Screenshot on Mac not Working, How to Fix?

By Ciki | Posted to Home > Howto, updated on August 18th, 2021

Summary: Still stuck in screenshotting on Mac not working? This post concludes 5 quick and useful ways to help you fix the issue.

fix Mac screenshot not working

The screenshot feature built into macOS enables us to take a screenshot without additional software. If there is no matter going on, we can get a screenshot on Mac easily. However, a lot of users have reported that they have encountered screenshot on Mac not working problem. How to fix screenshot on Mac not working issue? Read on to get 5 quick and useful tips.

Restart and update your Mac

If your Mac has been running for a long time without shutting it down, some apps may can’t work properly. Restarting your Mac may be useful to solve screenshot on Mac not working issue.

Here are 3 ways to restart Mac:

  1. Press the Power key on your keyboard. Choose Restart to restart Mac.
  2. Choose Restart from the Apple drop-down list.
  3. Press Control + Command + Power to restart your Mac.

Another reason for screenshot on Mac not working is that your Mac is not up to date with system updates.

Step 1: Go to System Preferences > Software Update to prompt your Mac to check for updates:

check for update

Step 2: If there’s an update available, click Update Now.

mac update available

Check the keyboard shortcut settings

Mac screenshot shortcuts are convenient for grabbing a screen. If screenshot on Mac is not working after restarting, chances are that your keyboard shortcut settings are wrong. Check the settings, then you can use screenshot normally.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo at menu bar and choose System Preferences.

Step 2: Click Keyboard and then choose Shortcuts.

Step 3: Click Screenshots in the list.

Step 4: Check whether the shortcuts to take screenshots are disabled.

Step 5: If so, enable it and set it properly.

screenshot shortcut settings

Take a screenshot with Mac built-in tools

If you are using a third-party snipping tool for Mac to capture the screen, the screenshot may not work. We suggest that you take a screenshot on Mac using Mac built-in tools such as Preview, QuickTime Player, and Screenshot tool bar. These applications are easy to use and will never let you down.


What if screenshot on Mac is not working still? In such case, you can reset NVRAM on Mac. The shortcut errors and screenshot tools can be fixed.

Step 1: Shut down your Mac.

Step 2: Turn on Mac. Meanwhile, press Command + Option + P + R keys on your keyboard for 10 to 20 seconds.

Step 3: Hold those keys until you hear the second Mac startup sound. For Mac 2018 and later, when the Apple logo disappears for the second time you can release these keys.

Step 4: Your Mac computer will restart. Try again to check the issue of screenshot on Mac not working is solved or not.

Load in Safe Mode

If all of methods above are not working, the screenshot on Mac not working problem may be caused by malware or apps that prevent your Mac from taking screenshots or saving them in a non-default location. To test this theory out, you can start up your Mac in Safe Mode to see whether the screenshot can work normally. Here are the ways to start up your Mac in Safe Mode:

For Apple silicon Macs

Step 1: Shut down the Mac and wait for 10 seconds.

Step 2: Press and hold the power button to see the startup options on the screen.

Step 3: Select a startup disk.

Step 4: Press and hold Shift, click on Continue in Safe Mode, and release Shift.

For Intel-based Mac

Step 1: Shut down your Mac and wait for 10 seconds

Step 2: Restart your Mac, then immediately press and hold the Shift key.

Step 3: Don’t release the Shift key until you see the login window.

You can see “Safe Boot” in the menu bar after you successfully load in safe mode

load in safe mode

If screenshot on Mac not working problem is solved in safe mode, it means that malware or apps are to blame. You need to check the malware and uninstall apps on Mac, then you can use screenshot normally.


Screenshot which is widely used for school and work is really convenient for us to share information with others. It’s really irritating if screenshot on Mac can’t work or screenshot is not saving to desktop. Fortunately, one of the five ways mentioned above can help you solve the problem quickly and easily.

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