Windows 11 Screenshot Shortcuts: Everything You Need to Know

The ultimate guide to Windows 11 Screenshot shortcuts

Knowing how to quickly grab screenshots on your Windows 11 PC can come in handy. There are several reasons why you may want to take a quick snap of your screen including sending an error message to your company’s IT department, posting a funny image or important information on social media, preparing troubleshooting guides, capturing tweets before they are deleted, taking a screenshot of your video chat, etc.

The best and quickest way to capture screenshots is by using the keyboard shortcuts because when you are trying open or switch to the Screenshot capturing tool, you might miss the chance to take a screenshot of something important (For example, taking a screenshot of a specific moment in a video). There are multiple ways to take a screenshot using keyboard hotkeys on a Windows 11 computer which we’ve discussed below.

Use Print Screen Key (PrtSc) to Capture the Fullscreen

Print Screen (PrtSc) is the most versatile and basic screen-capturing keyboard shortcut in Windows. The Print Screen shortcut lets you capture a full-screen screenshot on your current screen. All you have to do is press the PrtSc or Print Screen/Sys Rq button on your keyboard.

Once you press the PrtSc button, it automatically saves the screenshot of the entire screen to your clipboard. Then, you can paste the captured screenshot on any image editing or text editing application, like Paint or Microsoft Word, or even into the body of an email via the Ctrl+Vkeyboard shortcut or by right-clicking and then choosing the ‘Paste’ option from the context menu.

If you have multiple monitors, the PrtSc will capture the content from all your monitors as a single image and copy it to the clipboard.

Capture and Auto-Save the Screenshot

PrtSc+Windows

The PrtSc keyboard shortcut only captures the screen and copies it to your computer’s clipboard but it doesn’t automatically save it anywhere. It can be easily replaced by any other content cut or copied after it.

If you want to capture your full-screen screenshot and save it as a PNG image file on your computer, just press PrtSc+Windows key. With this shortcut, you don’t need to manually save the screenshot, the shortcut does it for you. This shortcut also copies the screenshot to your clipboard, so you can also use the Ctrl+V shortcut to paste the screenshot anywhere you like.

The screenshots captured with this shortcut key will be saved inside the ‘Screenshots’ folder in the Pictures library folder. To view the saved screenshots, open the File Explorer, go to the ‘Pictures’ library folder, and then go to ‘Screenshots’.

Alternatively, you can enter C:\Users\[User_name]\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots in the address bar.

AutoSave Screenshots to OneDrive

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to automatically save your captured screenshots to OneDrive. However, this needs a little setting up:

To set up your screenshots to automatically save to OneDrive, right-click OneDrive’s cloud icon in the taskbar overflow.

Then, click on the cog icon at the top left corner of the OneDrive window and select ‘Settings’.

Under the ‘Sync and backup’ section, turn on the toggle for the ‘Save screenshots I capture to OneDrive’ option.

Now, whenever you take screenshots natively using Windows hotkeys like PrtSc, and Alt+PrtScn, it automatically saves the screenshot to the OneDrive cloud. This eliminates the need for pasting the image from the clipboard to an image app, saving the image on your computer, and then moving it to OneDrive. Once saved on the cloud, you can access it from any device where you can access OneDrive. 

Capture an Active Window Screenshot

Alt+PrtSc

Both PrtSc and Win+PrtSc keyboard shortcuts are very useful but they are not flexible. In case, you only want a specific window of the app in the screenshot, you would have to capture the entire screen and manually crop out that window using image editing software.

But with the Alt+PrtSc hotkey, you can easily capture screenshots of the active app windows. It takes screenshots of the current window and automatically crops out everything outside the active window. Similar to the PrtSc shortcut, it captures the screenshot and stores it on your computer clipboard.

After you press the Alt+PrtSc hotkeys, you can paste the screenshot from the clipboard to a word processor or an image editor.

Capture a Part of the Screen or the Full Screen using the Snipping Tool

Windows+Shift+S

The Snipping Tool is a new integrated screen-capturing utility that comes with Windows 11. It replaces the legacy Snipping Tool and Windows 10’s Snip & Sketch tool. It is a great tool for capturing free-form, rectangular, full-screen, and active window screenshots. The quickest way to get the Snipping Toolbar running is by pressing the Windows+Shift+S keys simultaneously.

Once you press the shortcut keys, the snipping toolbar will open as an overlay on the top of your screen as shown below.

Then, you can select one of the four options using the mouse to take a screenshot.

Alternatively, you can use the Tab key to switch between the options in the overlap and press Enter to select the option. 

  • Rectangular mode – Use your mouse to take a rectangle screenshot of any part of your screen. Drag your mouse around what you’d like to capture to form a rectangle.
  • Freeform mode – Use your mouse to draw any shape around the object or portion of the screen you want to capture.
  • Windows mode – With this mode, you can take a screenshot of any one of the open windows. However, if there is any window atop the selected window, it will also capture that window.
  • Fullscreen mode – This mode allows you to capture the entire screen as a screenshot just like the PrtSc button.

