September 29, 2023
Learn how to take high-quality screenshots in Windows using different methods, including keyboard shortcuts, the built-in Snipping Tool or third-party tools. Explore common problems and solutions, and choose the method that suits your needs best.


Whether you’re troubleshooting an error message or just want to capture an image for future reference, taking a screenshot is an incredibly valuable tool. Luckily, Windows offers several methods to take screenshots. In this article, we’ll explore these methods, including keyboard shortcuts, the built-in Snipping Tool, and third-party tools. We’ll also provide step-by-step guides, so you can easily follow along.

Step-by-Step Guide

To take a screenshot in Windows, the first step is to ensure that the screen you want to capture is displayed. Once you’re ready, you can use one of the following methods:

Method 1: Press the Print Screen key

The print screen key is usually located in the top right corner of your keyboard. Pressing this key captures a screenshot of the entire screen. This screenshot is saved to your clipboard, which means you need to paste it into an image editor (such as Paint) to save it.

If you want, you can also press Windows key + Print Screen to save the screenshot directly to your computer.

Method 2: Use the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut

This keyboard shortcut is only available in Windows 10. Pressing these keys will open a snipping menu, and you can choose which area of the screen you want to capture.

Method 3: Use the Windows + PrtScr keyboard shortcut

For users who want to immediately save a screenshot to their computer, this method is the best. When you press Windows + PrtScr key, the captured image is automatically saved to your computer.

Once you’ve captured the screenshot, you can paste it into an image editor (such as Paint), crop it, and save it in the format of your choice.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are an efficient way to capture screenshots. Not only are they faster, but they can also be customized as per your requirements. Here are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts:

Print Screen – This captures a screenshot of the entire screen.

Alt + Print Screen – This captures a screenshot of the active window only.

Windows key + Print Screen – This captures a screenshot of the entire screen and immediately saves it to your computer.

You can also customize the default Windows keyboard shortcuts by navigating to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and finding the ‘Print Screen shortcut’ option.

Using Built-in Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a built-in feature of Windows, which allows you to capture screenshots of a specific area of your screen. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Open the Snipping Tool

You can find the Snipping Tool in Start > Windows Accessories > Snipping Tool. Alternatively, you can search for it in the Windows taskbar.

Step 2: Choose the type of snip

Click on ‘New’ to select the type of snip you want, including full-screen, window, rectangular, or freeform.

Step 3: Capture the snip

Once you’ve selected the type of snip, select the area you want to capture by dragging your cursor over it. This area will be highlighted, and the snip will be saved to the Snipping Tool window.

Step 4: Save or share the snip

After capturing the snip, you can save or share it directly from the Snipping Tool.

Third-Party Screenshot Tools

If you need more advanced features, you can consider using third-party screenshot tools. These tools offer more functionality than the built-in Snipping Tool, including the ability to add annotations, highlight text, and blur sensitive areas. Some popular third-party screenshot tools include:

1. Greenshot – This tool is free and offers a variety of screen capture options, including custom areas and fullscreen capture.

2. Snagit – This is a paid tool that offers advanced features such as scrolling capture and video recording in addition to screenshots.

3. Lightshot – This tool is free and offers a user-friendly interface, with features such as easy cropping and annotation.

4. Nimbus – This is a simple Chrome extension that enables you to capture screenshots and create screencasts quickly.

5. PicPick – This tool is a must-have for image editing purposes, equipped with image editors and converters, color pickers, and magnifiers.

Explaining Different Types of Screenshots

There are different types of screenshots you can take, including full-screen, window capture, and custom snip. Here’s how to take each type of screenshot:

Full-Screen Capture

To capture the entire screen, press the Print Screen key or use the Windows + Print Screen shortcut. The captured image will be saved to your clipboard, and you can paste it into an image editor or document.

Window Capture

To capture only a single window, select the window you want to capture, and press Alt + Print Screen. The captured image of the window is saved to your clipboard, where you can paste it into an image editor or document.

Custom Snip

To capture a custom area on your screen, use the Snipping Tool or Windows + Shift + S shortcut. Select the area you want to capture, and the image will be saved to your clipboard or computer.

Alternative Ways to Take a Screenshot

If the above-mentioned methods are not suitable, there are alternative ways to capture a screenshot. Here are some of them:

Digital camera: You can take a photo of the screen with a digital camera, but this may result in lower-quality images.

Capture Screen Tool: Some devices come equipped with a built-in capture tool, which allows users to take high-quality screenshots.

External software: You can use third-party apps and software to capture screens, which offer more options but require installation on your device.

Mobile Screenshot: Almost every mobile device, including smartphones and tablets, allow you to take a screenshot by pressing the power button and volume down button simultaneously.

Common Screenshot Problems and Solutions

There are some issues that you may encounter when taking a screenshot, such as low-quality images or incorrect placement. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

Problem: Screenshot Quality is Poor

Solution: To increase screenshot quality, you can adjust the screen resolution and increase the DPI size.

Problem: Screenshot is not Saving

Solution: This issue is generally due to a lack of available storage space. Ensure that you have enough storage space to save the screenshot.


Now that you know the various methods to take a screenshot in Windows, you can capture and save an image with ease. Whether you prefer using keyboard shortcuts or third-party software tools, these methods will help you capture the perfect screenshot effortlessly.

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