Troubleshooting Tips to Fix Screenshot Not Working on Mac

Taking a screenshot on a Mac is a straightforward process. You can screenshot a window by pressing Command + Shift + 4 and the entire screen by pressing Command + Shift + 3. If you want to screenshot a particular portion of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4, and a crosshair will appear. You can drag the crosshair to select a specific part of the screen.


If you were wondering how to take a screenshot on Mac and crop, the mentioned keyboard shortcut you must use. And if you want more screenshot and screen recording options, press Command + Shift + 5.

Although taking a screenshot is usually using the mentioned keyboard shortcuts, many users have complained of encountering the screenshot on Mac not working problem. If you are also experiencing the same issue, you might be desperately seeking methods to fix it. You have come to the right place; the most effective methods are mentioned below.

Restart Your Computer

Before trying anything, restart your Mac. If you haven’t rebooted your system for a long time, programs and applications might not function correctly.

Ensure the Shortcuts are Correct

The keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots mentioned above are activated by default. But if you have tinkered with the shortcut settings, they may not work.

Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screenshots > ensure all the options are checked and active.

If they are active and you still cannot take screenshots, follow the other solutions mentioned in the article.

Load Mac in Safe Mode

Sometimes, screenshots stop working because there’s interference from another program or application. There might be some settings that are causing a problem. You can know for sure what’s wrong by booting your Mac in Safe mode.

To load in Safe mode, wait ten seconds after shutting down your system and press the power button. After your system starts, press and hold the Shift key and release it once you see the login screen.

Once logged in Safe mode, take screenshots and see if it works. If so, you may need to remove the apps and programs that are creating trouble manually.


NVRAM is a form of computer memory that tracks things like time zone, level of sound, and screen resolution. Resetting it can fix a wide range of problems, including issues with screenshots.

Reset NVRAM by shutting down your Mac and then restarting your system. Hold the Command + Option + P + R on your keyboard, and after twenty seconds, let the keys go when you hear the starting sound.

If this solves the problem, you don’t have to read the next solution. You can take screenshots and carry on with your work.

Check for Malware

Malware and virus infestation are rare on Macs but not unheard of. If your computer has been affected by malware, you might find you are not able to capture screenshots on your system.

It would be best if you did not rule out malware when trying to fix screenshots not working on your Mac. To remove malware, you can run an antivirus scan. You can also open the Activity Monitor to check for applications and programs hogging too much memory or running without your permission. If you notice applications you don’t remember installing on your computer, remove them immediately.

Update Your Mac

Maybe you haven’t updated your Mac to the latest OS version, and that’s why the screenshot option isn’t working. So, go to System Preferences and find Software Update. If there’s an update available, install it, and you will be able to take screenshots as usual.

If the problem persists, you can turn to other methods of taking screenshots on a Mac.

  • Use Preview

If taking a screenshot is urgent, use Preview. This is an in-built macOS application that can be used to capture screenshots. Also, this app is used for modifying or editing images.

To use Preview for taking screenshots, launch the app > click on File > select Take Screenshot > choose the option according to your specific requirement.

  • Use Grab

Grab is another method of taking screenshots on your Mac, and not many users are aware of this. Grab is also a pre-installed application that lets users take screenshots of the entire screen, a specified area of the screen, or the whole window.

To take screenshots using the Grab utility, open Applications > click on Utilities > select Grab > click on Capture.


The problem ‘screenshot not working’ on your Mac can be solved easily using the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips. If the feature isn’t functioning at all, switch to using Grab or Preview to take screenshots. You can even use the Preview application to crop and edit the screenshots before sharing them with your friends or colleagues.

If you need more help, reach out to the nearest service center and seek professional assistance.