Screenshot not working

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rshire, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. rshire macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    I have been using the basic screenshot function (command, shift, 4) on my iMac for a long time now, and suddenly just this week it started returning only a black screen. Somehow it isn't taking a picture of what I selected and is merely saving a picture of a black screen on my desktop!! This is killing me because I use screenshots so frequently -- does anyone know what's wrong? Thanks :)
  2. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Screenshot is: Command + Shift + 3, It will save a shot of your screen on your desktop.

    Control + Shift + 4 = Screenshot of Specific Region, so if you dont choose a region you will just get black or random looking photos.
  3. rshire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Yeah I tried that as well, and it's still showing the same empty, black shot as with the more area specific screenshot!
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Go to the terminal and type:
    (you can copy and paste it)

    defaults write disable-shadow -bool true

    now log out and log back in again
    let me know if that worked! :)
  5. rshire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    AWESOME!! That worked right away. I have no idea why it was doing that. . . . Thank you so much for your help!
  6. bravenewniche macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    Not sure how to work Terminal

    Been having the same black screen - hope this will work, but I'm such a newbie with Terminal that I don't know what you mean about logging in and out.

    When I open Terminal, I seem to be logged in already, or do you mean logging off my system completely as a user and then logging back in (my Mac has simply worked for the last year so I never log off and on - unlike my Windows machine :) )
  7. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Try opening Terminal, then entering the command exactly as written. Then, close terminal, and log out of your user account for the computer. Finally, log in to your user account and try taking screenshots again.
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    It means logging in/out of your computer account. This step is needed because of the changes it makes to the OS. There's likely a Terminal command to restart something without needing to logout, but logging out is the easiest method. You can try the following Terminal command if you want to avoid logging out.
    killall -HUP SystemUIServer
  9. bravenewniche macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    Thanks everyone! I did the user log off method, and sure enough, when I logged in again, no more black screens.

    I'm assuming that it was trying to apply a "shadow" and all I was getting was the shadow part... but why all of a sudden was it applying the shadow, or has it been applying a shadow all along and then the process of applying it gets fouled up some how...

    Curious in Vancouver
  10. makbook macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2009
    Black, now Blue!?

    Hi, I have a macbook aluminum unibody (late 2008), (with a nVidia graphics chip) and i am running OS X 10.5.7

    I had the same black screenshot problem, and when i tried the terminal command, i logged out and logged back in, and then i took both a cross-hair (command-shift-4) and a full screenshot, and now, instead of black, my screenshots turn out all blue!:( HELP! PLEASE! I NEED SCREENSHOTS! Thanks!

    P.S. There was a gray frame around the middle of the full screen shot. Does this matter? :confused:
  11. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    You can try
    resetting the PRAM

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  12. PrplPplEater macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2007
    Bay Area
    I am having the same issue. I tried both the terminal solution and resetting the PRAM but they still come out all black. Anyone have a solution here?
  13. PrplPplEater macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2007
    Bay Area

    I finally have a solution for this, if anyone else is having issues. Somehow my display settings had gone screwy.. all I had to do was change my screen resolution and then change it back. I don't know why this happened, so unfortunately I can't give you a way to prevent it.
  14. HardyMacia macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    My issue was I was Screen Sharing to another computer. Once I quit out of the remote computer it screen capture worked again.
  15. MarkH356 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2011
    I tend to use the GRAB utility. It lets you do a screen shot, window shot or choose just a bit of the screen. Handy part is the timed screen shot.
  16. pu2wxp macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2014
    Blackscreen in video capture with my iMac


    I have an iMac 27 with Yosemite. I am trying to capture video screen from desktop with Camtasia or Screenflow, but always the video file is just a black screen! The audio is ok, but video is in total black screen.

    Please help!
  17. Taco Taco, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

    Taco Taco macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2014
    I just updated to Yosemite and am having the same "black screenshot" problem. I play a game on fullscreen and screenshots (shift+command+3) worked fine before on it. Now whenever I try to take one I get a 26KB .png that's complete blackness. I tried everything mentioned in this thread and nothing worked. How do I solve this issue?
  18. Alimar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2014
    New York State
    Shift/Command/3 works for a full screen shot just fine, but Shift/Command/4 doesn't always grab the selected area... sometimes it captures area to the left or right, and I have to crop it and save as a JPEG.
  19. Taco Taco macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2014
    I don't call this screenshot in fullscreen of a game I'm playing "just fine": [​IMG]

    I'm pressing shift+command+3...
  20. sjreynolds143 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2014
    Full screen vs not full screen

    I also had this (as a Newbie). I'm messing around swapping an external projector in and out, which might not help, but my experience so far is that a screenshot of a full-screen display is black, while non-full-screen display gives a correct screen shot.


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