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How to Take Screenshots with Windows

How To Take Screenshots With Windows

Taking screenshots in Windows is a valuable skill that allows users to capture and save important information displayed on their screens. Whether you want to capture an error message, save a memorable moment, or document a step-by-step process, knowing how to take screenshots is essential. In this article, we will explore various methods and tools available in Windows for capturing screenshots, from built-in options to third-party software. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how to capture, edit, save, and share screenshots effectively.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Different Types of Screenshots 

Screenshots can be taken in different ways, depending on the specific requirements. It’s important to understand the different types of screenshots available in Windows to choose the appropriate method for each situation. The common types of screenshots include:

Full Screen: Capture the entire contents displayed on the screen

Window: Capture a specific window or application, excluding the rest of the screen.

Region: Capture a customized portion of the screen, allowing you to select a specific area.

Scrolling: Capture an entire webpage or document that extends beyond the visible screen area.

Each type of screenshot has its own benefits and use cases, providing users with flexibility and versatility when capturing information.

Built-in Tools for Taking Screenshots 

Windows provides users with built-in tools for capturing screenshots, offering a range of features and functionalities. The two primary built-in tools are:

Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a user-friendly screenshot utility available in Windows.

Snipping Tool

Opening the Snipping Tool: The Snipping Tool can be accessed by searching for it in the Start menu or using the Run dialog box (Windows key + R) and entering “snippingtool.exe”.

Snip Types: The Snipping Tool offers different snip types, including free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen. Users can choose the appropriate snip type based on their needs.

Editing Options

The Snipping Tool provides basic editing options, such as highlighting, drawing, and adding annotations to the captured screenshot.

Saving and Sharing: After capturing and editing a screenshot, users can save it in various file formats, such as PNG, JPEG, or GIF. The Snipping Tool also offers options for directly sharing the screenshot via email or other applications.

Snip & Sketch App

The Snip & Sketch app is an enhanced screenshot tool introduced in Windows 10. Here’s how to open and utilize the Snip & Sketch app:

Opening the Snip & Sketch App: The Snip & Sketch app can be launched by searching for it in the Start menu or by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S.

Snipping Options

The Snip & Sketch app provides various snipping options, including rectangular snip, freeform snip, window snip, and full-screen snip. Users can select the desired snip mode to capture screenshots.

Editing and Annotating

Once the screenshot is taken, the Snip & Sketch app offers a range of editing tools, such as cropping, resizing, and adding text or drawings to enhance the screenshot.

Sharing and Saving

Users can save the edited screenshot in different file formats and share it through email, social media, or other platforms.

The built-in Snipping Tool and the Snip & Sketch app provide convenient options for capturing and editing screenshots directly within Windows.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Taking Screenshots 

Keyboard shortcuts offer quick and efficient ways to capture screenshots without relying on additional tools. Windows provides several commonly used keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots:

Print Screen (PrtScn): Pressing the Print Screen key captures the entire screen and copies it to the clipboard. To access the screenshot, users need to paste it into an image editing application.

Windows key + Print Screen (PrtScn)

This shortcut captures the entire screen and automatically saves the screenshot to the “Pictures” folder in the “Screenshots” subfolder.

How to Take Screenshots with Windows
How to Take Screenshots with Windows

Alt key + Print Screen 

By holding the Alt key and pressing Print Screen, users can capture the active window and copy it to the clipboard. To locate and access the screenshots taken using these keyboard shortcuts, follow these steps Accessing Screenshots via Clipboard: After capturing a screenshot using the Print Scrn key, open an image editing application, such as Paint or Photoshop, and paste the screenshot from the clipboard (Ctrl + V). Save the image in the desired format and location. Accessing Screenshots in the “Screenshots” Folder: When using the Windows key + Print Scrn shortcut, the screenshots are automatically saved in the “Pictures” folder. Navigate to the “Screenshots” subfolder within the “Pictures” folder to find the captured screenshots.

Additionally, there are some tips and tricks to maximize the effectiveness of keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots:

Using Snipping Tool with Keyboard Shortcuts: While the Snipping Tool doesn’t have a default keyboard shortcut, users can create a shortcut by right-clicking the Snipping Tool icon, selecting “Properties,” and assigning a custom shortcut in the “Shortcut key” field.

Using Windows Game Bar

The Windows Game Bar (Windows key + G) allows users to capture screenshots during gaming sessions or any other full-screen application. Keyboard shortcuts provide a convenient and efficient way to capture screenshots directly in Windows, enhancing productivity.

