windows screenshot

How to take a screenshot on PC (Windows)

Take a screenshot, it will last longer.
Ash Ash (167)
Total time: 1 minute 

Taking a screenshot is simple—don't let anyone tell you otherwise! In this guide, we’ll cover the easiest ways to take a screenshot on a Windows PC.

Here's everything you'll need to complete this guide:

Windows PC×1
windows screenshot location

Taking a screen shot on a Windows device is fairly consistent across each edition of Windows. In most cases, you can use one of the following methods:

Pressing Alt + Print Screen will create a screenshot that automatically saves in your default screenshots folder. In Windows 10, the location is usually C:/Users/[Your Username]/Pictures/Screenshots.

Pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard will create an image of your desktop and copy it to your clipboard.

screenshot one window

Pressing Alt + Print Screen will take a screenshot of the currently active window or app and copy it to your clipboard.

windows screenshot paint

If you created the screenshot using Print Screen or Alt + Print Screen, you will need to save it by pasting it into an application. I usually use Microsoft Paint because it's built into the operating system and easy to crop the screenshot with. Once you paste the screenshot, you can choose to save the file or send it. You can also paste the screenshot into other applications like Word, Skype, or Mail.

You can also paste the screenshot directly into most applications including Outlook, Slack, Word, Google Docs, and more.

windows screenshot snipping tool

Like previous versions of Windows, you copy a screenshot to your clipboard by pressing Print Screen on the keyboard. You can also use Windows Key + Print Screen to create a screenshot that automatically saves in the default screenshots folder location: typically C:/Users/[Your Username]/Pictures/Screenshots .

You can also use the built-in application called Snipping Tool. To open Snipping Tool, expand the start menu and type: Snipping Tool.

This application makes it easy to take a screenshot, crop it, and send it from one location. When Snipping Tool is open, click New in the upper left and drag/drop the window across the area you want a screenshot of.

partial windows 10 screenshot

Pressing Windows + Shift + S will create an overlay across the screen with an interface that lets you pick a section for the screenshot. The screenshot will be copied to your clipboard, so be sure to save it!

It may be easier to find an application to help take and edit screenshots—especially if you take them frequently. Additionally, many screenshot applications allow you to mark up an image with arrows, circles, and text -- an excellent way to convey and share information.

Lightshot

This is a free tool to help take screenshots. It has a few editing features worked into the package, making it easier to refine your screenshots after you take them. You can download it from the Lightshot website.

Greenshot

Greenshot is another free application for screenshots. It’s a good contender to Lightshot and provides many useful screenshot tools. Crop your image, add a few notes, and send it in one place.

Snagit

If you’re looking for something more professional, Snagit is a paid tool used by professionals. You can get a license to use it on multiple machines, perfect for office environments. This program is great for those who need screenshots on a regular basis. Snagit also has a free trial, so try it out and see if you like it! It's one of the most popular screenshotting tools for Windows.