How to screenshot on my Windows computer? Screenshots are incredibly handy for plenty of reasons, particularly as we have so many things to remember nowadays, a quick photo of what you are working on can save a great deal of time.
But, knowing how to screenshot is a question that may drive some people crazy. If you have experienced that moment when you spread your fingers over multiple key options unable to hear the capture, we have some answers for you.
How to screenshot on my Windows computer
What is a screenshot?
Let us start by explaining what is a screenshot. Just in case some readers aren’t aware, a screenshot is an image taken of everything you see on your computer screen at the point of taking the shot.
While incredibly useful, you also need to be careful not to have any file or windows opened that you don’t want to be included in the screen capture. This could be photos of you on your social media account or equally important, confidential information.
First thing’s first, where is the Print Screen key?
It is not a stupid question. In most cases, it will be in the upper-right hand corner of the keyboard next to either the SysRq key or the by the Function button (Fn). The Print Screen button is often labeled PrtSc, PrtScr, or PrtScn. The SysRq and PrtScn might be labeled on the same key.
How do I take a screenshot on my Windows computer?
Before we take a look at a specific Windows computer, we will look at the 6 general keyboard shortcuts that Windows has. All of the following will function with your Windows 10.
- Press the Print Screen (PrtScn) key – this will capture the whole screen and save the image to the Windows clipboard;
- Highlight one document or browser, then press Alt + PrtScn – you will have an image saved to the clipboard of just what you highlighted;
- Press the Windows key + PrtScn key – you will get a capture of the whole screens but it will be saved as a file under the folder Pictures\Screenshots;
- Press the Windows key + Shift + S – four capture options called Snip & Sketch will appear at the top of the screen. We will mention this in more details further on;
- Press the Windows key + G – this will open your Game Bar. Click the screenshot option to save an image in the Captures folder under Videos;
- Press the Windows key + Alt + PrtScn – this will also capture the whole screen and save the image in your Captures folder but without opening the Game Bar.
What is Snip and Sketch?
Snip & Sketch is the new image capture tool that was released with Windows 10. It replaces the older version of the Snipping Tool. The app will take captures of your screen but then you’ll be able to personalize the type of capture and then edit the images. It’s more fun if you have a screen pen as you can use this to activate Snip & Sketch with just a click.
How to screenshot on Windows 8.1
Make sure you have set up your screen ready for the screenshot and then press Windows + Print Screen key. In this case, your capture will be saved as a .PNG and saved in the Screenshots folder under the Pictures Library.
How to screenshot on Windows: XP, Vista, or Windows 7
Windows 7 and Windows Vista both have the Snipping Tool built-in. Windows XP, however, doesn’t, so you will have to go old school and open Microsoft Paint or other imaging editor app. It is a lengthy process so we recommend sticking to the keyboard shortcuts.
The key combination is Alt + Print Screen. Again, be sure that your screen is ready with only the shot you want to be captured. Though you can choose to save the image as a JPEG, Windows recommends using .PGN for screenshots.
How to screenshot on Windows Tablet
Yes! In most cases, you need to hold the Windows key + volume down key at the same time. You will know that the image has been captured as the screen goes a little darker for a second or two. The captured images are saved in the Screenshots folder in your Pictures library.
Depending on the model of your tablet, (Windows 10 tablets definitely), you will be able to open Snip & Sketch, which has a great user interface for touchscreens.
Can I save my screenshots to the cloud?
Yes! And Microsoft OneDrive is the logical option. By saving captured images to your cloud account, you can access them from any device. The options above will save the captured file or image to the default folders we named. If you want to change this, you can follow these instructions:
- Select the OneDrive icon on your computer (found in the Windows taskbar notifications);
- Choose “Help & Settings” and then click on “Settings”;
- This will open a display with 6 tabs, click on “Backup”;
- At the bottom, there is an option saying “Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive”. Make sure this is ticked.
Now, any image you take will be saved in your OneDrive account as well as in the folders previously mentioned.
What is CloudShot?
If you are looking for cloud solutions beyond OneDrive, you might be interested in CloudShot. This is an application for Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. It allows you to highlight any area of your screen, take a capture and even add some comments and edit it.
Then you can share your image to cloud services like Dropbox, Imgur, Google Drive, as well as OneDrive. You can use a link to share your image with social media platforms, your email, and Skype. If you need more than an image, you can create video screenshots to share with others.
As you may have found, it is one thing to take a screenshot, it is another thing to locate it afterward. It’s amazing how many people discover their screenshots folder only to realize it’s full of random captures while you were trying to figure out the best way to capture the screen.
These are only default locations so you can choose the best folder to store your screenshots and make things more convenient.
Windows has created multiple ways for you to capture a screenshot from your computer screen depending on how you want it. Don’t forget to be aware of things that you don’t want others to see and use the Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch to edit your images to how you want them to be seen.
Some other related articles that may be interesting for you:
- Taking screenshots of videos (YouTube and others)
- Changing the screenshot destination on Windows 10
- Tips on how to use the Windows 10 Snipping Tool shortcuts
- Taking screenshots without using the PrtScr Key
- How to take screenshots of just one screen in a 2-monitor setup
- Using the Snipping Tool in Windows 10
- Taking screenshots in Windows 7 without the Snipping Tool
- How to screenshot entire pages in Google Chrome