How to Take a Snapshot of a Windows Computer Screen

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

The ability to take a screenshot is very handy. It can be used to prove that something has been done, to show the method of accomplishing an online task, or even just to copy (legally, of course) a photo that you have found. If you have never taken a screenshot, it can be very easy to do. You can even choose whether you want to copy the entire computer screen, one window within the screen, or even whether or not to save the file. Here are the steps involved in creating a screenshot:

1. Look for a Print Screen Button on your laptop. This will say prt sc, and is usually found along the top of the screen. Sometimes, it will be in a different color, and require a series of button pushes to get to it. If you can’t figure it out, consult your manual.

2. Push the windows button and print screen, and your photo will be taken. A save window will open, allowing you to name the file and place it in whichever folder you would like. From there, it can be treated like any other file, and emailed, posted into a blog, or anything else you would like.

3. If you only want one window, then you can hit Alt and Print Screen instead. This allows you to then choose the correct window, if you have multiple windows open, and not have to later crop out the unnecessary portions of the photo that you didn’t need anyway.

4. Finally, for users of windows 7, there is a separate tool that will also work well to take screenshots. This is called the snip tool, and once it is installed, can be available to cut out a screenshot at a single right click. Simply download for free from windows download website, right click, and then you can use a mouse, track pad, or your finger to figure out the size of the area you want to snip. This has advantages over print screen, because you can create custom photos that are portions of multiple windows. At times, this can be very helpful, or even artistic.

5. If you just want a photo that isn’t going to be saved, a single push of print screen will do that for you. It can go straight to the printer for you without having to keep a copy. This is great if you want sensitive documents sent out from a public computer without saving one.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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