How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 Computer

By Mike Darrow
How to take a screenshot on Windows 10 computer

Is your computer running Windows 10? Do you know how to take a screenshot on Windows 10 yet? A screenshot is an image of a part or all your computer’s screen, depending on the way you take it. You may need a screenshot for work, for archiving, for sending to tech support, or simply to keep an interesting moment that happens on your screen.

There are several methods to take a screenshot on a Windows computer. The built-in screenshot tool works great for basic tasks, but third-party programs come with many flexible features for customizing. But first, let us guide you through the most straightforward way, and then we will show you possible methods with third-party programs.

Are you ready to find out? Take a look at the summary of this article below!

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Keystrokes

Taking a quick screenshot with the Print Screen (PrtScn) key on your keyboard is the easiest and simplest way. Just bring up the object that you want to capture on your screen and then press the key. Some keyboard models label this key differently, such as PrintScreen, PrtScn, PrntScrn, PrntScr, PrtScr, PrtSc, Print Scr, or something similar.

If you want to find it, look at the key located between F12 and Scroll Lock.

how to take a screenshot on windows 10 with print screen key
Image Caption: The position of the Print Screen (PrtScn) key on your keyboard – Image Credit: www.shuttterstock.com

The Print Screen key can take a screenshot and save it to the clipboard, save it as a file, or even take a screenshot of only one window instead of the whole screen.

Are you ready to find out how they differ?

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Print Screen Key

When you only use the Print Screen key, it takes a screenshot of the entire screen and saves it to the clipboard of Windows. You have to paste this screenshot into Microsoft Paint or another image editing tool and then save it from there.

This is the simplest way, but it’s not the most effective, specifically when you need to capture multiple screenshots. There are too many operations you need to do, such as bring up the object, press the key, paste to Microsoft Paint, save the screenshot. You can save time by capturing a screenshot and directly save it to the “Screenshots” folder.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 And Save It As A File

Instead of pressing only the Print Screen key, you can use the Windows + Print Screen keystroke to take a screenshot on your Windows 10 PC and save it as a file. Your screenshot will save to the “Screenshots” folder, inside the default “Pictures” folder. 

take a screenshot on windows 10 and save it as a file
Image Caption: Your captured screenshot will be saved to Pictures -> Screenshots folder on Windows

This way is more effective because you only need to bring up the object you want to capture the screenshot and then press Windows + Print Screen. When you take multiple screenshots, just bring up the object, press the keystroke, and then repeat. One by one, they will be saved to the “Screenshots” folder for editing afterward.

How To Take A Screenshot Of A Specific Window On Windows 10

If you want to capture a screenshot of a specific window on your computer, for example, Google Chrome, you can use the Alt + Print Screen keystroke.

First, click on the window you want to take the screenshot to make it active, then press the Alt + Print Screen keys together. The screenshot you have just taken will be saved to your clipboard. You need to paste it into Microsoft Paint and then save it as a file.

Sadly, this way doesn’t support you to save the screenshot as a file directly. Don’t try to press the Windows + Alt + Print Screen keystroke as it doesn’t work.

take a screenshot of a specific window on windows 10
Image Caption: You can’t save your screenshot as a file by pressing Windows + Alt + Print Screen keys.

Note: If you are on a laptop, you may need to press Fn + Print Screen, or Fn + Alt + Print Screen

How To Take A Screenshot Of Part Of Your Screen On Windows 10

This is a new feature that comes with the Creators Update on Windows 10. It’s quite similar to the Command + Shift + 4 key combination, which is used to take a screenshot on a Mac with customized size.

When you want to take a screenshot of a specific part of your screen, press the Windows + Shift + S keystroke. Your screen will blur out, and your mouse cursor will change to the crosshair.

Click and hold your left mouse and then drag on your computer’s screen to choose the part you want to capture. The screenshot will be saved to your clipboard. You can paste it into Microsoft Paint or another image editor and then save it as a file like the way you do when using the Print Screen key.

This keystroke allows you to take a screenshot in different modes: 

  • Rectangular Snip: Move your mouse cursor to select a rectangular area to capture.
  • Freeform Snip: Move your mouse cursor to select an area you want to capture. This screenshot doesn’t have a certain shape. It depends on how you move the mouse.
  • Window Snip: Take a screenshot of a chosen window on your computer.
  • Fullscreen Snip: Capture a screenshot of the entire screen like the way you press the Print Screen key.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a screenshot utility that has been included in Windows for a long time. You can use this screenshot taker to capture a screenshot of a chosen rectangular area, a selected free-form area, a specific window, or the entire screen.

