How to Screenshot on Windows Without Print Screen: 4 Methods – MUO – MakeUseOf

Don’t have a Print Screen key? Want to use a faster method? Here’s how to take Windows screenshots without Print Screen.
If you don't have a Print Screen button on your keyboard, or that key isn't working properly, you'll have to come up with an alternate method for taking Windows screenshots. And as it turns out, the classic screenshot method of hitting Print Screen, pasting the image into Paint, and saving it is pretty slow anyway.
There are plenty of reasons you wouldn't want to use Print Screen for screenshots. Thus, let's quickly look at how to screenshot on Windows without using Print Screen at all.
Every modern version of Windows comes with a built-in screenshot utility called the Snipping Tool. With it, you can snap quick screenshots of the entire screen, individual windows, square regions, or freeform selections.
Just open the Start menu and search for "snipping" to start using it. It's much more useful than pasting into Paint, and you can pin it to your Taskbar for easy access. See our guide to using the Snipping Tool for more help.
If you're on Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can instead use the newer Snip & Sketch utility. This is largely similar to the Snipping Tool, but has a few extra features. Most notably, you can press Win + Shift + S to open the screenshot utility from anywhere.
This makes it easy to capture, edit, and save screenshots—and you never need the Print Screen key. If you only take screenshots occasionally, we'd recommend sticking with Snip & Sketch as the best method.
While Windows has several screenshot methods built-in, third-party options offer far more control and customization. All you have to do is install one of the best screenshot tools for Windows and change that app's keyboard shortcut to whatever you want.
Most screenshot utilities allow you to set different keyboard shortcuts for the various kinds of screenshots. For example, you might use Ctrl + Shift + 3 for a full-screen screenshot and Ctrl + Shift + 4 to take a screenshot of just the current window.
Once you've captured your screenshot, most screenshot tools have great editors that allow you to add arrows, obfuscation, and a lot more. You won't ever have to edit a screenshot in Paint again.
If you aren't able to install software on your current machine, check out sites that let you take web screenshots without the keyboard.
There are certain tools, such as SharpKeys, that let you remap keys on your computer. Using these, you can change a button on your keyboard that you never use—like Power or Media Stop—into another Print Screen key.
While this can work if you really want a dedicated key for capturing screenshots, it's not a great idea in most cases. You should be absolutely certain that you'll never need the remapped key for its intended purpose. For example, if you remap F12 to take a screenshot, you won't be able to use any other shortcuts that involve the F12 key.
In addition, the other methods mentioned here are more convenient and flexible, so we only recommend this as a last resort.
One of the accessibility tools included in Windows is an on-screen keyboard. It's useful for people who have trouble using a keyboard, or when you need to enter text but your keyboard isn't working. However, you can also take advantage of it to access the Print Screen key.
To start, open the on-screen keyboard by typing on screen or osk into the Start menu and launching the utility. This will open a keyboard inside a normal app window. Click the PrtScn key on the right side, and your system will respond just as if you'd pressed the Print Screen button on a real keyboard.
From there, you can paste the screenshot into Paint or another image editor of your choice to edit and save it. This is clunky as it involves several steps, but if nothing else works, it's a good fallback.
With these methods, you don't need a Print Screen key to easily take screenshots in Windows. Using an alternate method is faster and more flexible than pasting into Paint, so give one of these a try and revamp your screenshot workflow!
Once you've taken some screenshots, you should know how to make them look even better.
Ben is the Editor in Chief at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. He’s been covering tech tutorials, video game recommendations, and more as a professional writer for over eight years.
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