June 17, 2024
Our comprehensive guide explains how to take a screenshot on a laptop. Learn how to take a screenshot using keyboard shortcuts or with different tools. Find troubleshooting tips and tricks, and discover how to annotate, edit, and capture images of specific pages. Our guide helps you to be screenshot-savvy in no time!


If you’re new to the world of laptop computing, you may be wondering how to take a screenshot on your device. Screenshots are incredibly helpful in capturing an image of your screen, be it an error message, an online article or a game achievement. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to taking screenshots on a Windows laptop, explore the use of keyboard shortcuts, and explain how to solve common problems. We’ll also look at editing and annotating screenshots, and a new feature that allows taking screenshots of specific areas of a webpage or application. This guide is perfect for both novice and intermediate users.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Take a Screenshot on a Windows Laptop

Before we dive into the various methods of taking screenshots on a Windows laptop,let’s first define what a screenshot is. A screenshot is an image of your computer screen that captures exactly what’s on the display at that precise moment in time. A screenshot is helpful when you want to capture information that can’t be copied, saved, or accessed later. Here are some methods to take a screenshot on your laptop:

Method one: Using the Windows Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a built-in screenshot tool available on Windows 10. It’s quick and easy to use. To take a screenshot using the Snipping Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Snipping Tool by searching for it in the Windows taskbar.
    Search Snipping Tool in start menu
  2. From the Snipping Tool menu, select the “New” button.
    New button option in Snipping Tool
  3. Drag the cursor around the area you want to capture. Release the mouse button when you’re done.
    Drawing cursor on Snipping Tool
  4. The screenshot will now appear in the Snipping Tool window.
  5. Save the screenshot in your desired location.

Method two: Using the Windows + Print Screen Keyboard shortcut

The Windows + Print Screen keyboard shortcut is another quick and easy way to take a screenshot on your laptop. It captures the entire screen, and you can save it as an image file directly to your computer. Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure the content you want to capture is visible on your screen.
  2. Press the Windows + Print Screen buttons simultaneously.
  3. The entire screen will briefly dim and then brighten up again, indicating that the screenshot has been taken.
  4. Open the File Explorer to the default filepath (C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Pictures\Screenshots) where the screenshot is saved.

The Ultimate Shortcut Guide to Taking Screenshots

If you love using shortcuts, there’s good news. There are keyboard shortcuts available for taking screenshots on different operating systems. Here they are:

Print Screen

The PrtScn (Print Screen) button is one of the primary ways to take a screenshot on a laptop. Pressing the PrtScn button captures the entire screen of the computer, notwithstanding the number of monitors attached to it.

If you’re using Windows 10, pressing PrtScn will create a screenshot and automatically save it to the Screenshots folder in the Pictures library. Pressing Alt + PrtScn will capture a screenshot in the active window only. It’s that simple.

Windows Key + PrtScn

The Windows Key + PrtScn shortcut is exclusive to Windows 10 users. Pressing the combination captures the entire screen, and it saves the screenshot in the Screenshots folder inside the Pictures library of your PC.

Windows Key + Shift + S

The Windows Key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut is a Windows exclusive feature called Snipping Tool. Pressing the combination triggers a snipping toolbar at the top of the screen. The toolbar enables you to capture the rectangular part of the screen you desire. You can capture the entire screen, open an image editor, or copy everything to your clipboard.

Troubleshooting Common Screenshot Problems on a Laptop

It isn’t uncommon to face issues when taking screenshots, especially if you’re a new user. Here are some common problems and how to fix them:

Black or Blank screenshots

If you take a screenshot, and the resulting image is completely black or blank, you’re probably trying to capture protected content. If the content is protected, it means that you don’t have permission to take its screenshot, and the operating system will only capture a blank or black screen. Try capturing in normal mode.

Screenshot tool not working or unavailable

If the screenshot tool is not working or unavailable, it could be for several reasons. For built-in tools like Snipping Tool, try restarting your computer or updating your operating system. If you’re using a proprietary screenshot tool, check to see that the device drivers, software updates, or system app are up-to-date.

How to Annotate and Edit Screenshots on a Laptop

While saving screenshots is great, it’s sometimes necessary to edit or annotate them before sharing them. Here are some tools and applications that can help:

Windows Snipping tool

The Windows Snipping tool allows you to edit your screenshot after you capture it. You can highlight text, draw shapes, crop, and apply a variety of effects, including shadow and blur. The Snipping Tool can save your screenshot as a PNG, JPEG, GIF, or even as an HTML file.


Lightshot is a lightweight and intuitive application for capturing and editing screenshots on a laptop. It’s an excellent pick if you’re looking for annotations and editing options that go beyond the built-in tools within Microsoft Windows.


Paint is a simple and effective tool that comes pre-installed with Windows. It lets you crop, resize, and apply photo filters to your screenshot. You can also add text, draw shapes and put stickers on your screenshot before saving it.

How to Take Screenshots of Specific Areas of a Webpage or Application

While normal screenshot tools capture the entire screen, sometimes you only need a part of it. Here are some tools and applications that can take screenshots of specific areas of a webpage or application:


Snagit is one of the most advanced yet user-friendly be screenshotting tools on the market. With Snagit, you can capture your screen, webcam, and audio. You can also crop, annotate, and share your screenshot with ease. This software is compatible with Windows and macOS.


Greenshot is a powerful yet lightweight screenshotting tool. It can capture a specific area of the screen or an entire window with a simple hotkey. Greenshot lets you add shapes, lines, text, and blur effects to your screenshot. It supports Windows only.

Windows + Shift + S (Snipping Tool)

This Windows-exclusive feature captures a specific area of the screen or an entire window. Unlike the Snipping Tool, it’s easier to use, and it saves the screenshot to your device’s clipboard.


Taking screenshots is an essential part of working with a computer, and there are various methods and tools to help you with this task. We showed you how to capture screenshots on Windows laptops, how to use keyboard shortcuts, and what to do when you encounter common problems. We also discussed tools and applications for editing and annotating screenshots, as well as for taking specific area screenshots. We hope you’ll find this guide helpful and encourage you to try each method and explore the different tools and applications mentioned.

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