I saw that Command + Shift + 4 gets a regular selection for a save of your screen. When I press the shortcut, I get the rectangular selection, and when I select, I here the camera shutter noise, but then the image is not saved to my clipboard.

When I cmd+v, no image gets pasted, the thing in my clipboard is just what I had previously saved to it.

2 Answers 2


Command + Shift + 4 saves a file to the desktop, not to the clipboard.

Use Command + Control + Shift + 4 to save to the clipboard.

Take a look at this comment I wrote a few years back for the full list of keyboard shortcuts related to screenshots: https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/204387/60161

  • Is this a recent change? Because I remember myself using Command+Shift+4 until recently to capture to clipboard..(Probably its a false memory, but i got surpriced)
    – anandhu
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 17:33
  • @anandhu no, been this way as long as I can remember. Even my related answer I linked above was posted back in 2015 :)
    – Charlie74
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 19:07

i had this issue when i moved from the touchbar mac to the m1 without touchbar. it used to be easy to select the option or destinations with the touchbar. but without, i couldnt use command + shift + 4 to send it to clipboard, it will always save to Desktop.

To change this, go to System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Screenshots, and double click the modifier row to change the input key combinations.

hope this helps

screenshot taken by keyboard shortcut

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