Screenshots in Windows 10 without Print Screen (PrtScn)
Many laptop keyboards lack some useful keys, such as PrtScn (the Print Screen key, used to create various screenshots). Three valuable methods can help to make different screenshots in Windows 10 without PrtScn:
- Press WindowsShiftS to create screenshots very easily and fast.
- Run Snapping Tool to create simple screenshots in Windows 10.
- Using delays in the Snapping Tool, you can create a screenshot with tooltips or other effects that can be displayed only if the mouse right above the object.
Screenshots using WindowsShiftS
After pressing Windows keyShiftS, the screen will dim, you can drag to select a portion of the screen to capture. The screenshot is copied to the clipboard, and you can paste it into another program by clicking Edit Paste or pressing CtrlV, just as paste a full-screen shortcut taken with the Print Screen key.
On the top of the screen you will see the options of taking a screenshot:
- Rectangular Snip: the option by default offers to select the rectangular capture:
Freeform Snip: choose this option to create a freeform capture:
Window Snip: use this option to capture the full active window:
Full-Scree Snip: click this option to create a full-screen screenshot:
- WindowsShiftS is available only in recent versions of Windows 10. If you don’t see the appropriate reaction after pressing WindowsShiftS, check the latest updates for your Windows system.
- WindowsShiftS can’t capture some useful elements like ToolTips, or other mouse hover effects (see the appropriate tool below).
Screenshots using Snapping Tool
The Snipping Tool is a part of Windows for a long time. This tool can take screenshots of a rectangular area, a free-form area, an open window, or the entire screen. You can annotate your snips with different colored pens or a highlighter, even remove some security-sensitive information with rubber, save it as an image or HTML (MHT) file, or copy-paste it to any other application.
To create a screenshot using the Snipping Tool, do the following:
Run the Snipping Tool in Windows by any of your favorite methods and click the New button.
Click the New button to freeze a screen:
Using the mouse, create the screenshot.
The screenshot will appear in the Snipping Tool window.
Use different modes to create a screenshot
By default, the Snapping Tool uses a rectangular area to take a screenshot. If it is needed, in the Mode dropdown list, choose the type of screenshot shape you want:
Note: The Snapping Tool captures the window how it is visible on your monitor. So, if you take a screenshot of a window that overlaps with another window, you will see the screenshot as-is:
Use delays to create a tooltip screenshot
The Snipping Tool has a useful Delay option that allows capturing screenshots of popup menus and tooltips. By default, the Delay option is disabled:
From the Delay dropdown list, select the number of seconds you’d like to wait until your screenshot is taken.
You can’t create a screenshot of tooltips in any Microsoft Office application without delay. For example, in Microsoft Excel:
If you select some number of seconds as a delay, after clicking the New button, the screen will not immediately freeze. Instead, you will have the chosen number of seconds to set up your screenshots. You can use this time to open the popup menu or tooltip you want to capture:
Once your seconds have passed:
- If you selected the Rectangular Snip or Free-form Snip on the Mode dropdown list, the screen would freeze, and you can create your snip.
- If you chose a Window Snip or Full-Screen Snip in the Mode dropdown list, it would capture the snip immediately.
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How to Screenshot on Windows 10
Chris Hoffman Reviewed By Justin Duino and Christopher Michaelis
Press Windows Print Screen (PrtScrn) to take a full-screen screenshot on Windows 10. Windows saves the screenshot to the Screenshots folder in your Pictures folder. To take a screenshot of a region, hit WindowsShiftS, then click and drag your cursor to select a region.
By taking a screenshot, you can capture an image of your entire display—or just an area of it. Windows 10 has a variety of built-in tools for easily capturing a screenshot, and we’ve also got some even more powerful third-party tools to recommend.
Take a Screenshot with Print Screen (PrtScn)
The Print Screen key on your keyboard can take a screenshot. Depending on the keyboard shortcut you use, you can save the screenshot as a PNG image file or copy it to your clipboard so you can paste it into any application.
The prtscn key is usually found between the F12 key and Scroll Lock key on the top row of your keyboard. It may be labeled something like “PrtScn,” “PrntScrn,” or “Print Scr” instead. On full-size keyboards, look above the Insert key.