Third-Party Software for Taking Screenshots

While Windows offers built-in tools for capturing screenshots, there are also several third-party software options available with additional features and capabilities. Some popular third-party screenshot software for Windows include:


Snagit is a powerful and feature-rich screenshot and screen recording software. Its key features include

Capture Options: Snagit offers a variety of capture modes, including full screen, window, region, and scrolling capture. It also supports timed captures and multiple monitors.

Editing Tools

Snagit provides an extensive range of editing tools, allowing users to crop, annotate, highlight, add effects, and resize screenshots. It also offers advanced features like object rotation and perspective transformation.

Additional Features

Snagit includes features like scrolling capture for capturing long webpages or documents, video recording, and the ability to create GIFs.

Sharing and Exporting

Snagit facilitates easy sharing and exporting of screenshots in various formats. It integrates with cloud services, email clients, and productivity tools.


Greenshot is a lightweight and open-source screenshot tool with a user-friendly interface. Its main features include:

Capture Modes

Greenshot allows users to capture screenshots using various modes, including full screen, window, region, and freehand selection.

Annotation Tools

The software offers a range of annotation tools, such as shapes, lines, arrows, text boxes, and highlighting. It also supports blurring sensitive information and adding watermarks.

OCR Functionality

Greenshot includes Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities, enabling users to extract text from captured screenshots.

Integration and Sharing

Greenshot integrates with popular applications like Microsoft Office, image editors, and email clients, making it easy to edit and share screenshots.


Lightshot is a lightweight screenshot tool known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. Its notable features include:

Capture and Edit

Lightshot allows users to capture screenshots of selected regions or the entire screen. It provides basic editing features like cropping, highlighting, and adding annotations.

Direct Sharing:

The software allows users to instantly share screenshots by providing a unique URL or by uploading the image to their cloud storage.

Customizable Shortcuts

Lightshot allows users to define their own keyboard shortcuts for capturing screenshots, making it convenient for quick captures.Each of these third-party software options offers unique features and benefits, catering to different user preferences and requirements.

Saving and Organizing Screenshots 

Saving and organizing screenshots properly is essential for easy access and retrieval. Consider the following tips:

Choosing the Right File Format:

When saving screenshots, it’s important to select an appropriate file format. Common formats include PNG, JPEG, and GIF. PNG is recommended for screenshots that require high-quality and lossless compression, while JPEG is suitable for smaller file sizes but with some loss of quality.

Creating a Dedicated Folder Structure

Establish a dedicated folder structure to keep screenshots organized. Create folders based on categories, projects, or time frames, allowing for efficient storage and retrieval.

Utilizing Third-Party Screenshot Management Tools 

Consider using third-party screenshot management tools, such as ShareX or PicPick, which provide advanced features for organizing, tagging, and searching screenshots.By adopting proper saving and organizing practices, users can easily manage their screenshots and locate them when needed.

Editing and Annotating Screenshots 

Windows offers built-in options for editing and annotating screenshots, allowing users to enhance their captured images. Here are the available options:


The default Paint application in Windows provides basic editing features that can be used for screenshot customization. Users can:

Crop: Remove unwanted areas of the screenshot.

Resize: Adjust the dimensions of the screenshot.

Add Text: Insert text boxes to annotate the screenshot.

Draw: Utilize drawing tools to highlight or underline specific elements.

While Paint offers limited capabilities, it can be sufficient for basic editing needs.

Photos App

The Photos app in Windows allows users to perform simple editing tasks on screenshots.

Some key features include:

Crop and Rotate:

Adjust the size and orientation of the screenshot.

Filters and Effects:

Apply filters or effects to enhance the screenshot.

Draw and Annotate: Utilize drawing tools to add annotations or highlight areas.

The Photos app provides a user-friendly interface for quick and straightforward editing of screenshots.

Third-Party Screenshot Editing Tools

For more advanced editing options, consider using third-party screenshot editing tools like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Canva. These tools offer a wide range of features, including advanced editing capabilities, filters, layers, and special effects, allowing for more professional and creative adjustments to screenshots.

By utilizing the built-in editing options or third-party software, users can customize their screenshots according to their specific requirements. Sharing and Exporting Screenshots After capturing and editing screenshots, users often need to share or export them. Windows provides various methods for sharing and exporting screenshots.

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Attach the screenshot to an email and send it to the desired recipient.

Social Media: 

Share screenshots directly on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Instant Messaging: 

Share screenshots through instant messaging applications like WhatsApp or Slack.

Cloud Storage:

Upload screenshots to cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive, and share the generated links with others.

Additionally, Windows offers built-in sharing options for screenshots through applications like OneDrive and Mail. Users can easily upload screenshots to

their OneDrive account or directly send them via email.

