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How to screenshot on Windows 10

Windows 10
(Image credit: Charnsitr/Shutterstock)

Knowing how to screenshot on Windows 10 — capturing an image of your screen — is one of the most useful tools for any PC user. 

Whether you need a screenshot to share with a work colleague or just to capture something you’ve spotted online, once you know how to do it you’ll be snapping screengrabs frequently.

Thankfully, performing a screenshot on Windows 10 is a super easy process, and can be done with a single button press on most PCs and laptops. 

Windows 10 also gives you a load of options when it comes to screenshotting your PC display. Not only can you easily screenshot your entire screen, but you can also capture just your active window or even just a small portion of the screen with just a simple keyboard shortcut. 

Here’s the easiest way to screenshot on Windows 10. If you're running Windows 11, the steps are similar.

How to screenshot on Windows 10: Whole screen 

How to screenshot windows 10 - whole screen

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to capture an image of your entire PC or laptop screen, this is how you do it:  

  1. Press the PrtScn key (you may need to hold shift or function). The PrtSc key, which is short for print screen, is usually located on the top row of your keyboard. 
  2. Click Ctrl+V to paste image. You can now paste your image into a supported program such as Word, Google Docs or PhotoShop.

It’s that simple to take a screenshot on Windows 10 — just look for the Print Screen key and you can’t go wrong. 

On some keyboards, you’ll need to hold down the Function key (usually labeled Fn) while also pressing Print Screen. 

Of course, you won’t always want an image of your entire screen, but snapping just a portion of your screen is super easy as well. 

How to screenshot on Windows 10: Single window only 

How to screenshot on Windows 10 - single window only

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to solely screenshot a single window of your PC or laptop screen, this is how you do it: 

  1. Open the window in question.
  2. Press Alt+PrtScn.
  3. Paste image using Ctrl+V. Your screenshot is now copied to your clipboard, just paste it when you need it. 

Capturing just a single active window is likely to be the most common type of screenshot you take. After all, if you want to share a screengrab with a work colleague you likely don’t need them to see your toolbar and computer’s clock.  

How to screenshot on Windows 10: Portion of the screen 

How to screenshot on Windows 10 - portion of the screen

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to just screenshot a portion of your screen, this is how you do it:  

  1. Press Windows+Shift+S. The Windows key is typically found on the bottom row of a keyboard and is labeled with the Windows logo.
  2. Drag box over the area you wish to screenshot. After pressing the three keys simultaneously, the screen will dim and you’ll be able to drag a box over the specific area of the screen you wish to capture. 
  3. Paste image with Ctrl+V. Now you have your screenshot, just paste it whenever you require it. 

How to screenshot on Windows 10: Autosave screenshot to Pictures folder 

How to screenshot on Windows 10 - single window only

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you’re taking a screenshot that you’ll need later, you might not be ready to paste it the minute you’ve taken the capture. In that case, you’ll want it saved into a folder on your PC. 

Thankfully this process is extremely simple, and only requires a slight modification to how you usually take a screenshot:

  1. Press Windows key+PrtScn. Your screen should turn dark for a moment to confirm.
  2. Check the Pictures folder. Open up your PC files and find the Pictures tab, you should now have a new subfolder labeled ‘Screenshots’, you’ll find your image there.
  3. Copy image with Ctrl+C or save for later. The images in the ‘Screenshots’ folder can be copied to your clipboard, or you can save them for later. They can also be added to things like emails as attachments. 

How to screenshot on Windows 10: Edit screenshots with Snipping Tool 

How to screenshot on Windows 10 - edit screenshots with snipping tool

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to take a screenshot of your PC screen, but then need to edit the image to add annotation or highlight something within the capture, the Snipping Tool makes this super easy. 

You don’t need fancy image editing software, you just need to take a screenshot using the steps below. 

  1. Open the Start Menu. 
  2. Type "Snipping."
  3. Select Snipping Tool.
  4. Select what type of screenshot you want from the Mode menu. When you click the ‘Mode’ button on the Snipping Tool you will get a drop-down menu that lets you select various different types from screenshots, from full-screen to just a selected portion.
  5. Click new. This will take your screenshot, or if you’ve opted to just capture a highlight position of the screen will allow you to select a part of the screen using a simple box tool. 
  6. Edit image. The editing options on the Snipping Tool are pretty straightforward and will allow you to add virtual pen marks to the image, and you can even export the image to Paint 3D if you want more editing tools. 
  7. Click File, then Save As. This will let you select where in your PC you want to save your screenshot, or if you just want the image copied to your clipboard select the button that looks like two pieces of lined paper on top of each other.  

Note: Want an easy way to open the Snipping Tool? Simply press the Windows key, shift key, and S key together.

More Windows 10 tips

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Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.