Once the screenshot is captured you will see a notification at the bottom left corner of your screen and when you click on it, it will open up in the snipping tool where you can take screenshots as well as annotate, edit and share your screenshots.

You can also open the tool by just pressing PrtSc. By default, the PrtSc button is set to take a full screenshot of your screen.

To set up the PrtSc button to launch the Snipping tool instead of taking screenshots, follow these steps:

First, type ‘Snipping Tool’ in Windows Search and select the result to open the tool.

When the Snipping Tool opens, click the three dots icon and select the ‘Settings’ option.

In the Snipping Tool settings, click on the ‘Change in Windows settings’ link under the Shortcuts section.

This will open Keyboard settings under Accessibility. Now, scroll down to the ‘On-screen keyboard, access keys, and Print screen’ section under the Keyboard settings.

Here, turn on the toggle for ‘Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping’ and restart your PC.

After the restart, whenever you press the PrtSc key on your keyboard, the Snipping tool will appear (not the Snipping Tool overlay toolbar). Here’s a list of shortcuts you can use in the Snipping Tool to manage screenshots. Keep in mind these shortcuts will only work when the snipping tool is running.

Shortcuts Uses
Alt+N or Ctrl+N Starts a new screen capture with the Snipping toolbar
Ctrl+S or Alt+S Save the screenshot in the Snipping tool.
Esc Cancel the snipping.
Ctrl+P Print the Screenshot.
Ctrl+C Copy the captured screenshot to the clipboard.
Alt+Z Use the Zoom tool in the screenshot.
Alt+M Open the menu bar.
Alt+B Select the Ballpoint pen tool.
Alt+H Select the Highligter tool.
Alt+T Select the Touch writing tool.
Alt+R Select the Image Crop tool.
Alt+E Select the Eraser tool.
Alt+U or Ctrl+Z Select the undo tool.
Alt+M+F Open File.
Alt+A Share the screenshot in the Snipping tool.

Take Delayed Screenshots

Snipping Tool offers three different options to take delayed screenshots but it doesn’t have any shortcut keys to quickly access those options. However, you can still use Windows search to quickly access the Delay snip options without opening the Snipping Tool.

All you have to do is type ‘Snipping Tool’ in the Windows Search or the Start menu and you will see the three delayed screenshot options on the right-side pane:

  • New snip in 3 seconds
  • New snip in 5 seconds
  • New snip in 10 seconds

Select one of these options to start a new screen snip.

View Clipboard History

All the screenshots captured by the snipping tool or any other tool will be stored on the clipboard. Windows 11’s new clipboard allows you to access all your recent screenshots in one place. To view the history of screenshots copied to the clipboard, press the Windows+V shortcut key. Then, select a screenshot from the clipboard and paste it anywhere you like using Ctrl+V.

Take Screenshots using the Xbox Game Bar

Windows 11 has another integrated tool for taking screenshots and recording screens which is the Xbox Game Bar. Xbox Game Bar is specifically designed for gamers to capture important moments and sequences while gaming as screenshots and videos. It can also be used to take screenshots of your current window or fullscreen. The tool automatically saves the captured screenshots in PNG format and recorded videos in MP4 format.

To activate the Xbox Game Bar tool, just press Windows+G.

Once you press the hotkey, the Xbox Game Bar will appear at the top of your screen as shown below.

Now, click on the ‘Capture’ icon in the game bar to open the Capture widget.

Alternatively, you can also click on the ‘Widgets menu’ icon and choose the ‘Capture’ widget to open the Capture widget window.

In the Capture widget window, click the camera icon to take a screenshot of the current app window (or desktop).

You can also use the below shortcut key to quickly take a screenshot using the Xbox Game Bar.

Win + Alt + PrtSc

You can also record a video of your current app by clicking the ‘Record’ button in the Capture widget or by pressing the Window + Alt + R hotkey.

Once a screenshot is captured, you will see a notification right side of your screen. Click on the notification or the ‘See my captures’ option on the Capture widget to view your screenshots.

This will open the Gallery widget where you can view, rename, share, or remove the shortcuts you have taken using the Xbox Game bar.

You can also open the Gallery widget by clicking ‘Widget menu’ from the game bar and selecting ‘Gallery’.

Xbox Game Bar automatically saves all the screenshots captured or videos recorded using the tool to the C:\Users\[user_name]\Videos folder.

To open the folder where screenshots are saved, you can click the ‘Open in File Explorer’ button on the Gallery widget.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the below location using File Explorer:

C:\Users\rajst\Videos\Captures

Replace rajst with your username.

Customize the Xbox Game bar Screenshot Hotkeys

If you don’t prefer the default game bar shortcuts, you can also set up your own Xbox Game bar screenshot shortcuts. Follow these steps to set up shortcuts in the Xbox Game bar:

First, launch the Xbox Game bar with the Win + G shortcut. In the Game bar, click the ‘Settings’ icon and go to the ‘Shortcuts’ tab.

