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How to screenshot on Chromebook

How to screenshot on Chromebook — Acer Chromebook 11
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There are many reasons why you might want to know how to screenshot on Chromebook, and fortunately it's a very straightforward thing to do.

As with Windows 10 and macOS, you can capture whatever is on your screen by simply pressing a couple of keys. But Chrome OS goes further than some operating systems, by including a neat screenshot widget within it. This lets you capture a partial screenshot, or a screenshot of a specific window, among other things.

We'll show you how to do each of these below, so read on to find out how to screenshot on Chromebook.

How to screenshot on Chromebook

Taking a basic screenshot on a Chromebook is very simple. This is the method you'd use if you want to capture whatever happens to be displayed on your screen at a given time.

1. Find the content you want to screenshot. On a Chromebook, this can be pretty much anything: it'll work for web pages, apps, your desktop… whatever you want to capture.

2. Hold down the Ctrl key and then press the Show Windows key. Here's what that looks like:

How to screenshot on Chromebook — press ctrl and Show Windows keys

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Find your screenshot. By default, Chrome OS will have saved it to the Downloads folder within My Files. You can find this by opening the Files app (search for it via the launcher, if you don't know where it is).

How to screenshot on Chromebook — Files app

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Your screenshot will also have been copied to your clipboard, which is useful if you want to paste it straight into a Google Docs or Slides document.

And finally, on some Chromebooks you'll also see a window appear in the bottom right of the screen once you take it. You can click on this to take you directly to the Files app.

How to screenshot on Chromebook — pop-up window

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

How to take a partial screenshot on Chromebook

Taking a partial screenshot that only captures a specific area of the Chromebook display is just as easy as taking a standard screenshot.

1. Find the content you want to take a screenshot of.

2. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys and then press the Show Windows key. 

How to screenshot on Chromebook — take a partial screenshot

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. A message will appear telling you to 'Drag to select an area to capture.' Your cursor will also have changed into a crosshair and the screen will have dimmed.

4. Using the mouse/trackpad, drag to select the area you wish to capture. The area you are capturing will be highlighted.

5. Press the 'Capture' button in the centre of the screenshot. As before, your screenshot will be saved into the My Files/Downloads area.

How to take a screenshot of a window on Chromebook

If you don't want a messy screenshot that also includes your taskbar, you can use the screenshot tool in Chrome OS to capture just one specific window. Here's you do that: 

1. Find the content you want to take a screenshot of.

2. Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and then press the Show Windows key.

How to screenshot on Chromebook — take a screenshot of a window

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. This will bring up the Chrome OS Screenshot toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

How to screenshot on Chromebook — screenshot widget

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. Press the right-most of the three central icons on the toolbar. This is the 'Window screenshot' option. 

How to screenshot on Chromebook — screenshot a specific Window

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. With that option selected, your cursor will have changed into a camera icon. Position the icon over the window you want to screenshot and click. This will capture just the one window, rather than your entire screen. As before, your screenshot will be saved into your My Files folder.

Marc McLaren

As U.K. Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, Marc is responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output as well as overseeing all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment and cameras coverage. He previously edited the tech website Stuff and also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies).