How to Take Screenshots on Windows

If you want to take a screenshot, Hit the PrtScn button/or Print Scrn button: When using Windows, pressing the Print Screen button (located in the top right of the keyboard) will take a screenshot of your entire screen. Hitting this button essentially copies an image of the screen to the clipboard. But there's more involved. We cover all these and more in this article.

This article answers 2 important questions that most users ask:

  • How do you take screenshots on Windows 10?
  • How do I quickly take a screenshot on a PC?
howtotake a screenshot

Taking a screenshot is a common practice and it can vary from different Operating Systems, like Mac, or if you are using a mobile device. In this article, you will learn how to take a screenshot on Windows 10. 

Windows 10 has many ways in which you can achieve this, be it taking a screenshot of the whole screen, a particular window, or a part of the screen. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

How to take a screenshot on windows 10 and Windows 11: 5 easy tricks

Note: this article also covers how to take a Screenshot on your PC, Phone, or Tablet. One key is very important when it comes to taking screenshot: print screen key

Use the following methods to take a screenshot on a laptop:

Method 1. Use the Windows Key + Print Screen to take a screenshot.

There are six screen capture commands that you can use on Windows 10. Here we break them down.

The most straightforward one is using the Print Screen (Labeled PrtSc, PrtScr, or similar) button to take a screenshot of the entire screen This button is usually located at the top row of the keyboard, near the Function (F#) keys.

To capture your entire screen and automatically save the screenshot, tap the Windows key + Print Screen key. Your screen will briefly go dim to indicate that you've just taken a screenshot, and the screenshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

print screen button

On some keyboards, you might need to press the Function (Fn) key and the Print Screen button to trigger the screen capture.

FN fucntion key

Note: if you have more than one display, this will capture all of them into a single image. 

By default, this method does not save the image as a file, rather it copies it to the Clipboard. After doing so you can paste it (By pressing Ctrl+V or Right-Click > Paste) onto a document (Like a Word or Google document) or an image processor (Like Paint, or even Photoshop).

If you only want to capture a Single Window, then you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Prt Scr. In order to take the screenshot of the window you want, and not just any window, you will need to select a said window by clicking on it first.

screeen shot single window

This method also copies the image to the Clipboard, which you can retrieve by pasting it somewhere else.

If you want to save the image as a file, you can also do it with a keyboard shortcut. Simply press the Windows key (the key with the Windows logo) + Prt Scr. This saves the image as a file. By default it’s located in C: Users<user name>Pictures>Screenshots.

how to take screenshots on windows

We will review the rest of the shortcuts later on as they use different programs, which we’ll cover in detail.

Having issues with Print Screen not working properly?. Check How to Fix the Print Screen Not Working on Windows 10.

Method 2. Use the Snipping Tool to take a screenshot

Snip & Sketch tool is easier to access, share and annotate screenshots than the old Snipping Tool. 

The Snipping Tool is a great tool for taking screenshots. It has been around since Windows Vista. You can use it to;

  1. Take a screenshot of the complete screen, 
  2. A rectangular part of the screen, or 
  3. A free form screenshot. 

However, note that taking screenshots using a snipping tool does not automatically save the screenshot as an image file, but it has the option to do so. 

  1. Look for the Snipping Tool using the search box found at the bottom left of the screen and click on Open. If you don’t see the search bar you can right-click on the taskbar, hover to Search and click on Show Search Box.
    how to activate search bar
    take screenshots usingsnipping tool
  2. A new window will pop up. Here, select the Mode of the “snip” you want to take. A free-form snip, a rectangular snip, a window snip, or a full-screen snip. We will show you how to take a rectangular snip.
    mode of snipping
  3. The Snipping Tool also has the option to set a delay on taking a screenshot, allowing you to take screenshots after a certain amount of time. This is helpful to capture pop-up menus and tooltips. Click on delay to set the time in seconds you will like to wait before taking the screenshot.
    set delay time
  4. Once you are ready to take the screenshot, click on New. The screen will fade out and the cursor will turn into a cross. If you selected the delay option, the screen will fade after the selected amount of seconds.
    take screenshot

    If you selected the Rectangular snip mode you can click and drag to create a rectangle on the screen. The rectangle you create will be the screenshot.