The Snipping Tool allows you to annotate the screenshot with different colored pens or a highlighter. You can choose to save the screenshot as a file or send it to a friend through email afterward.

how to take a screenshot on windows 10 with snipping tool
Image Caption: All the features of the Snipping Tool that you can use to take a screenshot on Windows.

With the Delay option, you can easily take a screenshot of a pop-up menu or tooltip. It allows you to select how many seconds you would like to wait until the screenshot is taken. When using this option, your screen will not blur out immediately. Instead, you will have between one to five seconds to set up your screenshot, depending on the delay time you set. You can use this time to open the pop-up menu or tooltip you want to take the screenshot.

When the time ends, your screen will blur out, so you can move your mouse cursor to capture your screenshot. But if you select the window or full-screen mode, Snipping Tool will start to take the screenshot immediately after the time has passed.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Snip & Sketch

Microsoft has brought the Snip & Sketch tool to Windows 10 users in the October 2018 Update. Unlike the Snipping Tool, you can download and install this application from the Microsoft Store. With Windows 10’s Snip & Sketch tool, you can capture, annotate, save, and share screenshots quickly.

This app can take a screenshot of an entire screen, a chosen rectangular area, or a freeform section that you draw. You can either take a screenshot instantly or delay up to 10 seconds with the timer. After capturing, you can edit your screenshot by cropping, drawing, or highlighting on the image. When you are done, you can save it as an image file for work or share it with friends. The Snip & Sketch tool not only allows you to capture and edit screenshots but also lets you annotate old images as well.

To use Snip & Sketch, you can open this app from the apps list in the Start Menu. You can also quickly access this tool by clicking on the Action Center icon (or press Windows + A keystroke) and choose the Screen Snip option.

how to screenshot on windows 10 with snip & sketch from action center
Image Caption: Quickly access the Snip & Sketch tool from Windows Action Center

Besides, you can assign this app to the Print Screen key to replace the default screenshot function of Windows.

To do so, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard, find the “Use the PrtScn button to open the screen snipping” option under the “Print Screen shortcut” section and switch the toggle on.

assign print screen key to snip & sketch tool
Image Caption: Allow the Snip & Sketch tool to use the PrtScn key to take the screenshot on Windows.

Using the Snip & Sketch tool is quite simple! When you launch the app, your screen will dim, and a small toolbar at the top of the screen appears. From this toolbar, you can choose to capture a rectangle, a freeform area that you draw, or the entire screen.

After capturing a screenshot, it gets loaded to the Snip & Sketch tool, where you can annotate it with the ballpoint pen, pencil, or highlighter.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in functions available in Windows or official apps from Microsoft, such as the Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch, there are also many third-party programs that you can use to take screenshots. Most are freeware, but there are also premium versions with advanced features that you have to pay to use.

The common point is to assist you in taking screenshots more quickly, crop and annotate with tools, and then share with everyone. A few apps have advanced features or great customize tools that make them different from the others.

Which app should you use? Which one is the best?

Don’t worry! Let us show you a few screenshot taker apps that can help you capture screenshots faster and easier.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Lightshot

Lightshot is designed to work on both Windows and Mac. It’s not only available as an application but also as a web browser extension, which you can use to take a screenshot of webpages.

This app allows you to modify your screenshot from the moment that you press the Print Screen key. As soon as you hit the key, a transparent layer will cover the entire screen along with cropping tools. You can drag to choose the precise area of your screenshot you would like to capture. This step is quite handy and saves you from using image editing software to resize your screenshots after capturing.

Use Lightshot to take a screenshot on Windows 10
Image Caption: How to take a screenshot on Windows 10 by using the Lightshot application.

Besides the easily cropping screenshots feature, Lightshot offers online photo editing tools, upload screenshots to the Lightshot website, save your screenshot as multiple image formats, instantly print your screenshot, as well as instantly search for similar images from both Google and Tineye.

