Screenshots have always been the go-to way to capture your screen on Windows and the platform has always offered a dedicated PrtSc key to capture your screen with a single click. But as Windows has progressed over the years, so have the ways in which you can take a screenshot. You now have the ability to use various ways to capture your screen be it the PrtSc key, Snip & Sketch, or third-party software. Here are all the ways in which you can take screenshots on Windows 11.
Method #01: Using Print Screen (PrtSc) key
Print Screen key or PrtSc, as it says on your keyboard, is a long-standing dedicated physical key on Windows keyboards that allows you to capture your screen with a simple click. Over the years the functionality of PrtSc has been incorporated into Windows and more and more ways have been introduced to take various types of shortcuts. Here’s all you need to know about the PrtSc key and how to take screenshots using it.
What happens when you press the PrtSc key?
Pressing the PrtSc key prompts Windows to key capture your screen. Depending on the key combination used by you, you can capture the entire screen, your active window, or a portion of your screen. Use the guide below to easily take screenshots on your Windows 11 PC using the PrtSc key.
If you wish to take a full screenshot of your entire display, then press the Windows + PrtSc keys on your keyboard simultaneously. This will capture your entire screen and the screenshot will be stored in the following location.
Your screenshots will be automatically named and numbered and will be stored in PNG format.
Capture a portion of your screen using the PrtSc key.
If you wish to capture a portion of your screen using PrtSc, then press Windows + Shift + S on your keyboard.
You will now get a rectangular selection tool. Simply click and draw on your screen to copy the captured area to your clipboard. This capture can then be pasted in any compatible text field like when composing an email, or to an image sharing site, or in an image editor to create new images altogether. You can also add your captured area as a new layer in any compatible image editor on your PC.
Capture the active window to your clipboard with PrtSc
You can also capture the currently active window on your Windows 11 PC by pressing the Alt + PrtSc keys simultaneously. This will capture the currently active window and copy it to your Clipboard. You can then use the guide to save captured screenshots to save it as an image. If you wish to upload to a cloud storage site or use it in an IM then simply paste the copied capture in the desired location and it will be automatically uploaded to the servers.
Where are my screenshots from Print Screen key?
Your screenshots are either stored on your local storage or directly copied to your clipboard depending on your choice. If you decided to capture your entire screen, then your screenshots will be stored in the PNG format in the following location on your PC.
If however, you decided to capture a portion of your screen or capture an active window then the capture will be copied to your clipboard temporarily. It will be removed if you copy something else and will need to be captured again. In such cases, you can save the capture by either pasting it on a blank canvas and creating your own image or by pasting it in a compatible field to create/upload an image from it. Use the guide below to save your captured screenshots to your local storage in either PNG or JPEG format.
How to save captured Print Screen key screenshots in clipboard as PNG or JPEG
Capture any active window or a portion of your screen as you normally would. Once captured, open paint on your Windows 11 Pc. The easiest way to do so would be to press Windows + S on your keyboard and then search for Paint.
Once Paint launches, reduce the size of your Canvas to a relatively smaller size than your capture.
Now press ‘Ctrl + V’ on your keyboard to paste the capture.
Click on ‘File’ in the top left corner and select ‘Save as’.
Browser to the location where you wish to save your capture. Now enter the desired name and click and select the desired file format from the drop-down menu below it.
Once you have made your choice, click on ‘Save’.
And that’s it! The capture will now be saved to the desired location in the requested format chosen by you.
Method #02: Using Snip and Sketch app
Snip & Sketch is the new and improved screen capturing tool from Microsoft, meant to be the successor to the tried and tested, Snipping tool. Snip & Sketch allows you to do much more than just capture your screen. You can capture specific areas, freeform draw your capture area and even annotate your captures right within the app itself. Snip & Sketch has been highly integrated into Windows 11 and it can be activated from almost anywhere on the screen. Here’s all you need to know about Snip & Sketch and how you can make the most out of it.
Note: If you wish to annotate your captures using Snip & Sketch then you will need to launch its dedicated app installed on your PC and then make the capture as shown below. Capturing your screen via Snip & Sketch using the keyboard shortcut will copy the capture to your clipboard instead.
