There are numerous methods for taking a screenshot in Windows 11. However, most people never look beyond the basic Print Screen options.
For example, did you know that Windows includes a great tool called Snip & Sketch? It allows you to take more professional-looking screenshots. You can also add annotations to your screenshots and edit them with the Snip & Sketch image editor. You can access this tool by pressing “Windows + Shift + S.”
In this article, we will discuss this tool, among others.
How to Take A Screenshot on Windows 11
Print Screen and Paste
The first and the most popular way of taking screenshots on Windows 11 is by using the Print Screen key. You will find the Print Screen key (usually labeled PrtScr or something similar) at the top right-hand side of your keyboard.
Follow these steps to take a screenshot:
- Press the Print Screen key(Prt Scr). This will take a snapshot of the entire screen and save it to the clipboard.
- Open MS Paint (or any image editing tool of your choice). Paste the screenshot you took from the clipboard (pressing Ctrl+V). You can also paste the screenshot elsewhere directly (Messaging App, Word etc.).
- Crop the image as needed. (In MS Paint, you could use the Select tool to select a portion of the screen you want to save. Simply select a portion and press Ctrl+C. Then open a new file and press Ctrl+V to paste the selection.)
- Save the file.
While the use of Print Screen and paste may be the most popular way of taking screenshots, it isn’t the most convenient. Windows 11 offers some more convenient ways of doing this.
Windows + Print Screen
If you don’t need to crop the screenshot after you’ve taken it, there is a much more easier way to go about this.
Pressing Windows + Print Screen will directly save your screenshot as an image file in the Screenshots folder of the Pictures directory in Windows.
Alt + Print Screen
If you don’t need a screenshot of the entire screen and you’re just looking to take a screenshot of the active Window, there is an easy way to do this.
Pressing Alt + Print Screen will take a screenshot of the active window and save it to the clipboard. You will then need to open MS Paint (or any image editing tool of your choice, paste the shot and save the file as before.
Saving Screenshots Automatically to OneDrive
If you’re looking to use, view or share the screenshots you take across multiple devices, then Windows 11 offers the option to save your screenshots automatically to OneDrive. OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage platform that lets you save your files and view them on any device.
To automatically save your Screenshots to OneDrive, follow these steps:
- Click on the little cloud icon for OneDrive on the right hand corner of the taskbar. Click on Help & Settings > Settings.
- In the Microsoft OneDrive window that opens, click on the Backup tab.
- Under Screenshots, check the box next to “Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive”.
- Click OK.
Now, you can either use Print Screen to automatically save a screenshot of the entire screen to OneDrive, or Alt + Print Screen to save a screenshot of the active window.
Snip & Sketch Tool
Windows 11 comes with a great built-in screenshot-taking tool called Snip & Sketch. With this tool, you can take screenshots in four different forms: Rectangular, Free-form, Window and Full-Screen.
The Rectangular mode lets you drag your mouse across a rectangular section of the screen that you want to capture. The Free-form mode lets you select any free-hand section of the screen. The Window mode lets you select a particular window and crops everything outside it. Finally, the Full-screen mode takes a screenshot of the entire screen.`
To use the Snip & Sketch Tool, follow these steps:
- Activate the Snip Tool, by pressing Windows + Shift + S.
- Select the appropriate mode and use your mouse to capture the screenshot.
- Rectangular Mode
- Rectangular Mode
- Once the screenshot is captured and saved to the clipboard, a little notification box appears on the bottom right corner of the screen. If you click on this notification, it will open the Snip & Sketch editor.
- You can use the Snip & Sketch editor to annotate, highlight or doodle over the screenshot you captured.
If you like the Snip & Sketch tool, you can also set the Print Screen key to activate the Screen snipping tool by default. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click on Start, type Settings and click on it.
- In Settings, find and select Accessibility from the menu on the left hand side.
- In Accessibility, scroll down to find and select Keyboard.
- In Accessibility>Keyboard, scroll down to the On-screen keyboard, access keys and Print screen section. Toggle on “Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping”.
Game Bar to Take a Video of the Screen
Another built-in Windows 11 feature that can be used to take screenshots is the Game Bar. While the screenshot feature of the Game bar is pretty basic, the cooler feature it offers is the option to take a video of the screen.
To use the Game Bar to take screenshots/videos, follow these steps:
- Activate the Game Bar by pressing Windows + G.
- You will find a box labeled Capture on the top left corner of the screen.
- If you press the Camera icon, it will take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it to the clipboard (kind of like pressing Print Screen).
- If you press the Record button, it will start recording a video of the screen. If you press the microphone button next to it, it will start recording the audio too. Alternatively, you could directly press Windows + Alt + R to start recording a video of the screen without activating the Game Bar.
The screenshots and the videos are automatically saved to the Gallery. You can access them by clicking “Show all captures”.
Free Third-Party Application: LightShot
We’ve looked at all the native ways you can take a screenshot on Windows 11. Now, let us look at how you can take a screenshot on Windows 11 using a free third-party application called LightShot.
Follow these steps to install LightShot:
- Download LightShot from its official website.
- Open the setup file and give it the necessary permissions.
- Choose English as the language and click OK.
- Select “I accept the agreement” and click on Next.
- Once the installation is complete, click Finish. This should also automatically launch LightShot in your computer. Check for the LightShot logo at the right corner of the taskbar.
Once the application is installed, follow these steps to take screenshots:
- Make sure LightShot is running.
- Press Print Screen(Prt Scr). The screen will dim. While pressing the left mouse button, drag it across the screen. LightShot will present you with several options in two different toolbars: a vertical one with 8 options and a horizontal one with 7 options.
- The first option on the vertical toolbar is the pen tool. The pen tool lets you scribble or doodle in the screenshot area. The thickness of the pen can be changed using the mouse wheel.
- The second option on the vertical toolbar is the line tool. You can use this option to draw a straight line within the selected screenshot area. You can also change the thickness of the line using the mouse wheel.
- The third tool on the vertical toolbar is the arrow tool. This tool can be used to draw arrows within the selected area. You can change the thickness of the arrows using the mouse wheel.
- The fourth tool on the vertical toolbar is the Rectangle tool. You can use it to draw a rectangle within the selected area. The thickness of the rectangle can also be changed using the mouse wheel.
- The fifth tool on the vertical toolbar is the Marker tool. You can use it to highlight the necessary portions of the selected area. The size of the market can be changed using the mouse wheel.
- The sixth tool on the vertical toolbar is the Text tool. You can use it to write something inside the selected area. The size of the text can be changed using the mouse wheel.
- The seventh and eight tool on the vertical toolbar are the Color and Undo options. You can use the color option to change the color of your pen, line, arrow, rectangle, marker or text. The undo tool lets you revert the changes you’ve made.
- The first option on the horizontal toolbar lets you upload your screenshot to prntscr.com. It generates a link that you can share with anyone or open on any other device. This way you can easily share your screenshots.
- The other six options let you share your screenshot on social media (Twitter, Facebook, VK or Pinterest), search for similar images on Google, print the screenshot, copy the screenshot to the clipboard, save the screenshot as an image file or cancel the screenshot respectively. Alternatively you can press Ctrl + C to copy the screenshot to the clipboard.