How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

Although this article is about taking a Screenshot in Windows 10, and the examples given are from a Windows 10 computer, the methods listed here for taking a screenshot in Windows 10 will work for all currently supported versions of Microsoft Windows.

Supported versions of Windows are versions of Windows for which Microsoft still provides support.  This includes Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.  It does not include Windows XP, although the process may work with Windows XP.

Why take a screenshot in Windows 10?


There are many reasons you may need to take a screenshot in Windows 10.  One of the most common is if you are having a problem with Windows 10 or with software in Windows 10 and you will be seeking assistance with troubleshooting.  When you’re doing this – or even when you might have to go to someone for help in the future, it’s a really good idea to capture the problem with which you need help, when it’s happening.  How many times have you gone to a Mechanic and when you go to pick up your vehicle, you see “cannot reproduce problem”?  It happens with computer problems, too.  But if you take a screenshot when the problem occurs, this is much less likely to happen.

A screenshot of an error message or an error condition is invaluable to a technician or computer specialist who will be helping you with the issue.  If you can catch it in a screenshot, you should.


If you need to document something on your computer – maybe a process either for your future reference or the reference of others, one of the easiest ways to produce a great result is to take screenshots as you go through the steps, insert the screenshots into a document, and then go back and fill in the narrative that goes with those steps.

In this case, taking screenshots in Windows 10 or any version of Windows, can make the process much faster and more accurate.  You don’t have to keep stopping along the way to jot down that part of the process.  You can use the screenshots as a guide later.

Proof of Something

I’m not an attorney, and I don’t know how this sort of thing stands up in court, but there are many situations that arise where the only practical way to get a record of it is to take a screenshot and file it away.  When you have no control over the platform – social media, chat, text messaging, etc, you may be able to copy text, but copied and pasted text out of context is meaningless.  For example, if I wanted to show someone a tweet that they “don’t remember” sending, which one of these is more convincing?

“Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.10:15 AM – 29 Jun 2017”


Sample Screenshot: Tweet


If you want to jog someone’s memory, the latter is probably going to be (a lot) more effective.

In all cases, being able to take a quick screenshot is a great, quick way to document many things for many reasons.  And once you find out how easy it is, you’ll probably use it frequently.  Bet before you do that, there are a few things you need to know.  For example, it’s easy to take a screenshot – you just press two keys.  But then where is it?  What do you do with it?  How can I see it?  How can I save it?

These are the steps in the process that make taking a screenshot in Windows 10 and other versions of Windows less intuitive than it should be, and it’s why you have to find something like this to know the tricks.

Process for Taking a Screenshot in Windows 10

First, let’s address those questions.

Where is it?

Once you take a screenshot, it’s on your Windows clipboard.

How Can I See it?

In order to see the screenshot you took in Windows 10, you’ll have to paste it somewhere.  The clipboard on which a screenshot is automatically placed is saved in memory, but it isn’t visible.

What Do I Do With it?

Once you paste it, you will be able to see it and even save it.  In order to save it, you can use something very simple like Wordpad (the very basic word processor that’s included in Windows 10).  A word processor is a great place to put screenshots if you are doing many of them for documentation purposes.  You don’t have to save the document until you are done putting your screenshots in it. Until then, you can just dump them in the document.

If you want to be able to edit or annotate items, or just save a screenshot as an image to be viewed on any image viewer, you can paste it into a photo editing program like Photoshop.  In this case, you are pasting the screenshot in the photo editing program for the purpose of saving it out to an image file.  This is generally the result you expect from a Windows screenshot.  It’s what you normally think of.

Steps for Taking a Screenshot in Windows 10

To take a screenshot of a single window and save as an image

  1. Click on the window that you want to capture
  2. Press ALT+PrtSC (to take a screenshot of the entire screen, just press PrtSC)
  3. Open MS Paint by clicking the windows icon (bottom left) and type paint. Select Paint to openStart Paint for Windows Screenshot
  4. Once MS Paint Starts, press CTRL+V to paste the screenshot
  5. Your done!  You can now save that screenshot as an image by either pressing CTRL+S or by going to the File Menu and selecting Save.

    To take screenshots and put them in a word processing document or some other document, just go into that app at step 4, pressing CTRL+V to paste into the software you have chosen.

    That’s how you Take a Screenshot in Windows 10.