For a considerable time, Microsoft’s desktop operating system offered an abundance of methods to capture images from your computer screen, possibly leading to a bit of complexity. However, with the introduction of Windows 11, the situation has been streamlined for user convenience. The latest update now includes an exciting new feature – the ability to record screen videos (as seen in the Snipping Tool).
Let’s explore some of the finest ways to capture screenshots in Windows 11 on your computer. These methods vary from traditional keyboard shortcuts that have been in use for a long time to more modern and sophisticated tools that allow you to perform tasks like setting timers for capturing screenshots and even editing and sharing them effortlessly.
01. How to take screenshots in Windows 11 : Press the Print Screen key
The most widely used and enduring method for capturing screenshots on a PC is by using the Print Screen button, which has been available since the earliest versions of Windows. In Windows 11 and Windows 10, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard. Additionally, there’s another shortcut, CTRL + Print Screen, that achieves the same result.
When you press the Print Screen key, Windows captures a screenshot of the entire screen and stores it in the clipboard. To view and edit the screenshot, you can open an image editing program like Paint and paste the image from the clipboard into the application. Once pasted, you can save the screenshot as a file and perform basic editing as needed.
This straightforward method works seamlessly in both Windows 11 and Windows 10, making it a popular and reliable way to capture screenshots on your computer.
02.How to take screenshots in Windows 11 :
Use the PrtSc Key With OneDrive
To capture the entire desktop image in Windows 11, you can simply press the PrtSc key (Print Screen). This action will instantly copy the entire screen to the clipboard. Afterward, you can paste the captured image into any image-editing application, such as Paint, Paint 3D, or Adobe Photoshop, to view and edit it.
For capturing only the active application window, you can use a combination of the Alt key and PrtSc, making it Alt-PrtSc. This key combination will save the current window to the clipboard, just like before. Remember to paste it into an image-editing application to access and manipulate the screenshot. It’s worth noting that in Windows 11, the captured image of the window may have squared-off corners instead of rounded corners, owing to the nature of image files, which are inherently rectangular.
This straightforward method enables you to capture screenshots quickly and effortlessly, without the need for any specialized software. The convenience lies in copying the screenshot to the clipboard directly, and then you can use various image-editing applications to edit, save, or share your screenshots with ease.
03.How to take screenshots in Windows 11 :
Press Windows Key + PrtSc Keyboard Shortcut
You can easily capture a full-screen screenshot on Windows 11 or Windows 10 and have it automatically saved as an image on your PC using a simple shortcut. To do this, press the Win key (Windows key) and the Print Screen key simultaneously on your keyboard.
When you use the Win + Print Screen shortcut to take a screenshot in Windows 11 or Windows 10, the operating system will save the captured image in a specific folder named “Screenshots.” You can find this folder in your user’s Pictures directory. The typical path for Windows screenshots is as follows: C:\Users\Your User Name\Pictures\Screenshots. Each screenshot you take will be named as “Screenshot (number).png,” with the number incrementing based on the number of screenshots you have previously taken.
This method provides a quick and hassle-free way to capture and store full-screen screenshots without the need for any additional tools or applications. Your screenshots will be readily accessible in the designated folder for further use or sharing.
04.How to take screenshots in Windows 11 : Use the Snipping Tool
Windows 11 has resolved the previous confusion surrounding screenshot tools by integrating the features of both the Snipping Tool from earlier Windows versions and the Snip & Sketch tool from Windows 10. The most convenient way to access this unified tool is by using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key-Shift-S. Upon pressing this combination, a menu will appear, offering users a selection of options for capturing screenshots: rectangular selection, freehand selection, window capture, and full-screen capture. This streamlines the screenshot process and provides users with a straightforward and intuitive way to choose their preferred capture method. For the first two options, draw with the cursor to select the area you want to capture. For the second two choices, just click over the target.
Once you release the cursor, you see a notification in the lower-right-hand corner showing a thumbnail image of the screenshot. You can ignore this if you just want to paste the screenshot into another app, since this method also copies the screenshot to the clipboard. Or you can click on the notification area’s thumbnail to open the Snipping Tool interface (shown below). Here, you can mark up the screenshot with a pen or highlighter, or you can crop it. You can use a ruler to draw straight lines, and the finger button lets you draw on a touch screen.
Most importantly, you can save the screenshot and any edits using the 3.5-inch floppy disk icon (some visual metaphors never die). A Share button lets you send the image using Windows 11’s standard share panel, and you can also print the image or open it in another app from the menu options.
