How to take screenshots with hotkeys in Windows 11 and 10

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Marie-Ange Demory
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You probably already know the PrintScreen key, but did you know that there are other faster keyboard shortcuts at your disposal?

Users often need to take screenshots in Windows for inclusion in documents and web pages or for troubleshooting purposes. There are a number of ways to take screenshots in Windows 11 and 10. You can take snapshots by pressing alternative Windows hotkeys. These are the different keyboard shortcuts for screen capture in Windows 11 and 10.


How to Take a Full Screen Desktop Screenshot (PrtSc)

PrtSc is the simplest Windows hotkey for taking screenshots. By pressing the key PrtSc in the top row of the keyboard a full screen screenshot is taken on the PC. The captured snapshot will include everything that is on screen at the time of capture.


The clipboard stores snapshots PrtSc so you can paste them into software packages. You can paste the captured images with the button PrtSc pressing the hotkey Ctrl + V. Then you can manually edit and save the pasted screenshot within the software.

How to take and save a full screen screenshot (Windows + PrtSc)

This keyboard shortcut is an extension of the hotkey PrtSc . Simultaneously pressing the keys Win + PrtSc automatically captures and saves a full screen screenshot on your PC. Therefore, you won't need to manually paste and save the captured snapshot if you hit that keyboard shortcut.

Images captured with this hotkey are saved in a Screenshots folder. To find and open the scanned images with that keyboard shortcut, click the File Explorer taskbar button in Windows 11. Then open the directory path C: Users [user folder name] PicturesScreenshots in Windows Explorer. You can open captured images from the Screenshots folder.



How to take a screenshot of an active window (Alt + PrtSc)

Taking snapshots with the key PrtSc it's not very flexible. Some users will only need to capture specific software windows within their screenshots. If so, they should manually crop unwanted parts of the captured screenshots by pressing PrtSc .

By pressing the key combination Alt + PrtSc it is a better way to take screenshots of active software windows. That hotkey only takes a screenshot of a currently selected (active) window. Excludes everything outside of an active window. The Windows 11 clipboard stores snapshots taken with this hotkey much like the PrtSc Basic .

How to take a screenshot of a Snipping Tool (Win + Shift + S)

The Snipping Tool is Windows 11's default screen capture utility for taking snapshots. Includes freeform, rectangular, full screen and active window screenshot options. Therefore, the Snipping Tool (otherwise Capture and Draw in Windows 10) provides more screenshot options.

You can quickly activate the Snipping Tool by pressing its keyboard shortcut Win + Shift + S. Pressing that hotkey in Windows 11 will open the Capture Toolbar shown directly below. There you can select one of the four Snipping Tool options to take a screenshot with it.

Screenshots captured with the Snipping Tool are stored on the clipboard. To view thumbnail previews for snapshots, press the hotkey Win + V. Then you can select a snapshot to paste from the clipboard history.

How to take a screenshot of the Game Bar (Win + Alt + PrtSc)

The Windows Game Bar is the most notable game feature in Windows 11 and 10. Pressing the key combination Win+G that bar opens.



Among them is a button Acquire which you can press to select Acquire screenshot e Start the registration options. You can take screenshots from both games and the Windows desktop by clicking Capture screenshots .

The Take screenshot option Game Bar also has a specific keyboard shortcut. You can press the hotkey Win + Alt + PrtSc to take a snapshot with that option without first manually opening the Game Bar. A notification saved from a screenshot will appear when you press that key combination.

The Game Bar automatically saves screenshots taken with it to the directory C: Users [user folder name] VideoCaptures . To open that folder, open the Game Bar and select Acquire . Then you can click Show all acquisitions to view a gallery of snapshots taken from there. Push the button Open in File Explorer in the Gallery window to view the folder.

How to set up hotkeys for custom screenshots with ShareX

Windows 11 does not include any built-in options to change the screenshot shortcut keys. However, you can set custom keyboard shortcuts for taking snapshots with ShareX, which we have crowned as one of the best screenshot apps for Windows.

ShareX packs 13 screenshots and recording options. You can customize hotkeys for ShareX capture options as follows.

  • Open the web page in your browser software.
  • click on Download on the ShareX page.
  • Push the button File Explorer on the taskbar. Then open the folder where you downloaded the ShareX installation wizard.
  • Double click on ShareX-13.7.0 -setup.exe to open the installer for ShareX.
  • Click the radio button I accept the agreement and select the option Come on .
  • To change the default installation path for the software, select the option Shop by Department and choose an alternate directory. click on NEXT to continue.
  • All additional link options will be selected by default. Click the buttons NEXT e Install to finish.
  • Next, select the options Start ShareX e end .
  • click on Hotkey settings in the ShareX window that opens.
  • You can change ShareX's default keyboard shortcuts from the hotkey settings window. To do this, click a hotkey for one of the listed options.
  • Then press an alternate key combination for the capture option
  • To add a keyboard shortcut for a capture option that is not listed, click the button Add .
  • Click on the drop-down menu Activity and select Screen capture
  • Then choose a capture option to set a hotkey for.
  • Click the button X (Close) in the task settings window.
  • Finally, click in the keyboard shortcut box for the added option and press a shortcut key for it.

Now close the ShareX window and try the new keyboard shortcuts for custom screenshots. After taking snapshots with those hotkeys, you can further tweak them with ShareX's editing options. To do this, double-click the ShareX icon in the system tray. Then right-click on a screenshot thumbnail and select Edit image .



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