There are many reasons why you might take a screenshot in Windows 10 or 11. You might want to show a co-worker or friend how to use an app. Maybe you need to take a snippet of a web page, highlight the relevant part and share it on social media. Or maybe you have an image stuck in one of your programs that you can’t export any other way.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to take screenshots in Windows and the method you choose should depend on what you need to capture and how you intend to share it. Below, we’ll show you how to take screenshots that capture your entire desktop or specific parts of it, including web pages or frames from YouTube videos. If you need to capture video, see our tutorial on how to record screen in Windows.
Print screen key Captures screenshots to the clipboard
The easiest way to take a screenshot in Windows 11 or 10 is to press the Print Screen key (sometimes abbreviated as PrtSc or Print Scrn) and your entire desktop will be copied to your clipboard. While the Print Screen method is easy, it is a bit tricky.
If you have multiple monitors, you’ll get all your desktops in one huge image, and if you want to save your image as a file, you’ll still need to paste it into an image editor like Microsoft Paint, GIMP, or Photoshop.
Windows key + Print Screen saves a file
If you just want to take a screenshot of your entire screen, save it as a file and move on, the easiest way is to press Windows key + Print screen. Your entire desktop will darken for a second to show that the screenshot has been taken, and a new PNG file will be saved to your Pictures/Screenshots folder. Each file will be given a screenshot name (#). png where # is replaced by 1, 2, 3, etc.
Alt + Print Screen Captures the active clipboard window
Most of the time, you don’t want to take a screenshot of your entire desktop, just the relevant program you’re using. If you press Alt + PrtScr, Windows 10 or 11 will capture only the active window and copy it to your clipboard.
It is important to note that these are screenshots of an active window only, not a complete application if the application contains more than one window. So, for example, if your program has a popup that appears in a child window, only the child window will be captured, not the parent behind it.
Snipping tool captures areas
Perhaps you want to take a screenshot of Windows that shows only a small part of your desktop. It can be part of a webpage in your browser or a series of windows. Whatever the case, hit Windows key + Shift + S And the Windows Snipping tool will launch, instantly giving you a rectangular box that you can draw around whatever you want to capture from Windows 10 or Windows 11.
We have to note here that in Windows 11 the built-in screenshot tool is called Snipping Tool, and in Windows 10 there are both Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch tool, the latter being the latest from Microsoft. recommend. Whatever you call it, the keyboard shortcut pulls up the correct one.
If you don’t want to take a screenshot of a rectangular portion of the Windows desktop, you can also choose to draw a freeform, capture the active window, or full screen. Your image will be captured in the clipboard, but you’ll also get a Windows notification showing what you’ve captured, and if you click it, it will open the editor where you can draw on top of the screenshot, crop it, or highlight sections of it with a highlighter.
Delayed screenshot with the snipping tool
Sometimes you need to take a screenshot of Windows not now, but a few seconds from now. what you are waiting for? Because if you need to take a screenshot of yourself while a drop-down menu or some other item is active, pressing the Print Screen key or some other key combination might make the menu disappear before the operating system takes a picture. So you want to activate a screenshot that happens in the future, which gives you time to get to that menu.
To take a delayed screenshot in Windows 10 or 11, Turn on the snipping tool (Windows 11) or Clipping and drawing (Windows 10), not via a keyboard shortcut but either by searching for it or from the start menu. Then Set the delay time Either of delay list (Windows 11) or file new listing (10 widows).
Do whatever you want to capture within that time frame and then the snipping tools will appear and let you draw a box around it.
Full web page capture
Sometimes you want a whole webpage as a screenshot, and even if you have a 4K monitor running at 100% scale, most webpages are taller vertically than the screen. So you need a Windows screenshot tool that will scroll down to capture even the “below the fold” portions of a webpage.
The easiest and cheapest way to capture an entire webpage is to use a browser that either has a built-in screenshot feature for the entire page or has a plugin/extension that enables it.
Full page screenshot of Microsoft Edge
In Microsoft Edge, pressing CTRL+Shift+S or selecting Web Capture from the hamburger menu will give you a menu that lets you choose between “Capture Region” or, whatever you like, “Capture Full Page.”
Chrome Capture Full Page Screenshot. Chrome full page screenshot
Chrome doesn’t have a fancy full-page screenshot feature. You can get a full page screenshot as a PDF using the Print and Output to PDF feature. And if you really hate extensions, you can use Developer Console (CTRL + SHIFT + J) and then use the run command dialog from there and run “Capture full size screenshot”. But this takes a lot of work.
The best solution for Chrome is to use an extension like GoFullPage, which is free. Simply click on the camera icon that you place in your toolbar, wait a few seconds for the extension to scroll down the page, and then it will offer you the option to save your Chrome screenshot as PNG or PDF.
Firefox Capture full page screenshot
Mozilla Firefox has excellent built-in screenshot functionality. All you have to do is Right click in an empty area of the web page and Select Take a screenshot from the context menu. Then press “save full page” from the list that appears. Finally, Firefox will show you a preview of the captured image and give you the option to either download it or copy it to your clipboard.
Screenshot from YouTube videos
Sometimes you are watching a YouTube video and you want to capture a single frame from it. Sure, you can pause the video at just the right point, set the video to full screen and take a screenshot of it, but sometimes you’ll get things you don’t want in the snapshot like the play button, timeline, or video title.
The best way to take a YouTube screenshot in Windows is with a browser extension that allows you to do so. The best extension for this purpose is Screenshot YouTube which is available in the Chrome webstore (Opens in a new tab) and the Edge Add-ons section (Opens in a new tab) Also from the Microsoft Store. Firefox has various add-ons for this, including the YouTube Screenshot button (Opens in a new tab).
If you install Screenshot YouTube, a very subtle button that says “Screenshot” will be added right below the timeline.
Include the indicator in the screenshots
In most screenshot methods, the mouse pointer itself is omitted. But what if you want to show up? Windows 10 and 11 do not provide a really good way to capture the cursor.
If you are really anti-third party software, you are looking for and Launch “Steps Recorder”, and hit the record buttonAnd the Do the step you want, to stop Register and then Zoom in screenshot Windows took this step (cursor and all) by clicking on it. However, now you will need to take a screenshot of this screenshot, as the tool does not provide an easy way to export it.
We prefer using a third-party tool like PicPick, which has a built-in cursor capture option.
Use PicPick for the best experience
If you want the best possible screenshot tool, we recommend PicPick (Opens in a new tab), the tool is free for personal use and costs $24 for commercial purposes. PicPick has the ability to do scrolling screenshots (of full webpages or full PDFs in a PDF reader), the ability to include a mouse cursor and the ability to set custom delays are all included.
To capture the entire contents of a webpage, click the PicPick tray icon and select Screen Capture->Scrolling Window or press CTRL + ALT + Print Screen (you can also set a custom hotkey). Then select the web browser tab you want to capture from and watch as it navigates through the entire page and captures it.
If you want to include the mouse cursor in any of your snapshots, open the program’s options menu, go to the Capture tab and select Include Cursor Image.
Another great thing about PicPick is that it allows you to set your own custom hotkeys for all of its capture features. It includes a much more powerful editor than Snipper / Snip & Sketch so you can draw colored squares or circles around the areas of the image that you want to highlight.