How to Use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11

Windows key + shift + s is your starting point, but there's more you can do

What to Know

  • Capture a screenshot: Press Windows Key + Shift + S at any time.
  • Edit a screenshot: Select screenshot from pop-up that appears in the bottom right of the screen.
  • When you’re ready to save a screenshot, press the Save as icon at the top of the Snipping Tool window.

This guide will teach you how to easily take screenshots with the Windows 11 Snipping Tool. We’ll also break down how to edit the screenshots that you’ve taken, as well as how to save them after you’re done.

How to Use the Snipping Tool to Screenshot

You can use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11 at any time. Follow the steps outlined below to activate the Snipping Tool and start taking screenshots.

  1. Press Windows Key + Shift + S on your keyboard.

  2. At the top, select whether you want to take a Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, or Fullscreen Snip.

    Windows 11 snipping options
  3. Once you've chosen a Rectangular, Freeform, or Window Snip, you’ll now need to select the area you want to complete the screenshot.

  4. Your screenshot will automatically be saved to your computer’s clipboard, so you can easily share it afterward.

How to Edit a Screenshot

Once you have taken a screenshot, you can easily edit it to add text, draw on it, or just crop it. The simplest way is to select the image using the pop-up notification that appears at the bottom of the screen. Follow these steps to easily edit your screenshots.

  1. Click on the screenshot pop-up in the bottom right corner of the screen after taking your screenshot.

    Snipping Tool notification pop-up in Windows 11
  2. Select the editing tools you would like to use in the Snipping Tool. There are multiple tools you can use here, including a pen, highlighter, as well as a ruler, and a protractor tool. You can also crop the image and add writing via touch if your device has a touch screen.

How to Save a Screenshot

By default, the Windows 11 Snipping Tool will automatically copy your most recent screenshot to your computer’s clipboard. This allows you to paste the image into instant messengers and other applications.

However, sometimes you may want to save an image so you can access it again later. To do this, you’ll need to open the screenshot in the Snipping Tool itself. Here's how that works.

  1. Click or tap the screenshot pop-up in the bottom right corner of the screen.

    Snipping Tool notification in Windows 11
  2. Locate the toolbar along the top of the Snipping Tool window and make any edits you need to make to the image.

    Editing images in Snipping Tool
  3. Finally, click the Save as icon at the top to save the image. This icon looks like a floppy disk and can be found to the right of the magnifying glass.

  4. Once you’ve selected the Save icon, input a name for your screenshot and choose where you want to save it.

How to Make Taking Screenshots Easier

Taking screenshots in Windows 11 with the Snipping Tool is easy, but Microsoft has given you a way to make it easier. Instead of having to press a combination of buttons, you can enable a setting in your computer’s keyboard accessibility settings to allow you to activate the Snipping Tool with a single button press.

  1. Open Settings on your computer.

  2. Navigate to and select Accessibility.

    Settings in Windows 11 with Accessibility highlighted
  3. Select Keyboard under the Interaction section.

    Accessibility settings in Windows 11 with Keyboard highlighted
  4. Toggle Use Print screen button to open screen snipping to on.

    Keyboard accessibility settings in Windows 11
  5. From now on you can easily activate the Windows 11 Snipping Tool by pressing the Print Screen button on your keyboard (often stylized as PRT SCN).

  • How do I use the snipping tool on a Mac?

    Macs can also take screenshots, although they don't use the phrase "snipping tool." To take a full screenshot, press Command + Shift + 3. To select a segment of the screen to capture, press Command + Shift + 4 and then drag the cursor to include the section you want. Use Command + Shift + 4 to capture a specific window or do a screen recording.

  • How do I use the snipping tool on a Chromebook?

    ChromeOS also has its own screenshot app, called Screen Capture. Select it from the Quick Settings. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Window Shift for a full screen or Shift + Ctrl + Window Shift for a partial screenshot.

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