There may not be many reasons to take screenshots of the login screen on your Chromebook. However, if you ever need it, finding those screenshots can be tricky. Here’s how to do it.

First of all, you need to know how to take a screenshot, which is surprisingly easy: press Ctrl and keys at the same time. (The “”It is located above the 6 key on the number row of your keyboard.) Boom, screenshot taken. This part works anywhere, even on the login screen.

The problem arises when you try to retrieve such a screenshot because you won’t find it in the default location of your account. Because you’re not signed in when you take the screenshot, the system can’t associate it with an account on the Chromebook.

So where do you store it? In a temporary directory. Screenshots will stay here even after you log in; you just need to know how to copy them to your account. There are two ways to do this: by accessing temporary files in your browser window, or by using the Chrome OS Shell (Crosh) if your book is in developer mode.

How to access temporary files

The easiest way to access these screenshots is by jumping to temporary files. Open a new Chrome tab, then type the following in the omnibox:


This will display the full list of files. Simply find your screenshot, right-click on it, and choose “Save Link As.”

Choose the save location and you’re done. Easy peasy.

How to transfer temporary files using Crosh

While taking files from the /tmp/ folder is the easiest method, you can also do it using Crosh if your Chromebook is in developer mode.

Note: Developer Mode and Developer Channel are not the same. Your Chromebook must be in Deve mode for this to work.

Go ahead and activate Crosh by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T. Here, type shell and hit enter.

In the shell, navigate to the tmp directory by typing the following: cd /tmp/

Now, you will need to find the image file. Type ls to list all the files in this directory.

Once you’ve detected the file, type the following to move it to your Downloads directory:

cp ”~/Downloads/

Don’t forget the single quotes here, as the file name has spaces in it, this tells the system that it is the full name of the file.

If you enter correctly, you will not receive any kind of notification here, like in the screenshot above. If it is wrong, you will see an error.

If everything went as planned, your screenshot will now be in your Downloads folder. Kudos for taking the needlessly complicated, but necessary steps to make something that should be so much simpler.