Author: Collins Okoth
Saturday, January 9, 2021

How to Take a Screenshot on a Widows Computer

Category: Windows 10

Taking screenshots has been a common necessity in recent years; it offers device users a unique way of sharing specific information on their screens. Screenshots have particularly been popular among mobile phone users; however, computer users may occasionally feel the need to take screenshots of their work for different reasons.

The process of taking a screenshot on a computer is different from taking screenshots on the phone. Similarly, there are various methods you can use to get a snapshot of the computer screen you are currently working on. For example, users have several different button combinations and software tools to help them take a screenshot on a Windows computer.

Microsoft has offered Windows OS users a wide range of options to choose from depending on their preference. Additionally, some are built-in software tools; some are third-party software tools that Windows users can also use to take screenshots or sections of their screens.

This article will look at the different ways to take a screenshot on a Windows 10 PC, using different keyboard combinations and software tools.

Different Ways of Taking a Screenshot on a Windows Computer

 Below are the ten unique ways you can use to take a screenshot of your Windows computer to share. Some approaches require several keyboard combinations, while others are straightforward.  However, some options offer more flexible options. For instance, you may need to take a snap of just a specific section of your laptop screen; this is a special case that cannot be achieved using the conventional methods of taking a screenshot on windows. So, here are some interesting techniques that you can use to capture that Windows 10 laptop screen.


  • Taking a Screenshot Using the Snipping Tool App on Windows 10

The Snipping Tool app is arguably the most versatile version of taking screenshots on the Windows 10 platform. It is an in-built software preinstalled on Windows 10 that allows users to take customized screenshots of their laptop screens. In addition, using this tool, you can choose to take screenshots of a specific region of interest, unlike most of the options available below.

Here is how you can use the snipping tool on Windows 10 to take screenshots.

To access the Snipping Tool software, press the Windows logo key on your keyboard and type “Snipping Tool ” to search for it. Once it show’s up in the search area, press Enter to launch the tool.  You should see this screen pop up;

How to Take a Screenshot on a Widows Computer

On the menu bar, the Snipping Tool offers a bunch of options. When you click on the "New" Tab, the screen will be blurred, and you will be able to drag your mouse to take a screenshot of a specific area on your entire screen. Once you do this, you will be prompted to save the snapshot or take a new one. Alternatively, using the mouse can be inefficient, so you can always place the cursor where you want to begin and use Shift and Direction Keys for the entire region you want to screenshot.

At the time of this writing, Microsoft says that they will stop supporting Snipping Tool in their next releases of Windows Operating systems; instead, they will be providing a new solution known as Snip & Sketch. This tool isn't necessarily replacing the Snipping tool but rather a rebranded version with additional features.

The Snipping Toolbar has other options too that allow you to tweak your screenshotting experience. The "Mode" option on the options bar enables Windows 10 users to choose a specific form of a screenshot that they desire. You can choose from three options; full screen, free-form shape, and rectangular screenshots.  The Delay tab allows you to set a delay time before the screenshot is taken. Finally, the cancel button will enable you to cancel the entire process.

  • Printing a Screen on Windows 10 using the PrintScreen Button

There are other simpler methods of taking screenshots on the Windows 10 platform. For example, depending on your laptop hardware, the keyboard buttons may be arranged or labeled differently. However, many laptops will have these options available.

You can print your screen by pressing the Print Screen/ "PrtScn" button on your keyboard. Windows will automatically take a screenshot of the entire laptop screen and save it on your clipboard by pressing on the button.

To get the screenshot, you can either paste it in on Microsoft Word or any other platform supporting images such as Paint. However, this option doesn't allow you to take screenshots of a specific part of the screen; it will enable the user to take the entire screen. Therefore it may not be appropriate if you are trying to omit sections of your screen from the snapshot. On other machines, with the Fn button, you may need to press a combination of the two buttons to get a screenshot, that is, Fn + PrtScn buttons.

  • Taking a Screenshot of the active Window

Sometimes, when working on your laptop, you may find yourself splitting screens to run different programs simultaneously. For instance, as I type this article on Google Docs, I have split my laptop's screen to write as I research other methods that I may not be familiar with; here's how my entire screen looks.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Widows Computer

You notice two split screens; although I am running Chrome browser on both screens, you can split your screen to run different programs on your computer.

Sometimes I may need to take a screenshot of the active window on my screen and leave out the inactive screen. You can achieve this by pressing the Alt + PrtScn button combination. To demonstrate this, I will switch my cursor to Google Page to make it the active Window, take a screenshot of it using the above keyboard combination. Remember, I have a split screen, but the command will only capture the active Window. Here is a screenshot of my active Window, captured using the Alt + PrtScn button combination.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Widows Computer

  • Taking a Screenshot of a Specific Section on WIndows 10

As earlier mentioned, there are different variations of taking a Screenshot on Windows 10. This method utilizes the new Microsoft Windows 10 feature called the Snip & Sketch. Snip & Sketch is much more versatile, allowing Windows 10 users to take screenshots of a specific portion of their screens in a much simpler way. To use this feature, just press the Windows logo key + Shift + S. You should press these buttons together to work. This keyboard combination will convert the pointed cursor to a drag cursor and dim the screen to carve out the specific portion of the screen you wish to screenshot.

  • Saving a Screenshot on Windows 10 Directly

Nearly all the methods described above involve saving the screenshot on the clipboard and later pasting it to your desired program. However, sometimes you may not want to go through all that process. Windows 10 offers a solution to this. You can take screenshots on your Windows laptop and save them directly as an image file on your machine without having to paste them.

To achieve this, you use the Windows logo key + PrtScn button. This keyboard combination will command the OS to take a screenshot of the entire screen, save it in the "Pictures" folder and "Screenshots" subfolder.

  • Using the Gaming Bar on Windows 10

The recent releases of Windows 10 saw an introduction of a new feature known as the Gaming Bar. This feature is majorly made for gamers since many gamers use Windows OS on their machines. You can take screenshots on your computer using the gaming bar. There are different ways of accessing the gaming bar on your Windows 10 computer. For instance, if you have an X- box controller connected, you need to press the X button at the gamepad controller's center to launch the Gaming bar. When using the keyboard, you can access the gaming bar by pressing on the Windows logo key + G. Once you fire up the gaming bar, you can take screenshots by clicking on the Camera icon at the top menu bar. You can also take screenshots by pressing on the Windows logo key + Alt + PrtScn keyboard combinations.

Unlike the Windows logo Key + PrtScn combination, this option saves the screenshots in the Videos folder, "Captures" subfolder.

The Snip & Sketch feature is the newest kid on the block. It is certainly more efficient and easy to access compared to the Snipping Tool.


All the above methods are described using Windows 10 inbuilt features. However, taking screenshots on Windows devices is not only limited to these inbuilt features. You can also take screenshots using several third-party or external solutions. For instance, you can use tools such as SnagIt, which is a premium solution. Others include Nimbus Screenshot, a free solution, Light Shot, and Green Shot, which are also free solutions for taking screenshots.

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