How to Take a Screenshot on Windows: A Complete Guide

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Taking a screenshot is important when you need to capture certain contents on your screen, be it an error message or a photo that you can’t right-click on. In Windows, there are different methods of taking screenshots, which might be confusing for beginners. This article will guide you through the 12 steps of taking the perfect screenshot on Windows.


Step 1:

Open the window or app you wish to capture.

Before taking a screenshot, ensure that you have the content ready on your screen. This could be an error message, an image or any other type of content you wish to capture.

Step 2:

Press the PrtScn button on your keyboard.

The Print Screen button, sometimes labeled as PrtScn or PrtSc, is located on the top of most keyboards. Pressing this button captures an image of the entire screen and stores it in your computer’s clipboard.

Step 3:

Press the Alt + PrtScn buttons on your keyboard.

If you wish to take a screenshot of the active window only, press the Alt + PrtScn buttons. This captures an image of the active window only and stores it in your computer’s clipboard.

Step 4:

Use the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut.

This keyboard shortcut allows you to take a screenshot of a specific area on your screen. Pressing Windows + Shift + S opens the Snipping Tool, allowing you to select the area you wish to capture.

Step 5:

Use the Snipping Tool.

The Snipping Tool is a built-in app for capturing screenshots on Windows. You can either open the app from the Start menu or use the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. It allows you to capture a specific area, a window, or the entire screen.

Step 6:

Use the Print Screen button with the Windows Key.

Pressing the Print Screen button with the Windows key captures an image of the entire screen and saves it automatically to a folder named “Screenshots” in your Pictures directory.

Step 7:

Use the Game Bar.

If you’re playing a game or running an app in fullscreen mode on Windows 10, you can use the Game Bar to take a screenshot. Press Windows + G keys to open the Game Bar, then click the “Take screenshot” button.

Step 8:

Use third-party apps.

If you prefer using third-party apps for taking screenshots, there are many options available. Some popular ones include Lightshot, Greenshot, and Snagit. Just make sure to download from a trusted source.

Step 9:

Edit and save your screenshot.

Once you’ve taken your screenshot, you can edit it using the built-in Paint app or any photo editing software. You can then save your screenshot in any image format, such as JPG or PNG.

Step 10:

Upload your screenshot to cloud services.

If you wish to share your screenshot with others, you can upload it to cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox and then share the link.

Step 11:

Share your screenshot on social media.

If you wish to share your screenshot on social media, you can upload it to platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Just make sure to check the photo guidelines and policies before uploading.

Step 12:

Organize your screenshots.

If you take many screenshots, it’s important to organize them properly. You can create folders or use a third-party app to keep your screenshots organized and easily accessible.

Explanation and Tips

Taking a screenshot on Windows is easy, but there are a few tips and tricks that can help you create the perfect screenshot.

Tip 1: Use keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts can save you time and effort when taking screenshots. Familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts that work best for you.

Tip 2: Use third-party apps.

Third-party apps offer more advanced features for taking specific types of screenshots. Experiment with different apps to find one that suits your needs.

Tip 3: Edit your screenshots.

Editing your screenshots allows you to highlight the important details and remove unnecessary clutter. Use the built-in Paint app or a photo editing software to edit your screenshots.

Tip 4: Use the right file format.

Save your screenshots in a file format that best suits your needs. PNG files are good for screenshots with transparent backgrounds while JPEG files are best for screenshots with photographic details.

Tip 5: Clean your screen.

Before taking a screenshot, ensure that your screen is free of any smudges or dust. This will help create a clearer and more professional-looking screenshot.

Tip 6: Keep your desktop clean.

If you’re taking a screenshot of your entire screen, make sure to organize your desktop and remove any unnecessary icons or files.

Tip 7: Be mindful of privacy.

When taking screenshots, be mindful of the content you capture and share. Remove any sensitive information or content that others might find offensive before sharing or uploading your screenshot.

Tip 8: Stay organized.

Organize your screenshots into folders or use a third-party app to keep them organized and easily accessible. This will save you time and effort in the long run.

Tip 9: Practice.

Practice taking screenshots to improve your skills. The more you practice, the easier it will become.

Tip 10: Have fun with it!

Taking screenshots can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. Experiment with different techniques and styles to find what works best for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to capturing screenshots on Windows, the process can be both easy and tricky depending on the method used. In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of taking a screenshot on Windows.


