How to Take Screenshots on Windows 10

Here are 4 easy ways to capture your screen

What to Know

  • The easiest way to take a screenshot on Windows is to use the Windows + PrtSc (Print Screen) key combination on your keyboard.
  • You can also use the Snipping Tool, Snip & Sketch Tool, or the Windows Game Bar to capture a screenshot.
  • Screenshots are stored in Pictures > Screenshots by default unless you change that destination manually.

This article covers the ways to capture a screenshot in Windows 10, including using a keyboard combination, using the Snipping Tool, the Snip & Sketch Tool, or the Windows Game Bar.

How to Capture a Screenshot in Windows 10 With Print Screen

The easiest way to capture a screenshot in Windows 10 is to press the PrtSc + Windows keyboard combination on your keyboard. You'll see your screen flash very briefly, and the screenshot will be automatically stored in the Pictures > Screenshot folder on your computer. But while this is the easiest way, it may not be the best way.

One problem you may encounter if you use this keyboard combination and you're running Windows 10 with two or more computer monitors, you'll capture the screens on both monitors, as shown below. If what you're really trying to do is capture a single screen or part of a screen, you have some additional options in Windows 10 that might work better.

A Print Screen example with dual monitors on Windows 10.

An alternative keyboard shortcut that might work a little better if you only want to capture a screenshot of an active window is to use Alt + PrtSc.

How to Capture a Screenshot in Windows 10 With Snip & Sketch

An alternative way to capture a screenshot in Windows 10 is to use the Snip & Sketch tool. Snip & Sketch can be accessed through the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S or by choosing Snip & Sketch from the Start menu. Here's how it works:

  1. From the page or window you want to capture, either use the keyboard shortcut or the Start menu to start the Snip & Sketch tool.

  2. Once the tool is activated, you have several options:

    • Rectangle: Draw a rectangle around the portion of the screen you want to capture with your mouse.
    • Freeform: Draw any freeform shape around the area you want to capture.
    • Window Snip: Grabs a screenshot of the active window.
    • Fullscreen Snip: Grabs a screenshot of your full screen (if you're using multiple monitors, it will capture a screenshot of all monitors).

    If you change your mind, you can click the X to close out of the Snip & Sketch tool.

    The Snip & Sketch toolbar in Windows 10.
  3. Once you've captured the screenshot, it will be saved to your clipboard and you'll see a notification pop up in the corner of your screen. Click this notification to markup and share the screenshot.

    A pop up notification for the Snip & Sketch tool.

    If you don't catch the popup notification, you can still access the screenshot through the Notifications bar on the right side of the screen.

    The Snip & Sketch notification in the Windows 10 Notification bar.
  4. Click the notification to open the Snip & Sketch tool, where you can mark-up, save, and share the screenshot. When you save the screenshot from here, you can choose where you want to save it.

    If you don't save the screenshot to your hard drive, it is stored on your Clipboard. Depending on your clipboard settings, the item will disappear when replaced with another item on the Clipboard.

How to Screenshot on Windows 10 With the Snipping Tool

Another option you can use in Windows 10 is the Snipping Tool. This tool has been part of Windows since Windows Vista, and while you can no longer find it in the Start menu, you can still access it by using the Windows Search Bar.

  1. When you have something on your screen you want to capture a screenshot of, type Snipping Tool in the Windows Search bar and select the Snipping Tool from the results.

    The Snipping Tool listed in Windows Search.
  2. The Snipping Tool will open and you'll have some options to choose from:

    • Mode: This allows you to choose whether you want to take a Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip (This is the default.), Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip.
    • Delay: Lets you choose to delay the screenshot from 1-5 seconds.
    • Options: Lets you change the Snipping Tool options.
    The Windows Snipping Tool.
  3. Once you've set up your screenshot click New to take the shot. The screen appears with a white overlay, in the areas you're not capturing.

  4. Once you've completed the capture, the screenshot is opened in the Snipping Tool where you can mark-up, save, or share it.

    When you capture screenshots with the Snipping Tool, they are not automatically saved anywhere, including on the clipboard. If you want to keep the screenshot when you close the Snipping Tool, you need to choose File > Save As and save the screenshot to the desired location on your hard drive.

    A screenshot captured in the Windows Snipping Tool.

The Snipping Tool is a legacy tool in Windows 10, which is why you won't find it listed in any menu. When you open it, you'll even see a notice that it's going away in a future update. For that reason, this should not be your first choice for taking screenshots.

How to Capture Screenshots in Windows 10 With the Game Bar

The Windows 10 Game Bar can capture screenshots, record your screen, and even help you with broadcasts. While it's designed for use with gaming, you can also use it to capture screenshots for other purposes.

Unless the Game Bar is already enabled on your computer, you'll need to enable it before you can use it capture a screenshot. To do that, go to Settings > Gaming and make sure Enable Xbox Game Bar for things like... is enabled (the toggle should be blue and the word "On" should be visible).

  1. To start the screenshot process press the Windows key + G on your keyboard to open the Game Bar.

  2. In the menu that appears, click the Capture icon.

    The Capture option on the Windows Game Bar.
  3. A Capture dialog box appears. Click Capture to take your screenshot.

    A faster alternative is to press the keyboard combination Windows Key + Alt + PrtSc when Game Bar is active.

    The Capture option in the Game Bar Capture dialog box.
  4. A full screen screenshot is captured and automatically saved to C:\users\yourname\Videos\Captures, where C: is the name of your Windows hard drive and yourname is your username.

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