How to Fix Command Shift 4 Shortcut not Working on MacOS

Command Shift 4 is a shortcut key for taking a screenshot by selecting the area on the screen. By pressing these shortcut keys, the cursor will change into a selection tool to capture the screen. However, several users are reporting about this shortcut not working properly. For some users, only this single shortcut doesn’t work and for others all the screenshot shortcuts.

Command shift 4 not working

What is Causing Command Shift 4 Shortcut not Working?

We managed to discover some of the most common causes that will trigger this particular issue. We have done this by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that they used to get the issue resolved. Here is a shortlist with common scenarios that have the chance of triggering this particular issue:

  • Default shortcut keys are glitched – Sometimes, shortcut keys can be used for multiple applications and tasks. Because of this, the default shortcut keys can be glitched for screenshot application.
  • Primary Language is selected wrong – Another potential case in which this error occurs is when you’re using a different language than English. Spanish or other languages use shortcut keys for different symbols and accented letters in macOS.
  • A third-party application is blocking the shortcuts – In some cases, a third-party application can get access to your system default keyboard shortcuts, which can be the culprit blocking the shortcut keys.

This article will help you with different methods to resolve the “Authentication error occurred“. We will start from the most common and simple method to the detailed one.

Method 1: Restore Defaults Keyboard Shortcuts

There can be a chance that the culprit is the shortcut keys itself. Most users finding themselves in a similar situation managed to fix the issue by restoring the keyboard shortcuts for screenshots to default. Sometimes, a third-party application interferes or shortcut keys are glitched due to which users are unable to use it for a screenshot. Follow the below steps to restore default shortcuts:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the menu bar at the top and choose System Preferences in the contextual menu, then click on Keyboard.
    Opening Keyboard option in system preferences
  2. Then click on the Shortcuts tab in the keyboard settings and select Screenshots option in the left panel.
  3. Check the shortcut keys, if they are all tick/correct and still not working, then you can click Restore Defaults button below the keys.
    Restore defaults shortcut keys
  4. Once it is restored to default settings, try using the shortcut keys again.

Method 2: Change Primary Language to English

Sometimes, you can be using another language than English. Because of using different language your keyboard shortcuts changes for different symbol or task. If you are using another language, you can fix this simply by changing your language back to English as shown below:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the menu bar at the top and choose System Preferences in the contextual menu, then click on Language & Region.
    Language and Region Settings
  2. Change the Primary language from Spanish (or any other language) to English by dragging it to the first position in the list.
    Changing Primary Language to English

    Note: You can also remove the secondary language by selecting it and pressing the minus sign.

  3. Now check your shortcuts for the screenshot, it will work.

Method 3: Look for the Application that Uses Same Shortcuts

This issue also occurs if you are using some third-party screen capture application or any other application that interferes with screenshots. Some users were able to solve the issue by checking the shortcuts for other default applications or if any third-party application is using the shortcuts for themselves. Applications like Voila a third-party screen capture application can also cause a problem with system shortcuts.

Voila third-party application

Dropbox also causes the issue in some cases, where it will save the screenshots directly in dropbox rather than a system. You can change the preferences settings for dropbox in the Import tab by unchecking the “Share screenshots using Dropbox‘ option.

Dropbox preferences import settings

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.