On laptop keyboards, the Print Screen key may be combined with another key, but it will be located in that general area of the keyboard. You may have to press your laptop’s “Function” or “Fn” key while using the shortcuts here.
Save Your Screenshot as a File
Press WindowsPrint Screen to save a screenshot as a file. In other words, press and hold the Windows logo key and tap the Print Screen key, which may be labeled something like PrtScrn or PrtScn. (On a laptop keyboard, you may have to use WindowsFnPrtScn.)
Tip: If you’re using a Windows 10 tablet or 2-in-1 convertible PC without a keyboard, press PowerVolume Down to take a screenshot. If you see a Windows logo button on your tablet’s display, press WindowsVolume Down instead.
The screen will dim for a moment, providing visual confirmation. The screenshot will appear as a PNG file in a folder named “Screenshots” inside your user account’s “Pictures” folder. If you take multiple screenshots, each will be automatically labeled with a number.
In other words, you will likely find your screenshot at the following location: C:\Users\NAME\Pictures\Screenshots
Note: Your screen will only flash while taking a screenshot if you have the “Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing” setting enabled. To control whether or not your screen flashes, toggle this option.
Save a Screenshot to Your Clipboard
To copy an image of your screen to your clipboard, just press the Print Screen key (or FnPrint Screen on some laptops).
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Windows will save an image of your screen to the clipboard. You can paste it into almost any application: An image editor, a word processor, or anything else that supports images. Just select Edit Paste or press CtrlV to paste as you normally would.
Tip: If you have Windows 10’s clipboard history enabled, Windows will remember the last few things you copied to your clipboard—including screenshots.
Save a Screenshot of a Single Window to Your Clipboard
To capture a screenshot of just one single window instead of your entire screen, press AltPrint Screen. (On some laptops, you may need to press AltFnPrint Screen instead.)
Windows will save an image of the current window to your clipboard, so be sure to select the window you want to capture first. You can either click somewhere inside the window or use AltTab to FOCUS it.
Use Snip Sketch to Take Screenshots
Windows 10 has a built-in Snip Sketch tool that provides more powerful screenshot options. You can use it to take a screenshot of a specific region of your screen, capture a screenshot on a delay, or annotate your screenshots.
Note: Windows 10 still contains the classic Snipping Tool, which was introduced in Windows Vista. You can still use the Snipping Tool if you’re familiar with it. However, it’s being phased out in favor of the modern Snip Sketch tool. Snip Sketch has all the same options as the Snipping Tool—and more.
Take a Screenshot of Part of Your Screen
To quickly take a screenshot with Snip Sketch, press WindowsShiftS. Your screen will appear grayed out and your mouse will transform into a crosshair.
You will see a bar of several buttons near the top of your screen. Select the function you want. From left to right, here’s what the buttons do:
- Rectangular Snip: You will be able to draw a rectangle over your screen with your cursor. Windows will save a screenshot of the area inside the rectangle.
- Freeform Snip: You can outline an arbitrary shape on your screen with your cursor (or a stylus or finger on a touch screen). Windows will save a screenshot of the area you draw around.
- Window Snip: The cursor will function as a crosshair. You can position it over a window and click to take a screenshot of just that window.
- Fullscreen Snip: This button takes a screenshot of your entire display.
- Close Snipping: Close the overlay without taking a screenshot. (You can also press Esc on your keyboard to do this.)
Snip Sketch will remember your last used option when you use the keyboard shortcut to open it.
Annotate or Crop a Screenshot
When you take a screenshot, you will get a notification saying the screenshot was copied to your clipboard. You can paste it into any other application that supports image files. (Use Edit Paste or CtrlV to paste.)
If the notification goes away before you can click it, you will find the notification in Windows 10’s Action Center.
For more options, click the notification. This will open the Snip Sketch window with options for writing on, highlighting, erasing, and cropping areas of the image.
There’s also a “Save” button, which will let you save your screenshot as an image file from here.
(The interface will vary according to window size. With a larger Snip Sketch window, all the options are on the top toolbar. If you resize the window and make it smaller, some of the options will move to a bottom toolbar.)
Take a Delayed Screenshot
In some cases, taking a screenshot on a delay can help you capture a menu or other interface element that won’t appear unless you’re interacting with it. Snip Sketch can take a screenshot on a three or ten-second delay.
