How to Take a Screenshot on HP Laptop

A Screenshot is one of those invaluable handy little features in Windows which allows us to capture the screen information. Perhaps you want to save a Twitter feed of a celebrity and post it in a sub-Reddit. Maybe a tech support person asks you to send screen info to resolve your technical issue.

There are several ways to take a screenshot on your HP laptop. In this how-to guide, we will give you step-by-step instructions on different ways you can capture your screen on your Windows computer.

Take a Screenshot of the entire screen

This is the easiest method in taking a screenshot. Only a few keystrokes and Voilà!, you have a screen capture.

Step 1. Navigate your keyboard to find the PrtScn key. PrtScn or PrtSc, which are short for Print Screen, is located along the top row keys and after the function (F1 through F12) keys.

Windows 10 Keyboard Layout
Typical PC Keyboard Layout

Hit the PrtScn key. Windows will capture the entire screen and copy it to the clipboard.

Step 2. To use the captured image, you can paste it online or in an application. Hold down the Ctrl key and press V to paste a screenshot in a browser or application window.

Capture a Single Window Snapshot

In Windows, you can capture a screenshot of an active window instead of the entire screen. This feature is beneficial when you may not want to share or display unnecessary information, privacy reason or otherwise.

Step 1. Hold down the Alt key and press PrtScn. There are usually two Alt keys on a typical keyboard. You can locate the Alt keys on the bottom and either side of the Spacebar key. Microsoft Windows will take a shot of the window you are currently working and copy it to the clipboard.

Step 2. If you want to use the screenshot, you can paste it online or in an application. To do so, hold down the Ctrl key and hit V.

Take a Shot of a specific area on the screen

Sometimes we want to capture a partial area within an application window. Windows has an answer for that as well.

Step 1. Hold down the Windows (⊞) key, the Shift key, and hit S. The entire screen gets translucent or foggy, and the mouse pointer is transformed into a + sign.

Step 2. Left click your mouse, and drag it over the region you want to capture. The selected area will be non-translucent. Once done, let go of the button. Windows will copy the selected area to the clipboard.

If you want to cancel the screen capture operation, just hit the Esc key on the top left of your keyboard.

Windows Screenshot Translucent Screen
Windows Screenshot Translucent Screen

Step 3. To transfer the screenshot to an application or an online page, hold down the Ctrl key and press V.

Edit a screenshot and save with MS Paint

We can use the MS Paint application to save the captured screen image. MS Paint is a powerful tool to edit a picture file.

Step 1. Take a screenshot by utilizing any of the methods detailed above.

Step 2. Open the MS Paint program. You can press the Windows (⊞) key, type “paint,” and click Paint from the search result. Alternatively, you can naviate the Recently added program list from the start menu by hitting the Windows key. MS Paint is found under Windows Accessories.

MS Paint from Start Menu
MS Paint from Start Menu

Step 3. To paste the captured screenshot in MS Paint window, hold down the Ctrl key and press V. Alternatively, you can click the Paste icon on the toolbar.

Step 4. There are many tools to choose from within the MicroSoft Paint. You can crop, resize, or rotate the captured screen image. Furthermore, you can add text, draw a sketch, change color, or even pick a color from within a screenshot field and apply it to other parts in the image.

MS Paint Tool benefits
MS Paint Tool

Step 5. To save your file in MS Paint, click the Save icon on the top-left above the menu bar. Alternatively, you can hold down the Ctrl key and press S.

Screenshot and Save it in a file in one step

Sometimes, you just want to capture the entire screen and have it automatically saved in a picture file. For instance, if the help desk asks you to send the screenshot of your computer as an attachment in an email, you can use this method and have a screen capture file ready for export in just a few keystrokes.

Step 1. Press the Windows (⊞) key and without letting go of the key, hit the PrtScn key. You will notice a brief camera shot effect while the Windows takes the screenshot and saves the screen capture to a file.

The file is saved in the Screenshots folder which is inside the Pictures folder. The captured files are saved with “Screenshot (x).PNG” filename format, where ‘x’ is an integer number starting from 1.

