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How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 10 Computers Guide

Arsen Karapetyan

If you want to take a screenshot of you computer screen, Windows 10 has a lot of options for that.

You have two main options. You could take a screenshot of the full screen, a single window, a specific region of the screen of even a screenshot of the entire web page from the top to the bottom.

This guide will show you how to take any kind of a screenshot on Windows 10 or Windows 7 computers.

How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 10 PCs With a PrtScn key (Print Screen key)

You can take a screenshot of the entire computer screen by pressing the "Print Screen" key on the keyboard. This key is normally has a "PrtScn" or "Print Screen" label on your computer keyboard. It is located at the top right corner of the keyboard.

On some machines like laptops, notebooks or custom keyboards, you can access the Print Screen key by pressing the "Fn" or the "Function" key. You must hold the "Fn" key and press "PrtScn" to take a screenshot.

The PrtScn key take a photo of the entire screen and pastes it into your Windows 10 buffer. It allows you to paste the screenshot into any app. Sometimes you need to press a modifier key, like the "Fn" key to activate the print screen.

Here are the Different Vatiations of PrtScn in Windows

How to Take a Full Screen Screenshot

Press PrtScn: This key take a full screenshot of your screen and keeps it in the Windows clipboard. Now you can paste the screenshot into any app by pressing the Ctrl+V key combination.

You can paste the screenshot into the Paint, Paint 3D, Word, Excel, Power Point, Photoshop or any other app of your choosing. Simply ensure that you do not copy any other images or text after taking the screenshot (by pressing the PrtScn key.

Remember that Paint 3D might not be running on the background. If it doesn't, refer to our switch off background apps guide to enable it.

How to Take a Screenshot of an Active Window

Press Alt+PrtScn: This take a screenshot of the active window into the clipboard. After you select a window and press Alt+PrtScn, the screenshot of that window will save to your clipboard. You can paste the screenshot into any other app that can accept pictures.

How to Take a Screenshot of a Specific Region

Press Windows+Shift+S: This will allow you to take a screenshot of a specific region of your screen. After you press Windows+Shift+S, the screen will dim for a second and the mouse cursor will turn into a selection tool. You can press and hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor to select a rectangular region of your screen.

After you release your left mouse button, you can select a region, that will become your screenshot. It will be in your clipboard. You can paste this screenshot into any app. All you have to do is to press Ctrl+V.

How to Take a Screenshot of the Entire Screen

Press Windows+PrtScn: This will take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it as a jpeg file that will be located ino the "Screenshots" folder inside the "Pictures" folder on your computer.

Where is the Screenshot Folder in Windows?

You can access that folder by pressing the folder icon at the left bottom corner of your screen, near the Windows search bar.

For a more comfortable mouse experience, refer to our How to Choose the Right Computer Mouse Size guide.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Laptop

There are two major categories of laptops: Windows laptops and Mac laptops. Most of the laptops run the Windows operating system. If you would like to take a screenshot on a laptop that runs Windows 10 or Windows 7, follow the instructions above.

Some laptops have their PrtScn (Print Screen) button on the right upper corner. Others or on one of the arrow keys.

To take a screenshot on a laptop, you need to:

  1. Press the PrtScn key
  2. Or, alternatively, hold down the Fn key and press PrtScn

How to Take a Screenshot on a Laptop

Remember that there could be laptops that come with their own screenshot utility, which you can access via an app or via a custom key on the keyboard

Some keyboards have special labeled keys for taking a screenshot. These keys are specific to some manufacturers. To take a screenshot on a Dell, HP, Alienware laptop, look for the Fn key. Or a specific screenshot key in the top number key row.

How to Take a Screenshot on with the Snipping Tool

Windows 7 and Windows 10 have a very useful Snipping Tool. This tool allows you to take and manage screenshots.

Windows Snipping Tool

The Windows Snipping tool lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen or a screen region. You can edit and mark up the screenshot with a pen tool. You can save it into a jpeg or a png picture file.

