Screenshots are useful on smartphones, tablets, and Windows 11 PCs. Microsoft’s desktop OS provides too many choices for taking screen shots. Windows 11 helps. We’ll show you how to take screenshots on a new OS. The methods include keyboard shortcuts and modern tools that let you set timers, edit, and share screenshots.
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PrtSc and Paste
Since Windows 10, you can take a screenshot using PrtSc. Some keyboards display Print Screen fully. Tap this key to copy the desktop image. Paste the image into Paint, Paint 3D, or Adobe Photoshop.
Alt-PrtSc captures the active application window. Using this key combination saves the current window to the clipboard, where it can be pasted into an image programme. On Windows 11, rounded corners become squared-off because picture files are rectangular.
PrtSc can be used with OneDrive to automatically upload screenshots. This method is distinct from PrtSc since it eliminates the need to start an app and paste the clipboard. Instructions:
Right-click OneDrive’s taskbar cloud icon. Check Automatically save screenshots to OneDrive in Settings > Backup.
One checkbox alters PrtSc: You no longer need an image app or clipboard. Instead, a local-looking image file is created in the OneDrive folder of your choice. You can access it from any OneDrive-enabled device (there are clients for every platform). This is how I save a screenshot as an image file instead of pasting it. During a live presentation, I don’t have time to save a picture file separately.
Use Windows Key–PrtSc
Another PrtSc use: Windows-PrtSc.
To save screenshots somewhere other than OneDrive, use Windows+PrtSc. This method briefly dims the screen and places a PNG file under Pictures > Screenshots. (Note the PrtSc key’s different positioning in the image.) This method lets you paste the shot wherever.
Windows 11 combines the earlier Snipping Tool with Windows 10’s Snip & Sketch tool. Windows 11’s screen-shooter is called Snipping Tool. Windows-Shift-S opens the Snipping Tool. This keyboard shortcut lets you snap a rectangle, freehand, window, or full-screen screenshot (see image above).
Draw with the cursor to select the first two options. Click the second two targets.
When you release the cursor, a screenshot thumbnail appears in the lower-right corner. If you merely want to paste the screenshot into another app, skip this step. Click the notification area’s thumbnail to access the Snipping Tool (shown below). You can annotate or crop the screenshot here. You can draw straight lines with a ruler and touch screens with your finger.
The 3.5-inch floppy disc icon saves the screenshot and edits (some visual metaphors never die). You can send the image using Windows 11’s standard share panel, print it, or open it in another app from the menu.
This tool’s crop feature lacks aspect-ratio settings. I’d like to choose 16:9 widescreen, and I doubt I’m alone. Currently, you must use Paint, Paint 3D, or another image-editing tool to do this. I wish Snipping Tool showed prior screenshots (as the OneDrive option above and the SnagIt option below do).
Instead of using the keyboard shortcut, type Snipping in the Start menu to employ a timer before snapping the screen. After pressing Windows Key-Shift-S, pressing Esc cancels the screenshot.
You can alter PrtSc to open the Snipping Tool instead of copying a picture. Check Use Print Screen to Open Screen Snipping in Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard (the bottom option in the screenshot below).
Double-tapping Surface Pen’s eraser button activates the Snipping Tool.
If you enable Clipboard History, Windows Key-V will paste your last several screenshots. This works with any screenshot method that copies to the clipboard.
Third-party screenshot software
I used SnagIt for years since it saved screenshots for later use. It’s still a PCMag Editors’ Choice for snapshot utilities. (Windows’ built-in screenshot tools meet my needs.) SnagIt can capture screen motion, window scrolling, and lte visuals, such arrows. Learn about third-party screenshot tools in our roundup.
The Windows Key–G Game bar. The Capture window has a camera icon. Your screenshot is kept in the Videos/Captures folder beneath your primary user folder. Windows Settings lets you alter the target folder. (Tap Windows Key–Alt–PrtScn to bypass Game bar.)
Surface tablets are different from PCs until you attach a keyboard. The touch-screen keyboard lacks PrtSc.
To take a screenshot on the Surface Pro 8 and its predecessors, press Volume Up and Power. Pressing the buttons together will turn off the screen.
This is equivalent to pressing Windows+PrtSc. Pictures>Screenshots receives a screenshot.
Older Surface tablets utilised Fn-Windows Key-Spacebar on their associated keyboards, and some required pressing the power and Windows buttons simultaneously. On the Dell Latitude tablet, you use the Power Button and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. If you have a less-popular tablet model, explore or consult manuals. Double-tapping the Surface Pen’s back button opens the Snipping Tool.
Any Device Screenshot Guide
On your smartphone, other devices, and Windows 11 PCs, you may need to snap screenshots. For non-PC devices, see how to snap a screenshot on any device.