There might come a moment when you need to take get an image of what is displayed on your screen. That’s taking a screenshot. A screenshot is an image taken of whatever is displayed on your screen. Here you’ll see how you can take screenshots on windows.
Screenshots can be taken on any platform, taking them on windows isn’t any different. There is a built-in option that gets basic tasks done, but some third-party apps offer more and are quite easy to use. You’ll discover some ways to take a screenshot on windows 10 in this article.
A quick Highlight on How to Take Screenshots in Windows 10
Take Quick Screenshots with Print Screen PrtScn Key
- Press the PrtScn button to copy the screen to the clipboard
- Press the Windows+PrtScn buttons on your keyboard to save the screen to a file
- Use the built-in Snipping Tool
- Use the Game Bar in Windows 10
- Windows Logo + Volume Down
- Windows key + shift-S
- Windows key + Print Screen
With the Print Screen button on your keyboard, you can take a screenshot and save it as a file, take a screenshot without saving it as a file, or take a screenshot of only one window (instead of the whole screen).
The print screen button may be labeled as “PrtScn,” “PrntScrn,” “Print Scr,” or something similar. The button is usually found between F12 and Scroll Lock on most keyboards. On laptop keyboards, you may have to press the “Function” or “Fn” key to access the Print Screen feature. When the key is pressed, it will seem like nothing happened, but the screenshot has been saved to your clipboard.
How to Save Your Screenshot as a File
Press the “Windows logo key + PrtScn.” for a tablet, press the “Windows logo button + volume down button.” On some laptops and other devices, you may need to press the “Windows logo key + Ctrl + PrtScn” or “Windows logo key + Fn + PrtScn” keys instead. You can check your laptop’s manual for more information.
The screen will go dim for a moment, and the screenshot will appear as a file in a folder entitled “Screenshots”, inside your default “Pictures” folder. The screenshot is automatically labeled with a number.
You will only see your screen dim if you have the “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” turned on in your visual effects settings (System > Advanced system settings > Click the Advanced tab > Click Settings under Performance section).
How to Take a Screenshot Without Saving
Press the “PrtScn” key. A screenshot of your current display would be copied to the clipboard. Open your favorite image editor, word processor, or other programs you want to use the image in. Choose Edit and paste the screenshot wherever you like.
The dimensions of the image will maintain the same resolution as that of your desktop. You should note that on some laptops and other devices, you may need to press the “Alt + Fn + PrtScn” keys instead. Check your laptop’s manual for more information.
How to To Take a Screenshot of Only One Window
Click on the title bar of the window that you want to capture. Press “Alt + PrtScn”. A screenshot of your currently active window will be copied to the clipboard, just as in the last section. Paste it into your favorite image editor or document editor. You should note that on some laptops and other devices, you may need to press the “Alt + Fn + PrtScn” keys instead. Check your laptop’s manual for more information.
How To Take a Screenshot of Part of Your Screen
Press “Windows + Shift + S”. Your screen will appear dark and your mouse cursor will change. Click and drag on your screen to select the part of your screen you intend to capture and a screenshot of the screen region you selected will be copied to your clipboard. You can paste it in any application by selecting Edit > Paste or pressing Ctrl + V, just as you’d paste a full-screen shortcut taken with the Print Screen key.
You can only have this work Windows 10’s Creators Update. For older versions of Windows, this shortcut is part of Microsoft’s OneNote application. With the Creators Update, Microsoft integrated this shortcut into Windows 10 itself.
Screenshots with Snipping Tool
The Snipping Tool has been a part of Windows for a while. It was first included in Windows Vista, but it never got any new features apart from few bug fixes. With the snipping tool, you can take screenshots of an open window, a rectangular area, a free-form area, or the entire screen. You can also annotate your snips with different colored pens or a highlighter, save it as an image or MHTML file, or email it to a friend.
Snipping Tool in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 has one limitation, which is that it can’t capture screenshots that involve mouse movements. If you want to capture something that involves mouse movement, like pop-up menus and tooltips, you will have to make use of the Print Screen method.
In Windows 10, Snipping Tool has a new “Delay” option, which allows you to capture screenshots of pop-up menus and tooltips. Open the Snipping Tool app and click Delay. From the drop-down list, click on the number of seconds you’d like to wait until your screenshot is taken.
Then choose the type of snip you want to make by clicking the arrow next to “New.” You can choose from one of four types of snip: free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen.
Here the screen will not immediately fade out, like in an actual snip. Instead, you will have between 1–5 seconds, depending on the delay you chose, to set up your screenshots. Such time can be used to open up the pop-up menu you want to capture. Once the seconds have elapsed, the screen will freeze and fade out so you can create your snip. If you chose a window or full-screen, it will just capture the snip immediately.
Screenshots with Keyboard Shortcuts Plus Game Bar in Windows 10
Windows 10 ships with game DVR capabilities to record gameplay footage and take screenshots of Windows PC games. The Game Bar generates screenshots in PNG format, and saves them in “C:\Users\[your username]\Videos\Captures.”
Before you start using the Game Bar, launch the Xbox app that came with Windows 10 to open its settings. Under “Game DVR”, toggle “Take screenshots using Game DVR,” and assign whatever keyboard shortcuts you want.
When you want to take a screenshot, ensure you use that keyboard combination (“Windows key + G” by default) and click or tap on the “Yes, this is a game” box if prompted. Now press the “Camera icon” or “Win + Alt + PrtScn” to take a screenshot.
You should note that the keyboard shortcut will work only if you have previously checked the “Yes, this is a game” box for this specific game. You will see a notification letting you know “Screenshot saved.” If you click or tap on the notification, it will open to “Xbox > Game DVR > On this PC” to see it.
Screenshots With Snagit
All of Windows’ built-in methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are one who takes a lot of screenshots and would love something different that’s not rigid but more flexible than built-in tools, then you might want to consider a third-party tool.
It might cost you a little sum of money, but Snagit by Techsmith is a great tool that makes taking screenshots easy, with a lot of features that lets you target specific windows, take region snapshots, and even capture the full text of scrolling windows like web pages.
With Techsmith you can take short videos if you want, annotate screenshots, draw arrows and shapes, and do any other thing you can imagine a screenshot tool should be able to do. If you need to take a lot of screenshots, then we recommend this one.
You can try out it using the free trial, to check if it’s worth spending money on.
Taking the screenshots of activities on your personal computer is very easy even without a third-party application but you have to do that using your windows key shortcuts or a built-in windows app on windows 10.
Using the keyboard shortcuts allows you to take screenshots on full screen – all the pixels including additional monitors – done with the PrtScn button usually which captures to the clipboard or Windows Key – PrtScrn which captures to the screen and saves to a file in Pictures/Screenshots. Secondly, inactive window – just the currently active window and a bit of the surrounding background to the clipboard – done with Alt-PrtScn
Using the snipping tool allows you to take screenshots of your laptop on Fullscreen, active window (without the extra surrounding pixels you get with Alt-PrtScn) and the arbitrary rectangular region