When you capture a screenshot of a window on your Mac, its drop shadow is saved along with the window in the resulting screenshot. Although the drop shadow adds a visually pleasing border, but more often than not, the effect makes the screenshots more difficult to align properly in documents and webpages due to the surrounding shadow.

There are two ways of removing capturing of drop shadow. One is a temporary fix that we will discuss about later. The other way permanently removes mac screenshot drop shadow which is with the help of a Terminal command.

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How to Capture Screenshots on Mac Without Drop Shadow

1. How to permanently remove capturing drop shadow along with the window :

Before we begin, please note that this method removes the shadow for all screenshots. So, if you just want it to be removed while capturing a specific screenshot, involving drop shadow in others, then skip to the second method.

  • Open Launchpad, search for Terminal app and open it.
  • When Terminal opens, copy and paste the following command –

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE; killall SystemUIServer

After pasting this command (Be careful with the spaces after pasting. Nothing should be changed.) and proofreading it, press Enter. With the help of the keyword “killall” in the command, it will remove the old settings for drop shadow and save the new one.

Now, when you will capture screenshots, the drop shadow will not seem in the background.

If you ever want to bring the drop shadow back to the screenshots,

Launch terminal and enter the following command and press Enter :

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool FALSE; killall SystemUIServer

This will do the job for you.

2.  How to avoid capturing of Drop Shadow with the Window while capturing a Screenshot :

If you like or are fine with Drop Shadow being in other screenshots and you just want it to be removed while taking a specific screenshot due to various reasons, like problem of size while uploading it somewhere, then we recommend you use this temporary method.

You probably know about the keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot of a portion of the screen: Command (⌘) – Shift (⇧) – 4. 

In this method we are going to make a few additions to this shortcut. Follow the steps given below to do so –

Step 1 : Press the Command (⌘) – Shift (⇧) – 4 keys simultaneously on your Mac’s keyboard. This will lead you to a mode where you can take a screenshot of a selected area of your screen and your mouse pointer will change to a crosshair icon.

Step 2 :  Press the Spacebar key. This will change your cursor to a camera symbol to denote that you will be capturing a screenshot of a specific window.

Step 3 :  Now hold the Option (⌥) key and while holding it, position the cursor over the window you would  like to capture a screenshot of, then hit the left mouse button to grab an image of the selected window.

This way, the screenshot will be captured without the unnecessary drop shadow.


Tip: If you would like to remove the shadow effect from the current screenshot and have it saved in your Mac’s system clipboard for quick pasting in other apps, use the Control (⌃) – Command (⌘) – Shift (⇧) – 4 shortcut instead of the Command (⌘) – Shift (⇧) – 4 key combination.

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