Once you save your screenshot, Lightshot gives you the option to instantly email it or post it to your social media account. All of these useful features will save you a total of 2-4 steps to modify and share your screenshot, making your day that much more productive.

Lastly, the best part of Lightshot is that this is a freeware. You can download it from here.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Snagit

Developed by Techsmith, Snagit is a screenshot taker that has many top-notch features. It allows you to capture your entire screen, a region, or a window. It even allows capturing a scrolling screen, such as infinitely scrolling webpages or long chat messages.

how to screenshot on windows with snagit from techsmith
Image Caption: Use SnagIt to capture screenshots and record videos of your screen.

You can use Snagit to extract the text from a screenshot and quickly paste it into another document for edits. This feature helps you easily copy text from an image without retyping all the words.

Snagit has many other handy features, including screen recorder, record webcam, record audio, animated GIF, trim video, annotation, smart move, text replace, and much more.

Snagit is a premium application, which costs $49.95 to use. However, there is a free trial that you can try before spending money on it. Once you try Snagit, we are sure it will be hard to go back to the Windows screenshot tools.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With Screenpresso

Like other apps, taking screenshots with Screenpresso is straightforward with three steps: press the Print Screen key to capture a screenshot, edit it with the built-in editor, and then save it or post it online.

As soon as you hit the Print Screen key, your mouse cursor will change into a crosshair. You can drag it anywhere on your screen to select a region you would like to take the screenshot. It has a zoom lens at the right bottom of the screen to help you select the region with more accuracy.

how to screenshot on windows with screenpresso
Image Caption: Screenpresso, a free screenshot taker application

Screenpresso can take a screenshot of a scrolling window, mouse cursor, and context menu. Besides, you can use Screenpresso to record video of your screen and create lightweight MP4 video files for easy sharing. 

With a powerful built-in image editor, you can mark up your screenshots easily. Screenpresso allows you to add arrows, rectangles, ellipses, colorful speech bubbles, text boxes, callouts as well as spotlight an area, and much more. Also, you can crop, add rounded corners, torn edges, reflection, drop-shadow, and more fancy border effects to your screenshots.

All captured screenshots are saved to Workspaces automatically. This widget-like panel allows you to access your previous captures quickly, drag & drop files from Workspaces to image editing tools, email clients, other programs, and the opposite. It also has shortcuts to organize, print, copy to clipboard, as well as a toolbar to start a new capture, edit, and publish your screenshots and clips.

Screenpresso is available in both free and premium versions. You should only upgrade to the premium version if you want to use additional features or remove branding on some features. The differences between both versions are described here.

How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 With ShareX

ShareX is a free and open-source screenshot tool that has been developed for over 11 years. It allows you to take a screenshot or record any section of your screen and then quickly share it with others. ShareX also lets you upload images, text, or other files to many supported destinations you can choose from.

how to capture a screenshot on windows 10 with sharex
Image Caption: Capture Windows screenshots with ShareX

To get started, you can press the Print Screen key to take a screenshot of the entire screen. But this isn’t the feature you should use because it doesn’t differ from the Windows screenshot functions.

Instead, you can press Ctrl + Print Screen to activate the editor to take a screenshot, crop out unneeded screen space, and add elements to make the perfect picture. That way, you don’t need another image editing tool to modify your screenshots.

crop windows screenshots with sharex screenshot taker
Image Caption: A powerful image editor from ShareX allows users to modify their screenshots more effectively.

Besides adding elements, you can also hide the information you don’t want to show on a specific screenshot by blurring them out.

For example, we blurred XXX as they are not very important to what we are showing right now.

Use ShareX to blur sensitive information from Windows screenshots
Image Caption: Use the Blur tool from the ShareX screenshot app to hide information on your screenshot.

ShareX is a powerful screenshot tool that has many handy features. If you are looking for a tool that comes with everything you need, then ShareX is the right choice. For the list of full features, visit here to find out.

Wrapping Up

All of the Windows screenshot taker tools have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, if you take screenshots frequently and want more flexibility than the built-in features, , a third-party tool is your best option.

To sum up, we have explained how to take a screenshot on Windows 10 with built-in tools as well as third-party apps like Lightshot, Snagit, Screenpresso, and ShareX.

Are these ways good enough to help you to make perfect captures? Have you selected any tool yet? Or do you know a better tool? Let us know below.

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