Why Is My Snipping Tool Not Working?

Despite its simplicity, the Snipping Tool app is an invaluable program to take screenshots on Windows PCs. However, encountering issues with your go-to screenshot software can be frustrating and disruptive.

In this article, we delve into the common reasons why the Snipping Tool may not be working as expected and provide practical fixes to help you resolve these problems efficiently.

Whether you're experiencing crashes, errors, or unresponsiveness or Snipping Tool won't save the images, implementing the right solutions can help you regain full functionality.

Snipping Tool not working on Windows 10 and 11: causes

Corrupted system filesIf certain system files associated with the tool are corrupted or missing, it may lead to malfunctioning.
Software conflictsConflicts with other programs installed on your system can cause the app to stop working properly. This could be due to recent software updates or installations.
Permissions issueInsufficient permissions to access or run the software may also cause it to malfunction.
Outdated driversIf the drivers for your graphics card or other relevant hardware are incompatible, it can be the reason why the Snipping Tool won't open.
Virus or malwareMalicious software on your computer can interfere with the proper functioning of other programs.
Hardware issuesIn rare cases, a faulty mouse or touchscreen can cause problems with taking screenshots.
System updatesSometimes, updates to the operating system can inadvertently cause issues with the Snipping Tool.

How to fix Snipping Tool not working on Windows 11 and 10

Restart your computer

Sometimes, a simple reboot can refresh system processes and clear any temporary glitches that may be affecting the program's performance.

Check for updates

Updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can address various issues users may encounter.

  • Windows update. Go to your computer's settings and navigate to the "Update & Security" section. From there, select "Windows Update" and click "Check for updates".
  • Update Snipping Tool. Occasionally, Microsoft releases updates targeting specific programs. You can check for them by visiting the Microsoft Store and searching for "Snipping Tool". If there is a new version available, you can download it from the store.

After installing any updates, restart your computer. Check if the problem remains and the Snipping Tool is not opening. If not, explore further troubleshooting steps.

Run the troubleshooter

Troubleshooter is a built-in Windows utility designed to automatically detect and resolve various problems that may occur within the operating system or specific screenshot applications.

Here's how to access it:

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Click "Update & Security" in the bottom part of the window.
  3. In the left pane, select "Troubleshoot" and press "Additional troubleshooters".
  4. Scroll down until you find the "Windows Store Apps" option.
  5. Hit "Run the troubleshooter" and follow the instructions. The tool will scan your system for any issues related to the Snipping Tool and attempt to repair them automatically.
  6. After the utility completes the process, restart your PC to apply any fixes that were implemented.
Snipping Tool not working: Troubleshooting

Reinstall Snipping Tool

Certain files necessary for the screenshot tool to function properly may become missing or damaged over time. Reinstalling the application ensures that all required files are present and in working condition.

  1. Open the Windows settings and select "Apps" from the menu.
  2. Scroll through the list to find the Snipping Tool. Click on it and select "Uninstall".
  3. To download the program, open the Microsoft Store and use the search bar to find it.
  4. Press the "Get" button to reinstall the screen capturing software.
Fix the Snipping Tool not working

Try alternative screenshot software

Using a Snipping Tool alternative can indeed be a workaround if you're encountering persistent difficulties with the Snipping Tool.

Icecream Screen Recorder offers comprehensive screenshot capabilities along with additional features like video recording.

Here's how you can use it:

  1. Download the free screen capturing software from the official website.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your computer and launch the program.
  3. Choose the "Screenshot" mode from the side menu.
  4. Select the desired area of the desktop.
  5. Click the "Capture" button to take the screenshot.

The program provides basic screenshot editing features to annotate and enhance your images.

Free Snipping Tool app alternative

Check for conflicts

Some third-party applications might conflict with the Snipping Tool. Try temporarily disabling or uninstalling recently downloaded software to see if it resolves the issue.

Security software, including antivirus programs and firewall applications, can sometimes be the reason the Snipping Tool doesn't work. Temporarily disable or adjust the settings of your security software.

Use Event Viewer to check for any error messages or warnings. This can provide insights into underlying issues that may be causing conflicts.

Repair system files

Fixing system files can help resolve issues related to corrupted or missing data.

How to do it with System File Checker (SFC):

    1. Press the Windows key and type "cmd" in the search bar.
    2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator".
    3. Type the sfc /scannow command and press Enter to execute it.
    4. The SFC will scan your system for corrupted files and attempt to repair them automatically.
    5. After the process is done, restart your computer to apply the changes.


Understanding "Why is my Snipping Tool not working" and troubleshooting issues can seem daunting. However, armed with the knowledge outlined in this article, you're well-equipped to overcome any challenges that arise.

By applying these techniques, you can ensure that the Snipping Tool remains a reliable and efficient app in your arsenal. It will empower you to capture and share screenshots seamlessly.

Rean Uehara

Expert Tech Writer

Rean is a tech enthusiast, digital marketer, operations specialist, and eCommerce coach who focuses on distributed teams. He began working remotely on web-related projects in 2010 and has never looked back. His articles published on Hongkiat, so his authoritative opinion on technology can be fully trusted.
3 min read
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