You can make screenshot on a Mac without additional applications to be installed. In this article I will show you how to take screenshots of your Mac screen.

Basic Key Combinations

The basic functionality of taking a screenshot:

  • “Cmd” + “Shift” + “3” – take a snapshot of the entire screen and save it to the Desktop;
  • “Cmd” + “Shift” + “4” – select an area of ​​the screen, take a picture of it and save it to the Desktop;
  • “Cmd” + “Shift” + “4” + “Space” – allows you to select a specific window, take a picture of it and save it to the Desktop;
  • “Cmd” + “Shift” + “5” – will bring up a small menu where you can clearly see all the features of the built-in screenshot. For example, from here you can also record a video demonstration of the screen.

How to Choose a Screenshot Format

By default, macOS stores screenshots in PNG format. But you can change this format to any other.

To save screenshots to JPG, execute the following commands in the Terminal:

defaults write type jpg
killall SystemUIServer

In addition to JPG and PNG, macOS also supports: tiff, pdf, bmp and pict.

Screenshots Location

By default, screenshots are saved to the desktop, for some it seems to be an awkward option, but it’s not difficult to move them manually.

Read more: How to Type Degree Symbol on a Mac?

Unless, of course, it is convenient for you to keep them separate, it is best to create a separate folder for them using the following commands in the Terminal:

defaults write location ~/Pictures
killall SystemUIServer

Where ~/Pictures is the path to the new folder.

Return screenshots back to desktop:

defaults write location ~/Desktop
killall SystemUIServer


Lastly, I can only add that before publishing to a blog or social network, you should optimize your screenshot for the web and edit it’s size for better public perception and for page load speed.

It’s the best time to ask questions and give us your feedback in comments.


Hi there! My Name is Vincent Lago! My goal is to share insightful reviews, guides, and manuals for people looking to know more about current solutions for Apple hardware and OS. I have years of technological background knowledge including owning a custom iMacs & PCs which was using for different types of business. And now, I want to share my experience with you.

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