If you’ve just got a Chromebook, you’ve probably noticed that it looks a little different from most laptops One of these differences is the absence of the Print Screen (PrtSc) key, which is most often found on Windows laptops and is intended for taking screenshots.
Chromebooks don’t have a dedicated screenshot key. Instead, the feature is built into the Chrome operating system. However, the process is still pretty straightforward and in some ways similar to taking screenshots on a Windows PC or Mac, except for a few differences in keyboard shortcuts and other steps.
Whether you want to capture the entire screen or a specific portion of a window, here’s how to take a screenshot on your Chromebook and get the images you want.
- Using the Show Windows key
- Using the power and volume down buttons
- Using a stylus
- Using an external keyboard
- Using Advanced Chromebook Apps
Different ways to take a screenshot on Chromebook
- Use the Show Windows
- Use Power and Volume down
- Use the stylus
- Use an external keyboard
- Use advanced Chromebook apps
Use Show Windows Key
Before you go to your Chromebook and take screenshots using any of these methods, you need to familiarize yourself with a specific key on your keyboard called the Windows Show key. In some cases it is called the browse key or the Windows toggle key, but Google describes it as the Show All Windows Browse Mode key.
In this tutorial, we’ll be using Show Windows. This key is located just above the number row, between the full screen and brightness down buttons on the keyboard. It looks like a small rectangle followed by two vertical lines on the right side.
Different keyboard shortcuts are used to take a full or partial screenshot of the Show Windows key. The keys listed in the instructions below may appear differently on the Chromebook keyboard depending on the model and manufacturer.
- For a full screen capture, press and hold CTRL + Show Windows. A window will appear in the lower right corner of the screen notifying you that the screenshot was successfully taken and saved.
- To take a partial screenshot or a specific area on the screen, simultaneously press and hold CTRL + SHIFT + Show Windows.
- The mouse cursor will temporarily change to a crosshair icon, so click and drag to select the area you want to capture. With it selected, release the trackpad to take a screenshot.
Once again, a notification window will appear in the lower right corner of the screen indicating that the process was successful and the screenshot was saved.
Use the Power and Volume Down buttons
If your Chromebook is a two-in-one with a 360-degree hinge, you can take screenshots in tablet mode using the power and volume down buttons, just like you would on an Android smartphone or tablet.
The keyboard is usually inactive in tablet mode, so the Show Windows and CTRL keys method does not work.
To take a screenshot in tablet mode, press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time to take a screenshot of the entire screen.
If you want a partial screenshot, you will need to crop the full screenshot you just took and save it. In tablet mode, there is no way to capture certain areas of the screen.
Use a stylus pen
Some Chromebooks, such as the Pixelbook or Samsung Chromebook Plus, come with a stylus that lets you take a full or partial screenshot in tablet mode and annotate it if you want.
The tool menu appears in the lower right corner of the screen. From here, you can capture whatever part of the screen you want, using the pen to draw or select an area.
Using an external keyboard
You can connect an external keyboard to your Chromebook, or you can use a Chrome-based desktop computer (Chromebox) and use it to take screenshots.
External keyboards don’t necessarily use a dedicated row of Chrome buttons, but their function keys do the same job. For example, the F5 key works like the Windows Show key on a standard function keyboard. In this case, you will use CTRL + F5 to take a full screenshot and CTRL + SHIFT + F5 to take a partial screenshot.
Where is the screenshot saved on my Chromebook?
Screenshot files are saved locally in the Downloads folder of your Chromebook, and are organized by the date and time they were taken. However, they will not be available in Google Drive, so you have to manually move the files.
- To find a specific screenshot, click the folder icon in the Chrome OS shelf to open the Files app.
- From the left menu bar, select Downloads and find your screenshot on the right side of the file interface.
How to Edit Screenshots Using the Original Image Viewer
If you want to do a little more with your screenshots before using them or sharing them with others, you can use the built-in image viewer editor.
- Open Downloads and double-click the screenshot to open it in the Image Viewer.
- In the lower-right corner of the window, click the pen icon to enter edit mode. At the bottom of this window, you will see various tools that allow you to crop, rotate, or adjust brightness.
The Image Viewer does not allow you to save copies of your edits, so click the pen icon again to finish editing.
Use advanced Chromebook apps
There are many Chromebook extensions and apps that you can use to take screenshots on your Chromebook that offer more functionality than the built-in methods described above. Here are some of the best Chromebook apps you can use for more screen capture options.
It’s a free extension that lets you take full (including web pages) or partial screenshots, edit and save in multiple formats, and send directly to Gmail or OneNote.
This extension offers an easier and faster way to take full screenshots of web pages. It has tools to take snapshots of all websites, as well as editing, sharing and converting options in various formats, including converting to PDF.
With this extension, you can take screenshot or screenshot (screen recording) and shoot video whenever you want. It supports annotations and blur and other screenshot related features.
It is an easy to use tool for taking screenshots of any section you want. Drag the image anywhere on the screen, edit it in place, then upload it to your Chromebook or upload it to the cloud.