How to Screenshot on a Windows PC Without Print Screen: 4 Methods

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If you don’t have a Print Screen button on your keyboard, you have to come up with an alternate method for taking Windows screenshots. And as it turns out, the classic method of  hitting Print Screen, pasting the image into Paint, and saving it is pretty slow anyway.

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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 hitting Print Screen at all.

1.  Use Snip & Sketch or the Snipping Tool

Windows Snipping Tool Editor

Ever 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.

If you’re on Windows 10, 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.

Windows 10 Snip Sketch Editor

2. Install a Third-Party Screenshot App

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 The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows Are you often taking screenshots? Upgrade your tool to one that meets your needs. We put several free tools to the test and present the best ones for ease of use, editing, and sharing screenshots. Read More and change its keyboard shortcut to whatever you want.

Most allow you to set different shortcuts for the various kinds of screenshots. For example, you might have Ctrl + Shift + 3 for a full-screen screenshot and Ctrl + Shift + 4 to take a screenshot of the current window.

Snagit Hotkey Preferences

Once you’ve captured your screenshot, most screenshot editors 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 How to Edit and Enhance Screenshots Using MS Paint How to Edit and Enhance Screenshots Using MS Paint Here's how to edit a screenshot using Microsoft Paint so you can edit screenshots on Windows 10 without extra software. Read More again.

3. Remap Another Key to Print Screen

windows-screenshot-key-remap

There are certain tools you can use, such as SharpKeys, to remap keys in Windows Missing A Key? How To Remap & Fix Your Keyboard Layout Missing A Key? How To Remap & Fix Your Keyboard Layout Whether you're missing a key on your keyboard or just want to improve your productivity, remapping can be extremely useful. We'll show you how. Read More . Using them, you can change a button on your keyboard that you never use—like Power or Media Play—into a makeshift 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 use the remapped key. Even then, the other methods mentioned here are more convenient and flexible.

4. Open the On-Screen Keyboard

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 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.

Windows Print Screen OSK

Who Needs Print Screen for Screenshots?

With these methods, you don’t need a Print Screen button 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 workflow!

For more help, find out the best ways to take screenshots that you can search through quickly 6 Ways to Take Screenshots You Can Search Quickly 6 Ways to Take Screenshots You Can Search Quickly These tools show not only how you can take screenshots but also keep them organized and search them with OCR anytime. Read More .

Explore more about: Keyboard Shortcuts, Screen Capture, Screenshots, Windows 10, Windows Tips.

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  1. ***
    September 16, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    thank you for the snipping tool information

  2. suzybel
    July 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I have a print screen button and use it. I can't remember how I set it up but it saves my screencap to OneDrive. So I have a shortcut to the folder and stick it wherever I like after I save the screencap. I used to use the paste to Paint option, but it's extra steps and a pain. I used Greenshot and a couple of others that had the option of a camera click sound so you knew for sure you got the screencap you wanted but I don't really want extra software.

  3. Anonymous
    July 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Why go to the hassle of downloading more software when print screen already does what it's name implies?

    • Joel Lee
      July 4, 2016 at 2:09 am

      One reason: if your keyboard doesn't have Print Screen. :) Like right now, I'm bootcamping Windows on my Mac and this keyboard doesn't have one, lol.

  4. Anonymous
    July 1, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I use JSHOT as it allows you append screen-shots together (vertically or horizontally) as you take them. It has a variety of capture methods including from clip cache and window.

    • Joel Lee
      July 4, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Cool, JSHOT is new to me. I'll check it out. :)