How to take screenshots in Windows 10

Taking screenshots is very simple, however, taking the good screenshots with accurate and clear markings takes a bit of effort and some right techniques. While we are covering the methods of how to take screenshots in Windows 10, we will also be talking about some tools which may help you take the good and accurate screenshots. For instance, in Windows 10/8.1, you can press Win+PrntScr to take a snapshot of your screen and save it into the Screenshots folder of your Pictures library.

How to take a screenshot on Windows 10

You can take a screenshot on Windows 10 using the following ways:

  1. PrtScr key to capture & save to clipboard
  2. WinKey+PrntScr to capture the whole screen and save it as a file
  3. Alt+PrntScr to take a screenshot of any one active window
  4. Win+PrtScr to capture the whole screen
  5. Win-Shift-S to copy a selectable area to the clipboard
  6. WinKey+Volume down keys on Windows tablets
  7. Snipping Tool
  8. Microsoft Snip
  9. Charms Bar
  10. XBox app Game Bar
  11. Snip & Sketch app
  12. Freeware screen capture tool.

Let us take a look at them in details.

1] PrtScr/Prt Sc/PrntScrn/Print Screen Key

This is one of the most common methods used by the Windows users to take the screenshots. The key usually resides in the top most row on your keyboard.

If you simply press the PrtScn key, the screen will be captured and saved to your clipboard. You can then paste it wherever you want, like Paint, Word document, etc. To take screenshots, you just need to open the page you need the screenshots of and hit the PrtScr key. The next step is to open the MS Paint, right click and hit Paste tab, or you can just press CTRL+V. Your screenshot is ready, save it in the desired location.

To take a screenshot of any one window, click the window to make it active and press Alt+PrntScr. You can now paste it anywhere you want.

If some software is blocking you from using PrtScr, you may try Ctrl+PrtScr.

2] Win+PrtScr

This is something not really known to many Windows users. A combination of Win+PrntScrn keys automatically captures your screen and saves it in a folder named Screenshots in your PC. This is one of the handiest ways to get the screenshots real quick.

To capture the whole screen at once, you need to just press WinKey+PrntScr or WinKey+Fn+PrntScr key combination on the hardware keyboard. While capturing screenshots, your laptop will dim, and then you can find the screenshot captured in the User/Pictures/Screenshots folder.

You can check your screenshots in the %UserProfile%\Pictures\Screenshots folder. Remember this folder is not created until you use Win+PrntScrn once. You can, however, relocate the folder. Just right-click on Screenshots folder and open Properties where you can change the output location.

Check this post if you find that for some reason your Windows is not saving captured Screenshots in the Pictures folder.

3] Alt+PrntScr to take a screenshot of any one active window

Press lt+PrntScr if you want to take a screenshot of any one active window.

4] Win+PrtScr to capture the whole screen

Pressing Win+PrtScr will capture the whole screen.

5] Win-Shift-S

The combination of these three keys on your keyboard lets you capture a selectable area of your screen. Open the screen you want to capture and press Win+Shift+S, and the screen grays out and lets you drag the cursor and select the desired area.

You can copy a selectable area to the clipboard and then paste it into MS Word or MS Paint.

6] WinKey+Vol on Windows/Surface tablet

In case your Windows tablet or Surface does not have a PrntScr key, you can press WinKey+Volume down hardware buttons on the tablet, together at the same time, you will find the screenshot captured and saved in your Pictures/Screenshots folder. You can read more on how to take screenshots on Surface.

7] The Snipping Tool

take screenshots on Windows 10

The Snipping Tool has been a Windows component since long. It was launched with Windows 7 and is continued. This is a very simple tool which lets you capture a selected area of the screen and save it directly as an image file.

  • To use the snipping tool, open the screen you want to capture first and then open the tool.
  • In your Windows Search, type Snipping Tool and choose the Mode and Delay and click on New.
  • Use the cursor to select the screen area.
  • Click on the Save icon and save the image to the desired location.
  • The tool also offers some editing tools like pen, rubber, and highlighter.

8] Microsoft Snip

Microsoft Snip Screen Capture Tool

Microsoft Snip Screen Capture Tool is the latest tool offered by Microsoft Office which helps you taking screenshots quickly and easily. The tool is very helpful for users who need to take the screenshots very regularly.

You need to download and install this Snip Screen Tool on your PC. Once installed the tool sits on your screen always letting you take the screenshots instantly. This is an intuitive tool and comes with powerful features which help you take real good screenshots. Learn how to use this new.

9] Using Share Charm in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 also adds the ability to take a screenshot from the Share charm. But this is useful, only if you want to share with someone. It will not directly save the screenshot in any folder.

Open the Charms bar and click on Share. You will have the option to share the screenshot to some of your Windows Store apps which support this feature. If you need to mail the screenshot, you can select Mail, for instance.

how to take a screenshot on windows 10

Clicking on the app will take a screenshot of the desktop or the active app.

10] Using Game Bar

Game DVR Game Bar

The XBox app in  Windows 10 Creators Update and later can use the Game Bar to take screenshots of the active Game window. Press Win+Alt+PrtScn to take and save the screenshot of the Game window.

11] Snip & Sketch app

You can use use Snip & Sketch app to Capture and Annotate screenshots in Windows 10 v1809 and later.

12] Using third-party freeware

There are also some cool free Screen Capture software for Windows that you may want to check out.


Apart from letting you take a desktop screenshot on Windows, these free software offer many more options and feature.

BONUS TIP: This post shows how to take a screenshot of Lock Screen & Login Screen in Windows 10.

Go here if you need to find out how to take screenshots of Logon Screen & Lock Screen in Windows or how to add a Device frame to a screenshot.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.