How to Take Screenshots on Chromebook1

How to Take a Screenshot on Chromebook

Chromebooks are excellent daily computing devices for people as they come with enough tools to get your daily work done. No matter if you’re on a budget or want a powerful laptop that can integrate with your Android device, there are lots of great Chromebooks you can buy. If you recently bought a Chromebook and want to take a screenshot, there are many ways to go about it. Like Windows, ChromeOS comes with a built-in screenshot tool that can both take screenshots and even record your screen.

How to Screenshot on Chromebook with Keyboard Shortcuts

The quickest way to take a screenshot on a Chromebook is by using keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.

1. Full-screen Screenshot on Chromebooks: Ctrl + Overview key

The easiest way to take a screenshot on a Chromebook is by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl and the Overview button. The overview button is present above the numerical “6” key.

Screenshot shortcut keys for Chromebook
The Overview Key

It will instantly take a fullscreen screenshot, and the same will be saved in the Files app in the “Downloads” folder.

Downloads folder on Chromebook to check captured screenshots

Besides, when you take a screenshot, a pop-up shows up in the bottom-right corner. From there, you can either click “Edit” and directly annotate the screenshot or Delete the screenshot. You also have the standard photo editing tools like cropping, resizing, adding filters, and more. Google also recently added the ability to edit Chromebook screenshots directly in the Photos app.

screenshot popup

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

screenshot chrome os

Also, ChromeOS now comes with a clipboard history feature similar to that on Windows and Gboard, allowing you to paste the five most recent images or text you copied previously. To use it, press the Launcher button + V combination.

screenshot chromebook clipboard history

2. Active Window Screenshot on Chromebooks: Ctrl + Alt + Overview key

If you want to find out how to screenshot on Chromebook and capture the active window, press Ctrl, Alt, and the Overview button together. After that, select the window on your screen. You can either hit Enter to capture the active window or click on the window using your mouse.

3. Partial Screenshot on Chromebooks: Ctrl + Shift + Overview key

If you want to freely take a screenshot of a specific area on your Chromebook, press Ctrl, Shift, and the Overview button. The screen will dim, and 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 capture the screen then Chrome OS has made things easier for you. Google has added a Screen Capture feature to Chrome OS, which lets you take a screenshot on your Chromebook from the Quick Settings menu. Not only that, you can also record the screen on a Chromebook with Screen Capture. Here is how to use it.

1. First, you must be updated to the latest version of Chrome OS. If you are on Chrome  OS 89 or above, 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 in the bottom-right corner, and you will find a “Screen capture” option.

ChromeOS screen capture in quick settings

3. Click on it, and a toolbar 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 toolbar. For example, I’m capturing a partial screenshot using the screen capture option here. Now, click on “Capture” or hit enter. The screen snap will be saved in the Downloads folder.

Screenshotting specific area of the screen using Screen Capture on Chromebook

4. If you want to change the default screenshot folder on your Chromebook, click on the “cogwheel” icon at the bottom and choose “Select Folder”.

Saving screenshot on Chromebook using Screen Capture

5. Here, choose the desired folder where you want to save the screen captures. For example, I have created a “Screenshot” folder under “Downloads” for all my screencaps.

Screenshot folder on Chromebook

6. Now, all your Chromebook screenshots will be saved in your newly selected folder.

Capture Screenshot on Chromebook with Narrator

ChromeOS also has a narrator mode while screen recording which allows your Chromebook to capture your camera and display it on top of the recorded video. The best part is, that you can take screenshots with the narrator while recording your screen, which makes the built-in screen recorder and screenshot utilities powerful tools for both students and teachers. To take a screenshot with the narrator overlay:

1. Press Ctrl + Overview keys > Switch to screen recording > Click the cogwheel > Click to enable front camera.

Enable camera Chrome OS screen recording

2. Start the recording as usual and once it’s active, use the Ctrl + Overview key combo to take a screenshot with the narrator overlay.

Screenshot during screen recording

The overlay can be made smaller by clicking on the icon with two opposite arrows, or you can expand it by clicking on the same again.

Take Screenshots with Buttons in Tablet Mode

If you want to screenshot on Chromebook in tablet or tent mode, press the power and either of the volume buttons at once, similar to how you would do it on your smartphone. You don’t need to press and hold; just press and release the buttons at once. A fullscreen screenshot will be captured on your Chrome OS tablet instantly.

If you have an HP Chromebook, the below shortcuts offer clear instructions on how to screenshot on HP Chromebooks in Tablet mode.

  • Shortcut: Power + Either of the Volume buttons
Screenshot taken in tablet mode notification on Chromebook

Capture Screenshots on Chromebook with a Stylus

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

2. Partial Screenshot: If you want to take a partial screenshot, click on the “Stylus” menu and select “Capture Region”. Now you can use your stylus or touch and hold anywhere on the screen and then drag to select an area. Once selected, release the stylus, and a screenshot will be taken and saved to your selected folder.

Take Screenshots on Chromebook with Chrome Extensions

Now, we have learned how you can screenshot on a Chromebook natively. If you are looking for a more versatile and powerful screenshot tool to use on your device, check out the Nimbus extension (Free). It enables 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 also check out Awesome Screenshot (Free) and Screencastify (Free).

Taking screenshots using Nimbus Capture

Take Screenshots Using an External Keyboard

1. Full-page Screenshot: Ctrl + F5

If you have connected an external keyboard to your Chromebook, you can take a screenshot by pressing Ctrl + F5 at once. It works similarly 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 + F5. It will quickly take a screenshot of the current window on your Chromebook.

3. Partial Screenshot: Ctrl + Shift + F5

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

Where to Find Screenshots on Chromebook

Screenshots on Chromebook are stored in the Downloads folder. There’s no separate “Screenshots” folder; Although, you could create one yourself and change the destination where screenshots are saved. To do this, simply press the screenshot key combo Ctrl + Overview, click the cogwheel, and click “Select Folder.”

We have included all the best ways to capture a screenshot, including native and third-party extensions. While the built-in shortcuts are adequate for us, some users want a complete solution from annotation to free-style crop selection. In that case, go for the third-party apps we’ve mentioned above. Besides, if you’re new to ChromeOS, here are a few ChromeOS tips and tricks to get the most out of it.

Leave a Reply