How to Disable the Screenshot Preview Thumbnails on a Mac

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When you take a screenshot on a Mac, macOS usually displays a tiny thumbnail of the screenshot in the lower-right corner of the screen for a few moments before saving the image. If you find this annoying, it’s easy to turn off. Here’s how.

Why Even Have a Thumbnail?

You might be wondering: why show the thumbnail at all? As far as we can tell, Apple decided this would be the best way to trigger macOS’s built-in screenshot editing feature, which has been present since Mac OS X 10.14 Mojave.

If you click on the screenshot thumbnail that appears, the screenshot opens in a special editor that allows you to crop the image or annotate it with drawings, shapes, or text before it gets saved to disk. You also have a chance to discard the image if you don’t like it.

The macOS screenshot editing tool

But that’s a lot of extra capability for people who just want to quickly take a screenshot. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to disable this feature.

RELATED: How to Take Screenshots on a Mac

How to Disable the Screenshot Preview Thumbnail on a Mac

To disable the screenshot thumbnail, press Command+Shift+5 from anywhere on the Mac. A special screenshot toolbar will pop up at the bottom of the screen. Click on the “Options” button.

Click Options button in Mac screenshot toolbar

A small menu will pop up. In the “Options” section of that menu, uncheck “Show Floating Thumbnail.”

Uncheck Show Floating Thumbnail in screenshot options on a Mac

When you’re done, close the screenshot toolbar by pressing “Escape” or clicking on the tiny “X” button.

From now on, every time you take a screenshot using Command+Shift+3 or Command+Shift+4, the image will be quickly saved directly to its proper destination. No more thumbnail delay!

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