To find this option, you will need to open the Snip Sketch application window directly. Click the Start button (or press the Windows Key), search for “Snip,” and launch the “Snip Sketch” application shortcut.
To the right of the “New” button in the Snip Sketch window, click the down arrow and select either “Snip in 3 seconds” or “Snip in 10 seconds.”
Tip: If you click menu Options in the Snip Sketch window, you will find options to open Snip Sketch when you press Print Screen, choose whether or not Snip Sketch automatically copies screenshots to your clipboard, and add an outline around your snips (screenshots).
Capture a Screenshot (or Video) With the Game Bar
Windows 10 includes a feature named the Xbox Game Bar. Despite the name, it’s really more of a gaming-focused overlay with a variety of features. It’s particularly useful for taking screenshots of PC games.
By default, WindowsAltPrint Screen will take a screenshot of the current game or desktop application with the Game Bar. (On some laptops, you may have to press WindowsAltFnPrint Screen.)
You’ll see a “Screenshot saved” notification, and you can click that notification to see your Game Bar screenshots. You can also press WindowsG to open the Game Bar.
Screenshots you take with this tool are saved to C:\Users\NAME\Videos\Captures. (Yes, even screenshots are shared to the Videos folder.)
The Game Bar also lets you record videos of your Windows 10 screen. You can even use it to record videos of your desktop or any other application. You can record much more than just games. The video file will be saved to the C:\Users\NAME\Videos\Captures folder in H.264 MP4 format.
Take Screenshots With Greenshot, a Free Application
Our favorite free screenshot tool for Windows—aside from the tools built into Windows 10 itself, which are extremely capable—is Greenshot. It’s free and open-source, and it’s packed with additional features like customizable keyboard shortcuts.
Greenshot runs in your system tray where it provides useful options like “Capture Window From List,” which lets you quickly capture a screenshot of any running window from a context menu.
Take Screenshots the Easy Way With SnagIt, a Powerful Tool
Windows 10 is packed with useful screenshot features and Greenshot is a powerful tool, but each of the above methods has its own limitations. If you take a lot of screenshots and want more flexibility and options, you might want something even more powerful.
If you don’t mind spending a few dollars on a screenshot tool, SnagIt by Techsmith is an incredibly powerful screenshot application. It makes taking screenshots easy and has features for targeting specific Windows and capturing the full text of scrolling Windows like web pages in your browser.
SnagIt can also record videos of your screen, turn them into animated GIFs (if you like), add video from your webcam and audio from your microphone, and help you easily trim those video clips so you can only include what’s important.
Beyond that, SnagIt can extract text from screenshots, annotate them, replace text in the screenshots, and do pretty much else you imagine a screenshot tool should be able to do. It’s a great application that we recommend, especially if you need to take a lot of screenshots.
TechSmith offers a free trial of SnagIt so you can see if it meets your needs before buying it. If you take a lot of screenshots, we think you’ll have a hard time going back to the more barebones tools built into Windows.
Thinking about switching to a different computer? Taking a screenshot on a Mac or capturing something on your Chromebook is not much different than grabbing an image on your Windows 10 machine.
Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times-and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read Full Bio »
How to Take Screenshots in Windows 10, 8, and 7
Former freelance contributor Ian Paul is a widely published freelance tech writer specializing in Windows, virus protection, and VPNs.
How to take a Screenshot Windows 10 Computer Keyboard Shortcut Key
Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12 years’ experience working in the IT industry support and management positions.
In This Article
This article explains how to take screenshots in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
Screenshots in Windows 10
To snap a screenshot in Windows 10, press WinShiftS. This hotkey opens a small clipping menu at the top of the screen.
You have four options for the type of area you want to capture:
Select the kind of screenshot you want to capture. To use a Rectangular or Freeform Snip, click and drag the mouse to define the capture area. When you release the mouse button, the area saves to your clipboard.
If you select Window Snip, the active window that you select is saved to the clipboard.
If you select Fullscreen Snip, the entire desktop (including any additional attached monitors) is saved to the clipboard.
With any of the snips, you get a notification that the Snip saved to clipboard.
