Whether you’re getting Windows 11 on Tuesday (find out how to download Windows 11 for free) or remaining with Windows 10 for a little longer, it’s simple to take a screenshot to capture a portion of the complete of your screen. Perhaps you’d like to save an online receipt, or maybe you’d like to record an awe-inspiring gaming achievement to show off to your buddies. Windows 10 and 11 have the same built-in tools (Snip & Sketch and Snipping Tool), and many keyboard shortcuts will allow you to snap a screenshot in a matter of seconds.
In this section, we’ll show you how to utilize both built-in Windows screenshot tools and alternative shortcuts for taking screenshots in Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you can choose which you prefer. In addition, here are some top Windows 10 tips and tricks and instructions on using all of the new features in Windows 11 and what you need to know about migrating from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
Snip and Sketch
The Snip & Sketch tool is more convenient to use, share, and annotate screenshots than the old Snipping Tool. And it can now take a screenshot of a desktop window, which was an unexpected omission when the program was first released and had us on Team Snipping Tool until recently.
The keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S is the quickest way to launch Snip & Sketch. The Snip & Sketch tool is also available in the alphabetical list of programs accessible via the Start button and in the notification panel labeled Screen snip. If you don’t remember the keyboard shortcut, you may just search for it. (If you frequently take screenshots, we recommend pinning the app to the taskbar.)
Either as the keyboard shortcut or the notification button will darken your screen and open a small menu at the top of the screen, allowing you to select the sort of screenshot you wish to take: rectangular, free-form, window, or full-screen. When we take a screenshot, it is saved to the clipboard and shown as a notification in the lower-right corner of your window for a short period of time. To edit, save, or share the screenshot, open it in the Snip & Sketch app by clicking the notification. (If you don’t see the notification, open the notification panel, and it will be there.)
If you start Snip & Sketch from the Start menu or by searching for it, the Snip & Sketch window will appear instead of the little panel at the top of the screen. To begin a screen capture and open the tiny panel, click the New button in the upper-left corner. This is an additional level, but it allows you to postpone a screenshot. To delay a snip for 3 to 10 seconds, click the down arrow next to the New button.
The Snipping Tool has indeed been available since Windows Vista. Windows has been warning for several years that the Snipping Tool is being phased out, but it is still present, as well as in Windows 11. The Snipping Tool has been taken off the list of programs in the Start menu, but it is still easily available via the search bar.
To begin taking screenshots, click the New button. The default snip type is rectangular, but you may additionally take free-form, full-screen, and window snips.
The Snipping Tool does not immediately save your screenshots; you must explicitly save them in the tool before exiting, but it does automatically copy your grabs to the clipboard.
Tap the Print Screen (often labeled PrtScn) key to capture your complete screen. Your screenshot will be transferred to the clipboard rather than saved as a file. Open an image editing program (such as Microsoft Paint), paste the screenshot into the editor, and save the file.
You can also configure the PrtScn button to launch the Snip & Sketch tool by going to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and selecting Use the PrtScn button to launch screen snipping under Print Screen Shortcut.
Windows key + Print Screen
Tap the Windows key + Print Screen key to record your complete screen and save it instantly. Your screen will dim briefly to signify that you have just taken a screenshot, and the screenshot will be stored in the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Alt + Print Screen
Use the keyboard shortcut Alt + PrtScn to capture a fast screenshot of the active window. This will take a screenshot of the currently active window and transfer it to the clipboard. To save the image, you’ll need to open it in an image editor.
Windows Logo + Volume Down
If you have a Microsoft Surface device, you can snap a screenshot of the full screen using the actual (well, sort of physical) buttons, just like you would on any other phone or tablet. Hold down the Windows icon touch button at the bottom of your Surface screen and press the physical volume-down button on the tablet’s side to accomplish this. The screen will briefly dim, and the snapshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.