Using PrintScreen in Boot Camp: MacBook Pro

(Image by Laughing Squid)

I just spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to take screen shots in Windows XP on my MacBook Pro (using Boot Camp). I thought I would write up the simplest answer of how to do this, in the sense that you don’t have to install anything or remap your keyboard. Here’s all you have to do:

Under the Start menu, select All Programs, then Accessories, then Accessibility, and then On-Screen Keyboard. When you do this the Windows XP on-screen keyboard will appear on your screen. This on-screen utility includes the PrintScreen button (labelled psc in the same position as where the F13 key should be located. That’s it.

If you want to take a screen shot of only the active window (using the Alt+psc command), make sure that the on-screen keyboard isn’t in the area of the active window, otherwise it will be included in the screen shot.

Anyway, I searched around for far too long to find that little piece of information, so hopefully someone in the same predicament will easily be able to find this post (and the answer)! Since the Apple external keyboards actually include the F13 key (while the MacBook and MacBook Pro built-in keyboards do not), you can use PrintScreen slightly easier with the plugged-in keyboard.

UPDATE: As pointed out by Stuart in the comments below, if you’re using Boot Camp v. 1.3, Fn + F11 now maps to print screen. You can print only the active window with Option + Fn + F11. Thanks for the tip!

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(Image by Laughing Squid)

Have a comment?
  1. Thanks so much for posting this. Trying to finish some documentation for a client and had to take some Windows screenshots from my MacBook Pro.

    • CoolIt says:


      I bought a new MacBook Pro in 2011 and I don’t have the “Accessibility” option under “Accessories”; instead there’s a folder called “Ease of Access” where you can find “on-screen keyboard”.

      I was ripping my hair out for a while trying to find this so hopefully others with the same machine will find this comment helpful.

  2. Jesario says:

    Map your key and more with this. Never knew how much I used printscreen until my Mac took it away. Who wants to do 3 keystrokes with two different hands? Try it with one, and it looks like a crippled Vulcan nerve pinch or something.

  3. hyNchus says:

    Pickboy… you are the man. thanks…

  4. Trsh says:

    Ugh. I feel so stupid I had to find this through google instead of just knowing it. Either way, thank you for posting this :) I literally spent an hour trying to download various programs (with marginal success) to do this very thing. Again, thank you.

  5. Steam says:

    For Bootcamp version 2, there’s a list of PC key commands associating with Mac key listed with in the help file in Bootcamp under the topic “PC key commands”. Try using search option in the Boot Camp help file.

    As for the print screen “Fn-Shift-F11″ on regular MAC keyboard with Boot Camp version 2 works for me.

  6. Jen says:

    I have Bootcamp version 3.0. Those combinations DO NOT WORK!!! Also my bootcamp help doesn’t work either. I don’t know how to do a print screen in Bootcamp 3.0, and I don’t know what to do! There’s got to be a different way to do it in this version because the things listed for Versions 1 and 2 aren’t working at all. WHAT DO I DO???????

  7. james says:

    alt – shift – fn – f11 works for macbook
    at first i forgot to find a program to paste it into now ctrl v into paint and jobs a goodun

  8. Jahn says:

    were do the shots go to, can’t find them :(

  9. zack says:

    for those who are using Bootcamp Ver3.0, just read bootcamp’s help. It is stated there press:
    SHIFT + FN + F11 for the whole screen
    SHIFT + FN + OPTION + F11 for active window only

  10. andi says:


    very useful!

  11. anon says:

    So many people with macs and you actually need to run windows. One word: Lame.

    • Dani says:

      Alas- my design program for work only operates on windows- everything else- Mac!

  12. Jey says:

    smart!! Thanks.

  13. Anne says:

    Ok, so there are a LOT of “thank you”s here already. But, I gotta say this is exactly the piece of information I needed right now. I searched for “how to take a screenshot in Windows when you don’t have a prnt scrn key” and you came up about halfway down the page. Yeah!!!

  14. PK says:

    amazing work, u saved me so much time!!! thanks

  15. pal says:

    tyvm for above info
    here’s what works for me

    macbook pro
    bootcamp xp
    macbook pro keyboad (no ext keyboard)
    in guildwars game only
    to remove ui
    ctrl shift H
    screen shot
    fn shift F11

  16. phleghmatic says:

    On an Apple External Keyboard, it’s now F14, option+F14 for just the window.

    It’s F11 on a laptop keyboard.

  17. Pelle says:

    Hi. I tried various combinations but none worked for me running Windows 7 Ultimate on Mac Book Pro with BootCamp 3.1. However, thanks for the inspiration, I found that Alt+Shift+fn+F12 worked! :) So thank you guys, hope this will help people running Windows 7 in Boot Camp.

  18. Ken says:

    I have been trying to figure this out for ages, thanks!

    For Windows 7 in bootcamp, I think the onscreen keyboard is the only way.

  19. Lucy says:

    After hours of wasted time with browser plugins this has done the trick. I was trying to screengrab from YouTube and the videos just show as black on everything else. This worked perfectly. Thank you!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Mac Blog - Apple Macintosh Computers in Business & Home » Blog Archive » How to PrintScreen Windows XP from within Boot Camp on a MacBook Pro
  2. The Sean Blog : Taking Screenshots in Boot Camp
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