How to Screenshot on Microsoft Surface

Most Surface owners can snap a screenshot without touching the keyboard

What to Know

  • Most Surface devices take a screenshot if you press the Power and Volume Up buttons simultaneously.
  • You can also take a screenshot using the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut.

This article covers how to take a screenshot on any Surface device in seconds.

Use Physical Buttons to Take Screenshot

Microsoft Surface Book power and volume buttons

Matthew S. Smith / Lifewire

Most Surface devices have a button shortcut that takes a screenshot when activated. The shortcut varies by device.

  • Surface Pro 4 and newer, all Surface Book models, all Surface Go models: Simultaneously press and hold the Power button and the Volume Up button.
  • Surface Pro 3 and earlier Pro models, original Surface, Surface RT: Simultaneously press and hold the Windows button below the tablet's display and the Volume Down button on the side of the device.
  • Surface Duo smartphone: Simultaneously press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button.

Surface Laptop and Surface Studio devices don't have a button shortcut for taking a screenshot.

If successful, your Surface device should briefly dim or flash the display. You may see a notification letting you know it saved a screenshot.

Surface devices running Windows will save the screenshot to the Screenshots folder, found in This PC\Pictures\Screenshots. You can also find this folder under C:\Users\YourUserName\Pictures\Screenshots.

The Surface Duo, which runs Android, stores screenshots in a different location. You'll find them by opening the Photos app, then tapping Albums > Screenshots.

The button shortcut can be troublesome because it uses buttons commonly assigned to another task, like putting the device into sleep mode or turning it off. It's important to hit both buttons at the same time. If you don't, the device will go into sleep mode or change the speaker's volume.

Use a Shortcut Using the Keyboard

Microsoft Surface device keyboard with keys highlighted

Matthew S. Smith / Lifewire

If you don't want to use a button shortcut or can't get it to work, you can use a Windows keyboard shortcut.

The best option is Windows + Shift + S. This shortcut will work on all Surface devices running Windows 10 that have a keyboard.

Sorry, Surface Duo owners. This method doesn't work with Android.

Pressing this shortcut will launch an app called Snip & Sketch and prompt you to take a screenshot by dragging a rectangle around a portion of the screen with your mouse cursor or using the touchscreen. The screenshot will then open in the app, giving you a chance to preview it. Save the screenshot by selecting the floppy disk icon in the app's upper right-hand corner or using the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut.

Snip & Sketch has several alternative screenshot modes. It also includes basic image editing and markup tools. Read our guide to using Snip & Sketch if you want to master the app.

Use the Action Center

Windows 10 Action Center opened with Screen Snip box highlighted.

The Action Center is for Surface owners who don't want to use the button shortcuts or find them tricky yet also don't have a keyboard connected. Every Surface device running Windows 10 can use this method.

Start by tapping the Action Center icon, which is on the far right-hand side of the taskbar. Action Center will open and take over the right third of your display. The lower half of the Action Center will display a grid of boxes that includes various device features and controls. Tap the box labeled Screen Snip, which opens the Snip & Sketch app.

The app then prompts you to take a screenshot by tapping and dragging a rectangle around a portion of the touchscreen. A notification will then appear with a preview of the screenshot. Tap it to open the screenshot in Snip & Sketch.

Save the screenshot by selecting the floppy disk icon in the upper right-hand corner of Snip & Sketch or using the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut.

Even More Ways to Take a Screenshot on a Microsoft Surface Device

The three methods described are the most straightforward, and they work on all Surface devices running Windows 10 without installing extra software or familiarizing yourself with niche features.

You can use other methods, however. Any screenshot shortcut, trick, or tool that works in Windows 10 will work on a Surface device, aside from the Surface Duo, which runs Android. Read Lifewire's guide to taking a screenshot in Windows and our guide to Snip & Sketch to become a screenshot guru.

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