How to Take a Screen Shot on Windows 8: A Step-by-Step Guide

Taking screenshots is a crucial aspect of using a computer. It can be helpful in documenting a particular task, capturing an important message, or just sharing something fun with friends and family. The process of taking a screenshot may vary depending on the device and operating system you are using. In this article, we will guide you on how to take a screenshot on Windows 8.


Step 1: Locate the “Print Screen” Key on Your Keyboard

The first step in taking a screenshot on Windows 8 is to locate the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. The key is usually abbreviated as “PrtScn” or “PrtSc” and is located in the top row of keys, usually between the F12 and Scroll Lock keys.

Step 2: Take a Full-Screen Screenshot

To take a full-screen screenshot, simply press the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. The screenshot will be saved to the clipboard.

Step 3: Take a Screenshot of the Active Window

If you want to take a screenshot of only the active window, press the “Alt” key and the “Print Screen” key together. The screenshot of the active window will be saved to the clipboard.

Step 4: Save the Screenshot as an Image File

To save the screenshot as an image file, you need to open an image editor such as Paint or Photoshop and paste the screenshot into a new file. To open Paint in Windows 8, go to the Start Screen and search for “Paint.” Once the application opens, press “Ctrl” and “V” together to paste the screenshot. You can then save the file in the desired format.

Step 5: Use the Snipping Tool

Windows 8 also comes with a built-in tool called the Snipping Tool that allows you to capture a specific area of the screen. To access the tool, go to the Start Screen and search for “Snipping Tool.” Once the tool opens, you can click on “New” to start the screenshot process.

Step 6: Choose the Type of Snip

Once you click on “New,” you can choose the type of snip you want to take. You can select from “Rectangular Snip,” “Free-Form Snip,” “Window Snip,” or “Full-Screen Snip.”

Step 7: Capture the Snip

After selecting the type of snip, you can capture the snip by using your mouse to drag the cursor around the area you want to capture or selecting the window you want to capture.

Step 8: Annotate the Snip (Optional)

After capturing the snip, you can annotate it by using the tools in the Snipping Tool. The tools allow you to draw, highlight, or add text to the snip.

Step 9: Save the Snip

Once you have annotated the snip, you can save it by clicking on “File” and selecting “Save As.” You can then select the format you want to save the snip in and choose the location where you want to save it.

Step 10: Use the Windows Key and Print Screen Key Together

Another quick way to take a full-screen screenshot on Windows 8 is to use the Windows Key and the Print Screen key together. This will capture the entire screen and save it in the default location.

Step 11: Use the Game Bar (for Gamers)

For gamers, Windows 8 has a built-in Game Bar that allows you to take screenshots while playing games. To access the Game Bar, press the Windows Key and “G” key together. Once the Game Bar opens, you can click on the camera icon to take a screenshot.

Step 12: Use a Third-Party App

If none of the above methods work for you, you can always use a third-party app to take screenshots on Windows 8. Some popular apps include Snagit, Greenshot, or Lightshot.


Taking a screenshot on Windows 8 can be easy and quick with the right tools and techniques. The Print Screen key allows you to capture the entire screen or the active window, while the Snipping Tool allows you to capture a specific area of the screen. The Game Bar is also useful for gamers who want to capture screenshots while playing games. And finally, if there are still issues with taking screenshots, third-party apps are always an option.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use the Windows Key and Print Screen Key for Quick Screenshots

Using the Windows Key and Print Screen key together is the easiest and quickest way to capture a full-screen screenshot on Windows 8.

2. Customize Snipping Tool Preferences

You can customize the Snipping Tool preferences by going to “Options” and selecting the desired settings for the snips.

3. Use Keyboard Shortcuts for the Snipping Tool

To use the Snipping Tool more efficiently, you can use keyboard shortcuts such as “Ctrl+N” for a new snip or “Ctrl+S” to save the snip.

4. Utilize the Time Delay Feature

The Snipping Tool also has a time delay feature where you can set a delay before the snip is captured, giving you time to set up the screen.

5. Use Third-Party Apps for Advanced Features

Third-party apps such as Snagit and Greenshot have more advanced features such as editing tools, file naming conventions, and cloud storage options.

6. Use the Game Bar for Instant Screenshots

Gamers can easily take screenshots while playing games by using the Game Bar on Windows 8.

7. Save Screenshot to Cloud Storage

For easier sharing and accessibility, you can save screenshots to cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

8. Use the “hidden” Windows Key

Instead of using the physical Windows Key on your keyboard, you can use the “hidden” Windows Key by pressing “Ctrl” and “Esc” together.

9. Take Screenshots of Windows 8 Apps

To take screenshots of Windows 8 apps, use the Snipping Tool or a third-party app since the Print Screen key may not work.

