Update: Did you update to Windows 11? Don’t worry, taking a screenshot on Windows 11 is easy.
To save a screenshot, press Windows+Print Screen. In other words, hold down the Windows logo key while tapping the Print Screen key, which may be called PrtScrn or PrtScn. (You may need to use Windows+Fn+PrtScn on a laptop keyboard.)
To take a screenshot on a Windows 10 tablet or 2-in-1 convertible PC without a keyboard, press Power+Volume Down. If you see a Windows logo button on the screen of your tablet, hit Windows+Volume Down instead.
For a little moment, the screen will dim to provide visual confirmation. The screenshot will be saved as a PNG file in the “Screenshots” folder within your user account’s “Pictures” folder. If you snap many screenshots, each one will be tagged with a number.
In other words, your screenshot will most likely be found in the following location: C:\Users\NAME\Pictures\Screenshots
Note: If you have the “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” feature enabled, your screen will only flash while taking a screenshot. Toggle this option to control whether or not your screen flashes.
Simply press the Print Screen key (or Fn+Print Screen on some laptops) to transfer an image of your screen to your clipboard.
Windows will copy a screenshot of your screen to the clipboard. You may paste it into practically any application that handles images, such as an image editor, a word processor, or a spreadsheet. Simply pick Edit > Paste or press Ctrl+V to paste as usual.
Tip: If you have Windows 10’s clipboard history enabled, Windows will remember the last few things you copied to your clipboard—including screenshots.
To take a snapshot of only one window rather than the full screen, hit Alt+Print Screen. (On some laptops, Alt+Fn+Print Screen may be required instead.)
Windows will copy an image of the current window to your clipboard, so make sure to choose the window first. To focus the window, either click somewhere inside it or use Alt+Tab.
Windows 10 includes a Snip & Sketch tool that offers more advanced snapshot choices. You can use it to grab a snapshot of a specific region of your screen, capture a delayed screenshot, or annotate your screenshots.
Nota bene: The traditional Snipping Tool, first introduced in Windows Vista, is still available in Windows 10. If you’re familiar with the Snipping Tool, you can continue to use it. It is, however, being phased out in favor of the more current Snip & Sketch tool. Snip & Sketch includes all of the same features as the Snipping Tool—and more.
Press Windows+Shift+S to rapidly snap a screenshot with Snip & Sketch. Your screen will become grayed out, and your mouse will become 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.
When you capture a screenshot, you will be notified that the screenshot has been copied to your clipboard. You can paste it into any other program that accepts picture files. (To paste, use Edit > Paste or Ctrl+V.)
If the notification disappears before you can click it, you can discover it in Windows 10’s Action Center.
Click the notice for more options. This will launch the Snip & Sketch window, where you can write on, highlight, erase, and crop portions of the image.
There’s also a “Save” button here that will allow you to save your screenshot as an image file.
(The interface will change depending on the size of the window. All of the options are on the top toolbar in a larger Snip & Sketch box. Some of the options will be moved to the bottom toolbar if you resize the window.)
Taking a snapshot with a delay can help you capture a menu or other UI piece that won’t appear unless you interact with it. Snip & Sketch can capture a screenshot after three or ten seconds.
You must open the Snip & Sketch application window directly to find this option. Search for “Snip” in the Start menu (or hit the Windows Key), and then start 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 select menu > choices in the Snip & Sketch window, you will find choices to open Snip & Sketch when you press Print Screen, pick whether or not Snip & Sketch automatically copies screenshots to your clipboard, and create an outline around your snips (screenshots).
The Xbox Game Bar is a feature in Windows 10. Despite the name, it is primarily a game overlay with a number of features. It’s especially good for screenshotting PC games.
By default, pressing Windows+Alt+Print Screen captures a screenshot of the current game or desktop application with the Game Bar. (Some laptops may require you to press Windows+Alt+Fn+Print Screen.)
You’ll notice a “Screenshot saved” notification, which you can click to view your Game Bar screenshots. You can also open the Game Bar by pressing Windows+G.
Go to Settings > Gaming > Xbox Game Bar to customize the Game Bar. You can enable or disable the Game Bar functionality from here, as well as adjust the keyboard shortcuts that conduct these functions. If you press these keys and nothing happens, check to see if this feature is enabled in Settings.
Screenshots taken with this utility are saved to the directory C:UsersNAMEVideosCaptures. (Yes, even screenshots are shared to the Videos folder.)
You may also record movies of your Windows 10 screen using the Game Bar. It can even record movies of your desktop or other applications. More than only games can be recorded. The video file will be saved in H.264 MP4 format to the C:UsersNAMEVideosCaptures folder.
Greenshot is our favorite free screenshot tool for Windows, aside from the tools built into Windows 10, which are highly capable. It’s open-source and free, with extra features like customized keyboard shortcuts.
Greenshot sits in your system tray and offers essential features such as “Capture Window From List,” which allows you to easily grab a screenshot of any running window from a context menu.
Although Windows 10 is packed with valuable screenshot features and Greenshot is a powerful tool, each of the ways listed above has its own set of limitations. If you capture a lot of screenshots and want more freedom and options, you may want to consider something more powerful.
SnagIt by Techsmith is an extraordinarily capable screenshot program if you don’t mind spending a few dollars on a screenshot utility. It makes taking screenshots simple and includes tools for capturing the whole text of scrolling windows such as web pages on your browser.
SnagIt can also record movies of your screen, convert them to animated GIFs (if desired), add video from your webcam and sounds from your microphone, and enable you effortlessly trim those video clips so that just the crucial parts are included.
SnagIt can also extract text from screenshots, annotate them, alter text in screenshots, and do pretty much everything else you’d expect a capture program to be capable of. It’s a fantastic program that we highly suggest, particularly if you need to take a lot of screenshots.
TechSmith provides a free SnagIt trial so you can check if it suits your needs before purchasing it. If you take a lot of screenshots, we believe you’ll find it difficult to return to Windows’ more basic capabilities.
Are you thinking about switching computers? Taking a screenshot on a Mac or capturing something on a Chromebook is similar to taking a picture on a Windows 10 system.