Chromebooks have a great tool to capture screenshots and record your screen as a video clip. Here’s how to use it.
Taking a screenshot on your computer can be helpful for so many things. From quickly showing someone an issue you’re troubleshooting to grabbing ideas for your next big project to helping out a friend or family member by showing them how to do something, the list is endless.
However, taking a screenshot differs from device to device, operating system to operating system. And that includes Chromebooks and ChromeOS.
For years, the screenshot tool on Chromebooks was basic and could only be launched with a not-so-obvious keyboard shortcut. That changed last year when Google introduced a screenshot tool that lets you take both photos and video clips of what’s on your Chromebook screen.
Here are two ways to launch the Screen Capture tool, how to use it and where to find your captures once you take them.
Screenshot on a Chromebook with a Keyboard Shortcut
To launch the Screen Capture toolbar, you must press a three-key shortcut: Shift+Ctrl+Show Windows. The Show Windows key is up on the keyboard’s top row with an icon that looks like a window with two windows stacked behind it. Just press those three and the toolbar will pop up at the bottom of the screen.
Also, if you simply want to take a fast shot of your entire screen, as opposed to a specific region or window, you can simply press Ctrl+Show Windows.
These Chromebook keyboard shortcuts will work on any model. However, some Chromebooks have a Screen Capture key on the keyboard’s top row. Look for a key with a camera icon on it, usually a rectangle with a circle in the center. When pressed it will automatically launch the tool — no key combo necessary.
Screenshot on a Chromebook from Quick Settings
I have a hard time remembering shortcut keys, so I’m always looking for another option. Luckily, Google added a shortcut button to the Quick Settings panel for screenshots so I never have to think about what keys I need again. On Chrome’s Shelf, click on the time to pop up the Quick Settings menu. Just click or tap on Screen Capture and the toolbar will launch.
How to Use the Screenshot Toolbar
The Screen Capture toolbar not only lets you take screenshots but can be used to capture screen recordings as well. The toggle for going from stills to video is on the far left of the toolbar. To the right of that toggle, you have options to take a full-screen screenshot, a partial screenshot with a specific area you define or a screenshot of a specific window.
These work for photos and video. Also, clicking on the settings cog on the toolbar lets you turn on or off the mic while recording your screen, making adding narration to your captures easy.
Where Screenshots are Saved on a Chromebook
When you take a screenshot or recording it’s immediately accessible from the Clipboard, which stores the last five things you saved to it. To view what’s available, simply press the everything button (aka the Search key) plus V.
Your Chromebook also has a holding spot on the Shelf called Tote. It’s where you’ll find your most recent screenshots. You can pin files to tote, too, which means you can keep an important screenshot ready to open without searching for it.
Screenshots that are no longer saved on the Clipboard can be found in your files. Just open the Files app on your Chromebook and you’ll find your screenshots in the Images folder and screen recordings in the Videos folder.
How to Screenshot on Chromebook without Windows Key
The default way to screenshot on Chromebook is to use the Ctrl + Show Windows key for full-screen screenshots and Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows for partial screenshots. But what if the Show Windows key isn’t working or you don’t want to use a keyboard for taking screenshots? In that case, you can use alternate methods to screenshot on Chromebook without the Windows key. Let’s check them out.
How to Take Screenshot on Chrome OS without Windows Key
1. Using Quick Settings
All Chromebooks, be it from Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, etc., provide a screenshot button in Quick settings. Here’s how to use it.
- Click on the time present at the bottom-right corner of the Chromebook shelf.
- The Quick settings menu will appear. Click on the up arrow to expand the menu.
- You will see the Screen capture button. Click on it.
- The screenshot toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Press the Screenshot button to select it. Alternatively, press the Screen recording if you want to record the screen.
- With the Screenshot button selected, you can take the following three types of screenshots:
- Full-page screenshot: Captures everything that is visible on the screen.
- Partial screenshot: You can select an area to capture.
- Window screenshot: Captures the active window only.
Select the desired option in the toolbar. The screenshot will be taken, copied to the clipboard, and saved on your Chromebook.
2. Using Physical Buttons
If you own a convertible, tablet-style, or 2-in-1 Chromebook, you can take a screenshot just like you do on a smartphone. That is, press the Power + Volume down buttons at the same time to take a full-screen screenshot. Please note the Volume button is different from the volume keys present on your keyboard.