This makes it very convenient to quickly edit the screenshot. With the Snipping tool you don't need to paste the screenshot into a separate editing app. It will just save it as a photo.

How to Use the Snipping Tool to Take a Screenshot in Windows

1. Open the Snipping Tool from the Windows Start menu or by searching "Snipping Tool" in the Windows search bar.

2. Click the dropdown arrow next to the "Mode" button. This will allow you to take several types of screenshots.

The Snippingn Tool mode dropdown allows you to take various screenshots. Free form strip, rectangular snip, windows snip and a full screen ship

  • Free-form Snip: You can take a screenshot of any shape, but selecting it with you mouse.
  • Rectangular Snip: This allows you to select a rectangular area of your screen and takes a screenshot of that area.
  • Windows Snip: This take a screenshot of the selected active window.
  • Full-Screen Snip: This option take a screenshot of the entire screen.

3. Click "New" and your screen will flash or freeze for a second. You can now use your mouse to take a screenshot. Please refer to the section above for different types of screenshots you can take with the different modes of the Snipping Tool.

4. If you would like to delay the screenshot by several seconds, so you can close a window or to include a tooltip, which comes up only when you move your mouse cursor, pressing the "Delay" button will let you select the time offset you'd like to have. This will delay taking the screenshot by the specified time, so you can properly prepare.

Windows Snipping Tool screenshot delay option

5. Upon taking the screenshot in Windows using the Snipping Tool, you can draw on it using the pen tool. It allows you to select different colors. The marked up screenshot can then be saved into a picture file, ready to be used in tutorials etc.

Windows Snipping Tool highlighting and annotation functions

6. Once the screenshot is taken and marked up (drawn on), click File > Save As to save the screenshot onto your computer as a jpeg or a png photo.

7. Alternatively, you can press Edit > Copy to simply copy the screenshot into the clipboard, so you can paste it anywhere without turning it into a photo.

How to Take a Screenshot in with the Windows Game Bar

The Game Bar is an overlay in Windows that allows gamers to take in-game screenshots and to capture gameplay video. If enabled in the Windows 10 settings, the game bar can be brought up by pressing Win+G (Windows Key + G)

Windows Game Bar allows you to take screenshots and video captures in Windows

  1. Bring up the Windows Game Bar by pressing Win+G
  2. A screenshot can be taken by pressing the "Camera" button in the Game Bar or by simply pressing Win+Alt+PrtScn (Windows + Alt + Print Screen)
  3. The screenshot will be automatically saved for you in the "Captures" folder that is located in the "Videos" folder in your documents.

Various video games allow you to take a screenshot by pressing:

  • F11 in Steam
  • F12 in the Uplay Launcher
  • PrtScn

How to Take a Screenshot in with ShareX

ShareX is a free tool that you can use to take screenshots in Windows. It dramatically improves the native capabilities of the built in screenshot utility in Windows. It is much more robust than the Windows Snipping tool, as it allows to annotate, draw lines, arrows, write text and crop and resize the final screenshot.

Remember that the Windows Game Bar can be activated or deactivated from Settings > Gaming > Game Bar > Toggle on the switch that says "Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.

1. In order to use it, you need to download the free ShareX utility.

2. Upon installing it, it can be automatically started with Windows and will run in the system tray

3. Open ShareX

4. Click on Capture, and you will be prompted with many screenshot variations, such as fullscreen, window, monitor, region, region (transparent) etc.

ShareX allows you to take screenshots of your computer screen

5. Click on the desired option and take a screenshot. Your screenshot will be saved into a png file and placed in the specified folder.

6. You can access your screenshots from the gallery on the right.

ShareX screenshot gallery and editing options

7. To edit and annotate the screenshot, right click on the screenshot image and click "Edit Image"

8. The edit menu will provide you with plenty of options to add arrows, annotations, chat bubbles, zoom effects etc.

ShareX image edit options

For more tips, check out our web site, and if you are interested in gettting more performance out of your PC, check out our quick video complication.

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