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How to screenshot on mac with windows keyboard

how to screenshot on mac with windows keyboard

Welcome to this detailed how-to guide on capturing screenshots on a Mac using a Windows keyboard. Screenshots are an essential part of our digital routine, whether for saving snippets of information, capturing memorable moments, or troubleshooting issues. While the Mac ecosystem offers a streamlined experience with its proprietary hardware, not every user opts for a full Apple setup. When using a Windows keyboard with a Mac, the process for taking screenshots might not be immediately obvious due to the different key layouts. In this article, we’ll walk you through various methods to take screenshots on your Mac using a Windows keyboard.


Common Scenarios:

The Quick Snapshot 📸

  • Need to capture something on your screen rapidly.
  • Don’t have time to memorize complex shortcuts.
  • You’re using a Mac with a Windows keyboard temporarily.

The Precise Capture 🎯

  • You want to capture a specific portion of the screen.
  • Editing screenshots immediately isn’t required.
  • Looking for a simple method without additional tools.

The Full Suite Approach 🗃

  • You require advanced screenshot features.
  • Editing and annotating is part of the process.
  • Regularly taking multiple types of screen captures.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Screenshot On Mac With Windows Keyboard:

Method 1: The Basic Screenshot 🖼

  • Press the Fn key on your Windows keyboard, which acts as the Function key on a Mac.
  • Hold the Fn (Function) key and press the F11 key simultaneously to mimic the Mac’s Shift + Command + 3.
  • The screen will flash, and a screenshot of the entire screen will be saved on your desktop.

Note: If you have multiple monitors, this will capture all screens.

Conclusion: This method is quick and captures everything visible on your monitors.

Method 2: Window Screenshot 🪟

  • Open the window you wish to capture.
  • Press Fn + Alt on the keyboard, and then press the F11 key to activate the Shift + Command + 4 function on a Mac.
  • Release the keys and then press the Spacebar.
  • The cursor changes to a camera icon. Click on the window to capture it.

Note: The screenshot will only include the active window.

Conclusion: Use this when you need to capture a specific window without background distractions.

Method 3: Selection Screenshot 📐

  • Press and hold Fn + Alt, then F11 to mimic Shift + Command + 4.
  • Drag the crosshair cursor to select the desired area on your screen.
  • Release the mouse or trackpad button to capture the selection.

Note: The screenshot will include only your selection.

Conclusion: This method is great for capturing a custom area on your screen.

Method 4: Clipboard Screenshot 📋

  • For a full-screen capture, press Fn + Shift + F11 which equates to Control + Command + Shift + 3 on a Mac.
  • For a selected area, press Fn + Shift + Alt + F11 corresponding to Control + Command + Shift + 4.
  • The screenshot is now copied to your clipboard instead of being saved as a file.
  • Paste it directly into a document or image editor.

Note: Use this when you need to insert screenshots into documents without saving them as separate files.

Conclusion: Clipboard screenshots save time when editing or sharing is needed right away.

Method 5: Timed Screenshot with Grab 🔔

  • Open the Grab application on your Mac.
  • Select Timed Screenshot from the Grab menu.
  • Set up your screen as desired before the timer runs out.
  • Once the timer completes, your screenshot will be taken.

Note: The Grab application allows you to time your shots, which is not possible with keyboard shortcuts.

Conclusion: Timed screenshots are perfect when you need a moment to prepare what’s on the screen.


Precautions and Tips:

Screenshot Savvy 👀

  • Remember that the Print Screen (PrtScn) key on a Windows keyboard is generally equivalent to F11 or F13 on Macs, depending on the keyboard model.
  • Explore and customize screenshot shortcuts in System Preferences under Keyboard and then Shortcuts for greater control.
  • Mac’s native Preview application offers basic editing options for screenshots without the need for additional software.

Unlocking More Potentials

When taking screenshots becomes an integral part of your workflow, mastering these shortcuts can significantly boost productivity. However, there’s even more to the world of screen capture on a Mac. For example, third-party applications like Snagit or ShareX offer advanced features like scrolling screenshots, video capture, and powerful editing tools.

Also, if you find yourself in a position where a Windows keyboard isn’t available, remember that iOS devices such as the iPhone can also serve as a remote input device for your Mac with apps like Logitech Options.

If you’re running virtual machines or dual-booting with Boot Camp, taking screenshots might involve a different set of shortcuts. Always check the specific instructions for the operating system you’re working with when in those environments.


In conclusion, Mac users with Windows keyboards have various options to take screenshots. The methods described above—from basic full-screen captures to advanced timed screenshots—are just the tip of the iceberg. For more extensive editing or screen recording needs, consider using the built-in Preview application or explore third-party tools that cater to your specific requirements. With this guide and a little practice, you’ll be adept at capturing perfect screenshots for any situation.

Happy screenshotting!


Press Shift, Fn, and F11 together to capture a full-screen screenshot using a Windows keyboard on a Mac.

To capture a specific area, use Shift, Fn, Option, and F11, then select the desired region with your cursor.

The equivalent for ‘Command+Shift+4’ on a Windows keyboard is Shift, Fn, Option, and F11.

Yes, press Shift, Fn, Option, F11 and tap the Space bar, then click on the window you wish to capture.

Absolutely, open Preview, go to the ‘File’ menu, select ‘Take Screenshot’, and choose the desired option.

Press Control along with Shift, Fn, and F11 to save the screenshot to your clipboard.

Use Command (Windows key), Shift, Option, and F11 the screenshot will open in Preview immediately.

Yes, utilize the Grab utility in the Utilities folder. Select ‘Timed Screenshot’ from the ‘Capture’ menu.

To change the format, you’ll need to use Terminal commands or adjust settings in the Screenshot app in Utilities.

You can install third-party apps like Snagit or Greenshot which offer extended features and shortcuts.