Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently I've been having problems with the built in screenshots in OS X Mountain Lion. Every now and then it stops working, and the only way to get it working again seems to be logging out and back in. Obviously I can use grab, but it can be inconvenient. When I try toggling it using ⌘+⇧+3 or ⌘+⇧+4, I will either get the funk error noise, or simply cause the mouse to disappear. Nothing new appears in the console messages.

I'd be sufficiently satisfied if I could find out what process is linked to these screenshots, so I wouldn't have to log out/in every time I need to take one, but if I can fix the problem altogether that'd be even better.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Screenshots are taken by the screencapture program (one screenshot per program instance) and its parent, when started using these shortcuts, is SystemUIServer.

Screenshot of screencapture in Activity Monitor

SystemUIServer isn't as essential as it might sound. Its best known job is to manage the notification area in the menu bar. It can be killed.

share|improve this answer
I quit SystemUIServer (since it auto-restarts) but I still can't take screenshots, and the screencapture program is still not appearing. Is there any way I could manually start it? – Francesco Zeno Apr 28 '13 at 20:39
SystemUIServer also runs the menu bar items (on the right side of the menu bar) as plug-ins. Is it possible one of those is hanging and interfering with SystemUIServer's screenshot duties? – Gordon Davisson Apr 28 '13 at 20:41
@Francesco Can you try whether this problem persists with another user account? – slhck Apr 28 '13 at 20:41
@GordonDavisson Sure, it's possible but I wouldn't know which one that would be. They've all been there since long before the problem starting occurring. It could be due to an update in one of them, but I don't know how I would go about figuring it out. – Francesco Zeno Apr 28 '13 at 20:48
@slhck As I mentioned, logging out and back in would temporarily fix the problem, but I don't know when it would present itself again. – Francesco Zeno Apr 28 '13 at 20:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .