How to take a screenshot on Windows

How to take a screenshot on Windows

Last updated: August 30, 2018 

Do you need to take a screenshot on Windows? Screenshots are handy for a variety of reasons. They also go by many names. When someone refers to a screen grab, screen capture, screen dump, print screen or screen shot (two words), they are mostly likely referring to a screenshot. A screenshot is usually an image taken of the content that is displaying on your computer monitor at a moment in time. Windows allows you to easily take a screenshot of what is displaying on your full computer screen, or of just an active window. Often times, personal information is displaying somewhere on your screen. As such, exercise caution when taking and sharing a full Windows screenshot.

To take a screenshot on Windows, follow the steps below.

1. Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard.  Depending on your keyboard’s age and manufacturer, this key may say PrtSc or PrtScn.

screenshot on Windows

However, if you only want to take a screenshot of your window in focus, which is to say the active window on top of all of your other windows, press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard before pressing Print Screen.

screenshot on Windows

The screenshot is now copied to your computer’s clipboard.  To retrieve the screenshot from your clipboard, you need to paste it into another application.  A common tool for this purpose is Paint, which is a free accessory included with your Windows operating system.

2. Open the Paint program on your computer. Search for Paint, and then click Paint in the search results.

screenshot on windows

In Windows 8, click the Search icon on the Start page, input Paint, and click Paint in the search results.

3. Paste the screenshot into Paint by right-clicking on the canvas area, and selecting Paste from the right-click menu (or use the keyboard command for paste, CTRL+V). Your screenshot will be pasted onto the canvas.  Because the screenshot is copied to your clipboard, you can also paste it into other programs like Microsoft Word or into an email.

4. To save your screenshot, click on File menu, then select Save.  Type in a file name, choose to save the screenshot to a location on your computer where you can find it, then click the Save button.

Also see:  How to take a screenshot on your Mac

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