Easy ways to take screenshots in Windows 10

A screenshot is a digital image of whatever is visible on your computer screen or any other visual output device. Now let us see how to take a screenshot in Windows 10.

 Taking screenshots in Windows is quite simple like it is for a multitude of platforms. Of course, Windows has a built-in option for taking basic screenshots but if you want to explore more options with great features and ease of use you can always try third-party programmes. Let us explore various options of taking a screenshot in Windows 10.

First Method: Using Print Screen to take screenshots

All computer keyboards come with a Print Screen key.  This key has various nomenclature like “PrtScn,” “Prt Sc, “ Pr Sc,” “Print Scr”, “PrntScrn,” or simply Print Screen.  This key is usually located in the same section that houses the scroll lock key and the break key between the F12 and the Scroll Lock. If you have a laptop you may have to press the Function or Fn key for accessing the print screen feature. When you press the key you will not see any change or pop-up indicating that the screenshot has been taken or saved but in fact, the screenshot has indeed been save to your clipboard. Pressing this button is the quickest and easiest way to take a screenshot, save it as a file or to take a screenshot without saving it as a file. You can also choose to take the screenshot of just one window or the whole screen.  

To take screenshots using Print Screen:

Press the Print Screen button. It will copy the screen to your clipboard.

To save the screenshot as a file press the Windows+PrtScn buttons.

To take a snap of the screen you can either use the built-in snipping tool or the Game bar in Windows 10.

Now that you have taken the screenshot let us look as to how the screenshot can be saved as a file  

Saving  the screenshot as a file

Press the “Windows logo key + PrtScn.” In case of a tablet, you will have to press “Windows logo button + volume down button. Some laptops and other devices may  require you to press the “Windows logo key + Fn + PrtScn” or Windows logo key + Ctrl + PrtScn.” The number of keys that need to be pressed to save the screenshot as a file varies for various laptop versions. So read the laptop’s manual for detailed information.

As soon as you press the desired keys the screen will dim momentarily and the screenshot will appear as a file in the  Screenshots”, folder inside the default “Pictures” folder with an automatically labelled number.

The screen will dim only if you have already turned on the Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” feature in the visual effects setting section (System > Advanced system settings > Click the Advanced tab > Click Settings under Performance section).

Taking a screenshot without saving

As soon as you press “PrtScn” a screenshot of your screen gets copied to the clipboard.  Next, you open the programme that you want to use the image in, for example, word processor or image editor and paste the screenshot using the paste keys  Edit > Paste.

Some laptops and other devices may require you to press the “Alt + Fn + PrtScn” keys to perform the same function, so read the laptop’s manual for detailed information. But in all cases, the image will have the same dimensions as the resolution of your screen.

Taking a screenshot of only one windowStart by clicking on the title bar of the required window. As soon as you press “Alt + PrtScn a screenshot of the window that is currently active will get copied to the clipboard. Now you can paste it into any document or programme that you like. Some laptops and other devices may require you to press the “Alt + Fn + PrtScn” keys to perform the same function, so read the laptop’s manual for detailed information.  

Taking a screenshot of part of the screen

If you are using Windows 10 creators update then you need to click on “Windows + Shift + S”. As soon as you do this the mouse cursor changes and the screen is grayed out. Now select the portion of the screen that you want to copy by clicking and dragging on the screen. This will result in the selected part of the screen getting copied on the clipboard. You can paste the screenshot by clicking Ctrl+V or by ng using the paste keys  Edit > Paste in your desired application.

But if you are using an older Windows version then this shortcut is available in Microsoft’s OneNote application.

Second Method: Snipping tool helps you take more flexible screenshots

The snipping tool was first introduced a long time ago in Windows Vistas and has been a constant feature of Windows since then but with very little upgradates save some bug fixes. This tool is handy for taking screenshots of rectangular or free-form area,  open window or the entire screen, You can gloss your clips with various coloured pens or the highlighter. These clips can be saved either as an image or as an HTML file and can be e-Mailed too.

However,  in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 this tool can’t  take screenshots of screens with mouse movement thus you will have to use the Print Screen method if you want to take screenshot involving mouse movements like tooltips and pop-up menus.

But if you have Windows 10 you can use the Snipping tool with ease to take screenshots even with tooltips and pop-up menus all thanks to the new “Delay” option that has been introduced in this version of Windows. Just click Delay after opening the Snipping tool app and from the drop-down list click on the number of seconds of delay that you desire.

Then  go to the arrow next to “New” and click on it  to choose the type of snip you want – rectangular, window, free-form or full-screen

As you are using the snipping tool the delay duration 1-5 seconds as defined by you sets in and the screen does not fade immediately. You can use the delay duration to open the tooltip or pop-up menu which you want to capture. The screen will freeze and fade out once the delay time elapses and you can now make your snip. But if you have chosen full-screen or window then the snip will be captured immediately.

Third Method: Using  keyboard shortcuts with game bar in Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with game DVR facility so that you can take screenshots of Windows PC games or record gameplay footage if you wish to. The screenshots  are saved in the PNG format via the Game Bar and are saved in “C:\Users\[your username]\Videos\Captures.” Before starting to use the Game Bar, open the setting of the Xbox app that comes along Windows 10. Go to “ Game DVR” and toggle  “Take screenshots using Game DVR.” Now you can make the desired keyboard shortcuts.

To take a screenshot, use the default keyboard combination ((“Windows key + G”). The next step is to tap or click on the box “Yes, this is a game,” if prompted and then click Win + Alt + PrtScn”  or the camera icon. It is necessary that you had already checked “Yes, this is a game” box for this specific game, for this keyboard shortcut to work. You will see the “Screenshot saved.” notification once the screenshot has been saved. You can see the screenshot in Xbox > Game DVR > On this PC”, if you click or tap on the “Screenshot saved” notification.