I want to take a screenshot of my Lion lock screen to highlight the new circular user portraits.

Is there an easy way to take a screenshot of the OS X lock screen?

  • Did you try the default Cmd+Shift+3? I suspect it works, but I am at work and don't have a mac handy
    – Nivas
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 11:40
  • The three second delay of Skitch works for me.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


You can do this via the command line if you can ssh into the machine, using the screencapture command.

Take a look at this question for some more info.


I know this is old but this is a suitable solution for Lion through to Yosemite and it's pretty obvious.

The commands is:

sleep 5 && screencapture -t jpg -S ~/Desktop/screenshot.jpg

This will take a screencapture in 5 seconds and save it to ~/Desktop/screenshot.jpg.

You can quickly jump to the lock screen with Ctrl+Shift+Power or for older macbooks Ctrl+Shift+Eject.

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