16 Ways To Fix It When Print Screen Is Not Working in Windows

Holding down WIN, turning off sticky keys, and other ways to resolve issues

The Print Screen button is one of the fastest and easiest ways to take a screenshot on a Windows 11 and Windows 10 computer but sometimes it can stop working. This page will walk you through all of the best ways to fix a broken Print Screen button whether the cause is related to your Windows device’s hardware or software.

Why Is My Print Screen Not Working?

A Print Screen button not working the way it should is often the result of physical damage to the button itself or a keyboard that needs a firmware update. An out-of-date Windows operating system can also cause Print Screen to malfunction, as can a lack of system storage and free memory.

How To Fix the Windows Print Screen Button

Here’s how to get the Windows Print Screen functionality and button working properly so that you can take screenshots again.

  1. Are you pressing the correct key? Make sure that you’re pressing the designated Print Screen key on your keyboard as your muscle memory may actually be tapping something else. It should have Prn Scr, PrtSc, PrtScn, PrntScrn, or, of course, Print Screen printed on it.

    Some Windows laptops and desktop computers, such as the HP Envy x360, place the Print Screen function on a completely different key such as Shift.

  2. Press the Windows key. To save the screenshot to the Pictures > Screenshots folder, you need to press the Windows and Print Screen keys simultaneously.

    Win + PrtSc will auto-save the screenshots as an image file to the Pictures > Screenshots folder while PrtSc on its own will add the screenshot to the Windows clipboard for pasting.

  3. Reconnect your Windows keyboard. Unplug or disconnect your keyboard from your Windows device and then reconnect it.

  4. Restart Windows. A quick restart can fix a lot of Windows 10 and Windows 11 problems and bugs.

  5. Update Windows. Your computer may need a software or firmware update for certain keyboard functions to work properly.

  6. Clear Windows’ clipboard. Press Windows + V and select Clear all to delete all of the current saved clipboard data.

    If you're not using Clipboard History, you won't see the option to Clear anything.

  7. Press Print Screen multiple times. If your Print Screen key is faulty or damaged, try quickly pressing it three times instead of once.

  8. Turn off Sticky Keys. This accessibility setting can shift the function of certain Windows keyboard shortcuts. 

  9. Turn off the Windows Function key. Depending on your keyboard layout, the Function key could be disabling the Print Screen key functionality or changing how it works.

    The Function key is the one that says Fn. It will also usually have a light that turns on when it’s active.

  10. Free up space in Windows. This process can help make the Windows 10 and 11 operating system, apps, and functions run faster and more efficiently.

  11. Delete temporary internet files. This only takes a few seconds to do and can sometimes fix Windows Print Screen bugs.

  12. Close background apps and processes. Open Windows’ Task Manager and quit all programs that are running in the background that you don’t need open.

  13. Run a Windows Keyboard Troubleshooter. The Troubleshooter tools come pre-installed in both Windows 10 and Windows 11 and offer a streamlined method for scanning a device for errors and fixing them.

  14. Clean your Windows keyboard. There may be dust or grime that’s stopping the Print Screen button from working.

  15. Update the keyboard’s device drivers. This is a slightly more advanced tip that should only take a minute or two and can be effective in fixing Windows 11 and 10 hardware issues.

  16. Try another way to take a screenshot in Windows. There are several ways to take a screenshot in Windows, some of which don’t involve the Print Screen method. Microsoft’s Surface devices also have several unique ways to take a screenshot that you may be unaware of.

  • How do I fix a black print screen?

    If your screenshots work, but all you get is a black screen, it may be due to a copyright issue. Platforms like Netflix and Hulu may block screen captures and recording to combat piracy.

  • My print screen will only save and not print. How do I fix the problem?

    You may have to take extra steps to actually print your screen. Try opening a word-processing document and pasting the screenshot in, and you can print it from there. You can also print directly from photo software like Preview on a Mac or Photos in Windows.

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