How to Open Snipping (Screenshot) Tool Using Print Screen Key in Windows

How To Solved issue

Question asked by:

Manressa E.


Is it possible to make a shortcut for Snipping Tool in Windows?


How can I have a shortcut of a Snipping tool in Windows? Using the Win+S+Shift is too complex for my fingers, lol...
Thank you.
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How to Open Snipping Tool Using Print Screen Key in Windows 11

One of the most unintuitive things you can do in a Windows 8, 10 or 11 computer is to open the snipping tool1 by the default way. You must type “snip” in the search bar whenever you need to capture photos. Or use an obnoxious key combination of “Win key” +”shift” + “s”.

That process is a lot of bother for most people, considering you can press one key instead. Fortunately, you can use the Print Screen button to open the tool and capture your screen effortlessly.
Here’s how to make your workflow easier with just a few tweaks. 

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What Does the Print Screen Key Do? 

The Print Screen key2 is a keyboard shortcut in Windows, designed by Microsoft to take screenshots. Pressing this key will capture the entire fullscreen view, including all open windows on the desktop. This image can then be pasted into an image editor or a document.

In Windows 8, 10 and 11, you can set the Print Screen key to open the Snipping Tool, a built-in and more versatile screenshot utility by Microsoft. Once done, pressing Print Screen opens the Snip Tool, allowing selective capturing of specific areas or open windows.

Setting Up the Print Screen Shortcut for Snipping Tool (Implementation Time: ~3-5 mins)

The screenshot tool is a better utility option than Print Screen since it can capture and annotate pictures in full screen, active window, and free-form. Users can also use the delay to set up more complex shots. 

Although you can use the Windows logo key + Shift + S to open the screenshot tool, this method can bother many users. 

Here’s how to replace it with the “Print Screen” key:

Open & Complete Every Step via Settings App

1. Access the Settings app by going to the Start menu and typing “Setting.”

Setting Up the Print Screen Shortcut

2. Navigate through Accessibility > Keyboard to access your keyboard settings. 

Navigate through Accessibility > Keyboard to access your keyboard settings. 

3. Toggle the Use the Print Screen key to open screen capture. You can now take a screenshot using the PrtScn key without directly opening the screen snip app.  

Toggle the Use the Print Screen key to open screen capture.

The screenshots would be saved in your clipboard by default.
You can now press the Print Screen button to open Screen Snipping on Windows or the entire screen.
To disable this feature by following the abovementioned steps and toggle switch it off. 

Did You Get It Working?

And that’s how to set up the Print Screen (PrtScn) button to open screen snipping in Windows. You can paste the image into the Paint or Sketch App or any editing software to edit your photos manually.

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  1. What is and how to use default Snipping tool? — via [↩]
  2. Where is Print Screen key & how to use it? — via [↩]
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About the author
Jack Palentino - Expert Author, QA

Jack works at from the beginning. He’s been a colleague with the owner Iggy & who consulted people with their PC issues for years.

He fixed and custom-developed various Windows apps. And now Jack is overlooking the QA processes on WindowsGuided and writes expert guides on various PC error fixes.