How to Take a Screen Shot on a Windows Computer

Welcome to our article on how to take a screen shot on a Windows computer! Screen shots can be incredibly useful when it comes to capturing images for presentations, documents, or to simply share with friends and colleagues. Luckily, taking a screen shot on a Windows computer is a quick and easy process that can be done in just a few simple steps. In this article, we will go over 12 steps on how to take a screen shot on a Windows computer, as well as other helpful tips and tricks.

Steps on How to Take a Screen Shot on a Windows Computer

Step 1: Select the Window You Want to Capture

The first step in taking a screen shot on a Windows computer is to select the window you want to capture. This can be a specific program or application, a browser window, or even your entire desktop.

Step 2: Press the “Print Screen” (PrtScn) Key

Once you have selected the window you want to capture, press the “Print Screen” (PrtScn) key on your keyboard. This key may be labeled differently depending on your keyboard, but it is usually located in the top row, near the F12 key.

Step 3: Use the “Alt + Print Screen” Key Combination

If you only want to capture the window you have selected and not your entire desktop, use the “Alt + Print Screen” key combination instead of pressing the “Print Screen” key. This will take a screen shot of the window you have selected and copy it to your clipboard.

Step 4: Use the “Windows Key + Print Screen” Key Combination

If you are using Windows 10, you can quickly take a screen shot by using the “Windows key + Print Screen” key combination. This will capture your entire desktop and save it as a file in the “Screenshots” folder in your Pictures library.

Step 5: Use the Snipping Tool

Windows also has a built-in snipping tool that allows you to capture a specific area of your screen. To access the snipping tool, click on the “Start” menu, type “snipping tool” in the search bar, and open the application.

Step 6: Choose Your Snipping Tool Option

Once you have opened the snipping tool, choose the type of snip you want to take. You can choose from a free-form snip, rectangular snip, window snip, or full-screen snip.

Step 7: Select the Area to Snip

After selecting your snipping tool option, select the area of your screen that you want to capture. This can be done by dragging your mouse over the area you want to capture.

Step 8: Save or Copy Your Snip

Once you have taken your snip, you can either save it as an image file or copy it to your clipboard to paste into a document or email.

Step 9: Use the Game Bar

If you are using Windows 10 and want to take a screen shot while playing a game, you can use the game bar. To access the game bar, press the “Windows key + G” key combination.

Step 10: Use a Third-Party Tool

There are also many third-party tools available that allow you to take screen shots on a Windows computer. Some popular options include Greenshot, Lightshot, and PicPick.

Step 11: Paste Your Screen Shot into Another Application

After taking your screen shot, you can easily paste it into another application, such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Simply open the application and press “Ctrl + V” to paste your screen shot.

Step 12: Edit Your Screen Shot

Finally, you can also edit your screen shot using various editing tools, such as the Paint application on Windows, or a third-party photo editor like Adobe Photoshop.

Tips and Tricks

1. Customize Your Windows Key + Print Screen Settings

If you want to customize your Windows Key + Print Screen settings, right-click on the “Screenshots” folder in your Pictures library and select “Properties.” Then, click on the “Location” tab and choose a different folder to save your screen shots to.

2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can save you time when taking screen shots. Try using the “Windows Key + Print Screen” key combination or the “Alt + Print Screen” key combination to quickly take a screen shot.

3. Use the Snipping Tool Shortcut

To quickly open the snipping tool, use the “Windows Key + Shift + S” key combination.

4. Use Third-Party Tools for Advanced Editing

If you need additional editing tools, consider using third-party photo editors like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.

5. Consider Using a Dedicated Screen Shot Tool

If you frequently take screen shots and want more advanced features, consider using a dedicated screen shot tool like Snagit or Ashampoo Snap.

6. Use Cloud Services to Share Screen Shots

Cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive make it easy to quickly share screen shots with friends or colleagues.

7. Experiment with Different Snipping Tool Options

The snipping tool offers different ways to capture your screen. Experiment with each option to find what works best for you.

8. Try Different File Formats

Different file formats can affect the quality and size of your screen shots. Try saving your screen shots in different formats to find the one that works best for your needs.

9. Backup Your Screen Shots

Be sure to backup your screen shots in case your computer crashes or your files are accidentally deleted.

10. Keep Your Desktop Clean

Having a cluttered desktop can make it difficult to find the window you want to capture. Keep your desktop tidy to make the screen shot process easier.

We hope this article has been helpful in showing you how to take a screen shot on a Windows computer. By following these 12 easy steps, you can quickly and easily capture images for presentations, documents, or to simply share with others. Remember to experiment with different tools and file formats, and to backup your screen shots to avoid losing important data. Happy capturing!

How to Take a Screen Shot on a Windows Computer: Advantages and Disadvantages


1. Easier to explain technical issues: Taking a screenshot can be an effective way to explain technical problems to tech support or colleagues.

2. Useful for tutorials: Screenshots can be used in tutorial articles or videos to easily show how to perform specific tasks.

3. Quick documentation: Screenshots can capture important information with just a few clicks, making it easy to save important documents or emails for later reference.

4. Useful in design: Screenshots can be used by designers to gather inspiration, create mood boards or even gather feedback from clients.

5. Easy to share: Screenshots can be shared quickly with others, either by file sharing or through email or messaging apps.