To locate the Screenshots folder, click the Windows (⊞) key, type “screenshots,” and select Screenshots folder from the search list.

Microsoft Windows Screenshots Folder
Microsoft Windows Screenshots Folder

Reset Screenshot Filename Index

Windows does not automatically reset the screenshot filename index. For example, you empty the Screenshots folder, and take a new screen capture, the new filename will continue with the next iteration of the number. To reset the filename back to “Screenshot (1).PNG,” you can follow the steps below. You can also change the filename index to begin from a random number.

Screenshot filenames
Screenshot filenames

Step 1. Hold down the Windows (⊞) key and press R to open the Run window. Type “regedit” to execute Registry Editor system tool.

Windows Registry Editor
Windows Registry Editor

Step 2. On the Regisry Editor folder column on the left, click the folder names in the following order.

Windows Registry Edit Menus
Windows Registry Edit Menus

Step 3. Under the Name column, find ScreenshotIndex, and double click it.

Windows Registry Editor Window
Windows Registry Editor Screenshots

Step 4. In the Edit DWORD window, You will find the next integer number for the screenshot filename in the Value data field.

Windows Registry Editor Screenshots DWORD
Windows Registry Editor DWORD Window

By default, Windows use Hexadecimal or Base-16 number for the Screenshot filenames. If you’d like to change it to a Decimal value, click the radio button next to Decimal. You can reset the filename number field back to 1 or specify a different number. Tap OK to complete.

To remove any ambiguity with the duplicate filenames, Windows skips the numbers already used in the filenames present in the Screenshots folder.

Capture a single Window and Save it in a file in one go

We can screen capture an active window and have Windows save it automatically in a pic file. We can use this method to avoid any unnecessary info in other windows being captured.

Step 1. Hold the Alt key and the Windows (⊞) key, and then tap the PrtScn key.

Windows will instantly save the captured shot of the active window in a PNG file inside the Captures folder. The Captures folder is inside the Videos folder.

To locate the Captures folder, click the Windows (⊞) key, type “captures,” and select Captures folder from the search list.

Windows will automatically name the captured files by utilizing the active application name along with the date and time the screenshot was taken.

Windows Screenshot a Single Window and Save at Once
Screenshot a Window and Save in one step

Difference between Screenshot & Save the entire screen and just an Active Window

Screenshot & Save the entire Screen

  • Captures the entire screen
  • Filenames are of “Screenshot (x)” format
  • Will take a screenshot of any window, including the File Explorer
Screenshot & Save a Single Window

  • Takes a shot of a single active window
  • Filenames are constructed with the active window application name along with the date and time of screenshot
  • Does not take a screenshot of the File Explorer window

Use Windows Ink Screen Sketch Workspace

Not many people know about this convenient tool that’s included with Windows. We can take a screenshot of the entire screen and edit using the Screen Sketch within the Windows Ink.

Step 1. Hold down the Windows (⊞) key and press W.

Step 2. Windows Ink Workspace window will appear on the right side. You can see a thumbnail of the screen captured as the background for Screen Sketch. Click anywhere on the thumbnail.

Windows Ink Screen Sketch
Windows Ink Screen Sketch

Step 3. Screen Sketch window will open with the captured screen. You can edit the image using the tools on the top right of the window. Among the tools are Ballpoint-pen, Pencil, Highlighter, Ruler, Protractor, and Eraser. Furthermore, you can crop an area, save, or share the file.

Windows Ink Screen Sketch Toolbar
Windows Ink Screen Sketch Toolbar

Step 4. Once you are satisfied with the screenshot, Click Save As from the Toolbar to save it in a file.

Use Microsoft Snipping Tool to save a Screen Area

Microsoft has a preinstalled all-in-one tool for taking a screenshot. MS Snipping tool is easy and intuitive to use. You are not limited to the rectangular screen capture when using this little program. Furthermore, you can draw a figure or text, and highlight or erase a screen area.

Step 1. Press the Windows (⊞) key. Type “snipping tool and select Snipping Tool from the search list.