On the right-side pane, you can create new shortcut keys for opening Xbox Game Bar and Taking a screenshot.

Click on the text field below the option and set your desired hotkey. But make sure to use Ctrl, Alt, or Shift keys along with at least one other key in your shortcut. After adding the hotkeys, click the ‘Save’ button below and restart your PC.

After the restart, you can use the custom shortcut keys you created to take screenshots with the Xbox Game bar.

Take Screenshots on Tablets

Unlike Windows PC, tablets and a few other Windows devices lack the physical Print Screen button. Even the on-screen keyboards on tablets don’t have the PrtSc key unless you have a keyboard attached. However, you can still take screenshots on those devices easily. Here’s how:

  • If you have an older Surface tablet or any other older Windows device, you can take a screenshot by hitting the Windows+Fn+Spacebar keys at once. Alternatively, you can press and hold the ‘Volume up’ and ‘Power’ buttons simultaneously. Be sure to press the buttons at the same time or you might end up turning off the screen.
  • If you have a tablet or any other device with a Windows logo button, you can take a fullscreen screenshot by pressing the ‘Windows’ button and the ‘Volume Down’ button simultaneously.
  • In case you have a Surface or Windows tablet with a pen, you must double-click the Top button (top cap button) to take a screenshot of the entire screen. And the captured screenshot will open in the Snipping Tool.

Take Screenshots Using a Third-Party Screenshot Utility

There are several third-party software out there that allow you to capture different types of screenshots such as the entire screen, window, scrolling window, freehand, selected region, etc. These tools include PicPick, ShareX, Greenshot, and Snagit. Third-party tools provide all the screen-capturing options that Windows’s inbuilt tools offer and more. These tools also allow you to customize or create hotkeys screenshot options.

Use PicPick Tool to Capture Screenshots

PicPick software is a screen capture and recording tool available as both free and paid versions. Although the free version is only meant for personal and non-commercial use, it offers options to capture anything including an entire screen, an active window, the scrolling windows, and any specific region of your desktop, etc.

In addition to taking screenshots, the tool also allows you to annotate, edit, share, and highlight your images as well as add effects to your image. PicPick is a very straightforward and easy-to-use tool that shares a similar UI as Windows Paint. Here’s how you can install and customize hotkeys to use the tool:

Visit the PicPick download site and click the ‘Download’ button.

On the next page, click the ‘Download’ button again to download the tool.

Then, open the folder in which you downloaded the PicPick setup and double-click the ‘picpick_inst.exe’ to run the installer. 

In the setup wizard, click ‘Next’ to continue.

To change the default installation path for the app, click the ‘Browse’ option. Then, select the ‘Install’ button to finish. 

The tool will also be automatically added to the Startup programs, so you can quickly access it from the system tray.

After installing the app, launch the PicPick tool from the Start menu. From the toolbar, click the ‘File’ menu.

Then, click the ‘Options’ from the left-side panel. Under the Screen Capture section, you can see the list of available Screenshot options.

In the Program Options window, go to the ‘Hotkeys’ section on the left and you will see the list of screen-capturing options and their shortcut keys.

The default keyboard shortcuts for Screen Capture options in PicPick are:

  • Capture Full-screen – PrtScn
  • Capture Active Window – Alt+PrtScn
  • Capture Window Control – Ctrl+PrtScn
  • Capture Scrolling Window – Ctrl+Alt+PrtScn
  • Capture Region – Shift+PrtScn
  • Capture Fixed Region – Shift+Ctrl+PrtScn
  • FreeHand Capture – Shift+Ctrl+Alt+PrtScn

However, you can also change these shortcuts using the options below the Screen Capture section. To change a hotkey, select Shift, Ctrl, or Alt and one other key from the drop-down menu (one of the alphabet, number, or function key. After changing the hotkey combinations, click ‘Ok’ to save.

PicPick is similar to the Snipping tool when you press any of its shortcut keys, the PicPick toolbar will appear at the top screen which lets you switch screen capture modes and take screenshots.

Taking a Scrolling Screenshot of an App Window or Webpage using Third-party tools

Windows inbuilt screen capturing tools can’t take a screenshot of an entire web page, scrolling app window, or other scrolling documents. Instead, you have to capture multiple screenshots of the same webpage. However, with third-party tools like PicPick and ShareX, you can capture the entire webpage or a scrolling app window. 

To take a screenshot of an entire website, press the Ctrl+Alt+PrtSc shortcut or the custom hotkey you have set using the above method. Alternatively, you can click on the PicPick tray icon, go to ‘Screen Capture’, and then ‘Scrolling Window’. 

First open the webpage you want to capture, then press the Ctrl+Alt+PrtSc shortcut key. After that, click on a webpage and wait until the tool automatically scrolls through the whole page and captures it.

Don’t change tabs or switch apps until the process is complete. Once, it is finished scrolling, it will automatically open the screenshot in the PicPick screen editor.


That’s it. Now, you know how to take screenshots like a pro on Windows 11, whether you need to take them for work or a passion project.