Everything you need to know about taking screenshots in Windows 11.
Screenshots are an integral part of various projects, assignments, or tutorials like this page. It also helps you guide someone when troubleshooting an issue or simply helping them through a process, an aspect you cannot ignore. You must have captured screenshots on mobile phones; let’s see how you do it on a Windows 11 PC.
Windows 11, just like the previous iterations, offers built-in options to capture screenshots, either the whole screen or a part of it. For those, who want to experiment with top-notch editing, there are various third-party apps available. In the following sections, we will discuss both the built-in methods and the various third-party apps you can go for to capture screenshots.
Take Screenshots with Print Screen Key on Windows 11
One of the simplest ways of capturing a screenshot is the ‘Print Screen’ key. Simply pressing the
PRT SCN or
PRT SC will click a screenshot. When coupling it with other keys, you get the option to click screenshots of a particular window. Also, you have the option to capture and save a screenshot on the system or just capture and copy it to the clipboard. Both these come in handy as the case may be.
Everything around the ‘Print Screen’ key is discussed in the following sections.
Capture and Save the Screenshots
If you want to click a screenshot of the whole screen and save it to the hard drive, just press
WINDOWS + PrtScn or
WINDOWS + FN + PrtScn, as the case may be on your system.
Note: Check your computer/keyboard manual to verify if the ‘Print Screen’ key alone captures a screenshot or in conjunction with the ‘Function’ key.
The screenshots that you capture will be stored in the ‘Screenshots’ folder inside the ‘Pictures’ folder. You can either navigate to the folder or simply search for it in the ‘Start Menu’ and access it. For a quick search, click on ‘More’ and change the search option to ‘Folders’.
Once there, you will find all the saved screenshots, labelled using numbers.
Depending on the settings, when you press
WINDOWS + PrtScn, it dims the display for an instant, which is an indication that a screenshot has been captured and saved. If you don’t see the dimming of the display, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that a screenshot has not been captured. Follow the steps below to check if the relevant setting is enabled.
Search for ‘Performance of Windows’ in the ‘Start Menu’, and then click on the ‘Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows’ search result.
In the ‘Visual Effects’ tab, ensure that the checkbox for ‘Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing’ is selected. If it isn’t select the checkbox and click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to save the changes.
Capture Full-Screen Screenshot and Copy to Clipboard
Saving every screenshot that you capture will take up space on the computer, apart from the fact that identifying the relevant ones would become difficult. In case you have to edit a screenshot right away using another app or paste it without any editing, you can simply copy it to the clipboard without saving it.
To capture a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard, simply press
Fn + PrtScn, depending on the system and keyboard settings. The screenshot is now copied to the clipboard. You can now paste it in any of the editing apps or the built-in paint app, amongst others. To paste the screenshot, simply launch the relevant app and press
CTRL + V, the keyboard shortcut for paste.
Note: If you have enabled the setting that launches ‘Snip & Sketch’ on pressing
Fn + PrtScn (discussed later in the article), the keyboard shortcut wouldn’t capture a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard anymore.
One important point to remember is that the screenshot dimensions and resolution remain the same as the desktop or the captured area.
Capture Screenshot of a Single Window and Copy to Clipboard
The methods that we discussed earlier took a screenshot of the whole screen. What if you want to capture a particular window and not the taskbar and other components? You can easily do it with the
ALT + PrtScn keyboard shortcut. Once the screenshot is captured, it’s copied to the clipboard just like the previous method, and you can paste it into the desired app.
Use Snip and Sketch App to Take Screenshots in Windows 11
If you’re looking to annotate your screenshots as well, the built-in ‘Snip and Sketch’ app is a great way to capture screenshots on Windows 11. It is similar to the old ‘Snipping Tool’ app (mentioned later in the article) but the ‘Delay’ feature is absent. One of the key differences here is that the screenshots clicked with ‘Snip and Sketch’ are copied to the clipboard and can be pasted to any of the desired apps. You can also save the screenshot and the steps for it are mentioned below.
To capture a screenshot with the ‘Snip and Sketch’ app, first press
WINDOWS + SHIFT + S to launch the tool. It will be visible at the top of the screen.
You would find four snipping/capture options at the top while the last one, i.e., Close Snipping, is to close the tool. The snipping options work the same way as the ones discussed for the ‘Snipping Tool’ app. Chose the desired option and capture a screenshot.
After you capture the screenshot, a notification will pop up near the bottom-right corner of the screen. Click on the notification to open the screenshot in the app to annotate.
You will now find various options in the toolbar at the top. The option to capture a new screenshot is positioned at the left, the various way of annotating in the center of the toolbar, and the option to zoom, save, copy to clipboard, and share at the right in the same sequence.
You will get a hang of the various options within a few minutes of exploring the app. It’s pretty simple and has a straightforward user interface. One must say that ‘Snip and Sketch’ offer enhanced editing options.
One of the benefits of using the ‘Snip and Sketch’ app is that you can modify the settings and easily launch the app by just pressing the
Fn + PrtScn keys, as the case may be.
To enable the setting, launch the ‘Start Menu’, search for ‘Settings’, and then click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
You will now find various settings listed on the left, select ‘Accessibility’.
