How To Take Screenshots on Windows

Have you ever wondered how to save a picture of your entire screen, or even part of your screen? In this post we will learn how to take screenshots on Windows computers.

We will go over the Print Screen button and how to use the Windows Snipping Tool.

We will also learn how to save them to your computer from your clipboard.

Print Screen

Print screen is a function key that exists on the upper right part of your keyboard.

When you push this button it will copy whatever you have on the screen to your clipboard. From your clipboard you will be able to save it.

Windows comes with programs such as Microsoft Paint, or Paint 3D. Either of those is a good program to paste the image into, and then to save it to your computer.

A Screenshot of MS Paint.

The Process

First open the windows that you want to screenshot. Then press the Print Screen button. The screenshot is now copied to your clipboard. The clipboard is in an invisible feature that holds onto whatever you have copied or cut, so you can paste it to another location.

You will then need to open a program for editing images on the computer (Microsoft Paint likely) and hit CTRL-V to paste the image into the program.

You may want to crop or edit the image. Once that is complete, click on File in the top right and then Save.

It is important to remember the program will offer to let you change the file type of the image you are saving.

A screenshot will be a PNG file type. Since a PNG file is typically a larger file than JPG (JPEG) file, you may want to switch to JPG to reduce the size.

Windows Snipping Tool

The Windows Snipping Tool is a similar process to taking a screenshot.

The main difference is that the Snipping Tool allows you to select the part of the screen you want to screenshot.

This allows you to essentially crop the image and cut out anything extraneous as you take the screenshot, without further editing.

File Explorer with the Windows Snipping Tool activated.

The Process

The first thing you must do to use the Snipping Tool is to hold down the Windows Key + Shift + S simultaneously.

You will then see the screen dim and look like the image above. The default tool is the rectangular snip option. This can be changed to either free form, window snip, or full screen snip.

Rectangular snip will allow you to screenshot anything based on where you drag the crosshair you see. With this snipping option you need to click in the top left of what you want to snip, and hold down the mouse button until while you drag to the bottom right of the desired area.

Free form snip will let you move the mouse without any format to snip whatever you want. This allows you to select non-rectangular areas.

Window snip will let you screenshot a specific window you have open, and Full Screen Snip functions the same as the print screen button.

Once you have snipped, open MS Paint and paste the image the same as you would when using print screen.

Next crop the image, if needed.

Finally name the image, choose the file type if necessary, and save.

A Snipping showing only the Hard Drive (HDD) from the image above.


Hopefully this post has helped you learn how to take screenshots on Windows computers. For additional help, have a look at the Windows Support Page.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you!
If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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