How to Take Screenshot on Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

Taking a screenshot on your Windows computer is an essential skill that everyone should know. Whether you want to capture a moment in a video game, save an important webpage for later reference, or show someone an error message, taking a screenshot is a quick and easy way of doing so. In this article, we will guide you through 12 simple steps on how to take screenshots on Windows.

Steps to Take Screenshots on Windows

Step 1: Locate the Print Screen (PrtScn) Button

The Print Screen button is usually located on the right-hand side of the keyboard. On some keyboards, it may be labeled as “PrtScn” or “PrntScrn.”

Step 2: Take a Full-Screen Screenshot

To take a screenshot of the entire screen, simply press the Print Screen button. The screenshot will be saved to your clipboard.

Step 3: Take a Screenshot of the Active Window

To take a screenshot of the active window, first, click on the window to make it active. Next, press the ALT + Print Screen button. The screenshot will be saved to your clipboard.

Step 4: Take a Screenshot of a Specific Area

If you only want to take a screenshot of a specific area of the screen, you can use the Snipping Tool. To open the Snipping Tool, go to Start > Accessories > Snipping Tool. Click on “New” and select the area you want to capture. The screenshot will appear in the Snipping Tool window, and you can save it from there.

Step 5: Take a Screenshot with the Windows Key

On some keyboards, you can take a screenshot by pressing the Windows Key + Print Screen. The screenshot will be saved to your Pictures folder.

Step 6: Take a Screenshot with the Game Bar

If you want to take a screenshot while playing a game, you can use the built-in Game Bar. To open the Game Bar, press the Windows Key + G. Click on the camera icon to take a screenshot.

Step 7: Take a Screenshot with the Snip & Sketch Tool

Windows 10 comes with a new built-in tool called Snip & Sketch. To use this tool, press the Windows Key + Shift + S. This will bring up a toolbar that allows you to select the type of screenshot you want to take. After selecting the type, the screenshot will be saved to your clipboard.

Step 8: Use the Print Screen Button on a Laptop

If you are using a laptop, you may need to press the Fn button along with the Print Screen button to take a screenshot.

Step 9: Use Third-Party Software

If the built-in tools don’t work for you, there are several third-party screenshot tools available. Some popular options include LightShot, Greenshot, and Snagit.

Step 10: Edit Your Screenshots

Once you have taken a screenshot, you may want to edit it before saving or sharing it. Windows has a built-in image editor called Paint, which you can use to crop, resize, and annotate your screenshots.

Step 11: Save Your Screenshots

After taking and editing your screenshot, you need to save it. You can save your screenshot as an image file, such as JPG or PNG.

Step 12: Share Your Screenshots

Finally, you can share your screenshots with others by attaching them to an email or posting them on social media.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts can save you time when taking screenshots. Try using the Windows Key + PrtScn or ALT + PrtScn shortcuts to quickly take screenshots.

2. Use the Snipping Tool for Precision

If you need to take a screenshot of a specific area, use the Snipping Tool for precision.

3. Use Third-Party Software for Advanced Features

Third-party screenshot tools often have advanced features, such as the ability to record video or capture scrolling pages.

4. Use the Game Bar for Gaming Screenshots

The Game Bar is designed specifically for taking screenshots and recording gameplay. Use it for gaming screenshots and videos.

5. Use the Print Screen Button on a Laptop

If you’re using a laptop, make sure to press the Fn button along with the Print Screen button to take a screenshot.

6. Edit Your Screenshots

Edit your screenshots to highlight important information or remove unwanted elements.

7. Save Your Screenshots in a Convenient Location

Save your screenshots in a folder that you can easily find later.

8. Share Your Screenshots

Share your screenshots with others by attaching them to an email or posting them on social media.

9. Use Multiple Screenshots for Long Pages or Documents

If you need to capture a long page or document, take multiple screenshots and combine them in an image editor.

10. Experiment with Different Tools

Experiment with different screenshot tools to find the one that works best for you. Try out different features and see what works for your needs.

Taking screenshots on Windows is a basic skill that can save you time and effort in many different contexts. By following these simple steps and tips, you can easily take and edit screenshots on your computer. Whether you’re a gamer, student, developer, or professional, knowing how to take screenshots is an essential skill that everyone should master.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Screenshots on Windows


1. Easy way to share information: Screenshots are an easy way to capture and share information with others, making it a useful tool in the workplace, education, and personal life.

2. Quick troubleshooting: Screenshots are helpful for technical support and troubleshooting, allowing users to show the exact issue they are experiencing.