If you select the notification before it disappears, it opens your snip in Snip Sketch, the new version of the Snipping Tool in Windows 10. Or, you can paste the copied screenshot into an image editor, email message, OneNote, or another application.
Snip Sketch (Windows 10)
Snip Sketch adds cropping and annotation tools. If you take a screenshot with other techniques and have Snip Sketch installed, Windows prompts you to access your screenshot in Snip Sketch. The tool offers a timer set to a delay of 3 or 10 seconds.
Full-Screen Captures (Windows 10, 8, and 7)
No matter which Windows version you have, capture a screenshot of the entire desktop by pressing PrtScn, Print Screen, or, on some laptops, FnPrnt Scrn.
PrtScn copies a screenshot of the full screen to your system clipboard. From there, you can paste the image where you need it, such as into an email or an image editor such as Microsoft Paint or Gimp for Windows.
To paste the image, press CtrlV.
The screenshot captures all active monitors.
Alternate Full-Screen Capture (Windows 10 and 8)
The PrtScn method above works in all versions of Windows. Windows 10 and Windows 8, however, offer a trick that makes screen capturing a little faster.
Press WinPrtScn (or FnWinPrtScrn). Your display momentarily dims as if a camera shutter just snapped, indicating the screenshot. Instead of having to paste the image into another program, however, Windows saves the image to Pictures Screenshots.
Single-Window Screenshots (Windows 10 and 8)
To take a screenshot of a single window, select the window’s title bar (at the top). Press AltPrtScn. A screenshot of only the active window saves to your clipboard. You can then paste the image to another program or location, such as an email or Microsoft Paint.
Windows Snipping Tool (Windows 10, 8, and 7)
A built-in utility, Snipping Tool, gives you another way to make screenshots but with more control over the area captured. It’s available in Windows versions starting with Windows Vista, but it differs somewhat from version to version. Here’s how to use it.
The Snipping Tool in Windows is being incorporated into a new tool called Snip Sketch. Snip Sketch lets you take screenshots like Snipping Tool, and also allows you to annotate and crop them. Both tools are still available in Windows 10.
- Select Start and type snipping into the Search box. Select Snipping Tool in the search results.
Free-form or Rectangular Snip options: After you draw the area that you want to capture, release the mouse button. The image opens in Snipping Tool. It also goes to your clipboard. Window Snip: Move the mouse pointer to the active window and click to capture the window image.
If you use the Window Snip option and click a window behind the active window, a screenshot is taken of that window behind, plus any other Windows in front of it.
Full-screen Snip: As soon as you choose this selection, the Snipping Tool captures the full desktop image.
Snipping Tool does not capture opened context menus or other pop-up menus. When you attempt to make a screenshot of these, as soon as the Snipping Tool is activated, those menus close.
Using Delay to Capture Pop-Up Menus (Windows 10)
Windows 10 offers a delay feature for making screenshots with Snipping Tool. The delay allows you to set up your desktop before the program freezes your screen.
- Click Delay and select the amount of time you’d like Snipping Tool to wait before capturing the image, up to five seconds.
The Snipping Tool doesn’t have a live timer to show you how much time you have left. To be on the safe side, give yourself five seconds for each shot.
Other Methods for Screen Capture
OneNote used to have a screen-clipping function. Although it’s no longer available, you may still use this method to take a screenshot on older versions.
Use the autosave screenshot feature on a Windows tablet by pressing WinVolumeDown.
On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key PrtScn to copy the screen to the system clipboard. If your keyboard doesn’t have a PrtScn button, press Fn Windows logo key Space Bar instead.
On the keyboard, press the Ctrl Show Windows keys. If you’re using a Chromebook tablet, press the Power Volume Down buttons on the device.
Simultaneously press the Windows Shift 3 keys to take a screenshot—which is much like taking a Mac screenshot with a Mac keyboard, but pressing Windows instead of Command.
[SOLVED] Windows Shift S Not Working on Windows 10/11
Want to take a screenshot but nothing happens after pressing the Windows logo key Shift S shortcut? This can be very annoying. But don’t worry. In this post, we’ll show you how to fix the Windows Shift S not working issue easily and quickly.
Quick fixes to Windows Shift S not working
Before you begin, try to kill the Screen Snipping process in Task Manager. Here’s how:
- On your keyboard, press Ctrl Shift Esc at the same time to open Task Manager.
