How To Capture The Screen On Windows 11

All The Ways To Capture The Screen On Windows 11All The Ways To Capture The Screen On Windows 11

You may need to capture what’s on your screen for numerous reasons. Maybe you found something interesting worth saving or want to share the content with your friends and family. Windows 11 allows you to take a screenshot using different methods.

While some methods capture the entire screen, others allow you to crop out a certain portion. Additionally, if you are using multiple monitors, you can capture all of them at once, or only the screen in focus as well. Moreover, you can directly save a captured screen, or paste it from the clipboard where needed.

Another nifty feature Windows 11, more precisely, Microsoft Edge, allows is to capture an entire web page. This way, you do not need to install extensions or third-party tools to capture entire web pages.

This guide will show you all the methods to capture the screen on a Windows 11 computer .

Use PrtScr (Print Screen) key to take screenshots on Windows

Print Screen Key on the keyboard
Print Screen Key on the keyboard

If you look at your keyboard, you will notice that there is a key with the label “Print Screen” or “PrtScr” somewhere above the arrow keys or on or near the function keys at the top. This button can be used to capture the screen on a Windows PC. Additionally, it can be used with different key combinations that capture the screen with different properties.

Note: The PrtScr button can be located at different locations on the keyboard, depending on the manufacturer and the keyboard type.

The PrtScr button captures the screen using the “Snipping Tool.”

Windows 11 allows you to manage what the “PrtScr” button does. You can either set it to capture the whole screen without prompting you to select a portion of the screen to capture, or you can set it to open the Snipping Tool so you can select the portion of the screen to capture.

To manage what the PrtScr button does, go to the following:

Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard

Here, scroll down and toggle the slider in front of “Use the Print screen key to open screen capture” to either of the On or the Off positions. Here is what will happen in either of the states:

  • On – The Snipping Tool will launch, prompting you to select a portion of the screen to capture
  • Off – The entire screen will be automatically saved to the clipboard.
Choose what the Print Screen button does on Windows 11
Choose what the Print Screen button does on Windows 11

Capture complete screen to clipboard with PrtScr

When you capture a screenshot on Windows 11 using the PrtScr button, it saves what’s on the screen(s) to the clipboard automatically. For this, you must disable the “Use the Print screen key to open screen capture” option in the Accessibility settings.

Use the following steps to capture the entire screen and save it to the clipboard:

  1. Disable the “Use the Print screen key to open screen capture” option at the following path:

    Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard
    Do not open Snipping Tool with PrtScn
    Do not open the Snipping Tool with PrtScr
  2. Open the window/screen you want to capture.

  3. Press the “Print Screen (PrtScr)” button on the keyboard.

    It will look like nothing happened, but the screen will be saved to the clipboard.

  4. Open the app where you want to use that image (like Paint).

  5. Press the CTRL + V shortcut keys (or right-click and click Paste) to paste the last-copied content in the Clipboard.

Performing the steps above will paste the complete screen(s) into the space.

Capture screen portion, window, free shape with PrtScr

To capture a certain portion of the screen, a window, any custom shape, or the entire screen with PrtScr, perform these steps instead:

  1. Enable the “Use the Print screen key to open screen capture” option at the following path:

    Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard
    Launch the Snipping Tool with PrtScn
    Launch the Snipping Tool with PrtScr
  2. Open the window/screen you want to capture.

  3. Press the “Print Screen (PrtScr)” button on the keyboard.

  4. Select the type of screenshot you want to capture from the menu at the top. These are the options you can choose from:

    • Rectangle – creates a rectangle screenshot using the mouse.
    • Window – saves a screenshot of a window.
    • Full screen – takes a screenshot of the entire screen.
    • Freeform – allows you to use the mouse to choose any form to create a capture.
    Select the type of screenshot
    Select the type of screenshot

    Note: You can also launch the Snipping tool and reach this same screen using the Windows Key + Shift + S shortcut keys.

  5. Now select the screen, the portion of the screen, or the window that you want to capture. When releasing the mouse button, you will be prompted that the image has been saved and copied to the clipboard.

    Screen portion captured
    Screen portion captured
  6. Open the app where you want to use that image.

  7. Press the CTRL + V shortcut keys (or right-click and click Paste) to paste the last-copied content in the Clipboard.

    Alternatively, since the image has also been saved, you can use File Explorer and open Gallery in the navigation pane, or go to Pictures > Screenshots to access the captured image.