    If you selected the Free-form snip you can click and draw the shape you want. Bear in mind that once that you have stopped pressing the right-click, the screenshot will be taken.

    If you selected the Window snip, you can click on the particular windows you want to take a screenshot of. 

    Finally, if you click on full-screen snip, the tool will take a screenshot of the whole screen.

  5. Once you have taken the screenshot, you have many options.
    • You can save the image as a file by clicking on File > Save as… and place it at your desired location.
    • You can send it via email by clicking on File>Send to > Email recipient or as an attachment to an email.
    • You can print the screenshot by clicking on File > Print.
    • You can copy the screenshot to your clipboard by clicking on Edit > Copy
  6. You can also edit the screenshot using the Pen or Highlighter function. You can customize the color of the pen. This is useful if you want to focus the attention of the screenshot to a particular section.
    edit screenshot on windows

Method 3. Using the Snip & Sketch app to take a screenshot.

  1. Open up Snip & Sketch. You can do so by clicking the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Shift + S or looking it up on the search bar.

    •  If you used the keyboard shortcut, the screen will darken and a toolbar will appear at the top of the screen.
      use snip & sketch to take screenshots

      These are the same options found in the Snipping Tool. They are from left to right: Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, and Fullscreen Snip.
      Taking a screenshot here will copy it to your Clipboard.  You can then paste it (By pressing Ctrl+V or Right-Click> Paste) onto a document (Like a Word or Google document) or an image processor (Like Paint, or even Photoshop).

    • If you open Snip & Sketch by looking it up on the search bar a new window will appear.
      open snip & sketch

      - In this window, you can click on New to start taking your screenshot or click on the arrow pointing down next to it to Snip in 3 or 10 seconds from then.

      set delay time

      - After selecting one of the options the screen will darken and a toolbar will appear at the top of the screen. These are the same options found in the Snipping Tool. They are from left to right: Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, and Fullscreen Snip.

      free form snip

      - When you have selected one of them, you will be able to take the screenshot you want, be it a rectangle, a freeform, a particular window, or the entire screen.

      - Once you have captured the screenshot, Snip & Sketch will open and you will see your screenshot. Here you can add annotations with a ballpoint pen, a pencil, or a highlighter. You can erase them using the eraser and you can also use a ruler (which you can rotate by using the mouse wheel) to make the annotations in the angles you want. There is also the option to crop the screenshot.

      crop screenshot
      - Now that you’ve finished editing the image you can Save, Copy, or Share using the buttons at the top right corner. Clicking on Save will let you choose where to save the image. Clicking on Copy will copy the image to your Clipboard and clicking on Share will let you share the image to your contacts via email or via other apps.
      how to save a screenshot as a file

Note: The easiest way to call up Snip & Sketch is with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S. You can also find the Snip & Sketch tool listed in the alphabetical list of apps accessed from the Start button as well as in the notification panel where it listed as Screen snip. Or you can just search for it if you don't commit the keyboard shortcut to memory. (If you're a regular screenshot taker, we recommend pinning the app to the taskbar.)

Method 4. Using the Game Bar to take a screenshot.

The last method we are going to review involves the use of the Game Bar. This particular feature of Windows 10 allows you to record gameplay footage and take screenshots, plus a number of other ones that we will not discuss in this article. You can take screenshots even if you are not in a game. Let’s find out how to use it:

  1. To open up the Game Bar overlay press the Windows Key + G
    take screenshot using game bar
    take screenshot using game bar on windows
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, you will notice a window labeled Broadcast & capture. In order to take a screenshot, click on the Camera icon to take a screenshot. This will save the screenshot as a PNG file and saves it in “C:\Users\Username\Videos\Captures.” This will be a full-screen image.
    use camera to take screenshot

Method 5: Watch the video: YouTube how to take a screenshot on Windows 10

Final Word

And that does it! You now have 5 methods at your disposal that you can use when taking a screenshot on Windows 10. Do you have a Mac and want to take a screenshot? Check out our article on how to take screenshot on Mac.

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See Also:

How to Take a Screenshot on Mac
> How to Use Snip & Sketch to Capture and Edit Screenshots in Windows 10
> How to Capture Scrolling Screenshot in Windows