How to Take Screenshots in Windows

Different ways to take screenshots in Windows

There are many moments in real life that we wish to capture, and we do it using cameras and mobiles. Likewise, there will be times when we need to capture a moment on the screen or take a screenshot in Windows. To help you capture these moments, we have researched and found many ways to take screenshots and to make a few edits. Windows being a leading Operating System has come with quite good features that help you take a screenshot in Windows effectively. These methods/tools are in-built in windows and do not require the installation of any applications to take screenshots in Windows.

Let us look at a variety of tools to take a screenshot in Windows, how to use them, and the features they offer. We have put in shortcuts and pictures to help you understand the methods better.

Screenshot using PrtScn

This is the simplest way of taking a screenshot in Windows installed system. There is a key named ‘Print Screen’ ( PrtScn/ PRTSCR) which is located in the top row beside the scroll lock. By clicking the Prtscn key on the keyboard, Windows will copy the whole screen to the clipboard. Now we can use it by pasting it in any Image editing tool or any other application where we would like to add that image. In some keyboards, we may need to hold the Fn key to trigger the screenshot.

A close up of a keyboard

Description automatically generated

Screenshot using Alt + PrtScn

By pressing Alt + PrtScn, the only active window will be copied, to clipboard. Now we can use it by pasting it in any Image editing tool or any other application where we would like to add that image. This method is also quite simple and effective when we need to capture only the active window on the screen.

Screenshot using Windows + PrtScn

By clicking the Windows key and PrtScn key, we can take a screenshot in Windows and capture the whole of the screen. The image will get saved as a ‘.png’ file in the Screenshots folder. The folder can be found by navigating to ‘This PC’ > ‘Pictures’ > ‘Screenshots’ or by following the path C:\Users\Username\Pictures\Screenshots. When you are in a hurry to save screenshots of multiple tabs, this is the fastest way to save the screenshots because it won’t ask you to give a name for the image. It will save the screenshot in that given path with names – screenshot, screenshot(1), and so on. Later you can edit by MS paint or any other photo editing app. This is the easiest way you get an image file of a screenshot in almost no time.


Screenshot using Windows + Shift + S / Snip and Sketch.

Windows provides another method to snip and save the screen by a tool called ‘Snip & Sketch’. By clicking the Windows key along with Shift and S, ‘Snip & Sketch’ tool will open. Here we can select the portion of the screen we require in any shape we want. Also, we can highlight or make some changes to the image and save. Freeform snip helps you take a snap of screen in any shape, while window snip can help you select a window of which a picture is to be taken. Once the snip is taken, you will be displayed options to edit it, where you can make small changes to those pictures. Find how to take a screenshot in Windows using Snip & Sketch below.

When you click ‘Windows + Shift + S’, you can see the small tab as the above image, and the screen will be bit dim. Now you can choose any shape of your desire and take a screenshot in Windows. In this tab, you have multiple options to highlight or hide any lines.


Screenshot using Snipping Tool

With the snipping tool, the user will have a wide variety of ways to snip the part of the screen, and also to save it after highlighting the important matter. This tool is most widely used to take screenshots and is well known for its picture clarity. You can find the steps to take a screenshot in Windows using the snipping tool below.

Type “Snipping Tool” in the search bar to find and open the Snipping Tool. By opening it, you can find the option “New” by clicking it, the screen will become dim, and you can crop the part of the screen you wanted.

The app will open as displayed.

There are few options Like Mode, Delay, etc. Using the Mode, you can change the shape of cropping like rectangle, full screen or free form. Using the Delay option, you can set the delay of opening the snipping tool. Once the part of the screen is cropped, you can use the other options like highlighting the text you need or pointing out the part of the image.

Later you can save the image in any folder or directly you can use Copy and Paste it in your file or Mail.


Screenshot by enabling Game Bar

There is yet another tool called Game Bar which by default is switched off. We can put it on and use it to take a screenshot. By pressing ‘Windows + G’, the following menu will open. It can also be opened by searching for the game bar. This is a plug-in of Xbox app and comes preinstalled. You can make a custom shortcut by navigating your way to Settings>Gaming>Game bar

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

The first option in the top row is “Take screenshot”. It saves screenshots in the path C:\Users\Username\Videos\Captures as a “.png” file. This tool also has options to record a video of the screen, and it automatically saves it in the same folder.

These methods are commonly used and are in-built ones. We can find more apps that take screenshots in Windows, but they will not offer anything more than what these in-built ones do. These tools have all the options and features that satiate our general needs, and so I limit myself to them and take leave of you.

Windows made these tools to assist you in the ways they can. Likewise, we made these articles to assist you in the way we can.