How to Take a Photo on a Chromebook

Taking a picture on a Chromebook is really easy. For this article, we're going to assume you have a Chromebook with a camera, your Chromebook is associated with your Google Drive account, and your Chromebook is connected to a printer.

Taking Your First Picture

Opening the camera app on a Chromebook.
Opening the camera app on a Chromebook.

You must be logged into your Chromebook to do this. Once you’ve logged in, click on the menu button (bottom left corner of the desktop) and type “camera” in the search bar. Click on the camera app (shaped like a camera) to open the camera window.

With the camera app open, place yourself in the frame and, once you’re exactly where you want to be, click the red camera shutter button in the center of the bottom toolbar.

The camera app in action.
The camera app in action.

It is important, for taking pictures, that you do not click the video button (shaped like a video camera), otherwise, you’ll be in video mode (and not camera mode). It is also very important that you have plenty of lighting for your shot. Chromebooks aren't famous for having outstanding cameras (even a $1,500.00 Chromebook Pixel has a camera that doesn't stack up to many mid-range phone cameras). If you don't have enough lighting, the photo will be grainy. The perfect lighting is natural lighting (think outdoors).

If you find the perfect shot means you're too far away from your keyboard, you can click the timer button (directly to the right of the camera shutter button). After you click the timer button, click the camera shutter button and you'll get an audible 5 second countdown before the photo is snapped.

Once the photo is snapped, click on the gallery icon (two squares) in the bottom left corner of the camera app. You should now see your picture(s) ready for viewing, saving, printing, and deleting.

Saving a photo on your Chromebook.
Saving a photo on your Chromebook.

Double-click on an image to open it, where you can:

  • Click to print (fourth icon from the right in the bottom right corner, shaped like a printer)
  • Save (third icon from the right in the bottom right corner, shaped like a downward-pointing arrow in a box)
  • Delete (second icon from the right in the bottom right corner, shaped like a trash can)
  • Return to the camera app (far right icon in the bottom left corner, shaped like a left pointing arrow).

Saving a Picture on Your Chromebook

This is where it might get a bit confusing for some. Remember, the Chromebook is the ideal cloud platform. And because your Chromebook is associated with your Google account, you would immediately assume that photo will have been saved to your cloud account. That’s not the default case. In fact, when you save a picture you’ve taken with the Chromebook camera, it actually saves to the local Downloads folder. Fear not, during the save process you can dictate where the picture is saved.

Saving to your Google Drive account.
Saving to your Google Drive account.

To save the photo directly to Google Drive you’ll want to:

  1. Expand the Google Drive entry (in the left pane)
  2. Select My Drive
  3. Navigate to the folder you want to save the picture into
  4. Click the OPEN button.

Congratulations, you’ve not only taken your first picture on a Chromebook, you’ve also saved the image to the cloud (where you can view it from any device associated with your Google account).

Printing a Picture on Your Chromebook

Printing pictures on a Chromebook is just as easy. As mentioned previously, your Chromebook does have to be connected to a cloud-friendly printer. Once you have that taken care of, open the photo you want to print in the Camera Gallery and then click the print icon. In the resulting window, click the Change button. You will then be presented with a list of available printers. Select your printer and then click Print.

Printing on a Chromebook.
Printing on a Chromebook.