    Open saved screenshots in Gallery using File Explorer
    Open saved screenshots in Gallery using File Explorer

Capture whole screen to file using PrtScr

In the methods above, one way is to capture the whole screen, but it is only saved to the clipboard and not a file, while the other method saves the capture to a file, but only the selected portion. But what if you want to save the whole screen, if you have multiple displays, and save it to a file?

To save the whole screen to a file, use the Windows Key + PrtScr combination. This will make the screen flash briefly and automatically save the entire screen to a file. You can find this saved image in either Gallery or Pictures > Screenshots, in File Explorer.

Save complete screen to file using PrtScr
Save complete screen to file using PrtScr

Capture active screen with PrtScr

If you are using multiple monitors but only want to capture one screen, that is also possible with the “Print Screen” button. Once on the active monitor, press Alt + PrtScr keys to capture it.

The captured image will be saved to the clipboard, and you can copy it to another app.

Capture the screen using the Snipping Tool

Another method to take a screenshot on a Windows computer is using the snipping tool directly. With this Windows-native tool, you can select a portion of the screen to capture, draw your custom shape to capture, capture a window, or capture the entire screen.

You can also record the screen.

Use the following steps to take a screenshot using the Snipping Tool directly:

  1. Start by opening the screen that you want to capture.

  2. Search for “Snipping tool” in the Start menu and run the app .

    Run the Snipping tool app
    Run the Snipping tool app
  3. Click on the Snipping mode button.

  4. Select the type of capture you want to perform from the drop-down menu.

    Select the type of screenshot from the Snipping tool
    Select the type of screenshot from the Snipping tool
  5. Click New.

    Capture the screen with Snipping tool
    Capture the screen with the Snipping tool
  6. Select the window/portion/screen that you want to capture.

Once captured, the screenshot will open inside the editor, where you can make the necessary changes to it before saving or copying it.

Screenshot inside the Snipping tool editor
Screenshot inside the Snipping tool editor

Take a screenshot with the Xbox Game Bar

The Xbox Game Bar is a utility in Windows 11 designed to bring the features and the convenience that every gamer needs. It also has the ability to capture and record the screen. Use the following steps to capture a screen using Xbox Game Bar:

  1. Press the Windows Key + G shortcut keys to launch the Xbox Game Bar.

  2. In the Capture widget, click the Screenshot (camera icon) button.

    Capture screenshot using the Xbox Game Bar
    Capture screenshots using the Xbox Game Bar

The entire screen will now be captured, and you will be prompted with a notification. You may click on the notification to open the image or go to Pictures > Screenshots in File Explorer.

Alternative to the steps above, you can also use the Windows key + Alt + PrtScr key combination to capture the screen. This shortcut captures the entire screen using the Xbox Game Bar, even when the Game Bar has not been launched.

Capture web page using Edge

If you are using a browser and want to capture the whole web page, using the native Windows methods discussed above won’t be able to do that. Instead, it will only be able to capture the portion of the web page displayed on the screen.

Microsoft Edge allows you to capture a portion of the screen and an entire web page without needing to install browser extensions and third-party utilities. Use the following steps to take screenshots of web pages using Edge:

  1. Open the web page that you want to capture in Microsoft Edge.

  2. Right-click on the web page and click “Web capture.”

    Capture web page using Edge
    Capture web page using Edge
  3. Select the type of screenshot you want to take.

    Select the type of screenshot for the web page
    Select the type of screenshot for the web page

    The captured image will now open inside an editor

  4. Make the required changes to the image, and then either Copy it or Save the screenshot.

    Copy or save the image
    Copy or save the image

Capture screen on Microsoft Surface

If you own a Microsft Surface device, then taking a screenshot is even easier than all of the methods discussed above.

Press the Volume Up + Power button keys simultaneously to capture the contents of the screen. The screenshot captured is then saved to the gallery of the device.

Use third-party apps for screenshot

Apart from these native methods, you can also use third-party applications to capture a screen on Windows. Here are some of the screen-capturing tools that can be used on Windows to take a screenshot:

Takeaway

Taking a screenshot on a mobile phone and a computer are two different things. As you may have already noticed, there are very limited ways of capturing the screen on a phone, whereas the Windows 11 OS offers multiple ways of capturing it. Additionally, each method provides a different type of screenshot tailored to individual needs.

Using the Windows-native facilities, you can capture the contents on multiple monitors, a single monitor in a multi-monitor setup, save the screenshot to a file, edit it on the go, or capture only a window, or any custom shape. You can also capture complete web pages without any additional tools or software.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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