Chromebooks 101: How to take screenshots on your Chromebook

Screenshots can be useful for various reasons. For example, you can send copies of error messages to help desks, show a friend what your game screen looks like, or record a tweet that you think will be deleted in a few minutes. Laptops today all include ways to take screenshots, including Chromebooks.

Chromebooks can be a bit confusing for someone coming from another platform, especially because their keyboards are somewhat different from those of Macs or Windows PCs. Some keys present on other laptops are missing while new ones have been added. Luckily, there are two ways to take screenshots on Chromebooks: either 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 bring up your Quick settings menu.
  • Click on the Screenshot icon. (It looks like a circle within a square.)

The Screenshot icon is in the context menu on the side; it looks like a circle within a square. (You can see a smaller version without the text.)

You will get a small menu at the bottom of the screen with several icons. From left to right, they will include:

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

Screenshot with menu at the bottom

The Screenshot menu gives you several options.
Image: Google

If you click on the Settings icon, you can adjust your audio input, decide if your mic 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 key combinations.

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

Chromebook showing key

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

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

Save and edit your screenshot

After taking the screenshot, a copy of the screenshot will appear in a pop-up just above the Quick Settings menu. Click on it to display it in the folder. Any screenshot you take will automatically end up in the Downloads folder – but you can change the folder you want to save it in via the Settings button in the Screenshot menu.

Once the screenshot is displayed, you can save, edit or delete it.

Once the screenshot is displayed, you can save, edit or delete it.

You can also click on the Edit Where Wipe off buttons. The Edit button will take you to a pretty useful app that lets you do basic things like crop and rotate, scale, annotate, or adjust lighting.

Screenshot shown with editor

You have a number of options to modify the screenshot, including scaling.

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


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