Symptom-specific solutions when screenshots are not available on Mac

Updated : Nov 18, 2021
Parent and child cat

Here are some solutions for when you can’t take screenshots on your Mac, by symptom pattern.

For example, I will isolate from the symptoms such as whether or not there is a sound when taking a screenshot.


Isolation of symptoms when screenshots cannot be taken

See the flowchart below and check from ① to ③.

Mac unable to take screenshots

You can jump to each confirmation method by clicking the link below.

Mr. Otter

Once the isolation is complete, here is an explanation of the specific confirmation method!


① When “Your screen shot can’t be saved.” is displayed

Mac "Your screenshot can't be saved."

If you see “Screen Shots are not allowed.” as shown above, make sure your Mac is not set to prohibit screenshots.

What to do = Check if your Mac is set to prohibit screenshots.

To check, launch “System Preferences”, then click the “Profile” icon to see if any profile has been set.

Mac "System Preferences"

If your profile is set, as shown in the figure below, it’s likely that your Mac administrator has set it to “Prohibit screenshots for security reasons”.

In that case, talk to your Mac administrator.

Mac "System Preferences" -> "Profiles"

The profile-based screenshot prohibition settings introduced here are explained in detail in the following articles.

How to ban screenshot on Mac

This is the end of “‘① Your screen shot can’t be saved.’ is displayed.”


② When there is no shutter sound


If you don’t hear the shutter sound when you take a screenshot, the keyboard shortcut keys may be disabled or the assignments may have changed.

The key bindings may be changed by the user himself, or they may change arbitrarily when installing some app.

What to do = Check if the keyboard shortcut keys are disabled or the assignments have changed.

To check, start “System Preferences”, then follow “Keyboard”-> “Shortcuts”-> “Screenshots”.

If ① is unchecked in the figure below, the keyboard shortcut is disabled.

You can also check if the key assignment has been changed in ②.

Mac "System Preferences" -> "Keyboard" -> "Shortcuts"

The key assignments for keyboard shortcuts introduced here are explained in detail in the following articles.

How to change keyboard shortcuts in Mac screenshots

This is the end of “② If there is no shutter sound.”


③ How to check the screenshot settings

If ① or ② does not apply, or if ① or ② does not solve the problem, use the genuine Mac app “Terminal” to check the screenshot settings.

What to do = Check the settings in “Terminal”.

The procedure is explained below.

▶ In Finder, double-click “Terminal” in the folder “Applications”-> “Utilities” to start it.

Mac "Applications" -> ""

▶ Once the Terminal is up, copy and paste the following command to see the screenshot settings.

defaults read

The following is the result of the actual execution.

Mac ターミナル.app
Mr. Otter

Various things were displayed, but where should I look?

Little devil fox

There are two places to see, the location of ① and the target of ②.

Little devil fox

Since the location of ① is the place to save the screenshot image, please open this place in Finder and check if the image is saved.

Little devil fox

There are the following five targets for ②.

  • file
  • clipboard
  • mail
  • messages
  • preview

Only the top file saves the screenshot image to a file.

Little devil fox

So, to save the file, copy and paste the following command and execute it.

That will be the default file save.

defaults delete target
Little devil fox

There isn’t enough space to introduce screenshot settings using the terminal here, so if you want to know more, see the following link.

It explains in detail what you can do.

Introducing items that can be set with the screenshot function of Mac

This is the end of “③ How to check the screenshot settings.”



I’ve explained what to do if you can’t use screenshots.

When searching the net, there are many sites that recommend OS reinstallation at the beginning, but first try the contents explained on this page.

By the way, this site has many articles about Mac screenshots.

First of all, please see the following [Summary] article.


This is the end of the article on this page.


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