You’ve just been asked to provide a screenshot but frankly, you have no idea where to start – perhaps technology’s just not your thing!  That’s ok, you’re not alone and like anything, once you know how to do it, it’s easy.  Follow our simple guide on how to take a screenshot on Windows and you’ll be snapping away in no time at all!

Screenshot Your Whole Screen or Part of It

Firstly, how to screenshot on Windows enables you to capture a picture of your display.  You can also select a small area of it if you just want one section.  So decide what you want to do to begin with.

Locate your PrtScn button – this is your Print Screen key and it’s on your keyboard, above your numbers (usually), to the right-hand side close to the F12 key. It’s usually labelled PrtScn or similar, this is short code for Print Screen.  This key is a keyboard shortcut and helps you to save your screenshot as a file or, you could copy it to your clipboard so you can use it later on.  Of course, it does depend on the type of computer you have. Laptops often combine the Print Screen key with something else and you may have to use the Fn (function) key to get to it.

Saving Your Screenshot as a File

If you want to save your screenshot as a file, simply press Windows+Print Screen together.  So, you press and hold the Windows logo key and press the Print Screen Key at the same time.  Don’t panic! Your screen will dim for a very short moment of time – this is actually your confirmation that the screenshot has occurred, and you should see a PNG file pop up in a folder that’s labelled as “Screenshots”, you’ll find that in your “Pictures” folder (something like this C:\Users\NAME\Pictures\Screenshots).  Your file will have its own automatic name, with a number for ease but you can change the name yourself if you want to.

How to Screenshot on Windows – Saving Your Screenshot to the Clipboard

Next, you might want to save your screenshot to your clipboard.  To do this, just press the Print Screen key.  Note, some laptops will have this key labelled as Fn+Print Screen.  Once you’ve done this, Windows will save your screenshot to the clipboard, and you’ll be able to paste it wherever you want.  To past it, select:

  • Edit
  • Paste
  • Or alternatively you can press Ctrl+V.

If you want to save an image of a part of your screen rather than your entire screen to your clipboard, select Alt+Print Screen.  Note, on some laptops the function will be different: Alt_Fn+Print Screen.  Before doing this, you need to select the area you want to screenshot, just click inside the window, or choose Alt+Tab to do this.

Snip and Sketch

There is another way how to screenshot on Windows, but it is only available if you have Windows 10.  It’s the Snip and Sketch tool.  It’s useful if you want to take a particular area of your screen or to annotate your image. Simply press Windows+Shift+S.  The area will turn grey, and your mouse will transform into a +.  At the top of your screen, a bar will pop up with a few different buttons, just choose the one you want from the following options:

  • Rectangular – this allows you to draw a rectangular shape using your cursor.  The area inside the rectangle will be captured as a screenshot.
  • Freeform – to outline a freeform shape, use your cursor or your finger if you have a touch screen.  The area will be saved as a screenshot.
  • Window – The cursor will turn into a + and you can place this over an area that you want and take a screenshot.
  • Fullscreen – this function captures the whole of your display as a screenshot.

For more information on how to screenshot on Windows 10, click this link:

Annotating Your Screenshot

To annotate your screenshot, or to crop your screenshot you’ll see a notifaction that tells you your screenshot has been copied to the clipboard.  Past it where you want using Edit>Paste or Ctrol+V.

Note the save button, you can save your screenshot as an image using this.

Taking a Delayed Screenshot

How to screenshot on Windows with a delayed screenshot on a 3 or 10 second delay, simply open the Snip and Sketch window and click the start button, search “Snip” and launch the Snip and Sketch application.  To choose either 3 or 10 second delay, click the down arrow and select the timing you want.

Finally, don’t panic.  It’s really easy when you know how but like anything, you need to try it first and after you’ve captured a screenshot a few times, you’ll know how to screenshot on Windows and you won’t even think about it!

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