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Want to take a screenshot on Windows 10 or 11? Here’s how

Regardless of whether you download Windows 11 (inquire how to download windows 11 for free) or sticking Windows 10 for a while, you can easily take a screenshot to capture part or all of your screen. Maybe you want to save a bill online, or maybe you want to capture a particularly noteworthy gaming feat to show off to your friends. Windows 10 and 11 offer the same built-in tools (Snip & Sketch and Snipping Tool), and several keyboard shortcuts allow you to take a screenshot in no time.

Here, we’ll walk you through the process of using both the built-in Windows screenshot tools and other screenshot shortcuts in Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you can decide which one you like best.

Plus, here’s more top Windows 10 tips and tricks, how to use all the new features in Windows 11 and what you need to know upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

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A clipping and a sketch

The Snip & Sketch tool is easier to access, share, and add to your screenshots than the old snipping tool. It can now capture a screenshot of a window on your desktop, a surprising omission when the app was first introduced, which kept us on Team Snipping Tool until recently.

The easiest way to invoke the Snip & Sketch application is to use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S.. The Snip & Sketch tool can also be found in the alphabetical list of applications accessible from the Start button, as well as in the notification panel where it is listed as Screen clipping. Or, you can just search for it if you don’t approve the keyboard shortcut in memory. (If you take screenshots frequently, we recommend pinning the app to the taskbar.)

An example of the Snip and Sketch tool capturing a forest scene.

The built-in Snip & Sketch app has finally convinced us, and is now our primary method of taking screenshots on Windows 10 and 11. So long, snipping tool.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / topwatchbest

The keyboard shortcut or notification button will dim the screen and open a small menu at the top of the screen that allows you to select the type of screenshot you want to take: rectangular, free-form, window or full screen. After taking a screenshot, it will be saved in the clipboard and in a moment will appear as a notification in the lower right corner of the screen. Click on a notification to open the screenshot in Snip & Sketch and annotate, save or share it. (If you miss a notification, open the notification panel and you’ll see it there.)

If you open Snip & Sketch from the Start menu or search for it, the Snip & Sketch window will open instead of the small panel at the top of the screen. From here you have to click New in the upper left corner to initiate a screenshot and open a small panel. This is an extra step to do this but also allows you to delay a screenshot. Click the down arrow button next to the New button to delay the cut by 3 or 10 seconds.

Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool has been around since Windows Vista. Windows has warned for several years that the Snipping Tool will be phased out but still works on Windows 11. The Snipping Tool has been removed from the list of applications on the Start menu but is easily accessible via the Search Bar.

Click here New button to start the screenshot creation process. The default cutout type is rectangular, but you can also use freeform, full-screen, and window cutters.

Snipping Tool doesn’t automatically save screenshots – you have to manually save them in the tool before exiting – and it automatically copies your screenshots to the clipboard.

Snipping a tool window on the Windows desktop

The Snipping Tool has been used in Windows for a long time.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / topwatchbest


To take a screenshot of the entire screen, tap Screenshot (sometimes marked with PrtScn) key. Your screenshot will not be saved as a file but will be copied to the clipboard. You’ll need to open an image editing tool (such as Microsoft Paint), paste the screenshot in an editor, and save the file from there.

You can also set the PrtScn button to open the Cut and Sketch tool by going to Settings> Ease of Access> Keyboard and turn it on Use the PrtScn button to open screen clipping in the Print Screen Shortcut.

Windows print screen shortcut setting options

You can adjust the print screen settings in Windows.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / topwatchbest

Windows Key + Print Screen

To capture the entire screen and automatically save the screenshot, tap Windows key + Print Screen key. Your screen will go blank for a moment which means you just took a screenshot and the screenshot will be saved in Photos> Screenshots folder.

Alt + Print Screen

To take a quick screenshot of the active window, use the keyboard shortcut Alt + PrtScn. This will snap the currently active window and copy the screenshot to the clipboard. To save them, you need to open the snapshot in the image editor.

Print Screen key missing?

If your computer doesn’t have these PrtScn key, no worries, Microsoft has another keyboard shortcut for you. You can press Fn + Windows logo key + Space Bar take a screenshot. Then it will be saved in Photos> Screenshots folder.

Game bar

You can use the Game Bar to take a screenshot whether you are in the game or not. First you need to enable the Game Bar in the settings page, making sure you have it enabled Record game clips, screenshots and broadcasts using the Game Bar. Press when enabled Windows key + G key to bring up the game bar. Here you can click the screenshot button in the game bar or use the default keyboard shortcut Windows key + Alt + PrtScn to take a screenshot in full screen. To set your own keyboard shortcut to screenshot the Game Bar: Settings> Games> Game bar.

Windows logo + volume down

If you rock Microsoft Surface device, you can use physical (well, actually physical) buttons to take a screenshot of the entire screen – much like 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 press the physical volume down button on the side of the tablet. The screen will dim for a moment and the screenshot will be automatically saved in Photos> Screenshots folder.

Want more information about Windows? Cash registers any big difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 and every feature we wanted in Windows 11 but didn’t get.

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