the lower-right corner of your screen for ten seconds after taking a screenshot. You can choose to edit the screenshot, delete it, view it in a folder, or copy it to your clipboard.

Note: With the Chrome OS 89 update, screenshots are automatically copied to your clipboard. That means you can just paste the image where you need it with Ctrl + v shortcut.

How can you access screenshots from the tote?

The Tote is a new save slot in the Chrome OS 89 update. You can find it on your tray right next to the quick settings panel. A small preview of your last screenshots is waiting for you there. Just click and off you go.

How do you upload a screenshot to Google Drive?

Want to share or save your screenshot? Upload it to Google Drive like any other file. You can use either of the following two methods.

Option One

  1. Open the Launcher.
  2. Select files.
  3. Click on My Files > Downloads.
  4. You will see your screenshot image file listed on the right and a Google Drive tab on the left. Drag the screenshot to the Google Drive tab.

Option Two

  1. Go to your Google Drive
  2. Click New in the top left corner.
  3. Select Upload File. This will automatically open your Downloads folder.
  4. Select the image file you want to upload, then click Open.

How to copy and paste a screenshot?

With the Chrome OS 89 update, your last screenshot is automatically copied to your clipboard. All you have to do is press Ctrl + v to paste the image where you need it.

How to paste multiple screenshots from clipboard?

Since the clipboard manager can now store up to five files, you have the option to paste any of the last five screenshots you took. While working on a new document, press search + v to get a list of files currently on your clipboard. Click on the file you want and voilà!

How to copy and paste with older versions of Chrome?

Working with a Chromebook that doesn’t have the OS 89 update installed? Then wait for the notification tab to appear immediately after taking a screenshot. Click “Copy to clipboard” and then click “Ctrl + v” to paste.

How do you edit a screenshot?

Simple. You can make basic edits to your screenshot using your Chromebook’s built-in photo viewer and editor called Gallery. To access the editor:

  1. Click Launcher
  2. Click

  3. Files
  4. Go to My Files > Downloads
  5. Double-click the screenshot you want to edit

This will automatically open your screenshot in the gallery. At the top you’ll see options to crop, rotate, scale, apply lighting filters, and annotate. After making your changes, select “Done”>gt; “Save”.

What about other screenshot apps and extensions?

If you need even more functionality than Chrome’s built-in screen capture, then you can choose one of the following apps. These allow you to save screenshots in multiple file formats and edit screenshots with a wider range of features.

  • Lightshot
  • Nimbus screenshot
  • FireShot
  • Awesome screenshot

Chromebook screenshot cheat sheet

Don’t want to forget what you just read? Here are the Chromebook screenshot shortcuts you need, all in one place.

  • Full screenshot: ctrl + show window
  • Partial screenshot: ctrl + shift + show windows
  • Quick Settings shortcut: Click Quick Settings, then click Screen Recording
  • Tablet mode: Power on + volume down
  • External (non-Chrome OS) keyboard: ctrl + F5, or ctrl + shift + F5


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