10. Practice and Experiment

Practice and experiment with different methods and apps to find the best way to take screenshots on Windows 8 that suits your needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Screen Shot on Windows 8

Knowing how to take a screen shot on Windows 8 can be very useful, especially if you’re trying to show someone else what’s on your screen or save an important image. However, there are also some drawbacks to taking screen shots that you should be aware of. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a screen shot on Windows 8:


Advantages Explanation
Easily share information Screen shots allow you to easily share information with others, such as when demonstrating how to fix a problem on your computer.
Save important information You can use screen shots to save a copy of important information, such as an email or a website recipe.
Visual reference Screen shots allow you to create a visual reference for future use, such as when saving a picture of an event you attended.
Time-saving Instead of typing out information, you can take a screen shot, saving you time and effort.
Useful for troubleshooting If you’re experiencing a problem with your computer, taking a screen shot can help technicians diagnose the issue more quickly.
Personal records You can use screen shots to keep personal records, such as a copy of a receipt for an online purchase.
Easy to learn Taking a screen shot on Windows 8 is a simple process that can be learned quickly.
Great for presentations You can use screen shots as part of a presentation, making it easier for your audience to follow along.
Customizable You can use different tools to customize your screen shot, such as cropping or highlighting important information.
Efficient communication Using screen shots can be an efficient way to communicate with others, especially if you’re dealing with someone who speaks a different language.


Disadvantages Explanation
Can be inappropriate Screen shots can be used to capture inappropriate content, such as private conversations or explicit images.
Can take up memory If you take a lot of screen shots, they can take up a significant amount of memory on your computer.
Invades privacy Taking a screen shot of someone else’s information or personal conversations without their permission can be a violation of their privacy.
May not capture everything Screen shots may not capture everything that’s on your screen, such as scrolling content or videos.
Requires editing If you want to use your screen shot for a specific purpose, such as adding it to a presentation, you may need to edit or crop it.
Can be misleading Screen shots may not always accurately represent the information or images on your screen, especially if they’ve been edited or cropped.
May not be allowed In some cases, taking screen shots may be prohibited by law or company policy.
May cause confusion If you’re sending screen shots to someone who’s not familiar with them, they may not understand how to interpret the image.
Can distort information When you take a screen shot, the resolution and quality may not be as good as the original image or text on your screen, causing distortion.
Can be misused Screen shots can be easily altered or misrepresented, making them a vulnerable target for misuse or deception.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) : How to Take a Screen Shot on Windows 8

1. What is a screen shot?

A screen shot is an image of your computer screen’s display. It can be used to capture a momentary display, a desktop element or an entire screen. Screen shots can be useful in many ways including troubleshooting, instruction, and documentation.

2. Why would I need to take a screen shot on Windows 8?

Screen shots can be helpful when troubleshooting problems on your computer, or when you need to capture an image of something quickly without having to do a lot of manual image editing. Plus, they are a quick and easy way to capture visual content that you might want to save and use in presentations, on social media or elsewhere.

3. What are the different ways to take a screen shot?

On Windows 8, there are several ways to take a screen shot:

  • The Print Screen button on your keyboard
  • The Windows key + Print Screen button
  • The Windows key + H
  • Using the Snipping Tool

4. Where can I find the Print Screen button on my keyboard?

The Print Screen button is often abbreviated as “Prnt Scrn” or “Prt Sc” and can be found in the top right corner of most keyboards.

5. What happens after I press the Print Screen button?

When you press the Print Screen button, an image of your entire desktop is copied to your clipboard. You can then paste this image into an image editing program or document to save it.

6. How do I take a screen shot of a specific window or program?

To capture a specific window or program,

  • Click on the window or program to make it active
  • Press the Alt key + Print Screen button
  • Paste the image into an image editing program or document to save it

7. What is the difference between using the Print Screen button and the Windows key + Print Screen buttons?

When you press the Windows key + Print Screen buttons, the image of your entire desktop is saved automatically to your Pictures folder in a subfolder called Screenshots. However, when you use the Print Screen button alone, the image is only copied to your clipboard and not automatically saved anywhere.

8. How do I take a screen shot of a specific region on my screen?

You can use the Snipping Tool to capture a specific region on your screen.

  • Open the Snipping Tool by searching for it in your Start menu
  • Click and drag to select the region you want to capture
  • Save the image to your desired location

9. What file format are the screen shots saved in?

The screen shots are saved as image files in either PNG, JPG or BMP file formats.

10. Can I edit the screen shots after I take them?

Yes, you can edit your screen shots using any image editing software. This includes resizing the image, cropping it, adding annotations and more.

11. Can multiple screen shots be taken at one time?

Yes, you can take multiple screen shots by using any of the methods listed above as many times as you want.

12. How do I find the screen shots I have taken?

On Windows 8, by default all screen shots are saved in the Pictures folder under a subfolder called Screenshots. You can also use the search function to search for screen shots by name or date taken on your computer.

13. What should I do if the screen shots I take are blurry or low quality?

If your screen shots are coming out blurry or low quality, try adjusting the resolution settings on your computer or using an image editing tool to sharpen the image. You can also try using a different method of taking screen shots, such as the Snipping Tool, to capture a clearer image.

How to Take a Screen Shot on Windows 8

If you are a Windows 8 user, you may need to take a screen shot of your computer screen to capture an important image or piece of information. Fortunately, taking a screen shot on Windows 8 is an easy process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. In this article, we will guide you through the process of taking a screen shot on Windows 8.

Conclusion and Closing

Taking a screen shot on Windows 8 is a simple process that can be done with just a few clicks. Whether you need to capture an image or save important information, using the screen shot function on Windows 8 can help you do so quickly and easily. We hope that this guide has been helpful to you and that you feel confident in your ability to take a screen shot on Windows 8. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to seek out additional resources or contact a technical support professional. Thank you for reading and goodbye!