If you need to take a screenshot on Windows 11, you’ve got several options to choose from, including shortcuts and apps. Here’s what you need to know.
Need to make a record of what’s happening on your screen? You’ll need to take a screenshot first.
Screenshots are a picture record of what you’re seeing. You might need to take a screenshot of an app or error message on Windows 11. Something might be wrong with your PC, and you need to get a shot of the error to try and troubleshoot it. You might want to get a couple of shots to explain something to a friend or colleague, or to show off your gameplay prowess.
There are a couple of ways you can take screenshots on a Windows 11 PC. You can take screenshots using built-in keyboard shortcuts and utilities for free, or you can try a number of third-party apps instead.
We’ll show you how to take a screenshot on Windows 11 using built-in features or third-party software below.
How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 11
The easiest way to take a screenshot on Windows 11 is to grab the entire screen.
To take a screenshot of the entire screen:
- Press the Print Screen key, which is usually labeled as PrtScn or PrtScrn. You should see it to the right of the F12 key on desktop keyboards.
Note: On laptops, the location of the PrtScn key will vary. It can be at the top next to the Fn keys. Or at the bottom next to the Spacebar, and some laptops require you to press the Fn key in combination with PrtScn. If you’re not sure, check the laptop manufacturer’s support documentation.
- The entire content of your screen will be stored to the clipboard. Once there, you can paste it into other apps like Word or Paint, for example. You can right-click and select Paste from the menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V to put the shot in another app.
How to Save a Screenshot as a File
Another option is taking a screenshot and saving it as a file on your PC.
To save a screenshot as a file on Windows 11:
- Press the keyboard shortcut Windows key + PrtScn.
- The screen will dim briefly, and the screenshot of your entire desktop will be saved in the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
With the screenshot file, you can share it with other users or your IT department if needed.
How to Take a Screenshot of an Active Window
Taking screenshots of your entire desktop is fine, but you might want to get a specific active window.
To take a shot of an active window on your screen, use these steps:
- Make sure the windows you want to record with a screenshot are active, then use the keyboard shortcut Alt + PrtScn.
- The shot of the active windows will save to your clipboard, and you can paste it into other image apps like Paint, Photoshop, and others.
How to Use the Built-in Snipping Tool
The Snipping Tool is a built-in Microsoft utility that allows you to take screenshots and capture specific areas on the screen.
To use the Snipping tool on Windows 11, use the following steps:
- Hit the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S to launch the Snipping Tool.
- When it launches, you have the option to take a rectangular snip, freeform snip, full window, or full-screen capture. Use the buttons on the toolbar on the Snipping Tool to make your selection.
- After getting your shot, a notification will pop up letting you know it’s copied to your clipboard.
- If you click the notification, the shot will open in the Snipping Tool app where you can edit, annotate, save, and share the screenshot.
How to Take a Screenshot Using Xbox Game Bar
On Windows 10, you can take a screenshot with Xbox Game Bar, and the feature has been carried over to Windows 11. Its primary use is for gamers to catch video of their gaming action, but you can also use it to take screenshots (or video) of your computing experience.
To use the Xbox Game Bar to take a screenshot:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + G to launch the Xbox Game Bar.
- When it opens, click the Widgets icon from the bar and select the Capture option from the menu.
- From the Capture menu, click the camera icon to take a screenshot. If an app is active, it will grab that window. If no windows are active, it will take a shot of the entire desktop.
- After taking a screenshot with the Xbox Game Bar, you’ll find them in the Videos > Captures folder.
Using a Third-Party App to Take Windows 11 Screenshots
If Windows 11 isn’t giving you the functionality you need, you can always turn to a third-party app. For a free utility, you might want to look at Greenshot for your basic screenshot needs.
But if you’re looking for something more robust, check out SnagIt from TechSmith. In addition to grabbing screenshots, it includes an editor so you can edit, annotate, and add effects. We’ve been using it for years, and it’s available for both Windows and Mac. If you want to try it free and give it a spin, you try the free trial of SnagIt first.
Taking Screenshots on Windows 11
Like Windows 10 before it, there are various methods you can use to take a screenshot on Windows 11. They range from various keyboard shortcuts to modern utilities like the updated Snipping Tool. Even Microsoft Edge has a web capture tool to get shots and annotate web pages.
If you’re using a different device, take a look at taking a screenshot on Chromebook or getting a screenshot on Android. If you’re an Apple user, you can take a screenshot on your iPhone or iPad and even get shots on your Apple Watch.