How to Take Screenshots on Chromebook1

How to Take a Screenshot on Chromebooks

Chromebooks are fantastic for general users as it comes with most of the basic tools, and there are a lot of great Chromebooks you can buy. If you want to take a screenshot on your Chromebook, you can easily do it with a combination of shortcut keys. You don’t need to install any third-party app as Chrome OS allows you to take all kinds of screenshots including full-screen, window, and partial snaps with its Screen Capture feature. Besides that, I have mentioned a third-party app in case you are looking for a complete tool that has features like annotation and screen-recording. So with all that said, let’s go ahead and learn how to take a screenshot on Chromebooks.

Take a Screenshot on Chromebooks (2021)

Here, we have added multiple ways to take a screenshot on Chromebooks including full-screen, partial, and window screenshots. The below method works on all kinds of Chromebooks, be it a school one or your personal Chromebook from Lenovo, Asus, HP, Acer, etc. You can check out the table below to find the relevant section.

Also, if you want to take your Chromebook game to the next level, check out some cool Chrome OS tips and tricks as well.

Take Screenshots with Keyboard Shortcuts

1. Full-screen screenshot: Ctrl + Overview key

If you want to take screenshots on Chromebook, the simplest way is to press Ctrl and the Overview button at once. The overview button is located right above the “6” key. It will instantly take a full-screen screenshot of the whole screen and the snapshot will be saved in the Files app.

How to Take Screenshots on Chromebook
The Overview Key

Just open the Files app and you will find the screenshot under the “Downloads” folder.

How to Take a Screenshot on Chromebooks

Apart from that, when you take a screenshot, a pop-up comes up on the bottom-right corner. From there, you can click on “Edit” and annotate the screenshot as well. You also have your usual editing tools like cropping, resizing, adding filters, and more.

screenshot popup

Since screenshots are automatically copied to the clipboard on Chrome OS, you can paste the screenshot directly into your favourite photo editor for Chromebook, Gmail, or any other media field. For example, in the Gmail Compose window, I just pressed the “Ctrl +V” keyboard shortcut and the screenshot has been added.

screenshot chrome os

Also, if you enable the clipboard history feature in Chromebook, you can find past screenshots, copied images, texts, etc. using Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts. Just press the “Search +V” hotkey and the Clipboard History menu will pop up. From here, you can paste your past screenshots easily. That’s pretty cool, right?

screenshot chromebook clipboard history

2. Window screenshot: Ctrl + Alt + Overview key

If you want to take a screenshot of the current window, press Ctrl, Alt, and the Overview button. After that, select the window on your screen. You can either hit enter to take a screenshot of the active window or click on the window using your mouse.

3. Partial screenshot: Ctrl + Shift + Overview key

And if you want to freely take a screenshot of a specific area then press Ctrl, Shift, and the Overview button. The screen will dim and then you can select the perfect area to screenshot on your Chromebook. Personally, I love this shortcut and always use it to take a screenshot on my Chromebook.

Screenshot on Chromebook with Screen Capture

While many love the keyboard shortcuts to quickly take screenshots, in case you want a simple button from where you can take a screenshot then Chrome OS has made things easier for you. Google has added a Screen Capture feature to Chrome OS which lets you take screenshots from the Quick Settings menu. Not just that, you can also record the screen on Chromebook with Screen Capture. Here is how to use it.

1. First off, you must be updated to the latest version of Chrome OS. If you are on Chrome  OS 89 or above then this feature will be enabled by default on your Chromebook. Also, the feature is available on all channels including Stable, Beta, and Dev.

2. Next, open the Quick Settings menu on the bottom-right corner and you will find a “Screen capture” option.

Screenshot on Chromebook with Screen Capture

3. Click on it and a tool will open up. Now, you can select what kind of screenshot you want: full-screen, window, or partial. Make sure you have selected “Camera” and not the video indicator in the left menu. For example, here I am taking a partial screenshot using screen capture. Now, click on “Capture” or hit enter. The screen snap will be saved in the Downloads folder.

Screenshot on Chromebook with Screen Capture

Take Screenshots with Buttons in Tablet Mode

If you want to screenshot on Chromebook in tablet or tent mode then press the power and either of the volume buttons at once, similar to smartphones. You don’t need to press and hold; just press and release the buttons at once. A full-screen screenshot will be captured instantly.

  • Shortcut: Power + Either of the Volume buttons


Take Screenshots with Stylus

1. Full-screen Screenshot: If you have connected a stylus with your Chromebook then a “Stylus” menu will appear on the bottom-right self. Open it and select “Capture Screen” and it will take a full-page screenshot on your Chromebook.

2. Partial Screenshot: And if you want to take a partial screenshot, click on the “Stylus” menu and select “Capture Region”. Now, you can use your stylus, touch, and hold somewhere on the screen and then drag to select an area. After that, release the stylus and a screenshot will be taken.

Take Screenshots on Chromebook with Chrome Extensions

So that is how you can screenshot on a Chromebook natively. If you are looking for a more versatile and powerful screenshot tool then check out the Nimbus extension (Free). It allows you to take all kinds of screenshots and also offers screen recording and on-screen annotation. If you are looking for some of the other best Chrome extensions for taking screenshots, you can check out Awesome Screenshot (Free) and Screencastify (Free).

How to Take Screenshots on Chromebook 3

Take Screenshots Using an External Keyboard

1. Full-page Screenshot: Ctrl + F5

If you have connected an external keyboard to your Chromebook then you can take a screenshot by pressing Ctrl and F5 at once. It works similar to the native Chromebook shortcut, but you need to press F5 in place of the overview button.

2. Window Screenshot: Ctrl + Alt + F5

Similarly, for a window screenshot using an external keyboard, press Ctrl, Alt, and F5. It will instantly take a screenshot of the current window.

3. Partial Screenshot: Ctrl + Shift + F5

Lastly, press Ctrl, Shift, and F5 to take a partial screenshot using an external keyboard. The screen will dim automatically and then you can select a region easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where do the screenshots go on a Chromebook?

All screenshots on Chromebooks are saved under the “Downloads” folder. Just open the “Files” app and move to the “Downloads” folder and there you have it. If you want to change the screenshot location, you can do so from Settings -> Advanced -> Downloads -> Change.

Q. What is F5 on a Chromebook?

Simply put, F5 on a Chromebook is the overview key which is generally located above the 6 key. You can press it along with Ctrl to take a screenshot.

Q. What is the Switch Key on a Chromebook?

The Switch key is again the same as the overview key. It’s used to switch windows on a Chromebook so it’s called the Switch key.

How to Screenshot on a Chromebook Like a Pro

So that was our guide on how to screenshot on a Chromebook. We have offered all the ways to capture a screenshot, including native and a third-party extension. While the built-in shortcuts are adequate for me, some users want a complete solution from annotation to free-style crop selection. In that case, go for the third-party app that I have mentioned above.

Anyway, that is all from us. If you want to enable Phone Hub on your Chromebook or turn on the much-needed Recycle Bin feature on Chromebook, head over to our linked guides. Also, if you miss a dedicated Caps Lock key, you can enable the Caps Lock key on your Chromebook. Finally, if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.

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