How to Take a Screenshot on Windows


Knowing how to screenshot on Windows is an essential skill for anyone who uses a computer running this OS.

Whether you're a seasoned user or just starting with Windows, mastering the art of screenshotting can significantly enhance your productivity and communication abilities.

With step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you'll soon be able to effortlessly capture and share screenshots tailored to your needs, regardless of the version of Windows you're using. Read the article below to learn how to take a screenshot on a Windows PC.

What is a Screenshot?

In the digital age, screenshots are becoming increasingly important for personal and professional use.

A desktop screenshot is an image of what's showing on your computer or device screen. It's an approach to recording and saving information, documenting a process, or even sharing something funny with friends.

Screenshots can be taken on almost any device – desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone – and any operating system – Windows, macOS, iOS, Android. The process for making screenshots is generally the same across all systems.

Once you take a screenshot, it is automatically stored as an image file on your device. You can then edit the image (e.g., crop, add text) or send it to someone else (e.g., as an email attachment).

Option 1. Icecream Screen Recorder

Experience a revolutionary approach to capturing screenshots with Icecream Screen Recorder, offering a multitude of advantageous options.

With this screenshot taking and screen recording software for Windows, you can capture video guides and tutorials and generate great-looking content for your website, Facebook account, and more. This is a great capture tool for collaboration as you can share screenshots and videos via a shortcut.

Look how easy to make a screenshot with it:

  1. Download the screen recorder for PC and install it.
  2. Click the "Settings" button to open the instrument panel. Configure some settings required for successful screen capturing.
  3. In the "System" tab of the Settings panel select either PNG or JPG to save your screenshots ("Screenshot format" option).
    • In the same tab, you may turn on and off the notification given to you ("Show notifications");
    • The zoomer is highly a valuable tool during the manual screenshot area selection ("Area selection zoomer").
  4. Proceed to the "Save to" tab to select the destination folder to which your screenshot will be saved ("Save screenshot to" option).
  5. Open the "Hotkeys" tab to check the current hotkeys and change their combinations if needed. You may use them to:
    • Create a screenshot;
    • Copy it into the clipboard;
    • Upload by URL;
    • Open the drawing panel, and do some other actions.
  6. To apply the changes made in the panel press "Save Settings".
  7. Choose the screenshot area. Read below about choosing the area for screen capture.
  8. Take a screenshot using either relevant buttons on the toolbar or with hotkeys.

Screenshot Options

There are 3 ways to take a screen capture on Windows with Icecream Recorder:

  • Screenshot. If you want to save a desktop screenshot as an image in PNG or JPG, just click "Screenshot".
Icecream Screen Recorder 6
  • Copy. After clicking this button, the screenshot will be saved to the clipboard. Now, you can press CTRL+V to paste it wherever you need.
Icecream Screen Recorder 7
  • Upload. By clicking "Upload", you transform the screenshot into a link. That’s the best way to go if you wish to share your screenshot with other people and don’t want to send it via email, instant messenger, or media.
Icecream Screen Recorder 8

Each link you make will be saved in the program's history panel and you can access any of them from the main window. To delete a link from the history, click the recycle bin icon to the right of each file's title. The "Clear History" in the bottom left corner will help you remove all the files from the list.

Icecream Screen Recorder 9

Screenshot Areas

Using Icecream Screen Recorder, you can screenshot any area of your desktop. Thus, you don’t have to crop a full-screen image later; this means you don’t need to opt for third-party editors. To make a screenshot of a desired area, click "Screenshot".

Then, use your mouse to frame a necessary screenshot area. You can select a random area and move the frame manually according to your needs ("Custom"). Otherwise, choose one of the available preset profiles (Full screen, 960p, 720p, 1024x768p, 640x480p, 320x240p, or 160x120p).

Icecream Screen Recorder 10

Screenshot Editing Tools

Utilize the special editing tools available in the screenshot panel to refine your screen capture before finalizing it.

Particularly, you can check the graphic elements available through the drawing panel to point out, add watermark, underline, frame, or comment on your screenshot.

Icecream Screen Recorder 11

To do that, press the "Draw" button and select a drawing tool that you like: brush, oval, rectangle, step instrument, or arrow. After that, you can choose the thickness and color of a selected element and start drawing on the screenshot.

