I've just upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 from 18.04. Gnome screenshot command does not work anymore. The command does not copy the screenshot to the clipboard.

gnome-screenshot -a -c
  • 2
    same problem with my 20.04 not with ctrl+prtsc and not with gnome-screenshot -a -c
    – tibi
    Jun 5, 2020 at 11:29
  • I am finding it sometimes works. No idea why. Sometimes when I shift + printscreen THEN ctrl click it works.
    – mathtick
    Dec 30, 2020 at 18:40

8 Answers 8


After months of banging my head and fingers, it is like so:

Main behavior:
Prtscn => Saves Full screen to folder [default ~/Pictures]


  • +Ctrl => Saves to clipboard
  • +Alt => Saves current window
  • +Shift => Draws area to save

And all combinations. [except alt + shift which behaves like alt alone]

For Example:
Ctrl + Shift + Prtscn will let you select area and save it to clipboard


Please try with CTRL + Shift + PrintSc

In my case, the solution is in configuration > key combinations > search the command and update the key combination. Currently, I take a screenshot area with shift + PrintSc and it is working for me!


I found a workaround in https://askubuntu.com/a/1212806/1074472

gnome-screenshot -acf /tmp/test && cat /tmp/test | xclip -i -selection clipboard -target image/png

You need to have xclip installed.

  • Please add a warning that this leaks data through the /tmp folder. On Ubuntu 20.04 with Gnome, gnome-screenshot -acf /tmp/tmp.png is enough.
    – user334639
    Nov 18, 2020 at 15:10
  • this works for me.
    – 100rabh
    Jul 20, 2021 at 16:05
  • If you modify this to save to Pictures/latest_screenshot.png instead of the temp directory, it turns the "information leak" into an intentional feature where it saves to a file AND the clipboard. Jun 12, 2022 at 19:02

I think the issue has been there for a while. It is probably due to a bug in recent versions of gnome-setting-daemon, which clears data in clipboard when the app is closed. Thus, when the command gnome-screenshot -a -c runs and finishes, the screenshot is saved to clipboard and then cleared. That is the best guess for now.

For more information and updates, please refer to https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-screenshot/-/issues/66

  • That site gitlab gnome will not even allow logins to post. Totally broken now.
    – mathtick
    Dec 30, 2020 at 18:46
  • This is exactly the issue I'm running into using gnome-screenshot in i3. Verified by using the "Copy to Clipboard" functionality from gnome-screenshot -a , hitting the "Copy to Clipboard" button and testing it in GIMP (worked), then closing the process and seeing that my clipboard was empty by trying to paste it again in GIMP.
    – abelito
    May 22, 2021 at 14:10

My solution (Ubuntu 20.04.1) was to use only the first part of Faith Baltaci's answer:

gnome-screenshot -acf /tmp/test && cat /tmp/test

  • I can confirm this works in Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS
    – mdev
    Apr 12, 2022 at 12:17

Why not try Ctrl + Alt + PrintScreen. This copies the image into the clipboard instead of saving it in Pictures.

  • 2
    Ctrl + Shift + PrintScreen If you'd like to select a certain area of your screen and put it in clipboard. Nov 16, 2020 at 15:12
  • are WE , the users , waiting for "act of congress" to get this WHERE is used to be - working ! ( Are "Inmates (still ) running the asylum ?" AKA HOW did the WORKING macro got changed?
    – user580382
    Feb 11, 2021 at 17:47

On my Ubuntu 22.04, the Ctrl Shift + Prt Scr shortcut does not work if the Screenshot program is closed. This seems to be a bug, which didn't happen on my last Ubuntu 22.04 machine.

My solution was to start the Screenshot program (gnome-screenshot) on startup, by adding this command as a startup application:

gnome-screenshot --interactive

I leave the application running in the background and I can now use the shortcut again, for quick and easy screenshots to clipboard.

enter image description here


Ubuntu 22.04

shift + ctrl + alt + r opens Record a screencast interactiveley

go to Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts > Screenshots

enter image description here

  • The question asks about how to copy screenshot to the clipboard. This answer says a different thing.
    – Puspam
    Apr 8, 2023 at 19:32
  • @Puspam you are right, it's just an alternative solution.
    – Amin
    Apr 9, 2023 at 5:25

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