How to take a screenshot in Windows

Take photos of your screen with a few simple keystrokes

how to screenshot on windows

Knowing how to take a screenshot within Windows is a must, mostly because you never know when you might need it. It's perfect for snapping a picture of a shocking article headline or a funny chat you had with a friend. But taking snapshots of your computer's display can also be an essential utility if you need to snap photos for record keeping or if you need help troubleshooting a problem with your computer.

Thankfully, taking a picture of whatever it is that you'd like to is easy. Much like learning how to copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V,) the shortcut to take a screenshot in Windows involves, at most, two keys at a time. Follow our guide and you'll be a quickdraw with these shortcuts in no time.

How to take, copy and paste a screenshot

If you're looking to take a screenshot of your entire display and quickly paste a copy of it into the body of an email, for example, the process is simple.

how to screenshot in windows
This is what a desktop looks like when pasted into Paint

Tap PrtScn on your keyboard once to temporarily save an image of your display. This works similarly to copying and pasting text. Simply right click on the mouse and select Paste or, alternatively, hit CTRL + V to paste the image.

How to copy and paste a screenshot of only one window

Let's say that you just won a hard-fought match in your favorite video game and you want to share the accomplishment with your friends. One problem, you're watching Teletubbies off to the side. To ensure that no one finds out, make sure that the only program that you want to take a picture of is selected in the taskbar. Then, tap and hold ALT and PrtScn at the same time.

how to screenshot on windows
Make sure the program you want to capture is selected

Now, only the contents within the specified program's window will be captured. To share the image, right click and select Paste in a text field, or alternatively type the shortcut CTRL + V.

How to snap and save a screenshot

If you're looking to take a picture and come back to it at a later time, we have just the keyboard shortcut for you. This feature is currently available only to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, but with the arrival of Windows 10, which will be a free upgrade for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users, even more people will be able to access this awesome feature.

how to screenshot on windows

To take a photo, press and hold the Windows key (it looks like the Microsoft Windows logo) and PrtScn at the same time. You'll receive a confirmation in the form of a brief flash of the screen. By default, you can find the photos you've captured inside a folder called Screenshots that Windows automatically creates within your Pictures folder.

How to screenshot with a Windows tablet

If you're using Window 8 on a tablet, you might not have a keyboard on hand. Thankfully, Microsoft made it easy to capture a screenshot of the display without one.

how to screenshot on windows
Images that you capture will be saved here

To take a screenshot, press the Windows button on the bezel and the decrease volume button at the same time. You'll know that the picture was captured when the screen quickly flashes. Similar to the PC version, these screenshots will be automatically saved in a folder called Screenshots, which is nested inside the Pictures folder.

Whether you intend on taking screenshots on Windows for fun or for work, these shortcuts make saving memories or work-related materials surprisingly easy.