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How To Install or Enable the Windows Vista Snipping Tool

Windows Vista Once Installed / Enabled the Vista Snipping Tool Install Vista Snipping tool is a great free application bundled with Windows Vista and Windows 7.  It’s easy to install or enable.  The Snipping Tool is a great for taking screen shots or “snips” and then annotate, save or share/email the image or snapshots of your screen.  Just follow these simple steps to enable it:

Enable or Install Windows Vista Snipping Toolgroo


Step 1: Click the Windows Start Button and click Control Panel

Enable or Install Windows Vista Snipping Tool

Step 2: Click Programs icon

Enable or Install Windows Vista Snipping Tool


Step 3: Click Turn Windows features on or off as highlighted above

Enable or Install Windows Vista Snipping Tool

Step 4 (Final step): Check the box Tablet PC Optional Components.

All Done!  The Snipping Tool should now be installed in your Accessories Folder:

  • Windows Start Button
  • All Programs
  • Accessories
  • image Snipping Tool


Note: Windows 7 comes with the Snipping tool enabled and the How-To above does not apply as you cannot disable it using the Windows Feature Menu/Options.  That being said, the Windows 7 Snipping tool is only available  in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate/Enterprise editions of Windows 7.  It’s funny how Microsoft didn’t include it with all versions as I feel it’s just as important as the Calculator or Notepad but whatever…



Disclaimer – All captures with the exception of the “SnagIt” capture below made using: SnagIt V8.2.3……… 🙂

SNIP of SnagIt V8.2.3 ABOUT information

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23 Responses to How To Install or Enable the Windows Vista Snipping Tool

  1. RJ August 21, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    I struggled looking for this so you saved me a bunch of time! Love the step by step. Very easy to follow. Thanks for the write-up!


  2. MrGroove August 22, 2007 at 10:15 pm #

    Awesome! Thanks for the feedback!

  3. OscarJJ September 12, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    Keep em coming. Thnx!

  4. MrGroove September 14, 2007 at 11:36 pm #

    Thanks Oscar! And welcome to the site!

  5. Ashley May 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    i cant find it on my computer:( HELP!

  6. JPT July 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    no matter how many times i re-install the vista os, i always forget where this most versatile of apps is hidden. thanks, man.

    • MrGroove July 5, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

      Anytime JPT! I think the process is the same for Windows 7 also…??? Might need to do that write-up also I think?.?.?. Either way, your welcome!

  7. Nikky July 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    haha wish you had of put “Note: Windows 7 comes with the Snipping tool enabled” at the begining. I should have read the article first before going off and trying to enable it when it was already enabled. Good thing its extremly easy and quick then to check out.

    • MrGroove July 14, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      Hi Nikky… sorry about that 🙂 You know what is weird tho, at work it was DISABLED by default on my PC and everyone around me. I think IT did that to freak us all out. who knows.

      Good feedback however. I’ll update the article to say (FYI – go test it first, might already be on).

  8. Dai July 26, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Hi Steve, I have windows vista & tried to install ‘snipping tool’. I followed your step by step instructions. Upto ‘Turn windows features on or off’ it was perfect. I haven’t got ‘tablet pc optional components’. So, I am stuck. Thanks for your help and support. What can I do next??

    • Steve Krause July 26, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Hi @dai — So you don’t have the box to check in Step 3?

      Are you running the latest Vista service-pack?

      • Dai July 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

        Hi Steve

        Thanks for your quick reply.
        I installed Vista in 2008 June. I know it is not the latest. I am trying to do some ‘printscreen’ shots for my shots. Students recommended the ‘snipping tool’. Any help is appreciated.
        Thanks & regards


  9. Bruski August 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Not available on windows 7 starter? correct?

    • Brian Burgess August 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      I did some digging and it looks like Windows 7 Starter doesn’t have the Snipping Tool. I guess that is why it is “Starter Edition” a lot of little features like that are left out.

      But there are third party apps you can use. Some people told me they use a tool called Snippy — but it hasn’t been updated in a long time.

      • Steve Krause August 13, 2012 at 11:18 am #

        You might also try JING. It’s free and works quite well.

  10. tess February 23, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I’m struggling to find this on my computer. I have “Windows 7 Starter.” Is it not on my computer? Your tutorial is awesome but I don’t have a folder for “tablet PC Option Components.”

  11. Jackie November 11, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    I don’t have the ‘tablet PC option Components ” please help

  12. Art Ford March 5, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    Steve, this didn’t work for me. I had disabled snipping tool but not by unchecking Tablets option.
    Do you have any other re-enabling method?

  13. Patrick Dreier May 15, 2015 at 3:32 am #


    It is not usable The Windows 7 Startmenu. The Windows XP Startmenu are usable.
    What is for Snipping Tool in Windows XP?

    With king regards!

  14. nico January 7, 2016 at 2:41 am #

    hey I cant find Tablet PC Optional Components.

  15. Patricck Dreier January 7, 2016 at 11:30 am #


    Please insert Tablet PC Optional Compontents for Windows XP.

  16. tammy March 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    Can you leave some simple instructions on how to use snip it. I am just learning and can’t figure it out. Thanks

  17. Anonymous March 21, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    The new version for snagit dosn’t existing in free version.

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