It can be useful to capture what's on your computer screen using a screenshot or screengrab. Perhaps you want a screenshot to keep a record of some flight search results you've found, or you may need to show an error message to a technical friend or help service (including our own!).
It's easy to take a screengrab on most devices. We explain how to do this, plus how to save or share the results.
Take a screengrab on a Windows PC
On a Windows PC, your keyboard should have a key around the top-right corner that says PrtScn - this is short for Print Screen. Click this, and you will capture what's on your screen and effectively save it to your clipboard - a little like clicking 'copy' on some text or an image.
Paste a screengrab
Next, you need somewhere to paste it. You may be able to paste the screengrab directly into an email - click Ctrl + V inside the body of the email to attempt this.
Save a screengrab
Alternatively, save your screengrab as a new image file. The easiest way to do this is to open Paint, then click Ctrl + V in a new blank image. This will add your screengrab. Click Save and give it a file name. You can then attach this file to an email.
Screengrab one window only
You don't have to capture your entire Windows screen. You can screengrab one window or program, which makes for a smaller picture file. To do this, select the program you wish to screengrab (for instance, a web browser window) - simply click on it to make sure it's the active program.
Next, click Alt + PrtScn, then follow the advice above to paste or save the resulting screengrab image.
Use the Snipping tool in Windows 10
In Windows 10 (or 8.1) you can use the snipping tool to grab a selected area of the screen. Go to Start > Widows Accessories > Snipping tool (or simply type Snipping Tool into Windows search and select it from the results).
The small Snipping tool window will open. Click Mode to select from Free-form (drawing your own area, as in the picture below), Rectangular, Window (the active window you have open) or Full-screen snipping. Click New to begin snipping. You can drag the cursor to create a rectangular or free-form area to ‘snip’ what ever part of the screen you want.
When your 'snipped' part of the screen is created, click File > Save as and choose a type of file (eg a .jpg or .png image) and a location for saving the screenshot.
Take screenshot on a Mac
Mac screenshot the whole desktop – Press ⌘, Shift and 3 together to take a screenshot. It will be saved straight to your desktop.
Mac screenshot of only one window – Press ⌘, Shift and 4 together. The cursor will turn into a ‘+’. Press spacebar and the cursor will turn into a camera. Next, click on the window you want a screen grab of and it will be saved to your desktop.
Mac screenshot of part of the screen – Press ⌘, Shift and 4 together. The cursor will turn into a ‘+’ which you can use to drag a box around the area you want to grab. when you release the mouse button the screenshot will save to your desktop.
Take a screenshot on tablets and phones
Screenshot on an iPhone or iPad – press and hold down the Power button and then press Home. The screen will flash, indicating that your screenshot has been saved in your Photos.
Tap on the Photos app and you'll see it as the most recent addition to your Camera Roll. There's also an automatically created album called Screenshots where you'll find your screenshot saved.
Screenshot on an Android device – as with Apple devices, press the Home and Power buttons. The screen will flash indicating that the shot’s been taken and you’ll be able to find it in the Gallery. This works on Samsung Galaxy phones.
Alternatively, for some Android phones (like the HTC One) you need to hold the Volume down and Power buttons together instead.
Take a screenshot on a Chromebook
Screenshots on a Chromebook – press Ctrl and the Overview keys at the same time to capture a full screen grab. Or, to capture an area of the screen, press Ctrl and Shift and Overview keys. Your screen grabs will be saved automatically in the downloads folder.
These are just a few ways to capture screenshots. You can also use browser add-ons (such as Awesome Screenshot for Chrome) to capture screen shots of whole webpages, even if the page extends beyond what you can see on screen.