How to Take a Screenshot on a Google Chromebook

Taking a screenshot is a useful tool in many situations covering anything from wanting to eternalize something funny that you think may be deleted off the internet to more important tasks such as keeping information handy for situations where you may be cut off from Wi-Fi.

Regardless of your reason, you have probably already discovered that taking a screenshot on a Google Chromebook is not the same as doing it on a Mac or Windows machine. We promise it’s not more difficult, you just need the knowledge to do it and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Since Chromebooks operate Chrome OS, they also come equipped with a slightly different keyboard. A lot of Chromebooks have dual function as a tablet and computer and many people chose to use theirs either without a keyboard or with a more traditional keyboard than the Chrome OS one.

For that reason, we cover all these scenarios and how to take a screenshot with a stylus.

Full Screenshot with Chrome OS Keyboard

Taking a full screenshot on your keyboard couldn’t be any easier simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Show Windows
  2. The screenshot will immediately appear in your Downloads folder
  3. Some Chrome OS versions immediately give you an option to edit the screenshot or copy it to your clipboard in addition to that

The Show Windows key is unique to Chrome OS keyboards and is located on the top row, between the full screen and the lower brightness buttons. See the image below. It looks like a square with two lines on the right-hand side.

The image highlights the keys to press for a full screenshot on a standard Chrome OS keyboard

NB: screenshots do not automatically upload to Google Drive, once saved in your Downloads folder, so be sure to upload them if you need them there.

Patrial Screenshot with Chrome OS Keyboard

It is not always preferable to take a full screenshot as personal and other important information could accidentally be captured, so a partial screenshot may be better in some circumstances as it allows you to choose the area of the screen to capture.

Follow these easy steps for a partial screenshot:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows
  2. Your mouse cursor will temporarily transform into a crosshair
  3. Use the crosshair to select the desired area going diagonally across

Similarly, to when taking a full screenshot, the image will appear in your downloads folder.

Using an External Keyboard with Your Chromebook

As mentioned, the Show Windows key is specific to Chrome OS keyboards, so what if you have chosen a Chrome OS tablet and attached a standard keyboard?

The top row of keys is simply the F 1-10 buttons with new symbols and names. To take a screenshot on a Chromebook with a standard keyboard all you need to do is follow the steps above but replace Show Windows with F5.

Full Screenshot in Tablet Mode

If you have a dual-function Chromebook, you may choose to lighten your load by not always carrying the keyboard. Luckily this is in no way an obstacle to taking screenshots.

To take a full screenshot in tablet mode: press the power button and volume down simultaneously.

You cannot take a partial screenshot in tablet mode without a stylus, so once you have the full screenshot, you’ll need to crop it, to show the content you want.

NB: not all tablet Chromebooks support this option

Screenshots with Stylus

Your Chromebook device may support a stylus pen, and you may already have one. This is great news as this offers you yet another way to take captivating screenshots with incredible ease.

To capture a full screenshot all you need to do is bring up the stylus tools menu by tapping the stylus icon on the taskbar, then tap “Capture Screen”. You can then edit and use this image as you would normally.

For a partial screenshot, your stylus will shine. Bring up the stylus tools menu, this time however select “Capture Region”. Once you have made the selection, tap the stylus on the screen and drag it to cover the area you wish to capture (similar to how you would use a hairpin). When done simply lift your stylus off the screen and your partial screenshot will be ready to use!