Advantages Description
Easy to Share Once a screenshot is taken, it can be shared instantly with anyone, thus making communication easier.
Quick Troubleshooting A screenshot can be shared with technical support to quickly troubleshoot an issue instead of having to describe the problem verbally.
Improved Collaboration Collaborative projects can be managed with screenshots taken at every stage of progress, offering visual illustrations for enhancement.
Instant Communication Screenshots allow you to quickly share an image that could be difficult to describe in words, especially for non-tech people.
Reduced Confusion Screenshots can offer clarity and reduce confusion when different people are working on the same project.
Record Keeping Screenshots can be used to keep records of important information and essential details.
Increased Productivity Screenshots enable you to work more efficiently and save time when working on different projects.
Stress-Free Communication Screenshots allow you to quickly share an image that could be difficult to describe in words, reducing stress associated with explaining the situation.
Enhanced Technical Support Screenshots offer technical support a better understanding of any issues arising, simplifying the process of finding and solving the problem.
Good for Reference Screenshots are great for reference purposes, creating an image that can be referred to when needed.


As with many technologies, there are some disadvantages to using screenshots on Windows:

  1. Privacy concerns – Sensitive information may be unintentionally shared with others while taking a screenshot.
  2. File size – Screenshots can take up storage space on your device depending on the resolution and format used.
  3. Quality – Screenshots taken at low resolutions may produce blurry or unclear images.
  4. Time-consuming – Taking screenshots can be a time-consuming process, especially when multiple images are required.
  5. Possible inaccuracies – Screenshots may not always provide a clear picture of the issue or problem.
  6. Device compatibility – Screenshots may not work on all devices or platforms, causing compatibility issues.
  7. Not very mobile-friendly – Taking screenshots might not be easy on mobile devices, especially when using large devices.
  8. Learning curve – Learning how to take a screenshot on Windows can be difficult for some users, especially those not tech-savvy.
  9. Can be distracting – Constantly taking screenshots can be distracting and disruptive to workflow.
  10. Limited use – Screenshots are only useful for certain scenarios and may not be needed in all situations.

Considering the pros and cons described in this section, it’s clear that there are many advantages to taking screenshots on Windows. The disadvantages mostly focus on technical difficulties, privacy concerns, and user error. However, with proper knowledge and practice, these issues can be minimized, and the benefits of screenshotting can be enjoyed without hesitation.


1. How do I take a screenshot on Windows?

To take a screenshot on Windows, press the “Windows key + Print Screen” keys simultaneously. The screenshot will be saved in the default “Screenshots” folder in the “Pictures” library.

2. How can I capture just a portion of my screen?

Press the “Windows key + Shift + S” keys simultaneously to bring up the Snipping Tool. Click and drag your cursor to select only the portion you want to capture.

3. Can I use the Snipping Tool to take screenshots of a specific window?

Yes, click the “Mode” dropdown in the Snipping Tool and choose “Window Snip”. From there, select the window you want to capture and it will be saved to your clipboard.

4. Is there a way to take a screenshot with just the keyboard?

Yes, press the “Alt + Print Screen” keys simultaneously to capture the active window.

5. How do I access my saved screenshots?

You can find your saved screenshots in the “Pictures” library under the “Screenshots” folder. You can also search for “Screenshots” in the start menu.

6. Can I change the default save location for my screenshots?

Yes, open the “Settings” app and go to “Storage”. Under “More storage settings”, click on “Change where new content is saved” and select a new default location for your screenshots.

7. How do I take a screenshot of a specific app?

Open the app you want to capture and press “Windows key + Print Screen”. The screenshot will include everything currently on your screen, including the app.

8. How can I take a screenshot of a web page that requires scrolling to view all content?

Use a browser extension or tool such as Full Page Screen Capture or Nimbus Screenshot to capture the entire page, even the parts that require scrolling.

9. Can I take a screenshot in Safe Mode?

No, since most system drivers and graphics aren’t loaded in Safe Mode, the Print Screen key won’t work.

10. How do I take a screenshot on a laptop without a Print Screen key?

On a laptop, pressing the “Fn + Windows key + Spacebar” keys simultaneously will take a screenshot of the whole screen. For a specific window, use “Fn + Alt + Print Screen”.

11. Can I use the Snipping Tool to capture video?

No, the Snipping Tool can only capture static images. For video, use a screen recording tool such as Bandicam, OBS, or Camtasia.

12. How can I take a screenshot of my login screen?

Since the Print Screen key won’t work on the login screen, use the built-in Windows Snipping Tool by pressing “Windows key + Shift + S”.

13. Can I take a screenshot without saving it?

Yes, use the “Windows key + Print Screen” keys simultaneously to copy the screenshot to your clipboard for pasting into another application.

How to Take and Select Screenshots on Windows

Taking screenshots on Windows is an easy and useful feature that comes bundled with the operating system itself. But if you are new to the platform or simply don’t know how to take one, then this article is for you. In this guide, we will show you how to take and select screenshots on Windows with ease.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, taking screenshots and selecting them on Windows is an easy process that can be done quickly and efficiently. With the methods and tools that we have shown you in this guide, you can capture and manipulate images on your PC with ease. So go ahead and try them out for yourself, and see how they make your life just that much easier.

Thanks for reading this article on how to take and select screenshots on Windows. We hope that you found it helpful and informative. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy screenshotting!