People often need to take screenshots for work. Other times you may just need to take one to share something with a friend. In any case, they’re a useful tool on any device. If you are using Windows 10 or 11, there are a few ways to take one. Read on for ten easy methods of how to screenshot on Windows.
How to Screenshot on Windows 11: 10 Simple Methods
1. Press the Print Screen Windows Key or “PrtScn” to Copy the Entire Screen to the Clipboard
This method is applicable to screenshot Windows 11, Windows 10, and previous versions of Windows:
- Locate the PrtScn or Print Screen key, which is usually to the right of the F12 functional key at the keyboard’s top-most row.
- Press the Print Screen or PrtScn key. You may need to press another key on some keyboards, the Fn functional key, together with the PrtScn key, that is Fn + PrtScn. This is usually the case with smaller laptops.
- Go to a different application that allows you to paste such as MS Word, Painting tool, MS PowerPoint and click Paste or Ctrl + V keys.
- Don’t forget to save, clicking the Save button or press the Ctrl + S keys.
2. Use OneDrive to Automatically Save Print Screen Screenshots
You can use PrtSc with OneDrive as a method of how to screenshot on Windows 11 to automatically create image files. Using OneDrive saves you extra steps of accessing a different app to copy contents to the Clipboard and stores all screenshots in one location for you to use later. Below is how to set up the OneDrive:
- Select the cloud icon on the taskbar and navigate to OneDrive’s Settings.
- Select the backup tab under the OneDrive utility settings and check the “Automatically Save Screenshots” check-box.
3. Choose or create the OneDrive folder for all your screenshots.
4. Now you can give it a try. Press Print Screen or PrtScn and verify if the screenshot image is saved in your OneDrive folder.
3. Press Windows + Print Screen to Save the Screenshot as a File
This windows screenshot method allows you to save your screenshot as a file directly:
- On your keyboard, press Windows + Print Screen.
- Navigate to your Pictures folder and open the Screenshots folder (C:UsersUser NamePicturesScreenshots).
3. The windows screenshot file will have the name “Screenshot#.png”, # being the number that Windows will automatically assign to the screenshot according to the time and number of screenshots previously taken.
4. Remember, you might need to press Fn + PrtScn + Windows on certain keyboards to save your windows screenshot png file.
4. Press Alt + Print Screen to Copy Only the Active Window to the Clipboard
Windows allows you to take a screenshot of the window that is currently active on your desktop. Therefore, you won’t need to crop the image to get the active window as in previous Windows screenshots.
- Press Alt + Print Screen on your keyboard.
- Open another application that can receive images from the Clipboard such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Paint, Google Sheets or Docs, or any image editing application and click Paste or Ctrl + V.
5. How to Screenshot on PC with the Snipping Tool
The snipping tool in Windows 11 is a classic combination of the Windows 10 Snip & Sketch tool and the Snipping Tool. The two applications were somewhat confusing in Windows 10 as some of their functions were similar, making them redundant. The Windows 11 screenshot snipping tool cleans up that mess while allowing you to annotate, share or save your Windows screenshots or screen print a smaller area.
- Go to the Windows search bar, type “Snipping Tool,” and select it from the search results.
- When the Snipping tool launches, click “New” to initiate a screen capture, or if you wish to customize your screenshot, use the Mode dropdown menu to choose between free-form, regular, window, or full-screen snip.
- Select your delay option on the Delay dropdown menu. The snipping tool allows you to time your screenshot with a maximum delay of 5 seconds.
- After your customizations, click “New”.
- Next, position your cursor and drag it in the screen’s area you would like to capture.
- Release the cursor, and the Snipping Tool pop up will display the image captured; the screenshot is also saved in the Clipboard.
- On the Snipping Tool application, you can annotate or crop the windows screenshot if necessary.
- Save the image using the Snipping tool by clicking on the floppy disk icon or go to another application that allows you to paste and save images from the Clipboard.
Here is what the different Snipping Tool Modes do:
- Rectangular Snip Mode selects and captures a rectangle-shaped free-form area of your windows screen.
- Freeform Snip Mode selects and captures an irregular shape. When you paste the screenshot, it will appear as a rectangle, with the areas surrounding the irregular shape being black.
- Window Snip Mode will select and capture only the application window you choose.
- Full-screen Snip Mode allows you to capture the entire windows screen so it is just like pressing Print Screen.
6. Using Windows + Shift + S to launch the Snipping Tool App
You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows + Shift + S to launch the Snipping Tool. However, there is a slight difference when you launch the Snipping Tool through the shortcut keys.
- Press Windows + Shift + S keys on your keyboard.
