How to Take a Screenshot of the Windows 10 Login Screen


Taking a screenshot of the Windows 10 lock screen is just a matter of hitting the PrtScn button, but to get the login screen there’s a bit more work involved.

Windows 10 has a couple of screens to navigate through before getting to the desktop. First is the lock screen and then the login screen. Taking a screenshot of the lock screen is easy. While at the screen, just hit the Print Screen (PrtScr) key and after logging in, open the app you want to use the shot in and hit Ctrl + V to paste it in.

Window 10 Lock Screen

The Windows 10 Lock Screen features the time, date, and other data from the apps you choose.

But, you might have noticed you can’t do the same thing with the login screen where you enter your password or PIN. If you need to take a screenshot of the login screen, you can hack the Registry and use the Snipping Tool.

Note: This requires making changes to the Windows Registry, which isn’t for the faint of heart. Modifying something incorrectly can lead to an unstable system or complete crash. Make sure you set a Restore Point or back up the Registry before making any changes to it.

Take Screenshot Windows 10 Login Screen

Use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + R to launch the Run box and type: regedit and click OK or hit Enter.

1 Run Regedit Windows 10

Next, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options

Then create a new key and name it utilman.exe.

1 Registry New Key

Then within the utilman.exe key that you just made, create a new String Value and name it Debugger and set its value as:


2 Debugger String Value to Snipping Tool

Once you’ve configured the Registry correctly, hit the Windows Key + L to lock your PC. Then hit Enter or swipe up to reach the login screen. From there, select the Ease of Access button in the lower-right corner, and the Snipping Tool will launch. Set it to take a full Windows shot, and after that, make sure to hit the Copy Button or hit Ctrl + C to save it to the Clipboard.

Snipping Tool Login Screen

Go ahead and log in, open Paint or another app you want to use, and hit Ctrl + V to paste it in.


Do you use the keyboard shortcuts or built-in utilities like the Snipping Tool for screenshots in Windows 10? Or, do you prefer using a third-party program like TechSmith Snagit? Let us know in the comment section below, or for further discussion on all things Windows and Microsoft, head to our Windows 10 Forums.



  1. Tony

    Hi Brian, I was looking for this workaround, and it worked for my! Thanks

  2. Robert Tillotson

    I have Clipmate installed and since it takes over the clipboard I can’t get this to work without disabling Clipmate. Probably other apps out there interfere too.

  3. Edy M.

    This a very useful tutorial. I’ve always wanted to find an easy way to take a screenshot of the login screen. The only way I knew was to use my tablet’s camera, but the screenshot will always come out slanted no matter what, and on top of that, it’s too much an arduous job.

    Now, my frustrations are all gone with this tutorial. By the way, I have started using TechSmith-Snagit about one week-and-half ago and I love it. Making annotations with straight arrows and numbered callouts in a document is now just a breeze.

  4. Charles Brown

    I use a great little snapshot/screen recorder utility — Faststone Capture — from

    Inexpensive, shareware with functions galore and a very, very small resource/memory footprint.


    PS I do have the latest version of SnagIt (& Camtasia Studio) but do not have it to auto-start with Windows 10 boot.

  5. Jim Osban

    I was unable to get this to work. I have win 10 64 bit home. This is what was added [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\UTILMAN.EXE]
    “Debugger”=”C:\Windows\System32\SnippingTool.exe” any ideal

    • Jim Osban

      I have disabled my Norton 365, did the registry, now I can pull up snipping tool and even print the login screen but I still can not past from the clipboard. Anything else to try?

  6. r0ckhat

    This doesn’t seem to work any more.
    SnippingTool opens, but is then automatically closed a few seconds later and the registry setting removed.

  7. Heath Larsen

    Windows Defender has been updated to block this as attackers could exploit this as well.
    Windows Defender will remove will close Snipping Tool immediately on opening and remove the registry entry.
    If you still want to do this, open ‘Windows Defender Security Center’, go to the ‘Virus & Threat protection’ tab and disable ‘Real-time protection’.
    Now the Snipping Tool will remain open and your registry key will persist.


  8. Shawn

    it seems now, you must turn off windows defender real time virus and threat protection, and it works fine. BUT, the real kicker is that windows 10 doesn’t let you copy anything to your clipboard if you’re on your lock screen or login screen. welp, so much for this anymore.

    • Edy M.

      Screenshot for the login screen doesn’t work anymore according to this article. After clicking “Enter” and then Ease of Access, the Snipping tool doesn’t show anymore. Something has definitely changed with all the Cumulative or Feature Updates issued since the last time this article was written in 2017.

      My understanding is that this article needs to be revised. Sorry to put it so bluntly.

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