Print Screen Button Not Working: 6 Solutions

In the fast-paced digital world, capturing what's on your screen quickly and efficiently is a crucial task, whether for work, personal use, or troubleshooting.

Hotkeys, like PrtScn, have been the go-to tool to take a screenshot. But what happens when the Print Screen button is not working?

For many users, a malfunctioning button can be a significant inconvenience, disrupting workflows and causing frustration. This article delves into the common reasons behind the PrtScn not working and explores practical fix steps.

Why Print Screen button is not working?

The print screen button serves as a useful tool for take screenshots on your computer, but what do you do when it unexpectedly becomes unresponsive? There might be several causes for this issue, but the good news is that most of them can be easily fixed.

You can't print screen due to:

  • The keyboard itself might be faulty or not properly connected.
  • Some applications or certain settings in the operating system can override or disable the Print Screen functionality.
  • Outdated or corrupted keyboard drivers can cause the screenshot button not stop working.
  • The PrtScn button saves the screenshot to the clipboard. If the clipboard is full or not working properly, the screenshot might not be captured.
  • In rare cases, there might be a hardware issue with the Print Screen button itself, requiring a keyboard replacement.

How to fix Print Screen not working on Windows 10 and 11

Having trouble utilizing the screenshot feature on your PC? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many users have reported this issue and luckily, there are a few simple solutions that can help you fix it.

Solution 1. Check the Keyboard Connection

To do this, first ensure that the USB cable of a wired keyboard is firmly plugged into the computer. If the keyboard still doesn't work, try connecting it to a different USB port to rule out a faulty one. You can also test the keyboard on another computer to determine if the issue is with the device itself.

For wireless keyboards, check that the battery is charged. The receiver should be properly connected and the keyboard should be within signal range. Re-pair the device with its receiver according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Solution 2. Adjust Settings in Windows

Customizing preferences can be important for optimizing various features, including troubleshooting problems with the Print Screen key.

  1. Press "Win + I" to open "Settings".
  2. Go to "Ease of Access" > "Keyboard".
  3. Confirm that the option "Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping" is turned on. Solution 2. Adjust Settings in Windows

Solution 3. Use the Correct Key Combination

On some keyboards, particularly laptops, the Print Screen function might require using the correct combination.

Typically, this involves pressing the "Fn" key along with the Print Screen button to take a screenshot. If your keyboard has this layout, ensure you're using it. This is especially common on compact or laptop keyboards where multiple functions are assigned to same keys.

Solution 4. Stop Background Programs

Other software can cause disturbances in the screenshot function. These could be applications running in the background or even antivirus software.

To address this issue, it is necessary to terminate all unnecessary applications. You can do this by opening the "Task Manager" and ending any processes that are not essential. This will optimize memory and resources, enabling proper functioning of your screenshot key.

Solution 4. Stop Background Programs

An alternative approach would be to temporarily deactivate your antivirus software. Occasionally, these programs have the capability to obstruct specific functions on your computer, which may result in the print screen key stopped working.

Solution 5. Update Keyboard Driver

The dysfunction of the screen capture button can often be linked to an obsolete keyboard driver. This can happen due to several reasons, such as a recent system update or a faulty driver installation.

Updating your driver is a simple solution that can fix the issue in no time.

Here's how you can do it:

  1. Go to your computer's "Device Manager".
  2. Locate the driver under the "Keyboards" section.
  3. Right-click on the driver and select "Update Driver".
  4. Choose the option to search for updated drivers automatically.
  5. If new versions are available, follow the prompts to install them.
Solution 5. Update Keyboard Driver

If the print screen still doesn't work, you can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the system driver completely.

Solution 6. Perform a System File Check

System File Check (SFC) is a built-in utility that scans and repairs corrupted or missing files in the Windows operating system. It helps ensure the stability of the OS by verifying the integrity of critical system files and replacing any broken versions with a cached copy.

To perform SFC, follow these steps:

  1. Type "Command Prompt" in the Windows search bar.
  2. Right-click on it from the search results.
  3. Select "Run as administrator" from the context menu.
  4. Type sfc /scannow and press "Enter".
Solution 6. Perform a System File Check

The SFC tool will now scan your system for any errors or corruption. This process may take some time depending on your PC performance and the number of files being scanned. Do not close the window until the process is complete.

If corruption is detected and repaired, restart your computer to apply the changes.

By following our instructions, you can identify and fix the Print Screen key not working issue on your Windows 10 or 11 system.

FAQ

What should I do if none of the troubleshooting steps work?
If this guide doesn't resolve the issue, you may need to consider replacing the keyboard or seeking assistance from a professional technician.
PrtScn is working, but the screenshots I take are coming out black. What's wrong?
If your Print Screen command is functional but the resulting screenshots appear black, it may indicate outdated or incompatible graphics drivers. To address this, consider updating or reinstalling them.

Conclusion

The Print Screen button is handy for grabbing screen content, but when it acts up, it's frustrating.

We've covered various reasons why PrtScn is not working and how to fix it. By checking connections, adjusting settings, updating drivers, or fixing software issues, users can get their screenshot key back on track.

Remember, while glitches happen, there's always a way to get things working smoothly again, so don't stress!

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.
3 min read
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