By taking a screenshot, you can capture an image of your entire display—or just an area of it. Windows 10 has a variety of built-in tools for easily capturing a screenshot, and we’ve also got some even more powerful third-party tools to recommend.
Take a Screenshot with Print Screen (PrtScn)
The Print Screen key on your keyboard can take a screenshot. Depending on the keyboard shortcut you use, you can save the screenshot as a PNG image file or copy it to your clipboard so you can paste it into any application.
The prtscn key is usually found between the F12 key and Scroll Lock key on the top row of your keyboard. It may be labeled something like “PrtScn,” “PrntScrn,” or “Print Scr” instead. On full-size keyboards, look above the Insert key.
On laptop keyboards, the Print Screen key may be combined with another key, but it will be located in that general area of the keyboard. You may have to press your laptop’s “Function” or “Fn” key while using the shortcuts here.
Save Your Screenshot as a File
Press Windows+Print Screen to save a screenshot as a file. In other words, press and hold the Windows logo key and tap the Print Screen key, which may be labeled something like PrtScrn or PrtScn. (On a laptop keyboard, you may have to use Windows+Fn+PrtScn.)
- Tip: If you’re using a Windows 10 tablet or 2-in-1 convertible PC without a keyboard, press Power+Volume Down to take a screenshot. If you see a Windows logo button on your tablet’s display, press Windows+Volume Down instead.
The screen will dim for a moment, providing visual confirmation. The screenshot will appear as a PNG file in a folder named “Screenshots” inside your user account’s “Pictures” folder. If you take multiple screenshots, each will be automatically labeled with a number.
In other words, you will likely find your screenshot at the following location: C:\Users\NAME\Pictures\Screenshots
- Note: Your screen will only flash while taking a screenshot if you have the “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” setting enabled. To control whether or not your screen flashes, toggle this option.
Save a Screenshot to Your Clipboard
To copy an image of your screen to your clipboard, just press the Print Screen key (or Fn+Print Screen on some laptops).
Windows will save an image of your screen to the clipboard. You can paste it into almost any application: An image editor, a word processor, or anything else that supports images. Just select Edit > Paste or press Ctrl+V to paste as you normally would.
- Tip: If you have Windows 10’s clipboard history enabled, Windows will remember the last few things you copied to your clipboard—including screenshots.
Save a Screenshot of a Single Window to Your Clipboard
To capture a screenshot of just one single window instead of your entire screen, press Alt+Print Screen. (On some laptops, you may need to press Alt+Fn+Print Screen instead.)
Windows will save an image of the current window to your clipboard, so be sure to select the window you want to capture first. You can either click somewhere inside the window or use Alt+Tab to focus it.
Use Snip & Sketch to Take Screenshots
Windows 10 has a built-in Snip & Sketch tool that provides more powerful screenshot options. You can use it to take a screenshot of a specific region of your screen, capture a screenshot on a delay, or annotate your screenshots.
- Note: Windows 10 still contains the classic Snipping Tool, which was introduced in Windows Vista. You can still use the Snipping Tool if you’re familiar with it. However, it’s being phased out in favor of the modern Snip & Sketch tool. Snip & Sketch has all the same options as the Snipping Tool—and more.
Take a Screenshot of Part of Your Screen
To quickly take a screenshot with Snip & Sketch, press Windows+Shift+S. Your screen will appear grayed out and your mouse will transform into a crosshair.
You will see a bar of several buttons near the top of your screen. Select the function you want. From left to right, here’s what the buttons do:
- Rectangular Snip: You will be able to draw a rectangle over your screen with your cursor. Windows will save a screenshot of the area inside the rectangle.
- Freeform Snip: You can outline an arbitrary shape on your screen with your cursor (or a stylus or finger on a touch screen). Windows will save a screenshot of the area you draw around.
- Window Snip: The cursor will function as a crosshair. You can position it over a window and click to take a screenshot of just that window.
- Fullscreen Snip: This button takes a screenshot of your entire display.
- Close Snipping: Close the overlay without taking a screenshot. (You can also press Esc on your keyboard to do this.)
Snip & Sketch will remember your last used option when you use the keyboard shortcut to open it.