How to print screen on Windows


How to print screen on Windows

How to print screen on Windows

Capturing screenshots on Windows can serve a variety of purposes, ranging from practical tasks to creative endeavors. Here are some common reasons why people capture screenshots on Windows:

print screen on windows

  • Documentation: Screenshots are often used to document information, such as error messages, software configurations, or troubleshooting steps. They can be helpful when seeking technical support or sharing information with others.

  • Troubleshooting: Screenshots can help you remember and communicate technical issues you encounter on your computer. They provide a visual reference for identifying problems and seeking solutions.

  • Communication: Screenshots are an effective way to illustrate points during online conversations, emails, or discussions. Sharing a screenshot can make it easier for others to understand what you’re referring to.

  • Presentations: When creating presentations, screenshots can be incorporated to showcase specific software interfaces, demonstrate processes, or highlight important visuals.
  • Tutorials and Guides: Screenshots are frequently used in tutorials, how-to guides, and instructional materials. They visually demonstrate steps or procedures, making it easier for users to follow along.

  • Web Content: Screenshots can be used to capture online content such as articles, images, or web pages. This is especially useful when you want to reference or store content that might change over time.

  • Visual Reference: Screenshots allow you to capture and save a visual representation of something on your screen. This can include design concepts, artwork, or anything else you find visually appealing or inspiring.

  • Social Media and Sharing: Screenshots can be shared on social media platforms to express thoughts, reactions, or experiences. They’re often used to share funny memes, interesting articles, or personal achievements.

  • Bug Reporting: When using software or websites, screenshots can help developers understand and reproduce issues you encounter. They provide valuable context for bug reports.

  • Data Collection: Screenshots can be used for data collection purposes, such as capturing data visualizations, analytics dashboards, or research findings displayed on-screen.

  • Memories: Screenshots can serve as digital memories of significant moments, conversations, or achievements on your computer.

  • Comparisons: Screenshots can be useful for making visual comparisons, whether it’s comparing different versions of a design, tracking changes over time, or comparing products.

How to print screen on Windows

  • Print Screen (PrtScn): Press the “PrtScn” key to capture the entire screen. The screenshot will be copied to your clipboard, and you can paste it into an image editor (like Paint) and save it.

  • Windows + Shift + S (Windows 10 and 11): This opens the Snip & Sketch tool, allowing you to select and capture a specific area of the screen.
  • Snip & Sketch (Windows 10 and later): Search for “Snip & Sketch” in the Start menu. This app allows you to take screenshots, annotate them, and save or share them.

  • Alt + Print Screen: Press the “Alt” key and the “PrtScn” key together to capture only the active window. Again, the screenshot will be copied to your clipboard.

  • Windows + PrtScn (Windows 8 and later): This captures the entire screen and saves the screenshot as a file in the “Screenshots” folder within the “Pictures” library.

  • Snipping Tool (Windows 7 and later): Search for “Snipping Tool” in the Start menu. Open the tool, click “New,” and select an area of the screen to capture. You can annotate and save the screenshot from within the Snipping Tool.

  • Windows + Alt + PrtScn (Windows 10 and later): Captures a screenshot of the currently active window and saves it to the “Screenshots” folder in “Pictures.”

  • Game Bar (Windows 10): Press Windows + G to open the Game Bar. This is primarily used for capturing screenshots and recording gameplay.

  • Windows + Volume Down (Tablet Mode on Windows 10): On devices with tablet mode, this key combination captures a screenshot.

Please note that the availability of some methods may vary based on your Windows version and hardware configuration.

How to print screen on Mac

Taking a screenshot on a Mac is quite straightforward and offers several options. Here’s how you can do it:

Capture the Entire Screen:

  • Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 3. The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop by default.

Capture a Selected Portion of the Screen:

  • Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair.
  • Click and drag to select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Release the mouse button to capture the selected area.
  • The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop by default.

Capture a Specific Window:

  • Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair.
  • Press the Spacebar. The cursor will change to a camera icon.
  • Move the camera icon over the window you want to capture, and it will be highlighted.
  • Click the mouse button to capture the window.
  • The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop by default.

Capture the Touch Bar (On MacBook Pro with Touch Bar):

  • Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 6. The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop by default.

After taking a screenshot, you’ll hear a camera shutter sound, and a thumbnail of the screenshot will appear in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You can click the thumbnail to open the screenshot in the Markup tool, where you can make annotations, crop, or make adjustments before saving it.

If you prefer not to save screenshots to your desktop, you can also copy them to the clipboard by adding the Control key to the shortcuts. For example:

  • Command (⌘) + Control + Shift + 3: Capture the entire screen to the clipboard.
  • Command (⌘) + Control + Shift + 4: Capture a selected portion of the screen to the clipboard.