6. Can be edited: Screenshots can be edited to highlight specific areas or add annotations, making it easier to add context to the captured image.

7. Can save time: By taking a screenshot of a website or a software interface, users can store information that can be quickly retrieved instead of having to navigate or search through the interface again.

8. Can be used for troubleshooting: Screenshots can help in troubleshooting by capturing error messages or displaying visual cues of a system issue.

9. Accessibility: Screenshots can make information more accessible to people with visual impairments by providing a snapshot of what is displayed on the screen.

10. Can be used for social media: Screenshots of interesting or funny conversations or social media posts can be shared on social media as a form of entertainment or to make a point.


1. Quality issues: Screenshots may not always capture the highest quality image, especially if the source material is of low quality or if the screenshot process is not done correctly.

2. Capture errors: Screenshots can sometimes miss important details or information, resulting in incomplete documentation.

3. Limited perspective: Screenshots capture only what’s visible on the screen, which may not represent the full extent of what’s being represented.

4. Can be confusing: Screenshots of complex interfaces or documents can be difficult to explain or understand without context or additional information.

5. Privacy issues: Screenshots can capture sensitive information that may not be intended for others to see, such as personal information or confidential documents.

6. File size: Screenshots can take up a lot of storage space, especially if they are high resolution and saved in a large file format.

7. No video or audio: Screenshots cannot capture video or audio content, which may be needed for certain types of tutorials or troubleshooting.

8. Can be time-consuming: Taking and editing screenshots can take time, especially if multiple screenshots are needed to capture a complex process or interface.

9. Platform-specific: Screenshots may require different methods depending on the operating system or device being used, which can be confusing for users.

10. Can be overused: Screenshots can be overused as a tool for communication, resulting in a cluttered and confusing stream of images.


1. What is a screen shot?

A screen shot is a digital image of what’s displayed on your computer screen. It can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as showing someone an error message or capturing a particularly beautiful image.

2. What’s the easiest way to take a screen shot?

On a Windows computer, the easiest way to take a screen shot is by pressing the “Print Screen” button, usually abbreviated as “PrtScn”.

3. Where is the “Print Screen” button located?

The “Print Screen” button is usually located toward the top right corner of your keyboard, near the function keys.

4. What if I want to take a screen shot of just one window?

To take a screen shot of just one window, click on the window to make it active, and then hold down the “Alt” key while pressing “PrtScn”.

5. What happens after I take a screen shot?

After you take a screen shot, it’s saved to your computer’s clipboard. From there, you can paste it into another program, such as an image editing tool or even Microsoft Word.

6. Is there a way to save a screen shot directly as an image file?

Yes. Instead of pressing just “PrtScn” or “Alt” + “PrtScn”, press the “Windows” key + “PrtScn”. This will save the screen shot as a PNG file in your “Pictures” folder.

7. What if I accidentally take a screen shot that I don’t want?

No worries! Simply open up your preferred program, such as Paint or Word, and paste the screen shot into the program. From there, you can edit or delete it as needed.

8. Can I take a screen shot on a laptop that doesn’t have a “Print Screen” button?

Yes. Depending on your laptop, you may need to press “Fn” + “Windows” + “PrtScn” to take a screen shot.

9. Can I take a screen shot of just part of my screen?

Yes. On Windows 10, press “Windows” + “Shift” + “S” to bring up the Snipping Tool, which will allow you to select a portion of your screen to capture.

10. Is there a way to take a screen shot without using the keyboard?

Yes. Windows 10 has a feature called “Windows Ink Workspace” that allows you to take a screen shot using a stylus or other digital pen. Simply click on the “Screen Sketch” option within this feature and start drawing on your screen to capture what you want.

11. Can I take a screen shot while watching a video or playing a game?

Yes. However, keep in mind that the screen shot may not capture everything you see on your screen in such situations, as the video or game may be constantly moving. It’s best to pause the video or game before taking a screen shot.

12. What if I can’t find the screen shot I just took?

By default, screen shots are saved to your computer’s clipboard or “Pictures” folder. If you still can’t find them, try using the search function within Windows.

13. Can I use a screen shot as my desktop background?

Yes. Simply right-click on the screen shot and select “Set as desktop background” or a similar option, depending on your version of Windows.

How to Take a Screen Shot on a Windows Computer

Are you ever in a situation where you need to take a screenshot on your Windows computer, but you have no idea how to do it? It’s a common problem, but luckily, taking a screenshot on a Windows computer is easier than you might think.

The steps to take a screenshot depend on the version of Windows that you are using. If you are using Windows 10, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Windows key + Print Screen. This will save the screenshot to your Pictures folder under a folder named Screenshots.

If you are using an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard. This will copy the screenshot to your clipboard. You can then open an image editing software, such as Microsoft Paint, and paste the screenshot into the software by using the Ctrl + V hotkey. Alternatively, you can use the Snipping Tool software that comes pre-installed on Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers.

Conclusion and Closing

As you can see, taking a screenshot on a Windows computer is a simple process. Whether you are using the latest version of Windows or an older version, you can take a screenshot without any hassle. So, the next time you need to take a screenshot on your Windows computer, you know exactly how to do it. Happy screenshot-taking!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope that you found this information useful and that it has helped you to take a screenshot on your Windows computer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, take care and happy computing!