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How to take a screenshot in Windows 10

See how to use the easy Snip & Sketch tool to take a screenshot in Windows 10, and learn about third-party screenshot apps.
How to take a screenshot in Windows 10

Taking a screenshot is something you will need to do sooner or later. Luckily, if you are running Windows 10, this process has been greatly simplified. In this article, you are going to learn:

  1. How to use Windows' snipping tool.
  2. How to take a screenshot of an active window.
  3. How to save a screenshot from the Windows clipboard.

There are also other screen capture apps that work well on Windows 10, one of which is detailed at the bottom of this article.

How to take a screenshot on Windows 10

The Windows Snipping Tool was the go-to program for easily taking screenshots in Windows 10. However, in the latest updates, it looks like the Snipping Tool has been retired!

Windows 10 Snipping Tool
Snipping Tool goes into retirement!

Snip & Sketch is replacing the Snipping Tool

Another app is replacing the Snipping Tool, called Snip & Sketch, and it works in a similar way. It is important to mention that it is even better than Snipping Tool. While it counts the same features, it even adds more. It only takes a couple of steps to take a screenshot with Snip & Sketch.

  1. Type Snip & Sketch into the Windows 10 search bar.
  2. Left-click on the search result to open the Snip & Sketch app.
    Navigate to Snip & Sketch App
    Snip & Sketch app
  3. Click on New in the toolbar at the top of the Snip & Sketch window.
    Taking a Screenshot with Snip & Sketch App
    Click on the button New
  4. Pick one of the three different types of screenshots.
    Snip & Sketch screenshot three options
    Select one of the three available options for your screenshot.
  5. Select the area that you want to screenshot by clicking and dragging a selection box.
    Selecting screenshot area
    Select the screenshot area.
  6. Click the Save button in the toolbar in Snip & Sketch to save the screenshot as an image.
    Click the save button Snip & Sketch
    Click the Save button.
  7. Name the image file and select file type (JPG, PNG or GIF). Click the Save button.
    Saving screenshot with Snip & Sketch Windows 10 tool
    Select the file type, enter the file name and save the screenshot.

As you can see, with just a few steps, you can easily take a screenshot using the new Snip & Sketch tool. Explore the extra functions that this tool offers to see how you can make drawings and add highlights to indicate important parts in the screenshot.

How to take a screenshot of an active window

While you can take a quick screenshot of the whole screen with the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Print screen, there is also a shortcut for taking a screenshot of just the active window. For example, if you are in File Explorer, you can take a quick image of just this window and not the entire screen. All you have to do is press Alt + Print Screen. Once you do that, the image will be saved to the clipboard.

How to save a screenshot from the clipboard

To save a screenshot that you have captured to the clipboard, you'll need to open an image app, such as Paint or 3D Paint, and paste the image into the app. Then you can save the image as a file.

  1. Enter Paint in the Windows search field to find the image app.
    Start Paint in Windows 10
    Open the Paint app in Windows 10.
  2. Paste the screenshot that you had saved to the clipboard into Paint by clicking on the Paste button in the top left of the toolbar.
    Paint Paste Screenshot
    Paste the screenshot in Paint.
  3. In the menu, click on File and then Save as to save the file.
    Save a Screenshot in Paint
    Save the screenshot as an image from the Paint app.

You can see how to take a screenshot on other versions of Windows in the official Microsoft support forum.

Screen capture apps for Windows 10

Often time, you want to do more than simply taking a screenshot. Screen capture apps provide more advanced features than saving an image of your screen. Apps like TechSmith's Snagit, provide extensive markup tools which let you add highlights, text, numbered elements, dialog boxes, and more. They also have tools to blur or white-out parts of the screenshots, crop and resize your screenshots, add stamps, arrows, stars, fill sections with color, or even automatically simplify entire images to get a nice mockup of your screen with no text. Snagit also lets you record videos of your screen - perfect for creating how-to videos when you need to explain something to a co-worker or family member. You can even save this as an animated gif!  

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