In ‘Accessibility’ settings, scroll down on the right and select ‘Keyboard’ under the ‘Interaction’ heading.
Next, click on the toggle next to ‘Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping’ to enable the feature.
It’s recommended that you restart the computer for the changes to take effect for all the apps. Once you restart the computer, just pressing
Fn + PrtScn will now launch the ‘Snip and Sketch’ tool.
Use Snipping Tool App to Take Screenshots in Windows 11
The built-in Snipping Tool app in Windows offers advanced options than the basic Print Screen method. You have the option to capture a particular portion of the screen, the whole screen, or even free-form screenshots. This tool comes in handy when capturing a certain portion of the screen.
The screenshots captured using Snipping Tool are first displayed in the app itself, where you find will simple editing option, and can then either copy it or save it on the system. Also, the screen fades a bit when you select a mode.
To access the Snipping Tool app, search for it in the ‘Start Menu’, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
In the ‘Snipping Tool’ app that appears, click on the ‘Mode’ drop-down menu and you will find four options listed under it.
- Free-form Snip: In this mode, you can capture screenshots of any shapes, i.e., free-form. When you select the option, the cursor changes to a scissor. Now, just drag the scissor around the portion you want to capture and it will automatically be displayed in the app window.
- Rectangular Snip: In this mode, you can capture rectangular shapes. To capture a screenshot, hold and drag the cursor to form a rectangle, and once you have covered the desired portion, release the cursor. When you select this mode, the screen fades and only the selected portion is distinctly visible.
- Window Snip: In this mode, you can capture a particular window. To do so, launch the window you want to capture, select the mode, and then click on the window. The captured screenshot will now be available in the app.
- Full-screen Snip: In this mode, you can capture the full-screen. All you have to do is merely select the mode and a screenshot of the present screen will be captured.
Now, that you know the various modes, it’s time to walk you through another feature of the app, the ‘Delay’ option. If you want to capture a screenshot of pop-ups or tooltip, ‘Delay’ is your go-to option. Just, click on the ‘Delay’ option, select the period after which you want to capture the screenshot, and then select the desired mode. The delay option works with all four modes.
After you have set a period and selected the desired mode, ensure that the pop-up or tooltips that you want to capture appear on the screen within the set time, and then click the screenshot using the method discussed above.
Now that you know the various screenshot capture options, it’s time to either save or copy the screenshot. After you click a screenshot, the ‘Snipping Tool’ window will launch with the screenshot. Let’s see the various options offered in the app.
- Save Snip: The first option is to save the screenshot on the system. Click on the ‘Save Snip’ icon, navigate to the desired folder, and then click on ‘Save’ at the bottom.
- Copy: In case you don’t want to save the screenshot, there’s also the option to simply copy it to the clipboard. Once you have copied the screenshot, open the app or program where you want to paste it and press
CTRL + V.
- Pen: As the name suggests, this option is used to draw/write on the screenshot. If you want to mention anything, draw an arrow or simply enclose a portion, ‘Pen’ is the go-to option. You also have the option to customize the pen, change the color of the ink, thickness, and tip style.
- Highlighter: If you want to highlight a certain part of the screenshot, just select the ‘Highlighter’ option. It works the same way as a real highlighter used to highlight text on a page.
- Eraser: The last option in the toolbar is the ‘Eraser’. As the name suggests it is used to clear/remove any mistakes that you have made with the ‘Pen’ or ‘Highlighter’. Select the option and hold and drag the cursor over the mistake to remove it.
That’s all there is to the ‘Snipping Tool’ app on Windows 11.
Use Xbox Game Bar App to Take Screenshots in Windows 11
One of the lesser-known options to capture a screenshot is the ‘Game Bar’ app. Apart from clicking a screenshot, it also allows the user to record videos of the screen and also the option to record only the audio. It’s built-in to Windows 11 and can be launched by pressing the
WINDOWS + G keyboard shortcut. You can also launch it from the ‘Start Menu’.
To capture a screenshot, press
WINDOWS + G to launch the ‘Game Bar’ app, and then select the ‘Capture’ option.
Next, click on the ‘Camera’ icon in the ‘Capture’ box that appears to click a screenshot.
You can alternatively capture a screenshot with ‘Game Bar’ using the
WINDOWS + ALT + PrtScn or
WINDOWS + ALT + Fn + PrtScn.
After you click a screenshot, a pop-up appears on the screen informing you of the same. If you click on the popup, the screenshot is displayed in the ‘Game Bar’ app. Every screenshot or video captured with the ‘Game Bar’ app is saved at the following address.
In the above address, replace ‘User Account’ with the account you log in to the system with. Both, the photos and videos, are saved in the same folder.
Third-Party Apps to Capture Screenshots in Windows 11
There are a ton of third-party apps out there that help you capture a screenshot, however, only a few are stand out from the crowd. We have listed some of the best third-party apps below. Search the official website for more information on each and download the one that suits your requirements.
Now that you know the various methods to capture a screenshot on Windows 11 and the worthwhile third-party apps, capturing screenshots, adding annotations, or editing them won’t be a hassle anymore.