4 Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 11

You can grab a full screen or just part of the screen, plus autosave and delay screenshots, too

What to Know

  • PrtScn aka PrtSc screenshots the entire screen, saves to clipboard.
  • Win+PrtSc auto-saves fullscreen screenshots to Pictures > Screenshots.
  • Win+Shift+S lets you pick a window or section of the screen.

This article explains all the different ways you can screenshot in Windows 11.

Use PrtScn to Screenshot the Whole Screen

There are many ways to make screenshots in Windows 11, the most basic being to use the PrtScn (aka PrtSc) button on your keyboard. This captures the entire screen, including multiple displays if you have them, plus all visible windows, the taskbar and Start button, etc. You can then paste the screenshot into any program that supports image pasting.

However, there are several better ways to take a screenshot, depending on what you're capturing and how you want to save it. Most methods require you to memorize some keyboard shortcuts, but there's also a tool built-in to Windows 11 to help with taking screenshots.

On some computers, the Fn (function) key needs to be pressed along with PrtSc.

Fullscreen Screenshot and Auto-save to Folder


This method is super useful if you're taking lots of screenshots. Press and hold the Windows key and then press the PrtSc key on your keyboard.

The fullscreen screenshot will save to your Pictures > Screenshots folder. One way to navigate to that folder is to quickly search for folders: screenshot.

 Screenshot folder with picture inside on Windows 11.

Screenshot Part of the Screen


This three-button shortcut triggers a snipping tool much more useful than PrtSc on its own. It still lets you screenshot the whole screen, but there are also three other techniques you can use.

After striking those three keys together, the screen will dim and a small menu will show at the very top of the screen. There are four buttons which let you take different kinds of screenshots. Here's how to use them:

  • Rectangular Snip: You simply draw a box which contains what you'd like to capture. You would use this method to essentially screenshot a smaller part of the screen (and ignore the rest).
  • Freeform Snip: You simply draw a shape which contains what you'd like to capture. This is useful if the rectangular snip is too restrictive to capture what you need.
  • Window Snip: This allows you to capture the image of an open window. This is identical to the rectangular snip but lets you avoid needing a steady hand to get just that one window; it will automatically screenshot just one window without the taskbar, etc.
  • Fullscreen Snip: Press to capture the whole screen. It's identical to using PrtScr.
Windows 11 snip tool capturing calculator.

To avoid memorizing this shortcut, you can tie it to the PrtSc button so when you press it, this same menu shows up automatically. To do this, open Settings and search for print screen to modify the option called Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping.

After choosing one of those options, the image will be saved to the clipboard, where you can then paste into an email or some other program that accepts pasting pictures.

Or, if you select the prompt that pops up at the bottom of the screen after taking the screenshot, it'll open in Snipping Tool. In there are markup tools like a pencil and highlighter. You can also easily crop the screenshot further, print it out, and save it as not only PNG but also JPG or GIF.

Editing options highlighted from Snipping Tool in Windows 11.

Delayed Screenshots With Snipping Tool

Pull up the search button from the taskbar and enter Snipping Tool to open the app. This tool was briefly covered above, but what we'll look at now is the delayed screenshot function.

Taking screenshots of open menus and other areas of Windows can sometimes be difficult if triggering the screenshot breaks whatever it is you're doing. Snipping Tool has a timed screenshot option, so you can do what you need to and then wait for the screenshot to happen automatically, hands-free.

With the program open, select No delay to find a menu. There are three options: Snip in 3 secs, Snip in 5 secs, and Snip in 10 secs. Select one, choose New, and then quickly arrange the screen how you need it for the screenshot. When the time you chose is reached, the four options mentioned above will display at the top of the screen.

Snipping Tool time delayed screenshot options.

Tips for Taking Screenshots in Windows 11

  • Once an image is loaded in Snipping Tool, use the crop tool to further define which part of it you want to keep, without needing to retake the screenshot.
  • If your desktop wallpaper includes colors or shapes, it sometimes shows through in the screenshot. You can avoid this by setting the wallpaper to all white.
  • Create an outline around your screenshots created with Snipping Tool by opening the tool's settings and enabling Snip outline. You can choose any border color you like.
  • If your window screenshots need to be a specific height and width, the free Sizer tool can resize the window before you capture the screenshot.
  • There are screenshot apps you can use instead. One reason you might want a dedicated app for taking screenshots is for increased capability. There's a screenshot app, for example, which lets you take a screenshot of an entire web page, something you can't do with the above steps.
  • How do I take a screenshot on Windows 10?

    Use the Windows+PrtSc keyboard combination to capture the whole screen or use the Snipping Tool to select a mode, choose a screenshot delay period, and adjust settings from the Options box. Another way to take screenshots on Windows 10 is to use the Game Bar by pressing Windows+G and selecting the Capture icon to take the screenshot.

  • How do I take screenshots on a Windows 11 laptop?

    You have the same options detailed above to take screenshots using keyboard shortcuts or Snipping Tool. If your laptop model assigns more than one purpose to the PrtSc key, you might need to use the Fn+PrtSc keyboard combination to save full-screen shots.

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