For exporting screenshots, it’s important to consider the intended use. Save screenshots in suitable file formats based on the requirements, such as PNG for high-quality images, JPEG for smaller file sizes, or GIF for animated screenshots.

Third-party screenshot sharing and exporting tools, such as ShareX or Lightshot, provide additional features like instant uploading, custom URL generation, and integration with various platforms.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues

While taking screenshots in Windows is usually straightforward, users may encounter common issues or face troubleshooting challenges. Some of the common problems include:

Blank or Black Screenshots:

Screenshots may appear blank or black due to display or graphics driver issues. Troubleshooting steps can involve updating drivers, adjusting display settings, or using alternative capture methods.

Error Messages: 

Users may encounter error messages while attempting to capture screenshots. These errors can be related to system resources, permissions, or conflicts with other software.

Screen Flickering: 

In some cases, capturing screenshots of videos or specific applications may result in screen flickering. Adjusting the screen capture settings or using alternative capture methods can help resolve this issue.

To troubleshoot these issues, users can try the following:

Update Display Drivers:

Ensure that the graphics drivers are up to date.

Check Display Settings: 

Adjust the display settings to ensure the correct screen resolution and color depth.

Disable Conflicting Applications: 

Temporarily disable any software that may interfere with screenshot capturing.

Use Alternative Capture Methods: 

If the built-in methods are not working, try using third-party software or different capture modes.

If the issues persist, seeking further assistance or support from Windows support forums, community groups, or Microsoft’s official support channels is recommended.


  • Built-in functionality: Windows provides a built-in screenshot feature, eliminating the need for third-party software.
  • Convenience: Taking screenshots with Windows is quick and easy, requiring only a few simple keyboard shortcuts.
  • Versatility: Windows allows users to capture the entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion, providing flexibility for different screenshot needs.
  • Accessibility: The screenshot feature is accessible to all Windows users, regardless of their technical expertise.
  • Integration with other tools: Screenshots taken with Windows can be easily edited, saved, shared, or pasted into other applications for further use.


  • Limited options for advanced editing: Windows’ built-in screenshot tool lacks advanced editing features found in dedicated screenshot software.
  • Lack of timed captures: Unlike some third-party tools, Windows does not offer a built-in option to delay or schedule screenshots.
  • Inability to capture scrolling windows: Windows’ native screenshot feature cannot capture scrolling windows or webpages in a single screenshot.
  • Keyboard shortcuts familiarity: Users may need to learn and remember specific keyboard shortcuts to efficiently use the screenshot feature.
  • Limited file format options: By default, Windows saves screenshots in the PNG file format, which may not be the preferred format for all users.

FAQs About How to Take Screenshots with Windows:

Q1: How do I take a screenshot of my entire screen on Windows?

To capture your entire screen, press the “PrtScn” (Print Screen) key on your keyboard. The screenshot will be copied to your clipboard, and you can paste it into an image editing program (like Paint) or a document (Ctrl+V) to save or edit it.

Q2: How can I capture a specific window or application on Windows?

To capture a specific window or application, press “Alt + PrtScn” together. This captures only the active window, and you can then paste it into an image editor or document to save or edit it.

Q3: What if I want to take a screenshot of a selected portion of the screen?

To capture a selected portion of the screen, press “Windows Key + Shift + S.” This will dim the screen and allow you to drag and select the area you want to capture. The screenshot will be copied to your clipboard and can be pasted for editing or saving.

Q4: How do I take screenshots of a game or fullscreen application?

To capture screenshots of games or fullscreen applications, you can use the built-in Xbox Game Bar. Press “Windows Key + G” to open it, then click the camera icon to take a screenshot. You can access your screenshots in the “Captures” folder.

Q5: Can I customize where my screenshots are saved on Windows?

Yes, you can customize the location where your screenshots are saved. Go to “Settings” > “System” > “Storage.” Under “More storage settings,” click on “Change where new content is saved” and specify a different location for screenshots under “Screenshot.” This way, you can keep your screenshots organized.

Conclusion of How to Take Screenshots with Windows:

In conclusion, How To Take Screenshots With Windows taking screenshots in Windows is a valuable skill that allows users to capture and save important information. Whether using built-in tools like the Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch app, utilizing keyboard shortcuts, or exploring third-party software, Windows offers a variety of options for capturing screenshots. Properly saving, organizing, editing, and sharing screenshots enhances their usability and facilitates effective communication. By mastering the techniques and tools discussed in this article, users can confidently capture, customize, and share screenshots to meet their diverse needs. So, start exploring the world of Windows screenshots and unlock a new level of productivity and communication. Visit Our Site.

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