Screenshots are a convenient way to save what’s on your screen and share them whenever necessary. However, the location of screenshots can vary depending on the technique you use to capture the screenshot or the laptop you use. Where are screenshots saved on a laptop, by the way?
The guide will help you decode the screenshot’s precise location you are looking for so that you can share it at any time. Whether you use a Windows 10, Windows 11, or a macOS machine, let’s find out all the common places where your screenshots can be.
Places to Look at for Screenshots Captured by Windows 10 or Windows 11 PCs
Where did the last screenshot go on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop? According to Laptop Repair Dubai specialists, the exact location of a screenshot captured on a Windows laptop can be different depending on the method you use to take the screenshot. Here’s the detailed view you should go through:
Using the PrtScr or Print Screen Key
The Print Screen or PrtScr key on your Windows laptop’s keyboard lets you capture the whole screen at once. However, the screenshot doesn’t get saved to a file or folder by default. Instead, the computer copies the screenshot on the clipboard and the clipboard is a part of temporary memory.
In short, the screenshot captured by the PrtScrn or Print Screen button doesn’t get saved anywhere but the temporary clipboard space. To save the screenshot, you need to paste it into an image or text editor and save the file.
Then, you can decide on the location of the file containing the screenshot captured by using the PrtScr key. Similarly, the screenshot of an active Window gets saved to the clipboard if you use the Alt + PrtScr combination. Indeed, use the Windows + Shift + S combination and the screenshot will find its place on the clipboard.
So, it’s important to paste them on a compatible text or image editor to save them permanently. Only then, you can access them at your convenience.
What if it’s Windows + PrtScr
Another shortcut to capture a screenshot on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC is to press the Windows and Print Screen keys simultaneously. Then, where does the captured screenshot go? Thankfully, you will find it as a PNG file in the C drive.
Specifically, you have to navigate to the following path to discover all the screenshots captured using Windows + PrtScr: C:\Users\[your username]\Pictures\Screenshots. So, you have to open up File Explorer and paste the above path. Just make sure that you replace the [your username] with your Windows account name.
Remember, this Windows + PrtScr shortcut will save a full-screen screenshot and will have a name like Screenshot#.png. If you own a Microsoft Surface device then the Windows + Fn + Print Screen shortcut will save the file in the same location.
For Snip & Sketch or Snipping Tool
The Snipping Tool has been a part of the Windows operating system since the release of Windows Vista. Another similar tool called Snip & Sketch is also available on Windows 10 devices. You can use any of these tools to save a screenshot. However, where does the screenshot go on your device?
Both these tools let you decide the save location for every screenshot you capture. Additionally, you can customise screenshots with both of these tools. However, these tools suggest the same location that you used to save the last screenshot. So, you can take a new screenshot to get an idea of where all your screenshots can be right now.
On the other hand, most screenshots get saved under the This PC folder. Hence, navigate to the following path to look for the screenshot: File Explorer → This PC → Documents or Pictures.
Using a Third-Party Tool
Are you using a third-party tool to capture a screenshot on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC? Then, you need to go through the tool’s settings regarding where it saves screenshots. However, you can look into the same Documents or Pictures folder under the This PC folder in File Explorer.
Using Xbox Game Bar
If you are a game enthusiast, you might prefer capturing screenshots using the Xbox Game Bar. The Xbox Game Bar has a tool named Capture to take a screenshot of the screen directly. Well, the screenshot goes into the C:\Users\[your username]\Videos\Captures folder once you click the Capture button.
On the other hand, you can access those screenshots from the Widget’s Gallery folder under the Xbox Game Bar. Press the Windows + G shortcut to access the Game Bar and then, click the Widgets icon. Finally, select the Gallery option and click on the folder icon to open up the exact file through its path.
Alternatively, you can select a particular screenshot or video and click the ‘Open file location’ option.
Don’t Know Where to Look for Your Screenshots on a Windows PC?
You might have captured a screenshot on your Windows laptop today but you can’t locate the file right now. Well, don’t freak out as the following trick might help you find the screenshot without help from a professional. Here’s what you can do:
- Take a new screenshot using the same tool or technique that you utilised to capture and save the previous screenshot.
- Now, go to File Explorer and execute a search. In the search box, type ‘datemodified:today’ and continue with it.
- You should notice all the recently created files in the search results. In addition, you can narrow down the whole search strategy by starting it inside a particular folder where you suspect those screenshots can be saved.
- Once you find the last captured screenshot, right-click on it.
- Then, choose the ‘Open File Location’ option and that specific folder might have other screenshots too.
Where Can You Find Screenshots on a Mac Computer?
Typically, macOS Mojave and later versions let you save screenshots on the desktop if you use the combination of the Shift, Command, and number keys. Otherwise, macOS versions before Mojave make your way to screenshots in an application named Grab. By default, the Grab application’s vault is inside the Documents folder of your Mac.
So, you can search for your screenshots depending on your macOS version. However, the macOS Mojave and later versions save your screenshots on the desktop and it can clutter your entire desktop experience. So, you might prefer switching to a whole new location for your saved screenshots on the Mac device.
Here’s how you can change where screenshots will be saved on a Mac:
- Access the Screenshot application using the Command + Shift + 5 shortcut.
- Next, click on Options.
- Check out the ‘Save to’ column and choose your desired file path or location.
- If you want to create a new folder or select another folder than what’s specified there, opt for the Other Location option.
The process will readily change the default location of where all your Mac screenshots make their place.
Alternative Procedure for macOS Versions Prior to Mojave
As you already know, older macOS versions use the Grab app to take a screenshot and save it. In addition, all the screenshots captured by Grab go into the Documents folder on a Mac device. The challenge with changing the default location of screenshots on macOS before Mojave is that you need to use a Terminal window for the task.
Go through the following guidelines to use Terminal for changing the default location of your Mac screenshots:
- First, create a new folder on your Mac and name it (for example, Screenshots, for convenience).
- After that, access the Terminal on the Mac computer. Use the Command + Space shortcut to explore Spotlight and then, look for Terminal in the search box. Press the Return key to explore the Terminal window.
- As soon as the Terminal window opens, copy-paste the following command: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location.
- Next, click and drag the folder that you created at the very first of the process onto the window of the Terminal. This will reflect the folder’s path after the command you pasted.
- Finally, you can press the Return key and close the Terminal.
Can You Save Screenshots to iCloud?
Yes, it’s possible to save your screenshots to your iCloud account on your Mac. Moreover, your screenshots will be perfectly in sync and backed up if any mishap takes place. Apart from this, it’s easy to access them since you can fetch iCloud using your iPhone, iPad, or other devices.
Let’s check out how you can save screenshots to iCloud:
- Click the Apple icon and choose System Settings or System Preferences.
- Next, go to the Apple ID option followed by iCloud and iCloud Drive.
- Ensure that you have enabled the Desktop & Documents Folders.
From now on, all your screenshots will be automatically saved to iCloud.
What if You Can’t Find Screenshots on Your MacBook?
Well, you can access the Finder menu using the Command + F shortcut. Then, click on the This Mac option next to the Search icon. Now, type ‘kMDItemIsScreenCapture:1’ in the search field. Now, you can browse all screenshot files there. Hopefully, it helps you find the exact location of the intended screenshot on your Mac laptop.