These are the basic screenshot methods on a Mac. Keep in mind that there are more advanced screenshot options available as well, such as timed captures and capturing specific menu items. You can explore these options by going to Applications > Utilities > Screenshot or by searching for “Screenshot” in Spotlight (press Command (⌘) + Space and start typing).

How to print screen on Mobile Devices

Taking a screenshot (print screen) on mobile devices can vary slightly depending on the operating system. Here’s how you can do it on some of the most common mobile platforms:

iOS (iPhone, iPad):

  • For iPhones with Face ID: Press and hold the Side (Power) button on the right side of the device, then immediately press the Volume Up button on the left side. Release both buttons, and a screenshot will be taken.
  • For iPhones with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake (Power) button at the same time. Release both buttons, and a screenshot will be taken.
  • The screenshot will be saved to your Photos app.


  • Press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until the screen flashes.
  • The screenshot will be saved in your device’s Screenshots folder in the Gallery or Photos app.

Samsung Galaxy Devices (Android):

  • Press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until the screen flashes.
  • Alternatively, some Samsung devices support a feature called “Palm swipe to capture.” Go to Settings > Advanced features > Motions and gestures, and make sure “Palm swipe to capture” is enabled. You can then swipe the edge of your hand across the screen to capture a screenshot.

Huawei Devices (Android):

  • Press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until the screen flashes.
  • Alternatively, swipe down the notification shade and tap on the “Screenshot” option.

Keep in mind that the exact steps might vary based on the manufacturer and version of your mobile device’s operating system. If you’re unsure, you can search online for specific instructions related to your device model.


How to print screen on Linux

Taking a screenshot on Linux can be done using various methods and tools, depending on your desktop environment and preferences. Here are a few common ways to capture screenshots on Linux:

Using the PrtScn (Print Screen) Key:

  • Press the PrtScn key on your keyboard. This will capture the entire screen and save the screenshot to the “Pictures” directory with a default name.
  • You might need to paste the screenshot into an image editing program (e.g., GIMP) to make edits or save it in a different format.
  • Using a Screenshot Tool: Linux distributions often come with screenshot tools that offer more control over the capture process. Some popular options include:

  • GNOME Desktop (Default for Ubuntu): Press the PrtScn key to capture the entire screen, or press Shift + PrtScn to capture a specific area. A screenshot tool will open, allowing you to save or edit the screenshot.
  • KDE Plasma Desktop (Default for KDE-based distributions): Use the “Spectacle” application for capturing screenshots.
  • Xfce Desktop: Use the “xfce4-screenshooter” application.

Using the Command Line:

  • Open a terminal and use the import command (part of the ImageMagick package) to capture screenshots. For example, to capture the entire screen:
import -window root screenshot.png
  • To capture a specific window, first find the window’s ID using the xwininfo command, and then use the ID with the import command:
xwininfo | grep "Window id:"
import -id <window_id> window_screenshot.png
  • Using Keyboard Shortcuts (Customizable): Depending on your desktop environment, you might be able to customize keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots. Check your system settings or preferences for options related to screenshots.

  • Using Third-Party Applications: There are several third-party screenshot applications available for Linux, such as “Shutter” and “Flameshot,” that offer additional features and flexibility.

Remember that Linux environments can vary significantly based on the distribution and desktop environment you’re using. It’s a good idea to check your specific distribution’s documentation for detailed instructions on capturing screenshots.

How to print screen on Web Browsers

  • Snipping Tool (Windows): Search for “Snipping Tool” in the Windows search bar. This tool allows you to capture selected areas of the screen and provides some basic annotation features.

  • Snip & Sketch (Windows): Similar to the Snipping Tool, Snip & Sketch offers more flexibility and features for capturing and editing screenshots.

  • Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar (Mac): After using the crosshair shortcut, press the spacebar to capture a specific window or application.
  • Command + Shift + 4 (Mac): Pressing these keys on a Mac will turn the cursor into a crosshair, allowing you to select an area to capture. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

  • Browser Extensions: Many browser extensions, like “Awesome Screenshot” or “Fireshot,” offer enhanced screenshot capabilities, including capturing visible content, entire web pages (even if they require scrolling), and annotation tools.

  • Built-in Developer Tools (Firefox and Chrome browser): Open the browser’s developer tools (F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I in Chrome, Ctrl+Shift+I in Firefox) and use the screenshot tool to capture a screenshot of the visible area or the entire page.

  • Web-based Screenshot Tools: There are various web-based screenshot tools available where you simply enter the URL of the page you want to capture, and the tool generates a screenshot. Examples include “BrowserStack Screenshot” and “Browshot.

Remember that the specific methods might vary slightly depending on your device, operating system version, and any custom settings you might have.