Activate Snip & Sketch from the app
This is by far the easiest and most basic way to activate Snip & Sketch on your Windows system. Simply press ‘Windows + S’ on your keyboard to bring up the Windows 11 Search and then search for ‘Snip and Sketch’. You won’t need to type the entire name for the app to show up.
Once it shows up, simply click and launch the app
And that’s it! You have now activated Snip and Sketch. Use the guide below to capture your screen through the desired method.
Activate Snip & Sketch using a keyboard shortcut
You can also activate Snip & Sketch on your Windows 11 system using a keyboard shortcut. Press ‘Windows + Shift + S’ on your keyboard to bring up the snipping toolbar. You can now use your mouse to capture the screen however, you wish. Use the detailed guide below to make the most out of all the features offered by Snip & Sketch.
You can capture your screen in various ways using Snip & Sketch just like PrtSc but with more ease and fewer keyboard shortcuts to remember. Follow one of the guides below that best fits your current needs and requirements.
This is the second icon from the left at the top of your screen in the snipping toolbar. Click on the ‘Freeform’ icon as shown below to activate Freeform capture.
Now click and drag your mouse in any shape and form to capture your screen. Snip & Sketch will do its best to create a cohesive capture from your freeform shape.
And that’s it! You will now have made a freeform capture of your screen.
There can be times where you only wish to capture a certain window instead of your entire screen. Drawing the shape of a window in freeform or rectangular capture can be challenging and hence there is a dedicated option to capture any active window. Use the guide below to get you started.
Activate Snip & Sketch on your PC through the desired method and then click on the 3rd icon from the left at the top of your screen in the snipping toolbar.
Now move your mouse to the window you wish to capture and click anywhere in the window.
And that’s it! The selected window will now be captured with a simple click.
You can also easily make a full-screen capture on your device by using the Snip & Sketch tool. Activate the snipping toolbar using your desired method.
Once activated, click on the 2nd icon from the right in your snipping toolbar at the top of your screen. And that’s it! With a simple click, your entire screen will be captured and stored to your desired location be it the Snip & Sketch app or your clipboard.
This is the default tool activated when you activate Snip & Sketch on your Windows 11 PC. This tool allows you to capture your screen in any rectangular shape and form.
Start by activating Snip & Sketch on your desktop.
Now click and drag on the desired area that you wish to capture.
Once you let go of the left click, the selected area will be automatically captured by Snip & Sketch.
You can also annotate your captures using the Snip & Sketch app. Sadly this can not be done using the Snip & Sketch toolbar activated using the keyboard shortcut and you will need to launch the app if you wish to annotate your captures. Use the guide below to get you started.
How to annotate in Snip & Sketch
Press ‘Windows + S’ on your keyboard to bring up the Windows search and then search and launch Snip & Sketch on your system. Once launched, press ‘Ctrl + N’ on your keyboard to create a new capture.
Now capture your screen in the desired form using the guides above.
Once you’ve made your capture, it will automatically be added to the Snip & Sketch app with annotation tools at the top of your canvas.
You can now use one of the following annotation tools to your advantage and create the capture that you wish.
This is an option specific to tablet users or users with a touch screen or pen input device. This option can be used in Snip & Sketch to easily switch between your desired input devices to easily annotate on your screen. This option works in conjunction with one of the tools mentioned below depending on your choice.
Ball Point Pen
This tool simulates the input of a ballpoint pen. You can click on the drop-down arrow under it to select the color of your choice for this input as well as change the line width using the slider at the bottom.
This tool simulates the strokes of a pencil on your canvas when annotating your capture. Simply click on the Pencil tool to start using it. Just like the Vall point pen, you can click on the drop-down arrow under the Pencil tool to change its color and width using the slider at the bottom.
As you may have guessed, this tool simulates a paper highlighter which can be used to annotate important things in your screen capture. Similar to the tools above, click and select the highlight tool to use during annotation. You can then click the drop-down arrow to change its color and size.
