How to take a screenshot in Windows 11 — Tips for using Snipping Tool

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Remember when taking a screenshot meant print screening a page then pasting it into Paint, cropping it, and saving it as a PNG or JPG. What a chore! Microsoft is simplifying the process in Windows 11 with a new Snipping Tool app. The new tool combines the best features from the previous screenshot apps (more on that below), giving you the ability to quickly take a screenshot with a simple keyboard shortcut, then make edits, write annotations, and save it to your system. 

But first, a short lesson in Microsoft's dizzying app names. The app set to be pre-installed in Windows 11 is called Snipping Tool, which may confuse some users who have been using the "Snip & Sketch" app in Windows 10. What's going on here? Microsoft is going back to the original name for its screenshot tool after abandoning the old Snipping Tool in favor of Snip & Sketch in 2018. Now both of those Windows 10 tools will be replaced by a new Snipping Tool (Goodbye, Snip & Sketch!).

With that cleared up, let's go over your options for taking a screenshot in Windows 11 so you can save photos, emails, notes, and other important files.  

How to take a screenshot in Windows 11 using the Snipping Tool

Redesigned for Windows 11, the Snipping Tool puts the power of the screenshot right under your fingertips. I mean that literally — pressing the Win + Shift + S keys is the quickest way to launch the tool. You'll then be presented with several options for selecting the exact portion of the page you want to capture; these include Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Windows Snip, and Fullscreen Snip.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once a screenshot is taken, Snipping Tool will direct you to the editing page where you'll find tools for adding annotations, adjusting the crop, and more. 

Want an even easier way to open the Snipping Tool? Windows 10 has the option to set the Print Screen (prt sc) as your Snipping Tool launcher. We're hoping for something similar in Windows 11 so keep an eye out for this accessibility tool when the new OS launches later this year. 

Take a Windows 11 screenshot using Print Screen

Another way to take a screenshot of your entire window is by using the Print Screen (Prt sc, PrtSc, PrtScn, PrntScrn) key. 

To take a screenshot of the entire window, press the Windows key and Print Screen simultaneously. This will grab every window you have open, even those on secondary displays. You can find the screenshot saved in your PC>Pictures>Screenshots.

If you only want to take a screenshot of an open app, press the Windows key, ALT and Print Screen. This will save a screenshot to PC>Videos>Captures.

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.