3. Memory aid: Screenshots can serve as a memory aid, helping users remember important details and information.

4. Visual presentation: Screenshots can be used to enhance presentations and documents, giving a visual representation of data and information.

5. Time-saving: Screenshots can save time compared to manually typing out information or taking notes, making it a convenient tool for users.

6. Accurate documentation: Screenshots provide an accurate documentation of information and events, making it a reliable tool for record keeping.

7. Accessibility: Screenshots can be saved and accessed easily, allowing users to refer back to them at any time.

8. User-friendly: Taking screenshots on Windows is a simple and user-friendly process, making it accessible to users of all levels.

9. Multiple uses: Screenshots can be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to instruction manuals, help files, and tutorials.

10. No additional software needed: Windows provides a built-in screenshot feature, eliminating the need for users to download additional software.


1. Limited information: Screenshots can only capture what is visible on the screen at a given moment, limiting the amount of information that can be captured.

2. File size: Screenshots can result in large file sizes, which can take up storage space on devices and slow down systems.

3. Privacy concerns: Screenshots can also pose privacy concerns, particularly when capturing sensitive information, such as personal messages or bank information.

4. Inaccuracy: Screenshots can sometimes be inaccurate, particularly when trying to capture moving images or videos.

5. Image quality: Screenshots may not always capture images in high quality, resulting in blurry or distorted images.

6. Language barriers: Screenshots may not be useful for non-English speakers, as text captured in the screenshot may be in a different language.

7. Information overload: Screenshots can result in information overload, making it difficult for users to process and understand what they are looking at.

8. Limited editing options: Windows’ built-in screenshot feature has limited editing options, making it difficult to make changes or adjustments to the screenshot.

9. Compatibility issues: Screenshots taken on Windows may not be compatible with other devices or operating systems.

10. Misuse: Screenshots can also be misused, particularly in cases where they are used to spread false or misleading information.


1. What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is an image taken of whatever is currently displayed on your computer screen. This image can be saved and shared with others for various purposes.

2. What are the different ways to take a screenshot in Windows?

There are several ways to take a screenshot in Windows, including using the Snipping Tool, Print Screen button, Windows key + Print Screen key, or using a third-party software.

3. How do I open the Snipping Tool?

You can open the Snipping Tool by searching for it in the Windows search bar or by opening the Start menu and scrolling through your apps.

4. How do I use the Snipping Tool?

Once open, click on “New” to capture a new screenshot. You can choose from different snip types, such as rectangular or full screen, and then save or share your image.

5. What is the Print Screen button?

The Print Screen button, often abbreviated as “PrtScn” or “PrtSc”, captures an image of the entire screen and saves it to your clipboard.

6. How do I use the Print Screen button?

Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard to capture the entire screen, and then paste the image into an image editor or document to save or share it.

7. What is the Windows key + Print Screen key?

Pressing the Windows key + Print Screen key captures a screenshot of the entire screen and automatically saves it in the “Screenshots” folder in your Pictures library.

8. How do I find my screenshots after taking them?

Your screenshots can be found in the “Screenshots” folder in your Pictures library or by searching for them in the Windows search bar.

9. Can I take a screenshot of a specific window?

Yes, you can take a screenshot of a specific window by pressing the Alt key + Print Screen button. This will capture an image of only the active window.

10. Is there any third-party software I can use to take screenshots?

Yes, there are many third-party software options available, such as Snagit, Lightshot, and Greenshot, that offer additional features and capabilities for taking and editing screenshots.

11. How do I edit my screenshots?

You can edit your screenshots using a variety of image editors, such as Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or GIMP, to crop, resize, add text or annotations, and more.

12. Can I take a screenshot on a laptop with no Print Screen button?

Yes, you can take a screenshot on a laptop without a Print Screen button by using the Windows key + Shift + S key combination to open the Snipping Tool. This will allow you to take a screenshot of a specific area of your screen.

13. How frequently should I take screenshots?

The frequency of taking screenshots depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may take screenshots multiple times a day, while others may only take them occasionally for specific purposes.


In conclusion, capturing screenshots on Windows computers is an easy task that can be done in multiple ways. The most common method is by pressing the “Print Screen” button on the keyboard, which saves the image to the clipboard. Another way is by using the built-in Snipping Tool or the newer Snip & Sketch app that offers more advanced features. Additionally, users can download third-party software for even more options and customization. The choice of method ultimately depends on the individual’s preferences and needs.


Taking screenshots is essential for various purposes, from sharing information to providing visual evidence. With Windows computers, there are many ways to capture screenshots, each with its advantages and disadvantages. By practicing these methods, users can efficiently and effectively take screenshots for their daily activities. Thank you for reading, and happy screenshotting!