How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 10 (And Save It)


I’ll show you how to take a screenshot on Windows 10, either from a selected area or the entire screen. You can easily save it to a file of your choice, without having to open any other third party programs, or the Paint program bundled with Windows. 

You can use any Windows 10 computer to do this. This program was originally built into Windows Vista and later, but for this article, we’ll stick to Windows 10 example images.

The fastest and easiest way to get an image of your screen, or to select an area of your screen you wish to save to a file, is by using the Snipping Tool application that comes with Windows.

Under Windows Accessories in the Start menu.

How to take a screenshot on Windows 10

1. Open the snipping tool

The first thing to do is to open the Snipping Tool program built into Windows 10. You can do this by first opening the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. Optionally, you can click on the Windows icon in the left-hand bottom corner of your screen.

The start menu should now be visible:

start menu button

Once your start menu has been opened, type ‘snipping’ on your keyboard. Once you reach a few characters in, you will see Snipping Tool listed above your search box.

Left-click your mouse on the ‘Snipping Tool’ result.

open snipping tool to take a screenshot

The Snipping Tool will be opened:

new capture

2. Create a new snippet

Once the Snipping Tool program has opened, click on New:

new screen capture

3. Select the area

Then left-click and hold the mouse button to drag over the area that you want:

copy selection

4. Save it

Then click on Save:

save selected area

Then select where you wish to save your file to, using the left-hand pane. After that, name the file to the name you want:

name save file

Select the type of file you want to save, typically you save images as a JPG:

save file format

Once you click Save, that’s it. You’re done. You now have an image saved to a file of your choice, containing the selection of screen area you wanted.

You can always go back to the file using Windows Explorer in order to rename it or even move it to somewhere else.

How to take a screenshot of more specific areas

There is a drop-down menu called Mode on the Snipping Tool. It has other options as far as what you want to save.

  • Free-form Snip: Draw the shape over the area you want to save.
  • Rectangular Snip: Drag a rectangular shape over the area you want.
  • Window Snip: Pick a window that’s open to save its visible content.
  • Full-screen Snip: A full-screen area to save.

By default, the rectangular snip option is selected.

Another method in order to take a screenshot on Windows 10

The other popular method to save your screen to an image is by pressing the print screen (PrtSc) button on your keyboard. This will save your entire screen to an image held in your clipboard.

This simply means that the image is copied into memory, and can be pasted into any image editor, or other application that can save images.

Open the application of choice after pressing the print screen key and press CTRL + V to paste the screenshot. Some examples of programs you can paste into are Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, and Microsoft Word.

This method forces you, however, to save your entire screen. If you have more than one monitor, it will save that too.

This is an old method, however, it’s commonly referred to as print screen in Windows.

A new way of taking screenshots in Windows 10

The Snipping tool is going to be obsolete pretty soon. So, this is how to take a screenshot with the new Snip & Sketch tool.

It works very similarly to the Snipping tool, so the procedure is almost the same.

1. Open the Snip & Sketch tool

open the snip and sketch tool

Open the Snip & Sketch tool by opening the Start Menu and typing ‘snip’. Left-click on the ‘Snip & Sketch’ app in the menu to launch it.

If for some reason, you aren’t able to see it, go and do a search for it in the Microsoft Store in order to install it.

2. Click on New

click on new

3. Drag and select your screenshot area

drag and select screenshot area

Hold down your left mouse button on the corner of the area you want and drag your mouse to select the area.

Before you click on save, this is the opportunity to edit the image if you desire. You can use various editing tools in the menu along the top area of the tool to add text, shapes or anything else you would like. It’s extremely useful for illustration.

3. Click on Save

click on save buttton

Left-click on the save button (disk icon) to specify your save file details.

4. Save to the desired location and rename the file

save screenshot to file

Select the save location in the left pane of the Save As window. Left-click on the file name box to rename the file to the name you want. Select the file type from the ‘Save as type’ drop-down box (combo box).

Left-click on the ‘Save’ button to save the file.

Related Questions

Where do screenshots go on PC?

When using the apps shown in our tutorial, you can specify where you want the image to be saved. You can also specify the filename.

Any program you use to paste in a ‘PrtSc’ normally has a ‘Save as’ item in the file menu. This will allow you to save it to a specific folder with a filename that you can specify.

How do you screenshot on a Windows Surface laptop?

While holding your finger down on the Windows button on the front bezel edge of your screen, press the volume down button.

It will be saved under your ‘Pictures\Screenshots’ folder. There is also an option to set it to automatically save to your OneDrive. If this option is enabled, your screenshot image will be saved under the ‘OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots’ folder.

Conclusion

There are more ways than this method to save your screen as an image. Using the Snipping Tool / Snip & Sketch method is the easiest way by far.

So the next time someone asks you, ‘How do I take a picture of my screen?’, you can show them how.

Marlo Strydom

Marlo is a full time professional computer programmer, electronics engineer and computer technician.

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