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Screenshot on Mac not working: Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

In a world where a vast amount of knowledge floats in and out of our ears, keeping track of every piece of information that we find online or while attending online classes can be hectic. Hence, people worldwide make use of an online phenomenon and tool called screenshots. You can take a screenshot of any information or picture, to remember or use later.

If you are in a dilemma and unable to understand why your Mac computer is unable to process a simple command as taking a screenshot or if you are unable to figure out how to take a screenshot, read our simple fixes:

In this article, we will discuss why you are unable to take screenshots on Mac and how you can fix this issue in seven ways.

Also read: How to play Windows games on Mac?


Correctly taking a screenshot

If you are not aware of how to take a screenshot on your Mac, you have to press the following buttons:

  • Press Command+Shift+3 to take a screenshot of your entire screen.
  • Press Command+Shift+4 to take a screenshot of a partial window of your screen. A plus sign will appear with flickering dimensions, you can use this icon to capture a screenshot of any size. You can also press the space bar simultaneously to take a screenshot of any menu.
  • Press Command+Shift+5 for macOS Mojave and above. You can video-record your screen and set up a timer.

Activating shortcuts

If you know how to take a screenshot but are having some issues when pressing the appropriate buttons, you may have to check if your keyboard’s shortcuts are activated. Usually, a computer comes with activated shortcuts, hence to make sure this is not the issue follow these steps:

  • Head to the Apple Menu by clicking on the top-left corner of your Mac’s screen.
  • Click on System Preferences.
  • Click on the Keyboard option.
  • Select the Shortcuts tab and then press the Screenshots option in the drop-down menu.
  • Observe and check any keyboard shortcuts for screenshots that are not previously checked.

This way you can make sure that all of your keyboard shortcuts are activated and ready to use.


Check saved location

If you are unable to find your screenshots, you should notice where your screenshots are being saved. If they have been moved from their default setting, then you can change it back to your preferred location.


Using preview

Preview is a built-in default app that comes with every macOS for image and document files. When you right-click on any document like a PDF or an image in JPG or PNG format, you will be shown an option to open the file in Preview. You can also open Preview by double-clicking on any file in the Finder window in the Dock or you can head to Applications in Finder and open Utilities. Another way of opening Preview is by clicking Command+Shift+5:

  • Open Preview and click on the File menu option.
  • Now click on Take Screenshot and you will be shown three options: selected, the entire screen, or window.

Malware cleanse

Any malware’s presence on a computer can cause normal utilities to malfunction. You can find CleanMyMac X on the Mac App Store to clear junk files, hidden malware, and remove unnecessary apps as well as cache data.


Grab it

If your Mac’s OS is older than macOS Mojave, then you may be able to access the Grab app which has now been replaced by Mac’s new Screenshot app. Open the Finder app and look for Applications, then follow the given steps:

  • Click on the Utilities.
  • Search for the Grab app.
  • Click on Capture and then on Screen to get a screenshot of your entire screen.
  • You can also click on Selection and drag your mouse pointer according to the area that you want to screenshot and release the mouse.
  • You can grab the screenshot of one window by clicking on the Window option from the options shown in the Capture option by Grab.
  • Lastly, you can also go for the Timed Screen option to set up your screenshot.

Restart remedies

Restarting your system usually takes care of various glitches and you can also update your macOS to the latest version by heading to System Preferences. You can go for these other solutions in case a simple restart and update do not fix your problem. These solutions that require a restart are:

  • Perform an NVRM test: Non-Volatile Random Access Memory or NVRM is a computer memory that holds basic data like volume level even when there is no power. You can reset this after your Mac restarts by pressing Command+Option+P+R for 20 seconds. Fixing this memory usually takes care of many basic utilities.
  • Safe Boot: You can open your Mac in the safe boot when you think that malware might be present in your device. You can do this by pressing the shift button as soon as your Mac restarts and keep pressing it till the login screen appears. After logging in, you will be able to see Safe Boot in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

Also read: How to fix SSL_error_bad_mac_alert?

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: sania_5008@proton.me

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