Guide on How to Take Screenshots on Chromebook

In general, taking a screenshot is quite simple. But learning some tips and tricks which are particularly useful for Chrome OS, the process will be easier. In this guide on how to take screenshots on Chromebook, we’ll discuss all methods, keys, and applications to help you quickly and correctly take a screenshot. Let’s get started then.

What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is a digital image that captures what’s on screen. Taking a screenshot is quite useful when you want to share certain information to someone else, keep it for future use or when resolving an issue.

Types of screenshots

The following are the various types of screenshots with their uses:

Full screen screenshot

A full screen screenshot on a Chromebook will capture all the items or elements on the screen. This is relevant when you need to bookmark an entire webpage, document or any information that will not fit a single window.

Partial screenshot

A partial screenshot enables you to capture a specific part of the screen without taking a complete shot of it. This feature is useful to focus on a particular section of a webpage, an image or any content that needs attention.

Window screenshot

The window screenshot allows you to take a screenshot of a specific window or an application instead of the entire screen. This is helpful if one wishes to share data from one application and not the other windows that have been opened.

What’s unique when you take screenshots on Chromebook

Chromebooks offer a streamlined approach to taking screenshots, distinct from traditional operating systems like Windows or macOS. Here’s what sets taking screenshots on Chromebook apart:

No dedicated “Print Screen” key: While most laptops have a standalone ‘Print Screen’ button, Chromebooks have distinct key combinations for the task. You may be unfamiliar with this if you are transitioning from other platforms, but it becomes evident with practice.

Key combinations: You can use “Ctrl”, “Shift”, “Alt” and some specific function keys like the “Show Windows” key to take screenshots on Chromebook. These combinations are efficient and easy to use.

Built-in tools: Chromebooks have built-in tools that are easily accessible through Quick Settings and other systems menus. These tools offer choices to capture the full screen, partial areas, or specific windows by pressing or clicking just a few keys.

Integration with Chrome OS: Chrome OS integrates seamlessly with Google Drive and other cloud services. This makes it easy to save, share, and edit screenshots on the Chromebook.

Optimized for Chromebook experience: Chromebooks’ screenshot functionality works seamlessly with the Chrome OS environment. This ensures smooth performance and reliability.

How to take screenshots on Chromebook

Taking screenshots on a Chromebook is an easy process and offers several methods which are suitable for different device preferences and configurations. Let’s explore each method in detail:

Full screen screenshot

Here is how to take full screen screenshots on a Chromebook:

  • Press the ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Show Window’ keys simultaneously.
  • The Show Window key is usually rectangular with two lines on it. You can easily find it in the place of F5 button on the Chromebook keyboard.

Partial screenshot

Here is how to take screenshots on Chromebook for a partial screen:

  • Hold down the Ctrl and Shift key simultaneously.
  • Then, press the Show Windows key.
  • You can use the mouse to click and drag, selecting the area that you want to capture.
  • Once you cover the area, release the mouse button. And done, you have a screenshot.

Window screenshot

Follow the step on how to take screenshots on Chromebook for open window:

  • Press and hold the Ctrl and Alt keys together.
  • After this, press the Show Windows key.
  • Then, click on the window or app that you want to capture. This way the screenshot will focus solely on the window.

Screenshot using quick settings

Accessing the built-in screenshot tool via Quick Settings is convenient:

  • Click on the time in the bottom-right corner of your screen to open Quick Settings.
  • Look for the Screen Capture button and click on it.
  • Choose the type of screenshot you want to take from the available options, such as full screen, partial, or window capture.

Screenshot in Tablet mode

If you’re using your Chromebook in tablet mode, the process is slightly different:

  • Simultaneously press the Power button and the Volume Down button on your device. This action will capture the current screen in tablet mode.

Screenshot with an external keyboard

When using an external keyboard with your Chromebook, the key combinations remain consistent:

  • For a full screen screenshot, press Ctrl + F5.
  • To capture a partial screen, use Ctrl + Shift + F5.
  • For capturing a specific window, press Ctrl + Alt + F5.

Where are Chromebook screenshots saved?

In the Chromebook, screenshots are saved automatically in the Downloads folder.

How to access screenshots from the downloads folder

  • Open the Files app.
  • Navigate to the Downloads folder.
  • Locate your screenshot.

How to access screenshots from the notifications tab

  • After taking a screenshot, click on the notification that appears.
  • This will open the screenshot directly.

How to access screenshots from the Tote

  • Chromebooks feature a Tote (formerly known as the Holding Space) for quick access:
  • Click on the Tote icon in the shelf.
  • Find your recent screenshots listed there.

How to upload a screenshot to Google Drive

  • Open the Files app.
  • Find your screenshot in the Downloads folder.
  • Drag and drop the screenshot into Google Drive listed on the left panel.

How to copy and paste screenshots

Single screenshot

  • Open the Files app and locate your screenshot.
  • Right-click on the screenshot and select Copy.
  • Paste it using Ctrl + V in your desired location (e.g., document, email).

Multiple screenshots

To paste multiple screenshots:

  • Copy each screenshot as mentioned above.
  • Use Ctrl + Shift + V to paste all copied items.

Using older versions of Chrome

Older versions might not support multiple clipboard items. Ensure your Chrome OS is up-to-date to use this feature.

Editing screenshots

To edit a screenshot:

  • Open the screenshot in the Gallery app.
  • Use the built-in editing tools to crop, rotate, or annotate.

Take Screenshots on Chromebook: Cheat Sheet

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Full Screen: Ctrl + Show Windows
  • Partial Screen: Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows
  • Window: Ctrl + Alt + Show Windows

Quick settings

To take screenshots on Chromebook using Access Screen Capture, open Quick Settings > Screen Capture

Screenshot Toolbar

  • Open via Quick Settings.
  • Select the type of screenshot.
  • Capture the desired screen.

Are there alternative apps or extensions to take screenshots on Chromebooks?

Yes. Chromebooks come with built-in screenshot tools, you can enhance your screenshot experience by exploring various apps and extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. These apps and extensions offer additional features and functionalities that can complement or expand upon the native screenshot capabilities of your Chromebook.

Nimbus Screenshot

Nimbus Screenshot is a popular choice among Chromebook users for its comprehensive set of screenshot tools. It allows you to capture full web pages, annotate screenshots with text and shapes, blur sensitive information, and even record screencasts. Additionally, Nimbus Screenshot offers cloud storage options for saving and sharing your captured content.


Lightshot is another versatile screenshot tool available as a Chrome extension. It provides easy-to-use tools for capturing specific areas of your screen, adding annotations, highlighting elements, and saving or sharing screenshots directly from the extension. Lightshot also offers options for uploading screenshots to their online platform for quick sharing and collaboration.

Awesome screenshot

As the name suggests, Awesome Screenshot is known for its rich set of features designed to enhance your screenshot workflow. With this extension, you can capture entire web pages, annotate screenshots with text, arrows, and shapes, blur sensitive content, and even create visual guides or tutorials. Awesome Screenshot integrates seamlessly with Google Drive for convenient storage and sharing of your screenshots.

Wrapping it up: Take screenshots on Chromebook

As Chrome OS continues to evolve and innovate, staying informed about the latest updates and features ensures you can leverage the full potential of your Chromebook’s screenshot capabilities. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, this guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to capture and utilize screen content effectively, enhancing your digital experience on a Chromebook.

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