One beef I have with this utility’s crop feature is that it doesn’t offer aspect-ratio options. I’d like to be able to, for example, choose a 16:9 widescreen size, and I doubt I’m alone in that. As it is now, you have to take the image into Paint, Paint 3D, or some other image-editing program to get this simple capability. I also wish the Snipping Tool gave access to previous screenshots (as the OneDrive option above and the SnagIt option below do).
If you want to use a timer before snapping the screen, simply type Snipping in the Start menu and open the program window, rather than using the keyboard shortcut. If you change your mind after hitting Windows Key-Shift-S and don’t want to shoot the screenshot, the Esc key backs you out of the process.
Three last tricks:
You can change the behavior of the PrtSc key to open the Snipping Tool instead of copying the image to the clipboard. Head to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and check the Use the Print Screen Button to Open Screen Snipping box (the bottom option in the screenshot below).
If you have a Surface Pen stylus, double-tapping its eraser button opens the Snipping Tool.
If you enable Clipboard History, you’ll see your last few screenshots available for pasting when you hit Windows Key-V. That actually works with any of the screenshot methods here that copy the image to the clipboard.
Record Your Screen With the Snipping Tool
With the February 2023 update to Windows 11, the Snipping Tool gains an exciting new feature: screen recording. However, this capability is not accessible through the previously mentioned keyboard shortcut (Windows Key-Shift-S). To use the screen recording functionality, you need to open the Snipping Tool directly.
Here’s how you can utilize the screen recording feature:
Open the Snipping Tool: You can do this by searching for “Snipping Tool” in the Windows search bar or finding it in the Start menu.
Access the Screen Recording Option: Once the Snipping Tool is open, look for the movie camera icon and click on it.
Start a New Recording: After clicking the movie camera icon, press the “New” button to begin a new screen recording session.
Select the Screen Area to Record: Choose the area of the screen you want to record by clicking and dragging the selection box.
Countdown and Record: When you’re ready, a 3-2-1 countdown will appear, and the recording will start. Perform the actions you want to capture on the screen.
Stop Recording: To stop the recording, you can click the “Stop” button on the Snipping Tool interface.
Review and Save/Share: Once the recording is stopped, you will see a playback of the video. You can then choose to save or share the recording, just like you would with a regular still screenshot.
This addition of screen recording enhances the functionality of the Snipping Tool, making it even more versatile for capturing both still images and dynamic screen activities.
05.How to take screenshots in Windows 11 : Use the Game Bar
In Windows 11, you can quickly access the Game bar by pressing Windows Key-G. Once the Game bar is open, navigate to the Capture window, where you’ll find a camera icon. Tapping on this icon allows you to take a screenshot, which is automatically saved to the Videos/Captures folder located within your main user folder.
If you prefer to customize the destination folder for your screenshots, you can do so in the main Windows Settings app. Alternatively, there’s a shortcut to take a screenshot directly without opening the Game bar: simply press Windows Key-Alt-PrtScn.
By using these shortcuts and features, you can efficiently capture screenshots and easily manage where they are saved on your system.
06.How to take screenshots in Windows 11 : Use Volume Up and Power Buttons on Surface Tablets
When using certain Windows tablets, especially those without a physical keyboard, taking screenshots can be a bit challenging. However, on Windows 11 and Windows 10 tablets, there is a simple hardware button shortcut that allows you to capture full-screen screenshots. The process varies slightly depending on the tablet model:
Windows Logo Button + Volume Down Key: For many Windows tablets, including Microsoft Surface, HP Envy, or Lenovo tablets, you can take a full-screen screenshot by simultaneously pressing the Windows logo button (the Windows icon) and the Volume Down key. When you press these two buttons together, the screen briefly darkens, indicating that the screenshot has been taken. The captured screenshot will be saved in the Screenshots subfolder within the Pictures folder.
Surface Pro 8 and Earlier Models: If you own a Surface Pro 8 or its predecessors, the shortcut to take a screenshot is slightly different. Instead of using the Volume Down key, you need to press the Volume Up button and the Power button simultaneously. Be careful to press both buttons at the same time to avoid accidentally turning off the screen. Just like with the previous method, the screenshot will be saved in the Screenshots folder under Pictures.
Using these hardware button shortcuts, you can easily capture screenshots on Windows tablets without the need for a physical keyboard. It’s a quick and convenient way to capture and access your screenshots directly from the Pictures folder.
What’s your favorite method of taking screenshots in Windows?
As you can see, there are many ways to shoot a screenshot in Windows. Unless you have complex needs, you can use the built-in tools and features without installing third-party apps for grabbing captures of your screen or apps. Before closing this tutorial, tell us: How do you screenshot on Windows?