Made a mistake? You can use this tool to easily erase any annotation you’ve made on your screen capture. Simply click on the eraser tool and click and drag over any previous annotation to erase it from your screen capture. In addition to this, if you would like to remove all your annotations, then click the drop-down arrow under the eraser tool and select ‘Erase all ink’. This will erase all the annotations you’ve made on your screen capture.
Drawing straight lines can be tough when annotating images digitally. Thankfully, the ruler tool is here to help you do exactly that. Click and select the Ruler Tool from the toolbar at the top and a ruler should show up on your screen. Now move the ruler to the desired position. You can also right-click on the ruler to rotate it to your desired orientation. Once you’ve placed the ruler in the desired location, select an input tool from the drop and click and drag your cursor along the ruler. You should now have a straight line at the desired location in your annotation.
Did your screen capture get slightly messed up? You can always use the Image crop option to further crop and enhance your screen capture. Click the tool at the top of your screen and then click and drag one of the corners to crop your image to its desired size.
Method #03: Use the snipping tool
In addition to the PrtSc key and the Snip & Sketch tool, Windows 11 also comes bundled with the Snipping Tool, to help you capture your screen easily. The snipping tool is an older tool that will soon be phased out from existence in favor of Snip & Sketch. But for now, both of these are available on your system so you can use the snipping tool to capture your screen as well. Follow the guide below to get you started.
How to use the snipping tool
The snipping tool can no longer be activated using keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11. You will now have to launch it from your apps from the Start menu or the Windows Search and then capture your screen using the Snipping tool. Use the guide below to get you started.
Press ‘Windows + S’ on your keyboard and search for the ‘Snipping Tool’.
Click and launch the app once it shows up in your search results. Now click on ‘New’ if you wish to make a rectangular screen capture.
If you wish to capture a window or a freeform shape, then click on ‘Mode’ and select your desired option.
Click and drag your mouse on the screen to capture a portion of it depending on the tool selected by you.
The capture will now be added to the Snipping tool and you can now edit and save it according to your preferences.
You can use the following tools below to your advantage in the Snipping Tool.
- Delay: This option will trigger a delayed screen capture after your set time. This can be quite useful if you wish to capture your screen after performing a few tasks. This feature can also be used to capture options that show up when hovering over a certain element in Windows 11.
- Save Snip: Click this icon to immediately save your current screen capture in the Snipping Tool.
- Copy: This option will help you copy your screen capture to your clipboard which can then be pasted in any compatible text field.
- Send Snip: You can use this option to easily share your screen capture with someone from within the Snipping tool.
- Pen: Click and select ‘Pen’ to add annotations to your screen capture. You can click the drop-down arrow to select one of the default presets for the pen tool. You can also click on ‘Customize’ to change each aspect of the pen according to your liking.
- Highlighter: Click and select this tool to highlight important aspects of your screen capture.
- Eraser: Made a mistake? Use the Eraser tool to get rid of any wrong annotations in your screen capture.
How to take a screenshot and upload it automatically on Imgur too
To do this, you will need to use third-party screen capturing software. We recommend you use ShareX, it is quite comprehensive, allows you to capture various forms of content and the ability to directly upload to Imgur is always welcome if you share a lot of images regularly. Download and install ShareX on your system using the link below and follow one of the guides depending on your current requirements for screen capturing.
- ShareX | Download Link
- Capture a specific area: Ctrl + Print Screen
- Capture entire screen: Print Screen
- Capture active window: Alt + Print Screen
- Start/Stop screen recording: Shift + Print Screen
- Start/Stop screen recording in GIF format: Ctrl + Shift + Print Screen
- You can create many more as you want
Note that ShareX will take over the shortcut keys from Windows, which is fine actually, but if you were copying screenshots to the clipboard as mentioned in Method #1 above, it won’t work anymore. Unless, of course, you change the shortcut combination in ShareX hotkey settings and use different keys.
Take a screenshot and directly upload it to Imgur
Launch ShareX on your system and click on ‘After Capture Tasks’ on your left.
Now click and select ‘Upload Image to host’.
