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How to take a screenshot on Chromebook

A picture is worth a thousand words. Especially when you're trying to show others what's on your screen!
November 1, 2021
Google-Pixel-Slate-2 chromebook

Sometimes describing what’s on your computer screen is a hassle. “Show, don’t tell” is the golden rule for a lot of things. Luckily, that’s easy to do on a Chromebook; you can take a screenshot. By generating an image of your screen, you can easily share it in a group chat, email, or social media.

Every device has its own combination of controls to get a screenshot. With Android devices, the usual combo is pressing the volume down and power buttons simultaneously. On iOS, the home and power buttons do the trick. Using a Mac computer, you hit Command > Shift > 4 (all at once) to open up a crosshairs icon and drag whatever you want a shot of. Command > Shift > 3 will also take a screenshot of the whole screen rather than a selection. Now let’s find out how to take a screenshot on Chromebook devices.

Also read: What is a Chromebook and what can it do?

How to take a screenshot on Chromebook devices:

Taking a screenshot on a Chromebook with the keyboard

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

To capture your entire screen as a Chromebook screenshot, press the Ctrl and Window Switch keys. If you want a screenshot of part of the screen, hit the Ctrl, Shift, and Window Switch buttons, then drag the crosshairs icon over the part of the screen you want to capture.

If you use an external keyboard, you have to do something slightly different. You’ll want to click on the Ctrl and F5 keys for a full screenshot, or the Ctrl, Shift, and F5 keys for a partial one.

Taking a Chromebook screenshot in tablet mode

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet display
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

More and more Chromebooks have been designed as 2-in-1 devices, where you can either flip the display around 360 degrees, or you can fully detach the display from the hardware keyboard. You can then use the display as a large touchscreen tablet (assuming the display is a touchscreen model).

Also: Here are the best tablet Chromebooks you can buy

Taking a screenshot on Chromebook while in tablet mode is done by pressing the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously.

The stylus works too!

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook with pen

More Chromebooks now come with an included stylus, such as the Google Pixelbook, the HP Chromebook x2, the Samsung Chromebook Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. If your Chromebook has a touchscreen stylus, you can tap on the screen to bring up a menu that will allow you to take a screenshot on Chromebook with the pen.

There are a couple of ways to take a screenshot on Chromebook using the stylus. One is simple; tap on the Capture Screen option to take a screenshot of the entire screen. The other is a little more complicated. You can tap on the Capture region option in the stylus menu to take a partial screenshot. When that option is applied, tap, hold, and drag on the portion of the screen you want to capture. Just take the stylus off the screen when done.

Also: The most useful Chromebook shortcuts and gestures

Taking a Chromebook screenshot using an extension

Chrome extensions are designed to help you use Chrome OS and/or your Chrome web browser in new and better ways. It’s not shocking to see a ton of Chrome extensions available for taking full or partial screenshots on Chromebook devices. Here’s a list of just some of the extensions that are available from the Chrome store:

We’ve actually tried to use Android apps for taking screenshots too, but for some reason they never work very well. This is why we can’t recommend using Android apps to take a screenshot on a Chromebook quite yet.

Accessing your screenshots

How to access Chromebook screenshot

Once you’ve taken a screenshot on your Chromebook, you’ll see a notification window confirming you have indeed taken a screenshot. It’s pretty simple to access your Chromebook screenshots afterward. Open your Chromebook screenshot directly from the notification pop-up you see when you take the screenshot. You can otherwise go to your Downloads folder, which can be accessed by opening your app launcher and searching for Files.

Next: These are the best Chromebooks around

Chromebooks aren’t always as straightforward as we would wish, so we have plenty of other content to help you figure things out.