If you need to capture a screenshot of something on your computer screen, Windows 10 offers a variety of methods for doing just that.
Whether you want to save the entire screen, or just a piece of it, we’ve rounded up all the most common techniques for taking a Windows 10 screenshot.
The easiest way to take a screenshot on Windows 10 is the Print Screen (PrtScn) key. To capture your entire screen, simply press PrtScn on the upper-right side of your keyboard.
The screenshot will be saved to your Clipboard. To save the file, paste the screenshot into any program that allows you to insert images, like Microsoft Word or Paint.
Windows + Print Screen
To take a screenshot on Windows 10 and automatically save the file, press the Windows key + PrtScn.
Your screen will go dim and a screenshot of your entire screen will save to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Alt + Print Screen
To capture only the active window you’re working in and copy it to your Clipboard, press Alt + PrtScn. You’ll need to paste it into another program to save it.
Snip & Sketch tool
Snip & Sketch is the best way to screenshot on Windows if you’re looking to customize, annotate, or share your screen captures.
To activate Snip & Sketch, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Shift + S. Your screen will dim and a mini menu will appear at the top of your screen, giving you the option to take a rectangular, free-form, window, or full-screen capture.
With these Snip & Skitch options, you can choose how you’d like to take a screenshot:
|Rectangular||Size a rectangle for your screenshot.|
|Free-form||Draw free-hand with your cursor.|
|Window||Choose a specific window to capture.|
|Full-screen||Grab an image of your entire screen.|
After you capture the screenshot, it will be saved to your clipboard and a preview notification will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen.
Click on the preview notification to open the Snip & Sketch app and edit the screenshot with the available drawing tools before saving or sharing.
Though Snip & Sketch will eventually replace the Snipping Tool on Windows, it’s still possible to use the old tool to take screenshots in Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista.
To start the Snipping Tool, you’ll have to find it through the search bar. Use the “Mode” button to customize your screenshot and then click the “New” button to capture your screen.
You can also time your capture up to five seconds via the “Delay” dropdown menu. After you take your screenshot, it’ll open in a new window, where you can annotate it, save it, or share it with Microsoft Outlook.
The Game Bar is an overlay you can use within most Windows 10 apps and games to take screenshots and record video. To open the Game Bar, press Windows Key + G.
Quick tip: If the Game Bar doesn’t open, make sure it’s enabled. To enable the Game Bar, search “Game bar settings” and in the menu, toggle on “Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game Bar.”
On the overlay menu, click the camera icon to capture a full-screen screenshot. You can also record a video clip by pressing the record button, with the option to include audio by clicking the microphone icon.
Screenshots and video clips captured by the Game Bar are saved in PNG format to the Videos > Captures folder. You can also find it through the Game Bar, by clicking “Show all captures” underneath the screenshot and recording buttons.
Power + Volume Up
To take a screenshot on Windows 10 with a Microsoft Surface device, press the Power Button + Volume Up Button. The screen will dim, and your screenshot will save to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Important: To take a screenshot on a Surface 3 or earlier, you’ll need to press the Windows Logo + Volume Down Button.
Third-party screenshot apps for Windows
If you’re unsatisfied with any of the built-in Windows methods, there are third-party screenshot tools worth considering, each with their own extra offerings.
- Snagit is a screenshot tool that allows you to create animated GIFs, take full-page screenshots, and more. The downside? The premium version costs $50. There’s also a 30-day free trial, although any picture you capture during this trial will be watermarked.
- Lightshot is a free screenshot tool designed for quick social sharing. When you download and install Lightshot on Windows 10, it replaces the Print Screen function and offers more editing capabilities.
- Greenshot is another free tool that allows you to edit and customize screenshots, as well as the option to capture a complete scrolling web page.