It’s not difficult to learn how to take screenshots on Windows. You can share meaningful and funny things with your loved ones or take screenshots for work. It’s a simple skill that you can learn, and we are here to help. No matter if you are using Windows 11, or an older version of Microsoft’s operating system, the steps for getting your screenshots will be the same.
Windows makes it easy to take a screenshot. The fastest and easiest way to take a screenshot in Windows is to use the Print Screen button. There are other ways you can take screenshots. Each step has been explained so you can choose the one you like.
It’s even simpler if you are using an Apple computer. If you need assistance, our taking screenshots on a Mac guide can help.
First, identify your Print Screen key
You should find a Print Screen key on your keyboard. You will find the Print Screen key in the upper right corner of your keyboard. It may be written in shorthand on some keyboards like “PrtSc”, or it could be a secondary function. In this case, you will need to use your keyboard’s “Fn” key to access it.
You’re now ready to go once you have identified the Print Screen key, and whether or not you need to press “Fn” to activate it.
How to take a screenshot in Windows using Print Screen
You can take a screenshot or capture an active window with the Print Screen key on the keyboard.
- Take a screenshot of the whole screen
Click the Print Screen key. The Print Screen key will instantly take a screenshot (including extended desktops) of your entire display. You can copy the screenshot to your clipboard and save it to your Screenshots folder.
- Take a screenshot from an active Window. To capture only your active window, press Alt + Printer Screen. To take a screenshot only of the active window, press Alt + Print Screen. If you have multiple windows open, make sure you select the window you wish to capture. This is copied to your clipboard and automatically saved to your Screenshots Folder, just like the full-screen screenshot.
- Copy the captured image to where you need it.
Once you have taken a screenshot, it is saved to your clipboard. This allows you to quickly copy and paste it into various applications. To edit and save the screenshot, you can copy it into Paint 3D. You can also share the image with a friend, colleague, or by copying it into an email or chat.
If you only need to quickly share what is on your screen, that’s all it takes. There are other ways to capture your screen on your PC.
How to capture portions from your screen
Windows 10 offers a few tools to help you be more precise when taking screenshots. Microsoft has released Snip & Sketch as a replacement for the Snipping Tool. It allows you to take multiple types of screenshots and edit or annotate them.
Snip & Sketch allows you to snap screenshots immediately or in a matter of seconds if you have some time to prepare. It will also allow you to crop, edit and annotate any existing screenshots.
Simply type “Snip & Sketch”, in the Windows 10 search bar, to launch the app.
Take a photo of a particular area
Click “New” to snap a screenshot of the section of your screen that you wish to capture. You can also select the time you would like to take the picture. Selecting “Snip Now” will darken your screen and turn your mouse cursor into a crosshair.
Move your mouse to the corner you want to capture. Click it, hold the button, drag the area until you are satisfied with the selection, then release the mouse.
This method, like the previous screenshotting technique, captures the image and saves it to your clipboard. Snip & Sketch also displays your new screenshot within the app. You can then edit, annotate, and save your new screenshot as a file.
- Freeform capture of a screenshot Click “New” to select the Freeform option. Similar to step 1, position your mouse at the corner of the area that you want to capture and click. Hold the button, drag the area until it is selected, then release the mouse.
This method will also add your screenshot to your clipboard, and display it on the Snip& Sketch app.
Take a screenshot from a Window
You can also quickly snap a screenshot of a window using the Snip & Sketch application, even non-active windows. Click “New” to select Windows Snip from the toolbar. You can highlight multiple windows by clicking on the mouse pointer to highlight one and then click.
Keep in mind that you can highlight and select the window behind the first to take a screenshot if there are cascading windows or stacked windows. Windows 10 does not take a screenshot like a Mac. Instead, it captures the window as it would appear if it were the active one. It captures the part of the active window that is obstructing it instead, creating a quirky screen capture.
To get a better shot, ensure that your window is clear before you use this tool.
- Snip & Sketch shortcut
To capture a quick snapshot with Snip & sketch, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Windows Key + S.