Taking Screenshots On Your Chromebook: All You Need To Know

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If you’ve just got a new Chromebook, such as the HP Chromebook 11 or Samsung Chromebook Series 3, you may be wondering how to take screenshots. So, here’s a quick guide for you. We’ll show you how to take a screenshot, then find it and use it. We’ll also show you a couple of great apps for taking great screenshots and editing with annotations in the browser.


If you’re new to Chromebooks (or still not sure whether to get a Chromebook or not), it might also be a good idea to read up on everything you need to know when switching to a Chromebook, finding out more about what a Chromebook is and what people think about Chromebooks, and bookmarking the best web resources for new Chromebook owners.

Take A Screenshot in Chrome OS

To get a screenshot of your whole screen or a part of your screen (even your login screen), you need to use the Window Switcher Key. This is the button that has a bunch of rectangles on it, representing a bunch of windows, generally found above the 6 & 7 keys, between full screen and bright down.


  • For a full screen screenshot, press Ctrl+Window Switcher Key.
  • For a partial screenshot, press Ctrl+Shift+Window Switcher Key and drag the selection to your preferred size.

Finding Your Screenshot

To locate your PNG screenshot, open the Files app and navigate to the Downloads section. Your file will be called something like “Screenshot 2014-01-01 at 4.21.18 PM.png” by default, but you can always rename it to whatever you like later.

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If you’re using the guest account, make sure you copy the files to an SD card or Google Drive before you exit. The guest account “Downloads” folder is emptied when the guest logs out, so all those screenshots will be deleted.

Using Your Screenshot

If you want to access this screenshot on another device, drag and drop it to the Google Drive section of the Files app and it will soon be ready for you in your Google Drive for use.

There are also dozens of great extensions for taking screenshots from within the Chrome browser. If that’s all you really want, take a look at the following extensions. An added bonus is that you can usually use the extension to annotate the screenshot immediately, which can be really useful.

Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is one of the most popular Chrome screenshot extensions – and with good reason. Using it, you can quickly take a screenshot of the whole webpage or a portion of it. Then without leaving the browser you can blur out sensitive information and annotate it with notes, circles, rectangles, lines and arrows. It makes things so easy for you!

We have previously covered Awesome Screenshot in a list of Chrome extensions to take great screenshots, along with Lightshot for Windows and Webpage Screenshot.

Screen Capture (By Google)

Screen Capture is a Google-made Chrome screenshot extension which will let you take a screenshot of your browser window showing either the visible part of a tab, the whole page, or a user-defined region. It’s easy to scroll while defining a region, so your Chromebook’s small screen isn’t a problem. This extension will intelligently watch out for floating objects when you scroll, so that you only capture the image of that object once. After your screenshot is taken, you can edit it immediately in the browser.


Save To Google Drive

Save to Google Drive is another related extension you may find useful. If you just want to save a copy of an image you’re looking at, this extension will let you save the image directly to your Google drive. Simple and effective!

What’s your preferred way to take screenshots? Natively or by using an extension? Does it come down to being able to annotate the screenshot immediately?

Image Credits: John Baer Via Flickr

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