I take screenshots often. Screenshots show readers how an application works best. I generally review Windows software, so I’m familiar with screen-capture options. Almost every computer user needs to snap a screenshot, if only to show a coworker.
This simple ability took so long to develop. Windows has featured screen-printing capabilities since the 1980s (text-based vs. raster). Windows 10’s Snip & Sketch application and Windows 11’s Snipping Tool make taking screenshots easier.
We’re discussing Windows 10 screenshots. I explain how to capture the Windows 10 PC screen so you can choose the best method.
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1. Snip & Sketch (Shift-Windows-S)
Snagit (see below) has become my primary screenshot tool. Shift-Windows Key-S captures the complete screen, a rectangle, a freehand selection, or a programme window. Action Center’s Screen Snip button also launches Snip & Sketch.
After activating this keyboard shortcut, a tiny notification indicates Snip Saved to Clipboard. Opens Snip & Sketch. Crop and mark the image with a pen, pencil, highlighter, eraser, and ruler. Then save or share the image using Windows’ Share option. You can send the file to Instagram, Messenger, Mail, or any other app that accepts it. It also allows you share it with a neighbouring PC.
Text overlay and basic shapes, such the arrow, are missing from Snip & Sketch. If you simply want to utilise this tool, pick Ease of Access > Keyboard and Use the PrtSc Button to Open Screen Snipping in Windows’ Settings programme. Windows must restart.
2. Print Screen to Clipboard
This is Windows 10’s classic screenshot approach. It’s useful for photographing apps that change appearance when you press a key. Shift collapses menus often. PrtSc copies the entire screen; Alt + PrtSc duplicates only the active window rectangle.
You must take extra steps to open and save an image in Paint, Paint 3D, or Photoshop (unless you take advantage of the next tip). Simply paste with Ctrl-V in a new document in one of these apps, modify, and save the image to your preferred folder.
3. OneDrive Print Screen
This is one of 2015’s finest Windows screenshots. Print Screen and Alt-Print Screen preserve the entire screen or the active window. After choosing Automatically Save Screenshots/Capture to OneDrive from OneDrive’s Backup tab, you won’t need to launch an image app, paste from the clipboard, and save the file. One button press saves an image file.
Windows’ Action Center (the right-side slide-out panel) alerts you that your shot was saved; clicking on it takes you to the folder. If you use this method often, you’ll need more cloud storage than 5GB. An Office 365 account ($6.99/month) includes 1TB and all the popular productivity apps.
4. Use Windows-Print-Screen
This solution works in Windows 10 and Windows 8. It’s easier than the other methods. On tablets like the Surface Pro, hit Volume Down and Power. This or Windows Key-Print Screen will momentarily darken the screen and save a PNG image to your Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Alt-Windows Key-Print Screen saves just the active window to your Videos/Captures folder using the Windows Game Bar (see next slide). Both approaches are ideal for instant saving without Clipboard or OneDrive cloud storage.
5. Use Windows Game Bar
The Windows Key-G Game bar has a webcam icon. This opens a camera-shaped Capture section. Tap that, and your screenshot is saved in your Videos/Captures folder.
6. Snip images
7. Use Snagit or another third-party tool
Third-party tools can also snap screenshots. Snagit’s advantage over Windows’ built-in screenshot tools: All your photos will be stored in the app’s repository for subsequent use. It’s the easiest approach to capture displays while working. When you’re ready, browse the past and save the photographs to a folder.
Snagit features video and scrolling screenshot tools. It has brightness, arrows, text overlay, and borders for editing and sketching. Negatives? Snagit costs $62.99, but its sophisticated features are worth it.
Ashampoo Snap, Droplr, and Screencast-O-Matic are good third-party solutions. Our Best Screen-Capture Apps compilation has details.
8. Double-click Surface Pen
On a digital-inking-capable touch-screen PC like a Surface Pro, double-clicking the Back button takes a full-screen screenshot. The whole screenshot opens in Snip and Sketch for editing and sharing.
You should also take screenshots on your phone and other devices. How to Take a Screenshot on Any Device covers non-PC screen devices.