You will find the Volume button on the right or left side of your Chromebook.
Furthermore, this method doesn’t let you take a partial screenshot. You will have to edit and crop the screenshot later using a photo editor.
3. Using Chrome
If you want to take a screenshot of web pages, you can use Chrome’s built-in screenshot tool. The drawback of this method is that you cannot use it to take screenshots outside of the Chrome browser.
To use this method, follow these steps:
- Open Chrome and press the three-dot icon at the top.
- Go to More tools followed by Take screenshot.
The screen will darken and a screenshot will be captured. You will receive a notification. You can access the screenshot from the clipboard.
4. Using Stylus
If your Chromebook supports a stylus, you can use the same to take a screenshot without a Windows key.
Click on the Pen icon in the Chromebook’s taskbar aka shelf. A menu will open. Click on the Capture screen to take a full-page screenshot or select Capture region to take a partial screenshot.
5. Using External Keyboard
Chromebook’s keyboard is slightly different than a regular external keyboard. For instance, you won’t find the Show windows key in it. If you intend to take a screenshot using an external non-Chrome OS keyboard, you have to use the following shortcuts:
- Ctrl + F5 for full screenshot
- Ctrl + Shift + F5 for partial screenshot
6. Using Google Assistant
You can also ask Google Assistant to take a screenshot on your Chromebook. For that, first, activate Google Assistant on your Chromebook by saying Hey Google. Then say the command ‘Take a screenshot’. The screenshot captured notification will appear on the screen.
To use this functionality, Google Assistant must be enabled on your device. To do so, go to Chromebook Settings > Search & Assistant > Google Assistant. Turn on the toggle next to Off to turn it on. Also, select Always next to the Hey Google drop-down box. You might have to train your voice.
Note: The Hey Google feature will work only if your Chromebook is charging.
Alternatively, you can activate Google Assistant by clicking on the Assistant icon in the search bar when you open Chromebook’s search. Type or say Take a screenshot.
7. Using Chrome Extensions
If the above methods to take a screenshot on Chromebook without a Windows key don’t suit your requirements, you can rely on Chrome extensions as well. These can be downloaded from the Chrome web store.
Some easy-to-use free screenshot apps for Chromebook are:
- Nimbus Screenshot
- Awesome Screenshot
While these apps are designed to take screenshots within the Chrome browser, some of them let you select any open window to take its screenshot. Furthermore, most of these extensions will let you take a scrolling screenshot too.
Learn Chromebook Tips
I hope you were able to screenshot on Chromebook without a keyboard using the above methods. Once you have captured a screenshot, you can share files with Android devices. Also, check out the best Chromebook tips and tricks that every user should know.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Screenshots Saved in Chromebook?
You will find all your screenshots and screen recordings inside the Downloads folder of the Files app. Your Chromebook also stores the last five items in Clipboards that can be accessed using the Search key + V keyboard shortcut.
How to Edit Screenshot in Chromebook?
Click on the screenshot in the Files app to open it in the built-in photo app. You will find various editing options like crop, rotate filters, and draw in the toolbar at the top. Alternatively, open the image in Google Photos or any other photo editing app to edit it. Check out the best video players for Chromebooks.
How do you screenshot on a Windows 10 laptop?
Press Ctrl + PrtScn keys. The entire screen changes to gray including the open menu. Select Mode, or in earlier versions of Windows, select the arrow next to the New button. Select the kind of snip you want, and then select the area of the screen capture that you want to capture.
What is the shortcut for screenshot in laptop?
Depending on your hardware, you may use the Windows Logo Key + PrtScn button as a shortcut for print screen. If your device does not have the PrtScn button, you may use Fn + Windows logo key + Space Bar to take a screenshot, which can then be printed.
Where do Screenshots go on PC?
Pictures > Screenshots folder
To capture your entire screen and automatically save the screenshot, tap the Windows key + Print Screen key. Your screen will briefly go dim to indicate that you’ve just taken a screenshot, and the screenshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Which is Print Screen key?
The PRINT SCREEN key is usually located in the upper right corner of your keyboard. The key looks similar to the following: The text you see on your keyboard might be PrtSc, PrtScn, or PrntScrn. The other text on the Print Screen key is usually SysRq.