Icecream Screen Recorder 12

If you want to type some text over your desktop screenshot, click the "T" icon, pick font size (8-34) and color, and place the cursor where you need your content to be typed. Add the desired text and proceed forward.

Icecream Screen Recorder 13

To cancel the recent changes, use the "Undo" icon at the right side of the control panel; if you need to erase all the progress at once, tap the "Clear all" button.

Option 2. The Snipping Tool

Windows 10 offers a built-in tool for screen capturing. It's called the Snipping Tool and it offers basic annotation options, making it easy to highlight or obfuscate portions of a screenshot.

Here's how to do a screenshot:

  1. Click the "Start" button, type "Snipping Tool", and select it. Alternatively press Win+Shift+S.
  2. Once the program is open, select the type of snip you would like to process: rectangular, free-form, window, or full-screen.
  3. After selecting the type, tap "New", your screen will freeze and display a white overlay. Drag your mouse to create the shape of your snip and when you release it, a screenshot will be captured.
  4. The Tool will be opened with your screenshot inside of it. From here you can draw arrows or highlight portions of the image with an eraser tool. And then preserve it as a picture file or share it with other programs.
  5. To get a desktop screenshot, click "Save" and choose where you'd like to keep it on your computer.

The Snipping Tool is straightforward and lets you quickly make a screenshot without the additional software. You can also rapidly annotate them with arrows and highlights, allowing you to explain what's happening on the screen.

Keep in mind that it is pre-installed on both Windows 10 and 11. However, the majority of the features are available on Windows 11.

Option 3. Print Screen

The Print Screen (PrtScn) is a built-in feature on most Windows keyboards, designed to capture the entire contents of your screen at the moment you press the designated key.

This feature provides a straightforward method for catching what's displayed on your desktop without the need for extra screen capturing software.

Explore how to print screen on Windows:

  • Press "Print Screen" alone to take screen capture to the clipboard. To view it, you must paste it into any other program.
  • Use the "Print Screen" button together with the Windows key. Your PNG screenshot will be saved to the default folder.
  • Hit "Alt" + "Print Screen" to copy the screenshot to the clipboard. To save it as an image use Paint or any other photo editor.

Note: On some laptops, you may need to press "Fn" while "Print Screen" is active.

Print Screen

Using hotkeys is one of the easiest approaches to make a screenshot. However, this option lacks customization functionality and won't work properly without adjusting your keyboard settings. Also, there is no selection of the screen record area - all output images will be full-screen.

Option 4. Game Bar

The Windows 10 Game Bar is a great tool for taking screenshots and recording the gaming process. It's easy to use and can save you time when you need to quickly capture your PC activities.

Here is how to screenshot on Windows:

  1. Press the Windows key + G on your keyboard to open the Game Bar.
  2. In the menu click "Capture". Hit the camera icon to screenshot the computer screen.
  3. Your screenshot will be kept in the Videos > Captures folder in the Pictures library.

Utilizing the Game Bar is rapid and effortless. So if you want to capture a screenshot of something in your game without interruption or departure, this delivers a hassle-free solution do it. The downside is that the resulting file is only PNG, so if you need JPG or PDF, you have to convert it.

Screenshot on Windows: FAQ

Can I take screenshots using voice commands or other alternative methods?
While Windows doesn't have built-in support for taking screenshots via voice commands, you can explore third-party tools or voice assistant integrations that offer this functionality.
How do I make a screenshot on Windows if my keyboard doesn't have a Print Screen key?
If your keyboard lacks a dedicated Print Screen key, you can often use a combination of keys such as "Fn + Insert" or "Fn + F12" to simulate the Print Screen function.
How do I capture screenshots in Windows Safe Mode?
Capturing screenshots during system startup can be challenging since many screen capture utilities may not be available in these environments. In such cases, third-party screen recorders specifically designed for system-level operations may be necessary.

How to Screenshot on Windows: Bottom Line

In conclusion, knowing how to take a screenshot on a Windows PC opens up a world of possibilities for users.

Whether you opt for the simplicity of the Print Screen key, the versatility of the Snipping Tool, or the advanced features of third-party applications like Icecream Screen Recorder, the ability to effortlessly capture and edit screenshots is an invaluable skill.

With these tools and techniques at your fingertips, capturing precisely what you need has never been easier. With this guide, you will be able to snap a screenshot on a PC in no time at all!

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
6 min read
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