The 5 Best Ways to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

A Microsoft Surface on a dark surface. Text reads, How to take screenshots in Windows 10.

When a screencast is overkill and a GIF is just too much trouble, the humble screenshot is exactly what you need. Whether you are reporting bugs, capturing evidence, or creating tutorials, the ability to take screenshots is a valuable skill to have. In this post, I am going to show you five ways to take screenshots in Windows 10.

1. Print Screen

This one is almost as old as time itself, but it still confuses people because pressing the Print Screen key only copies a screenshot to your clipboard. It doesn’t create an image file. In order to use the screenshot you capture with the Print Screen key, you need to paste it into something like an email or a Word doc.

2. Windows Key + Print Screen

If you add an extra key, you can turn the Print Screen output into an image file that you can save for later or share with others. Simply press the Windows key and then the Print Screen key and you will see your screen flash briefly as it captures your screenshot. Next, open your Pictures library and you will find a folder called Screenshots. Inside that folder is every screenshot that you capture using the Win + Prnt Scr key combo.

Screenshot of the screenshot folder in Windows 10 Picture library
Screenshots can be automatically saved to your Pictures library in Windows 10

3. The Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool was first introduced in Windows 7, but it’s still there in Windows 10. You can find it by clicking the Start button and searching for the Snipping Tool. The main advantage of this option is the ability to select from a variety of different screenshot modes. With the Snipping Tool you can capture your entire screen, capture a window, make a rectangular selection, or make a free form selection. If you like the Snipping Tool, make sure you pin it to your taskbar for easy access.

4. Windows Key + Shift + S

When Microsoft launched Windows 10, they built screenshot capabilities into the operating system without the need to invoke apps like the Snipping Tool. All you need to do is press the Windows key + Shift + S and you can quickly take a screenshot on your computer. This launches a utility that lets you capture a full screen screen capture, a free form capture or a rectangular selection. Best of all, once you have made your selection, you get a raft of annotation tools to help you markup your screenshot.

The markup editor for screenshots in Windows 10
Annotate screenshots with Snip & Sketch in Windows 10

5. Browser Extensions

There are lots of great browser extensions that you can employ when making screenshots on the web, (including one that is built-in to Firefox), but one I come back to more often than others is Nimbus Capture. It is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. You can even add it to the new Microsoft Edge if you know how to install Chrome extensions in Edge. Nimbus Capture lets you take screenshots quickly from the comfort of your browser and includes annotation tools to mark up your image.

Bonus tool: Snagit

If you take a lot of screenshots, and you value the annotation tools for marking up your images, you should absolutely take a look at Snagit. It gives you more options that any other screenshot app I have tried, and although I don’t use all of the features all of the time, it is sure nice to have them when I want them. TechSmith offer educational discounts for Snagit for full-time students, faculty, staff and employees of accredited non-profit educational institutions. This takes $20 off the retail price, so if you are interested get your discount here.

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