Whether you’re downloading Windows 11 or adhering to Windows 10 for a while longer, it’s easy to grab a screenshot to capture part of or the entirety of your display.
For example, maybe you want to save an online receipt, or perhaps you want to grab a particularly significant gaming feat to show off to your buddies. Windows 10 and 11 offer similar built-in tools (Snip & Sketch and Snipping Tool), and several keyboard shortcuts will let you take a screenshot instantly.
How to get Screenshot
Here, we’ll tread you through how to utilize built-in Windows screenshot tools and additional shortcuts for grabbing screenshots in Windows 10 and Windows 11 to decide which you like best.
Snip & Sketch
The Snip & Sketch tool is more comfortable accessing, sharing, and annotating screenshots than the old Snipping Tool. And it can now grab a screenshot of a window on your desktop, a stunning omission when the app was first presented that upheld us on Team Snipping Tool until recently.
The most straightforward way to call up Snip & Sketch is with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S. You can find the Snip & Sketch tool listed in the alphabetical list of apps accessed from the Start switch or in the notification panel where it is listed as Screen snip. Or you can search for it if you don’t reserve the keyboard shortcut to memory. (If you’re a standard screenshot taker, we advise pinning the app to the taskbar.)
The keyboard shortcut or the notification switch will dim your screen and unlock a tiny menu at the top to choose which type of screenshot you like to take — window, rectangular, free-form, or full-screen. Once you carry your screenshot, it will be saved to your clipboard and exhibited momentarily as a statement in the lower-right corner of your screen. Next, click the information to open the screenshot in the Snip & Sketch app for annotating, saving, or sharing it. (If you miss the notification, open the notification panel, and you’ll see it sitting there.
If you open Snip & Sketch from the Start menu or search for it, it will open the Snip & Sketch window instead of the trim panel at the top of the screen. You need to tap the New button in the upper-left to initiate a screen capture and open the small board. It’s an extra step to proceed this way, but it lets you delay a screenshot. Click the down-arrow button next to the New button to delay a snip for 3 or 10 seconds.
Windows key + Print Screen
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.
Alt + Print Screen
To take a quick screenshot of the active window, use the keyboard shortcut Alt + PrtScn. It will snap your currently active window and copy the screenshot to the clipboard. You’ll need to open the shot in an image editor to save it.
You can use the Game bar to snap a screenshot, whether you’re in the middle of playing a game or not. First, hit the Windows key + G key to call up the Game bar. Then, you can click the screenshot button in the Game bar or use the default keyboard shortcut Windows key + Alt + PrtScn to snap a full-screen screenshot. Set your Game bar screenshot keyboard shortcut to Settings > Gaming > Game bar. Backing up a bit, you’ll also need to enable the Game bar from this settings page by ensuring you’ve toggled on Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcasts using the Game bar.
The Snipping Tool has been around since Windows Vista. Windows has warned for a couple of years that the Snipping Tool is moving away, but it’s still kicking around, including Windows 11. The Snipping Tool has been delisted from the list of apps from the Start menu, but it’s easily accessible via the search bar.
Click the New button to begin the screenshot process. The default snip type is a rectangular snip, but you can also take free-form, full-screen, and window snips.
The Snipping Tool does not automatically save your screenshots — you will need to keep them in the tool before you exit manually — and it does automatically copy your captures to the clipboard.
Tap the Print Screen (sometimes labeled PrtScn) key to capture your entire screen. Your screenshot will not be saved as a file, but it will be copied to the clipboard. Next, you’ll need to open an image editing tool (such as Microsoft Paint), paste the screenshot into the editor, and save the file. You can also set the PrtScn button to open the Snip & Sketch tool by going to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and using the PrtScn switch to get screen snipping beneath Print Screen Shortcut.
Windows Logo + Volume Down
If you’re rocking a Microsoft Surface device, you can use the physical (well, physical) buttons to take a SS of your entire screen — similar to how you would take a screenshot on any other phone or tablet. To do this, hold down the Windows Logo touch button at the bottom of your Surface screen and hit the physical volume-down button on the side of the tablet. The screen will dim briefly, and the screenshot will be automatically saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.