Can You Screenshot an NFT – How to and Why Do It

An NFT can be purchased from anywhere between $1 and $69million!

As an NFT is usually, but not always, a digital image one of the most common questions I see is whether it’s possible to just take a screenshot of the NFT instead?

By screenshotting the NFT the user will have a copy, and potentially save a considerable amount of money.

Is it legal or ethical to screenshot an NFT that someone else has spent their hard-earned money and cryptocurrency on?

It is possible to screenshot an NFT by using the PrtScn button on Windows or a Shift+Command+3 combination on a MAC. A screenshot will capture a digital copy of the graphical representation of the NFT but not the NFT itself. This remains with the holder of the NFT until it is sold.

Often when someone asks whether they can screenshot an NFT, they are usually asking whether they can simply own the NFT by taking a copy.

It’s the same thing, right?

No. It is not the same thing. Owning an NFT with a verified address on the blockchain, and grabbing a copy of it by a screenshot are very different.

Would you consider you owned a Banksy or a Picasso simply because you found a copy of one of their pieces or art on Google Photos and took a screenshot?

No, obviously you wouldn’t.

Just because an NFT is digital, rather than tangible like a Banksy or Picasso, it doesn’t mean a copy is the same as the real thing.

Why Screenshot an NFT

If you want to have a copy of the NFT for personal reference, write an editorial review or for research purposes to view offline, then these are very good reasons to screenshot and have a copy of an NFT.

Perhaps you would like to study the artwork in greater detail, to write about the NFT as part of a school project, to research better its traits or to learn about the style of the artist. All of which are perfectly valid reasons.

Those not familiar with the NFT industry or just starting out may wonder what all the fuss is about.

Why spend hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars on a digital image that anyone can screenshot for free.

The answer is ownership and status.

As anyone can download a free copy of a digital image, there is no value in it.

If anyone could screenshot a Beeple NFT and then sell it for $1million everyone would be doing it!

It would be like going to a museum, taking a photograph of a famous work or art, and thinking you own it.

Having been in the NFT industry for quite some time now I can tell you the reason people buy high value NFT’s is the status and feeling of owning it, not just looking at it.

This status, or feeling, cannot be replicated by producing a screenshot of the NFT on your PC or Mac.

Is it illegal to screenshot an NFT?

It is not illegal to screenshot an NFT. It is illegal to screenshot an NFT and then use it in either a scam, fraud, or malicious way like trying to resell it as the original.

Taking a copy or screenshot of any image on the internet is not considered illegal or a copyright infringement.

The browser technology of displaying the NFT, or any image on your PC, is by downloading it and caching (storing).

Therefore when browsers are running slow the advice is to clear your cache, as this removes all the digital images your browser has been storing. Your PC does this to display the web page faster next time without needing to re-download all the images again.

If the NFT screenshot is for personal, research or editorial use, it is fine to screenshot unless otherwise indicated on the website.

How to screenshot an NFT

Taking a screenshot of an NFT is easy.

It depends on whether you are using a Windows PC or a MAC, but here are three different methods depending on the hardware you are using:

Windows PC

The PrtScn button on a Windows based keyboard will take a screenshot of everything in view.

It will include the task bar, browser etc. everything you can see.

With your screenshot you can paste this into Windows Paint, Photoshop or any other graphics software.

You will need image software to paste your screenshot in to, or Windows software such as Word, Outlook etc. and from here you can save a copy into your PC.

Snipping Tool (Windows)

The handy Windows Snipping Tool is perfect for grabbing specific parts of a web page.

In the Search bar type ‘Snipping Tool’, open the software, click New and use your cursor to screenshot a specific part of the page, such as an NFT image. From here you can save to your PC.


For MAC users Shift+Command+3 will take a screenshot of everything in view.

Again, like Windows users, this can be pasted in to any free or paid for graphics software to save to your Mac.

Why Buy an NFT rather than take a copy

We have briefly covered this topic throughout the article but owning and possessing something rare, valuable, and sought after provides a feeling of status.

People have been buying rare possessions for centuries for this very reason.

The NFT industry is driven by hype. Hype and scarcity. The cleverest marketing plans and announcements, with a creative concept with artwork that resonates with people, can create a huge demand with limited supply.

This is how NFTs can shoot to the moon in terms of value!

People see the hype and adopt a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) attitude. They follow the hype and get drawn in.

With hype comes more hype, and the marketers are clever at creating ways to play on the FOMO and desires NFT buyers have.

Think of how toy manufacturers and game console producers never produce enough, and there’s always scarcity at the time you want it most. An inevitable sell out happens, leading to more demand and more FOMO.

It’s a marketing tactic played well for many years by huge companies and is played rather well in the NFT space.

No one wants to just copy the NFT, they want to own the NFT!

They want to be one of the people in the community that managed to grab what others wanted. This creates a feeling of status and worth.

Ask any NFT buyer if they’d like a Bored Ape Yacht Club in their NFT wallet and see how many no responses you receive – it won’t be many!

Buying the NFT gives the buyer the status they seek, which simply cannot be replicated with a free screenshot.

Screenshot an NFT – In Conclusion

It is possible and legal to screenshot an NFT, if it is for personal use only.

Taking a screenshot is great for research, analysis or if you just like the art, but it is not a substitute for owning the NFT if possessing it is what you really seek.

You are always going to be looking at something that belongs to someone else!

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