7 Easy Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 11 (2024)

Whether it's a particularly on-point meme you want to share with a friend or a key piece of information you need to save to reference later, sometimes snapping a quick screenshot is the quickest and easiest way to save what's on your screen. Thankfully, Windows 11 includes a tool that lets you take a screenshot or record a video of what's on your screen.

Check out what it can do and the keyboard shortcuts you need to know to make snapping screenshots, well, a snap.

Snipping Tool panel

The built-in Snipping Tool lets you snap, save, annotate and share screenshots of all or a portion of your screen. It can also record a video -- with sound -- of a window on your desktop. The easiest way to call up the Snipping Tool is by using the keyboard shortcutWindows key + Shift + S.

Either method will dim your screen and open a tiny panel at the top of your screen that lets you choose which type of screenshot you want to take: rectangular, freeform, window or full-screen.

Once you take your screenshot, it will be saved to your clipboard and show up momentarily as a notification in the lower-right corner of your screen. Click the notification to open the screenshot in the Snipping Tool app to annotate, save or share it. (If you miss the notification, open the notification panel and you'll see it sitting there.)

To start recording a video, you need to highlight a portion of your screen and then click Start from the small panel at the top of your screen. You can choose to record system audio or sound from the microphone -- or both.

Snipping Tool window

If you search for the Snipping Tool from the taskbar or open it from the Start menu's alphabetical list of apps, it will open a small window instead of the tiny panel at the top of the screen. From here, you need to click theNewbutton in the upper left to initiate a screen capture and open the small panel. It's an extra step to proceed this way, but it also lets you delay a screenshot by 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

7 Easy Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 11 (2)

After opening the Snipping Tool, click theNewbutton to begin the screenshot process. The default snip type is rectangular, but you can also take free-form, full-screen and window snips.

The Snipping Tool does not automatically save your screenshots -- you will need to manually save them in the tool before you exit -- and it does automatically copy your captures to the clipboard.

Print Screen

To capture your entire screen, tap the Print Screen (sometimes labeledPrtScn) key. Your screenshot won't be saved as a file, but it will be copied to the clipboard. You'll need to open an image editing tool (such as Microsoft Paint), paste the screenshot into the editor and save the file from there.

You can also set the PrtScn button to open the Snipping Tool by going toSettings > Accessibility > Keyboardand toggling on Use the Print screen key to open screen capture.

Windows key + Print Screen

To capture your entire screen and automatically save the screenshot, tap the Windows key + Print Screen key. Your screen will briefly go dim to indicate you've just taken a screenshot, and the screenshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

Alt + Print Screen

To take a quick screenshot of the active window, use the keyboard shortcut Alt + PrtScn. This will snap your currently active window and copy the screenshot to the clipboard. You'll need to open the shot in an image editor to save it.

No Print Screen key?

If your computer doesn't have thePrtScnkey, no worries, Microsoft has another keyboard shortcut for you. You can pressFn+Windows key+spacebar to take a full-screen screenshot. It will then be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

Game bar

You can use the Game bar to snap a screenshot, whether you're in the middle of playing a game or not. First, you'll need to enable the Game bar from the settings page by making sure you've toggled onRecord game clips, screenshots and broadcasts using Game bar. Once enabled, hit theWindows key + G keyto call up the Game bar. From here, you can click the screenshot button in the Game bar or use the default keyboard shortcutWindows key + Alt + PrtScnto snap a full-screen screenshot. To set your own Game bar screenshot keyboard shortcut, toSettings > Gaming > Game bar.

Windows logo + volume down

If you're rocking a Microsoft Surface device, you can use the physical (well, sort of physical) buttons to take a screenshot of your entire screen -- similar to how you would take a screenshot on any other phone or tablet. To do this, hold down the Windows logo touch button at the bottom of your Surface screen and hit the physical volume-down button on the side of the tablet. The screen will dim briefly and the screenshot will be automatically saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

Want more Windows info? Check out CNET's Windows 11 reviewandevery difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11. You can also check out which Windows 11 settings you should consider changing.

7 Easy Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 11 (3)

Watch this: How to Record Your Screen in Windows 11

7 Easy Ways to Take Screenshots in Windows 11 (2024)


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