Missing Screenshot Files in OS X

One of my favorite things about OS X is the built-in screenshot feature. At any time, you can press a key combo, and grab a screenshot, which will simply appear as a file on the desktop. An insanely great feature... until it quits working.

One day, I went to take  screenshot and heard the familiar shutter sound, but no file appeared on my desktop. Where are my screenshots going in OS X? Days later, I tried again, and it worked. On another day, I could no longer find my screenshots. I searched high and low on the internet. I found others having the exact same problem, but no fix was to be found. Finally, I asked on Twitter. One of my Wi-Fi engineer friends replied, "Are you using the key combo that copies it to your clipboard?" D'oh! I'd been holding it wrong the whole time! Solution after the break.

To save a screenshot to a file:

Shift + Command + 4

To store a screenshot on the clipboard:

Shift + Control + Command + 4

"3" will perform a full-screen grab.

To capture the contents of a window only:

Shift + Command + 4 and then Space

Moral of the story, if your screenshots never appear on the desktop, stop using the Control key.

- Joel


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