- Under Background processes, right-click Screen Snipping and select End task.
Check to see if your problem is resolved. If not, don’t worry, there are a few fixes you can try.
Try these fixes
You don’t have to try all of them, just work your way down the list until you find the one that works for you.
Fix 1: Enable notifications for Snip Sketch
Normally, when you take a screenshot by hitting the Windows logo key Shift S, a notification that says Snip saved to clipboard appears in the lower right corner of your screen. However, if you’ve turned off notifications for Snip Sketch, you’ll have to turn them on again. Here’s how to do it:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key I simultaneously to open Windows Settings, then select System.
- In the left panel, select Notifications actions. Under Get notifications from these senders, locate Snip Sketch and make sure it is set to On.
If you’ve enabled notifications for Snip Sketch but the keyboard shortcut still doesn’t work properly, check out the next fix.
Fix 2: Turn on clipboard history
The screenshot you captured will be automatically copied to your clipboard. To view the screenshot, you can turn on clipboard history. Here’s how:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key I simultaneously to open Windows Settings, then select System.
- In the left panel, select Clipboard, then turn on Clipboard history.
Now press the Windows logo key Shift S to take a screenshot and check if the screenshot appears on the clipboard by hitting the Windows logo key V.
Fix 3: Reset Snip Sketch
The Windows logo key Shift S allows you to take a screenshot without starting Snip Sketch. But if this keyboard shortcut isn’t working right, you can try resetting Snip Sketch. Here’s how:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key I simultaneously to open Windows Settings, then select Apps.
- Under Apps features, scroll down the page and click Snip Sketch. Then select Advanced options.
- Click Reset.
- When prompted to confirm your action, click Reset again.
How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 10
Once the process is finished, restart your computer and check if the Windows logo key Shift S hotkey works properly. If not, take a look at the next fix.
Fix 4: Reinstall Snip Sketch
If resetting Snip Sketch doesn’t help, try reinstalling this app. To do so:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu. Then right-click Snip Sketch and select Uninstall.
- In the pop-up window, click Uninstall again.
- After uninstalling Snip Sketch, go to Microsoft Store to download and reinstall the app again on your system.
Once you’ve reinstalled Snip Sketch, press the Window logo key Shift S to see if it works properly. If not, check out the next fix.
Fix 5: Check for Windows updates
Windows updates often contain bug fixes and security improvements. To ensure the snipping tool works properly, you should install the latest updates on your system. Here’s how to do it:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key I at the same time to open Windows Settings. Then select Update Security.
- Under Windows Update, click Check for updates. Windows will automatically scan for, download and install the available updates.
After installing all available updates, restart your computer and check if the Windows logo key Shift S shortcut works fine.
If this keyboard shortcut is still not working, consider using an alternative to take screenshots.
Fix 6: Use an alternative to take screenshots
If all the above methods fail to solve your problem, you can try either of the following ways to take screenshots.
Option 1 – Print Screen shortcut
The Print Screen or PrtScn key on your keyboard allows you to capture an image of your entire screen. To use this button, you need to enable it in settings. Here’s how:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key I at the same time to open Windows Settings. Then select Ease of Access.
- In the left panel, select Keyboard. Under Print Screen shortcut, toggle the switch to On.
Now you can use the PrtScn key to open screen snipping.
If your keyboard’s PrntScrn key has two jobs then you may need to press the Fn key PrtScn at the same time to capture an image.
Option 2 – Snagit
Snagit is a simple and powerful screen capture and recording software. With Snagit, you can quickly take screenshots, add additional context, and share images, GIFs, or videos across your preferred platforms.
To take a screenshot with Snagit:
- Press the new shortcut you set in Step 2. The screen will be grayed out allowing you to select the screen area for capture by dragging the orange crosshairs.
- Once taken, the screenshot will open up in the Snagit Editor. From there, you can edit the image, such as cropping the image, blurring particular areas, and adding arrows, shapes, icons or text. Once done, you can choose to save it on your desktop, copy it to your clipboard, email it to someone or share it online.
That’s all for now. Hopefully, this post helped you solve the snipping tool shortcut (Windows Shift S) not working issue. If you have further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line.