Search MS Snipping Tool
Search MS Snipping Tool

Step 2. The default mode is Rectangular Snip. If you want to screen capture using a different mode, click Mode, and select a mode from the drop-down list. Hit New when ready.

Four Modes of Snipping Tool

Free-form Snip
Rectangular Snip
Window Snip
Full-screen Snip
Use this mode to capture any part of any shape on the screenCapture any rectangular screen areaTake a screenshot of a single windowCapture the entire screen

Alternatively, you can hold the Alt key and press M to get to the snipping mode. Use the Up or Down arrow keys to select a mode, and hit the Enter key.
MS Snipping Tool Modes
MS Snipping Tool Modes

Step 3. Except for the Full-screen Snip, you get to choose the screen area or application window to capture. The screen will turn translucent and you can select a screen area with your mouse. When you let go of the left mouse button, the Snipping Tool window is opened with the captured screen area.

MS Snipping Tool Window
MS Snipping Tool Window

You can edit the captured screen image within the Snipping Tool Window. Besides, you can use the Pen Tool to draw a sketch or text. Similarly, you can erase any area you don’t like or highlight an important part using the respective tools on the toolbar.

MS Snipping Tool Menu Options
MS Snipping Tool Menu Options

If you need more tools to edit the screen capture, then you can click Edit with Paint 3D icon on the toolbar. MS Paint 3D program will open with your working screenshot file. You can do a lot more editing with the Paint program.

Step 4. Once satisfied with the editing of a screenshot, you can save it in a file by clicking the save icon on the menu bar. Alternatively, you can click File on the menu bar and select Save As. Windows shortcut to save a document is pressing Ctrl and S keys. Choose the destination folder to save the file and click Save.

Lightshot Addon Tool for Screenshots

Lightshot is a nice little third-party addon tool to take and edit screenshots.

Step 1. Download and install Lightshot program on your computer.

Step 2. Press the PRT SCN key on your keyboard. With Lightshot installed, your computer screen will go dim.

Windows 10 Keyboard Layout
Print Screen Key

Step 3. Now click and drag the cursor to select a screen area using the left mouse button.
Lightshot Select Screen Area to Screenshot
Select Screen Area to Screenshot

Step 4. You will find some editing tools on the right side of the selected screen window. You can add text, use pen tool, highlight with a marker tool, change color, and draw line, arrow, or rectangle.

On the bottom right side, there are options like Save, Copy, Print, Share, Cloud Storage, and Close Lightshot.
Lightshot Tools and File Menu
Lightshot Tools and File Menu

Step 5. To save the screenshot, select Save from the file menu. Alternatively, you can hold down the Ctrl key and press S. Locate the destination folder and hit Save.

Screenshotting with ShareX Application

ShareX is a more versatile 3rd party desktop application. It can capture still screenshots as well as a video or GIF of a screen area.

Step 1. Download and install ShareX program on your computer.

Step 2. Open the ShareX application. You have several screen capture options to choose from. Click Capture to select the screenshot sub-menu.

ShareX Screenshot Capture Sub Menu
ShareX Screenshot Capture Sub Menu

ShareX Screen Capture Options

Region Transparent
Takes the screenshot of the entire screen. If you have multiple monitors, then it will capture all the screens at once.Captures a single window. Select the desired application name to take a shot of the application window.If you have multiple monitors, then it will let you choose a monitor to capture.Captures a screen area that you select. You can choose rectangle, eclipse, or freehand to select the screen area. The Region Light option only allow the rectangle screen area capture. Takes a shot of a selected area and makes the other part transparent.

Step 3. After you select a capture option, ShareX will take a shot. You hear a camera shutter sound. You can find the screenshot files saved in the file explorer within the program. By default, files are uploaded to IMGUR image upload site as an anonymous user. ShareX allows many other cloud storage options to save your work online.

Disable Upload in ShareX

If you do not like your screenshot files to be saved online automatically, you can disable upload in ShareX.

  1. Click Application Settings from the left menu column.
  2. Select Advanced. Scroll down to find DisableUpload option. Change it to True.

ShareX Disable Auto Upload
ShareX Disable Auto Upload

With Auto Upload disabled, screenshot files are save in your local computer.


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