In the contemporary digital era, capturing screenshots has evolved into an essential task for our daily computing requirements. Whether you’re working, studying, or just browsing the web, there will always be instances where you need to capture and share what’s on your screen. This could be for creating a guide, reporting a problem, saving a receipt, sharing a snippet of an interesting article, or a myriad of other reasons.

On Windows 10, Microsoft has made the process of capturing screenshots remarkably simple and user-friendly. The operating systems come pre-loaded with a suite of built-in tools designed for this very purpose, saving users the hassle of downloading third-party software. The flexibility and convenience offered by these tools cater to a wide array of needs, from capturing the entire screen or a specific window to freeform or rectangular snips.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the different ways you can take screenshots on Windows 10. We’ll discuss the various built-in tools at your disposal, how to use them, and the unique features they offer.

Understanding Screenshots

Screenshots serve as a visual representation of the information displayed on your computer screen. They are essential in many scenarios, from providing proof of a software glitch to creating tutorials and user guides.

You might take screenshots for a variety of reasons, like sharing a funny meme with your friends, documenting a bug for tech support, or even keeping a record of online transactions. Regardless of the purpose, knowing how to capture your screen is a useful skill.

Screenshot Tools on Windows 10

Taking screenshots on Windows 10 is a relatively simple task, thanks to a plethora of built-in tools designed to make the process straightforward. There are three primary tools that come preloaded on every Windows 10 operating system: the Snipping Tool, Snip & Sketch, and the Print Screen (PrtScn) key.

1: Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a convenient utility tool provided by Microsoft that offers a range of flexible screenshot capabilities. This tool has been a part of the Windows family for years and continues to be a reliable method of capturing screenshots on Windows 10.

Step 1: Access the Snipping Tool by searching for it in the Start menu or via the search bar next to the Start button.

Step 2: Upon launching the Snipping Tool, select the “Mode” button to pick the desired snip type. The available options include Free-form, Rectangular, Window, or Full-screen Snip.

Step 3: Click the “New” button to start the snip. If you choose Free-form or Rectangular Snip, your cursor will change to a crosshair. Drag the crosshair across the region you wish to capture.

Step 4: If you opted for Window Snip, click on the specific window that you intend to capture. For a Full-screen Snip, the screenshot is automatically taken once you click “New.”

Step 5: After taking the snip, it appears in a new window. Here, you can annotate the screenshot using the Pen or Highlighter tools or erase the annotations using the Eraser tool. You can also choose to save, copy, or share the snip.

2: Snip & Sketch

Snip & Sketch is the newer, more modern version of the Snipping Tool. It was introduced in the October 2018 Update of Windows 10 and is intended to eventually replace the Snipping Tool. Snip & Sketch combines the screenshot-capturing features of the Snipping Tool with additional sketching and editing options.

Step 1: Press the combination of the Windows Key, Shift, and S to launch Snip & Sketch. Your screen will dim, and a small toolbar will emerge at the top.

Step 2: Pick the desired snip type by selecting either Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip.

Step 3: If you opted for Rectangular or Freeform Snip, click and drag to outline the area you wish to capture. In the case of Window Snip, click on the specific window you intend to capture. Full-screen Snip captures the entire screen instantly.

Step 4: The snip is automatically copied to your clipboard. You can insert the captured image into an image editor, a document, or any other platform that supports image pasting.

Step 5: To annotate or edit the snip, click on the notification that pops up after you capture the snip. This opens the snip in the Snip & Sketch app, where you can use the Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, Highlighter, and Eraser tools to annotate your screenshot.

3: Print Screen (PrtScn) Key

The Print Screen key, often labeled as “PrtScn” on the keyboard, is the classic method of taking a screenshot in Windows. It’s been around since the early days of Windows and is still a popular choice due to its simplicity and efficiency.

Step 1: To take a screenshot of the entire screen, press the PrtScn key. This action will take a picture of the entire screen and copy it to the clipboard.

Step 2: Open an image-editing software, word processor, or other program that supports image pasting, and press Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot.

Step 3: If you prefer to directly capture and save a screenshot as a file without the need to paste it elsewhere, press the combination of the Windows Key and PrtScn. This action will automatically store the screenshot to the “Screenshots” folder in your “Pictures” library.


Taking screenshots is a crucial aspect of our digital lives. Whether you’re compiling information for a presentation, reporting a software issue, or just want to share something interesting with your friends, having the ability to capture what’s on your screen is invaluable.

Microsoft understands this need and has made the process of taking screenshots in Windows 10 intuitive, efficient, and flexible. The operating system is equipped with a variety of built-in tools designed to cater to all kinds of screenshot requirements. These tools, including the Snipping Tool, Snip & Sketch, and the Print Screen key, provide the flexibility to capture the entire screen, a specific window, or a free-form area, depending on your needs.