According to the Mac support docs, I should be able to use Command-Shift-Control-4 to take an area screenshot to the clipboard.

This doesn't work. What am I doing wrong? Whether I use an external keyboard or not it doesn't work.

Command-Shift-4 works just fine. I'm on 10.11.6

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    Are you certain that where you're pasting it can accept it, & that you performed no other clipboard action in between? It's not something I normally use, but tested to Photoshop just fine. Also confirmed copying some text afterwards will kill the image in the buffer – Tetsujin Sep 21 '16 at 17:00
  • Yes, if I copy an image from the browser it works just fine. Also, the crosshairs never change as they do with Command-Shift-4. – Zamicol Sep 21 '16 at 17:06
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    hmm... does cmd/shift/ctrl/3 work to grab the entire screen? I'm thinking key conflict [but idk where] – Tetsujin Sep 21 '16 at 17:08
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    Checked they're enabled in sys prefs/Keyboard/shortcuts/screen shots? [You can tell I'm running out of ideas ;) – Tetsujin Sep 21 '16 at 17:11
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    Ah! Thank you! New to mac. I didn't see what it was, but I hit "Restore Defaults" and that fixed it. – Zamicol Sep 21 '16 at 17:18

Things to check...

  • The receiving app can accept the format, .png by default.
  • The buffer hasn't been replaced with other content, text etc.
  • If Cmd ⌘ Ctrl ⌃ Shift ⇧ 3 would work to capture the entire screen to clipboard.
  • That the key commands are on & set to defaults in System Prefs > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screen Shots & also that resetting to defaults doesn't generate an orange warning triangle that another shortcut is using the same key command.
  • Brilliant thank you! Keyboard in system prefs worked for me! – DocAsh59 Mar 6 '18 at 14:22
  • still no luck for me – SuperUberDuper Jun 26 '18 at 11:09
  • the only app I can paste a screenshot into is discord – SuperUberDuper Jun 26 '18 at 11:09

If it’s a MacBook Pro with touchbar make sure the camera icon is not in the touchbar

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    What is the significance of the camera icon here, and how can one make it disappear? – nohillside Aug 4 '18 at 13:34

I fixed a Mac screenshot bug with finder relaunch; you can try that, it might work for your case.


If it's a MacBook Pro with touchbar, look at the touchbar. You should see three options:

  • Selected Portion
  • Window
  • Entire Screen

Select the first option and that will start being your new default.

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