How to Fix It When the Snipping Tool Isn't Working in Windows 11

Restarting your computer, reinstalling the app, and other fixes

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The Snipping Tool is an excellent way to capture screenshots on a Windows 11 machine, which makes it all the more frustrating when it stops working. This article will help you fix the Snipping Tool when it's not working in Windows 11.

Causes of the Snipping Tool Not Working in Windows 11

The Snipping Tool is installed by default on all computers that run Windows 11. It's also a simple program that performs one function. Problems with the Snipping Tool itself are rare, but a variety of issues or bugs may cause it to disappear or fail to launch. Possible causes include:

  • The Snipping Tool isn't installed or improperly installed
  • Using the wrong keyboard shortcut to open Snipping Tool
  • The Snipping Tool is blocked by Focus Assist or a third-party application
  • A problem with a computer's date and time
  • An outdated or buggy Windows installation
  • Outdated or buggy hardware drivers

Fix the Snipping Tool in Windows 11

Follow these solutions to fix the Snipping Tool in Windows 11.

  1. Reboot Windows 11. A fresh start will clear any temporary issue or bug interfering with the Snipping Tool.

  2. If you're using keyboard shortcuts to launch the Snipping Tool, verify that the shortcuts are correct.

    The default shortcuts are easy to forget. Also, disable any keyboard toggles that might interfere, such as the Function key (if your computer has one).

  3. Open the Snipping Tool download page on the Microsoft Store, then select Get in Store App. The Microsoft Store will appear. Select the Get button if it's visible. Otherwise, select Open.

    This ensures the Snipping Tool is installed on your computer.

  4. Reset the Snipping Tool application.

    Search for Snipping Tool in Windows Search or find it in the Windows Start Menu. Right-click Snipping Tool and then select App Settings. A new menu will appear. Scroll down and select Reset, then wait a few moments for the reset to finish.

  5. Turn off Focus Assist.

    Focus Assist is meant to prevent unwanted distractions, but it may also block programs you want to launch when it's turned on.

    Also disable any third-party programs similar to Focus Assist, such as time management or parental control apps.

  6. Verify that your computer's system time is correct.

    Unexpected problems can occur when the clock is incorrect. This happens because many apps and features use security certificates that are valid for a limited time, after which they must be renewed.

  7. Run Windows Update and download the latest version of Windows.

    This downloads the latest Windows patches as well as driver updates for your computer. Be sure to reboot your computer after the Windows Update is complete.

  8. Uninstall the Snipping Tool, then reinstall by following the instructions in Step 3 of this article.

    This will remove all traces of the program and may resolve a lingering bug or configuration issue.

  9. Reset Windows.

    This may remove a configuration issue with Windows that prevents the Snipping Tool from working.

    Resetting Windows will erase most or all files and settings and can take some time on older computers. Be careful to backup your data before trying this fix.

  • How do I take a screenshot on Windows without the Snipping Tool?

    To take a screenshot on Windows 11, press the Windows key+Fn+PrtSc. Screenshots are saved to Pictures > Screenshots.

  • What is the shortcut key for the Windows Snipping Tool?

    The keyboard shortcut for the Windows Snipping Tool is Windows key+Shift+S. When the screen darkens, click and drag to select an area to capture.

  • Where are Snipping Tool files saved?

    The Snipping Tool copies screenshots to your computer’s clipboard. To save a screenshot so that you can access it again later, select the screenshot pop-up in the bottom-right corner of the screen, then select Save as (the floppy disk icon) in the top toolbar.

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