Click on ‘Destinations’ on your left.
Now highlight ‘Image Uploader’ and select ‘Imgur’.
You can now capture your screen using ShareX and you should get a window confirming your upload. Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm your choice.
Once the upload is complete, you can access its shareable link by clicking on the notification you get or from the history section in ShareX.
You can use the keyboard shortcut ‘Shift + PrtSc’ to start screen recording using ShareX on your PC. You will get a notification sound indicating that the screen recording has been started. You can now carry on with your work and record your screen as desired. ShareX will now open up and prompt you to install ‘FFmpeg on your device. Click on ‘Yes’ to proceed with the installation.
Once the installation is complete, you will be able to screen record any active window by clicking and selecting it. Press the same key combination again to stop the current recording. Once the recording finishes, you will find it in the following directory.
Mp4 is not an ideal video-sharing format in today’s day and age if you are looking to save data. Instead, you can opt for GIFs which can not only help you save data but also time. ShareX allows you to easily screen record any window on your screen and then automatically saves it in the .GIF format. This can be quite useful if you screen record your workflow and share regular explainers with your colleagues or staff. To start recording your screen as a GIF, press ‘Ctrl+Shift+PrtSc’ on your keyboard.
Click and select the window you wish to record and ShareX should automatically start recording. Press the same key combination on your keyboard to stop recording. You can also click on ‘Stop’ in the bottom left corner of the window to stop the recording. Once stopped, you will find the GIF in the following default directory.
You can also use the OCR feature in ShareX to capture text from almost anywhere on the screen. This can be quite useful if you are looking to copy text from images, OS elements, or more. Sadly, by default, OCR does not have a dedicated hotkey and instead, you will need to use the taskbar icon to use it. Right-click the ShareX taskbar icon.
Select ‘Capture’ and click on ‘Text Capture (OCR)’.
Click and draw on an area where you wish to source the text.
ShareX will now automatically identify the text in the selected area and present it to you in a text editor.
This text can now be copied to your clipboard and can be pasted in any compatible text field.
You can easily capture your last region again in ShareX, The program gives you a dedicated option for the same. Follow the guide below to capture your last captured region using ShareX.
Right-click on the ShareX icon in your taskbar.
Select ‘Capture’ and click on ‘Last Region’.
And that’s it! Your last region will be automatically captured and stored in your default Screenshots folder location.
Windows 11 Screenshots: Tips to know
Here are some additional tips that may help you regarding taking screenshots on Windows 11.
Where is the PrtSc key
Well, this can be a bit tricky depending on the type of keyboard that you are using. You can use a section below relevant to your device to find the PrtSc key on your keyboard.
- Full-Sized Keyboards: It’s the easiest to find your PrtSc key on a full-sized keyboard. Look towards the top of your arrow keys near the ‘Delete’ key and you will find the PrtSC & SysRq key at the top beside the Scroll Lock key.
- Compact Keyboards: On most compact keyboard, you will find the PrtSC key located near your arrow keys at the bottom, usually wedged between your RAlt & RCtrl. If you do not find your PrtSc there, then it is likely wedged in the Fn key row or the Number key row.
- Laptops: This is the trickiest part. Each laptop has its own slightly different keyboard unless you opted for an industry-standard specifically. In most cases, you will find the PrtSc in the top right corner of your keyboard but if you do not, you will need to search the entire keyboard. In some cases, the PrtSc is clubbed with another key under a single keycap and you might be required to press the Fn key to activate it.
I can’t find the PrtSc key on my keyboard
Well, if you can’t find the PrtSc key on your keyboard then you will have to get in touch with your OEM. While it is highly unlikely that the key was omitted from your keyboard, there is a slight chance of this in case you opted for an extremely compact keyboard for your setup. In addition to this, many keyboards tend to club the PrtSC with another key so you might find it clubbed together with another key on your keyboard like scroll lock or more. Hence we recommend getting in touch with your OEM to find the PrtSc key on your specific model.
We hope this guide helped you learn about all the ways in which you can take a screenshot in Windows 11. If you face any issues or have any more questions for us, feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below.