How to Capture Screenshots Without Drop Shadows on Your Mac

Apple has made it really easy to capture screenshots on a Mac. You just need to press a key combination and your screen will be captured and saved on your desktop or at your preferred location. In order to make these screenshots look a bit different than those of Windows screenshots, these screenshots include the drop shadows when you capture a window screen on your Mac. For instance, if you hit “Command + Shift + 4” followed by the spacebar and then capture a window, you should see that the captured screenshot has drop shadows that make it look a bit cool.

However, some users may prefer just having plain captures of their screens and nothing fancy like shadows. For those users there are three ways to capture a screenshot without drop shadows:

This is the easiest way to capture a screenshot without drop shadows on a Mac.

What you need to do is open the window that you want to be captured, press “Command + Shift + 4” and then Spacebar, hold down Option key on your keyboard and then click the window you want to capture.

Hold down Option key and click window.

The screenshot is captured without drop shadows.

If you would prefer a permanent solution to holding down a key when taking a screenshot, you can use the TinkerTool app to get the job done for you. The app lets you tweak a number of settings on your Mac which include the screenshot settings. Here’s how you can use it:

Download and install the TinkerTool app on your Mac.

Once the app has been installed, launch it from the Launchpad.

You should see numerous configuration options in the app that let you tweak almost every part on your machine. To accomplish our task, you need to click on the tab that says “General.” It is where the screenshot configuration options are located.

You should see numerous configuration options.

In the General tab, you will see an option that says “Include shadow when capturing window.” Just uncheck that option so that your screenshots don’t include the drop shadows.

Once that is done, close the app.

Untick 'Include shadow when capturing window.'

In order for the changes to take effect, you need to restart the UI on your machine. To do that, click on Launchpad in your dock, search for and click on Terminal, and type in the following command and press Enter.

killall SystemUIServer

Reset the UI on your Mac.

It should reset the UI on your Mac so that it recognizes the changes you just made to your screenshot settings.

You are all set.

If you would like to do the task in a geeky way, you can use the Terminal app on your Mac. Here’s how:

Click on Launchpad in your dock, search for and click on Terminal, and it will launch for you.

Type in the following command and press Enter.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

Disable drop shadow in Terminal.

Next, issue the following command to apply the changes.

killall SystemUIServer

Reset the UI on your Mac.

And you are done.

If you want to revert back to the original settings, type in the following command into Terminal and press Enter.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false

Revert back to the original settings.

Then issue the following command to bring the changes into effect:

killall SystemUIServer

Bring the changes into effect.

You’re good to go now.

Screenshots with the drop shadows are only good when they are used at appropriate places. If you’re working on a project or a website that does not accept them, the above ways should help you disable them on your Mac.