- Your screen will darken, and you will see a small toolbox at the top center of your screen.
- The toolbox from left to right has the Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, and Full-Screen Snip options.
- Select one of the options on the toolbar.
- Position your cursor next to the area you would like to capture.
- Left-click and hold the mouse, then drag your mouse over the area you would like captured.
- Release the mouse button; your selection will be copied to the Clickboard.
- You may also see a small pop-up on the right corner of your screen if your notifications are on.
- Click the pop-up message, and the Snipping Tool app will appear with your captured image.
- You can then manipulate the image by annotating or cropping and can save or share.
- You can also paste the screenshot to any other application that allows pasting and saving images from the Clipboard.
7. Use Print Screen to Launch Screen Snipping Tool
Windows 11 allows you to customize the Print Screen or PrtScn command to start up the Snipping Tool App. This method is, therefore, more effortless than the previous two. Follow these steps to launch Screen Snipping by pressing the Print Screen key.
- Go to search bar and type settings, then select Windows Settings from search results or use Windows + I to open Windows Settings.
- Choose Accessibility > Keyboard.
- Turn the “Use the Print Screen button to open screen snipping” by selecting the switch (it will turn blue).
- Give it a go, close settings and press Print Screen on the keyboard.
8. Taking a Screenshot on Devices Without a Print Screen Key
- In older Windows devices that lack a Print Screen, for instance, earlier versions of Microsoft Surface tablets, press Windows + Fn + Spacebar to take your windows screenshot.
- Meanwhile, if you have a device with a Windows logo button like a tablet, press the Volume Down button and the Windows button concurrently to capture the windows screen.
- On some devices such as the Dell Latitude tablet, pressing the Power Button and Volume Down buttons simultaneously will take a windows screenshot.
- All the above methods save a screenshot to the PicturesScreenshots folder in your user folder.
- If you are using a device with a surface pen, double-tap the button at the rear of the pen to launch the Snipping Tool app.
- If your tablet model does not respond to the above methods, look into its documentation or try experimenting; you will soon find out how to take a screenshot on Windows.
9. Take a Screenshot with the Xbox Game Bar
You can also use the Xbox Game Bar to make a Windows screenshot or capture video by following the steps below:
- Launch the Xbox Game Bar by pressing Windows + G keys on your keyboard, or press the Xbox logo button if you have connected Xbox controller.
- Once the Xbox Game bar appears, select “Capture” under the Widgets sub-menu to capture windows screenshots or videos. The images will be saved in PNG format, while the videos will be in MP4 format.
- The Capture window will appear in the screen’s upper left corner.
- To take a screenshot of the app that is currently active, click the camera icon.
- While click the record button to capture the currently active app in video form. Click the “Stop” button in the floating Xbox Game Bar to stop recording.
- The screenshots and video captures will be stored in your Videos folder under Captures folder C:Users[username]VideosCaptures. You can preview the items by accessing the Xbox Game Bar “Gallery” widget.
- Hit escape or any blank part of the screen to terminate the Xbox Game Bar.
10. Use a Third-Party Windows 11 Screenshot Utility
There are many third-party applications available that offer more exciting features than the standard Windows 11 screenshot tools.
SnagIt App by Techsmith is one reliable windows screenshot tool that additionally captures videos of the actions on a screen, window scrolling, animated GIFs, and offers graphics like arrows and circles for markup.
SnagIt features make it worth spending your extra coin. There is also a free version available with limited features that guarantee more accessible screenshot capabilities.
A free option for taking quality Windows 11 screenshots is the Greenshot app. If you enjoy using shortcut keys, try the Greenshot app, as it incorporates several keyboard shortcuts.
The Greenshot app hides in your system tray; so, you will have minimal interference from this tool. Greenshot also allows you to copy your screenshot to your Clipboard, save it the location of your preference, open it in an image editor or a word processor, or upload it to the Imgur hosting site. You can add more applications to paste your screenshot in the External Command Plugin.
Another helpful windows screenshot utility app is PicPick. The app provides a slick modern GUI for Windows 11 and has a feature that allows its editor to display several screenshots in different tabs.
PicPick has cool annotation features like stamps, numbers, and arrows. You can use the application to manipulate the screenshots by resizing and cropping them, applying effects, and inserting text.
PicPick also allows you to upload your screenshots to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter or directly to an FTP server.
How to Screenshot on Windows: What’s The Best Method?
By following any of the above examples, you should now know how to screenshot on Windows. Each of these methods is useful under different contexts; that’s why Microsoft included so many ways to take screenshots in their software. So, it’s best to memorize how to use a few different methods to help you out in the future.