Once upon a time if you wanted to buy a new pair of shoes, you had to go to the mall. If you wanted a job, you visited job fair, after job fair, presenting your resume to prospective employers. If you wanted to pay your bills, you mailed checks from your local post office. Nowadays, all these things and more can be done from the comfort of your couch using your computer.
Nonetheless, receipts, as always, remain absolutely necessary for documentation purposes. Luckily, Macs, and most new laptops, come with a screenshot feature which instantaneously captures a picture of your screen and saves it on your hard drive. Due to how pertinent this feature is, it can be quite frustrating if and when it stops working.
If you own a Mac taking a screenshot is usually quite simple. All you have to do is press command + shift + 3 at the same time. If you have your volume up while doing this, you will hear a shutter sound, similar to the sound cameras used to make back in the day. The screenshot file will appear on your desktop, with the date and time listed in its name. If your Mac’s software is updated with macOS Mojave, or onwards, there’s also a screenshot application named, you guessed it, Screenshot. This application, when opened, allows you to take screenshots and also make video recordings.
While it’s relatively uncommon for this feature to stop working, it’s usually a problem with an easy fix. There may be a software issue going on or a hardware issue, though the latter is not as likely. It could also be that your keyboard is not properly connected to your Mac, especially if it’s a wireless keyboard.
Your laptop may be overworking itself if it’s been on for a long time, as well. Whatever the reason may be, there are a few troubleshooting options you can try to restore this much-loved feature. Follow the tips below to fix the screenshot feature on your Mac,
Restart Your Computer
The first and easiest option you should try is restarting your computer. Often if your laptop goes long periods without shutting down, its efficiency may be compromised, causing certain applications and features to malfunction. By restarting your computer, you will refresh its contents and applications. To restart your computer, follow the steps below,
1. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar in the upper left part of your screen.
2. Scroll down and click Restart.
Check Your Keyboard Shortcuts
It’s possible you may have inadvertently turned off the screenshot keyboard shortcut that was mentioned above (command + shift + 3). In order to enable the screenshot feature, follow the steps below,
1. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar on the upper left corner of your screen.
2. Scroll down and click System Preferences
3. A window will appear with many icons. Click the icon labeled Keyboard.
4. Click Shortcuts from the menu near the top.
5. On the left pane, click Screenshots.
6. Look on the right pane, and ensure that the command + shift + 3 is enabled. There should be a check next to the option. Note: You can also click Restore Defaults on the lower right corner of the window to restore your shortcuts to how they were when you first purchased your laptop.
Reset the NVRAM on Your Mac
NVRAM stands for nonvolatile random-access memory. This is a storage of memory used by your Mac to store certain settings and access them rapidly, when needed. Since the NVRAM is in charge of handling internal settings, resetting it may resolve your problem. Follow the steps below, to rest your NVRAM,
1. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar on the top left of your screen, scroll down, and click Shut Down.
2. Turn on your computer, and press and hold option + command + P + R, as soon as it’s turned on. Hold down these buttons for at least 20 seconds, or until you hear a second sound, after the initial startup sound. Note: If your Mac has an Apple T2 security chip, you only need to hold down the keys until the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time
Your NVRAM has now been reset. Try to take a screenshot, and note if the problem has resolved.
Using the solutions above should return things back to normal. If you find that you’re still unable to take screenshots, it may be that you’ve changed your settings to save screenshots in a different location. Usually this happens if a user installs and uses Dropbox, a file hosting services that offers cloud storage. If you use Dropbox, try opening the application to see if your screenshots are saving there instead of on your Desktop.