What is Windows Ink?

Use Windows Ink to draw directly on your computer screen

Person using stylus to draw directly onto computer screen

 Jasmin Merdan / Getty Images

Windows Ink adds digital pen (or your finger) support to Windows to write and draw on your computer screen.

You can do more than just doodle though; this software tool helps you edit text, write Sticky Notes, and capture a screenshot of your desktop—then mark it up, crop it, and then what you’ve created. There’s also an option to use Windows Ink from the Lock screen so you can use the feature even if you aren’t logged in to your device.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

What You’ll Need to use Windows Ink

Screenshot of Windows Settings app with the Pen & Ink options open.

To use Windows Ink, you’ll need a newer touch screen device running the latest version of Windows 10. Windows Ink seems to be the most popular among tablet users right now because of the devices’ portability and maneuverability, but any compatible device will work.

You’ll also need to enable the feature.

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.
  2. Two options let you enable Windows Ink and/or the Windows Ink Workspace.
  3. The Workspace includes access to Sticky Notes, Sketchpad, and Screen Sketch applications and is accessible from the Taskbar on the right side.

Windows Ink is enabled by default on newer Microsoft Surface devices.

Access Windows Ink Apps

Windows Ink apps

To access the built-in apps that come with Windows Ink, simply tap or click the Windows Ink Workspace icon on the right end of the Taskbar. It looks like a digital pen. You'll see a pop-up menu appear above the taskbar with quick links to run apps including Whiteboard and Fullscreen Snip.

Windows Ink and Other Apps

windows ink apps in store

Windows Ink is compatible with the most popular Microsoft Office apps. It supports tasks like deleting or highlighting words in Microsoft Word, writing a math problem and having Windows solve it in OneNote, and even marking up slides in PowerPoint.

Many Microsoft Store apps support Windows Ink. To see the apps:

  1. On the Taskbar, click the search icon then type Store, and select Microsoft Store in the results.  
  2. In the Store app, type Windows Ink in the Search window.
  3. Select Shop the Collection.
  4. Browse the apps to see what’s available.

Because Windows Ink is a part of Windows, Microsoft Store apps may use this technology and it works the same across any of the apps.