A screenshot is an image taken by a user to record the visible items displayed on the monitor, mobile device, or other visual output device in use. Today we’re going to show you how to take a screenshot in Windows.
All the major platforms have some level of support for taking screenshots. There are many tools out there for taking screenshots in Windows. If your needs are pretty basic then you don’t have to install a third party application. In this article I’ll show you different ways on how to take a screenshot in Windows 10.
You can use the print screen method to take a screenshot and automatically 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. On most keyboards, the button is usually found between F12 and Scroll lock.
On laptop keyboards, you may have to press the “Function” key to access “Print Screen.” You will not receive any confirmation that the screenshot has been taken.
To Take a Screenshot and Save It as a File
Press the “Windows logo key + PrtScn.” If you’re using a tablet, press the “Windows logo button + volume down button.” The screen will dim for a moment when the screen is copied and saved as a file in the Screenshots folder (in /Users/User Name/Pictures). If the Screenshot folder does not exist, Windows will automatically create it.
The screenshot is automatically labeled with the file name as “Screenshot (Number).png” with number indicating the screenshot index counter.
Each screenshot you take increases the counter by one.
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). Note — 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. Check the manual that came with your laptop or device for more information.
To Take a Screenshot of Display Without Saving
Press the “PrtScn” key. A screenshot of your display is now copied to the clipboard, paste it wherever you like. The dimensions of the image will be the same as your desktop resolution. Note — On some laptops and other devices, you may need to press the “Ctrl + PrtScn” or “Fn + PrtScn” keys instead. Check the manual that came with your laptop or device for more information.
To Take a Screenshot of Only One Window
Click on the title bar off the window that you want to take a screenshot of to make it the active window on your screen. Press the “Alt + PrtScn” key. A screenshot of your currently active window is copied to the clipboard, paste it wherever you like. Note — On some laptops and other devices, you may need to press the “Alt + Fn + PrtScn” keys instead. Check the manual that came with your laptop or device for more information.
Method 2 – Using Snipping Tool
The Snipping tool has been a part of the Windows for long time. This tool was included in Windows Vista and from there onward it never gained any new features, apart from few bug fixes. Snipping tool can take screenshots of an open window, rectangular area, a free-form area, or the entire screen. Snips can then be annotated using a mouse with different colored pens or a highlighter, saved as an image file or MHTML file, or even emailed.
We have already shown you how to use the snipping tool to take screenshots. Snipping tool has one limitation though, it can only be used to capture items that don’t involve mouse movements. To capture anything which involves mouse movement e.g., pop-up menus and tooltips, the process is tedious:
- Grab the entire screen with the “PrtScn” key on keyboard.
- Load the captured screen in an image editor and clip out the portions you want.
- Save that to a file.
With the new “Delay” option in Windows 10, you can now grab screenshots of pop-up menus and tooltips easily. Open the Snipping Tool app and click Delay option. From the drop-down list, click on the number corresponding to delay time you want to set in seconds (from 0–5 seconds).
Now 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.
Unlike a regular snip, the screen will not immediately fade out. Instead, you will have between 1–5 seconds, depending on the delay you chose, to setup your screenshots. Now open that pop-up menu or tooltip you want to capture. Once the delay time is reached, the screen will freeze and fade out so you can create your snip. If you chose window or full-screen, your snip will be automatically created when the screen freezes.
Method 3 – Take Screenshots With 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]VideosCaptures.” Before you start using the Game bar, launch the “Xbox app” and configure settings for the Game DVR feature. Toggle “Take screenshots using Game DVR,” and replace the default keyboard shortcuts with hotkeys of your choice.
While you have an open game or app window active, press the “Windows key + G,” 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. Note — The keyboard shortcut will only work 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 app > Game DVR > On this PC” to see it.
There are indeed lots of ways to take screenshots in Windows 10, each method has their own pros and cons. But if you don’t want to bother with third party screen capture tools, then it does quite well for taking basic screenshots.