The 4 Best Windows Screenshot Apps and Tools

Ben Stegner Updated 02-06-2020

A good screenshot app is an essential part of your Windows toolkit. Screenshots let you capture funny moments as well as important information, or document problems to show others.


But what is the best screenshot tool for Windows? Let’s look at several top screengrab options and see which is best for your needs.

1. The Best Basic Screenshot Tool: Snipping Tool / Snip & Sketch

Windows Snipping Tool Home

If you’re using a computer where you can’t download any software or just need a basic screenshot, Windows has two built-in tools for taking screenshots that will serve you well.

The Snipping Tool, available from Windows 7 onward, is the classic version. It lets you capture screenshots in several modes and provides a few simple markup tools.

On Windows 10, we recommend using the newer Snip & Sketch tool, which is accessible anywhere thanks to a keyboard shortcut. It also features a few enhancements over the Snipping Tool. See our guide to the Snipping Tool to master using both of these apps.


Windows 10 Snip Sketch Editor

If you rarely take screenshots, these might be enough for you. But for frequent use, especially if you need to mark up your shots after taking them, we highly recommend checking out a better screen capture tool.

2. The Best Free Screen Capture Tool for Most People: PicPick

PicPick Home

PicPick is an excellent choice for anyone who needs more than the Snipping Tool can provide. It’s free for personal use and includes several features to improve your screenshot process.


The interface for PicPick looks quite similar to Microsoft Office apps, making it familiar for anyone who’s used the Office suite. It includes more screen capture options than Snip & Sketch.

For instance, Scrolling Window lets you capture long webpages all at once instead of having to stitch multiple shots together.

After you capture an image, PicPick really shines with its image editor. The Effects menu includes quick access to pixelation, watermarking, contrast adjustment, and similar. The Stamps menu lets you quickly add arrows and numbered bubbles to illustrate steps.

You can add highlights, as well as text and shapes in any color you choose. And the editor features tabs, allowing you to work on several images at once.


PicPick Editor

After you’re done editing, the Share tab lets you upload to Imgur, cloud storage, or social media pages. You can also email your image right from this menu.

Combine this handy feature set with extra graphical tools like a magnifier and crosshair to determine screen coordinates, and PicPick offers an attractive package for most people.

We recommend giving it a try if you’re new to screenshots, then moving onto one of the tools below if it doesn’t fit your needs.


Download: PicPick (Free for home use)

3. The Best Powerful Screen Capture Tool: ShareX

ShareX Home

If you’re a screenshot enthusiast looking for an app that does pretty much everything, ShareX is the answer. It’s completely free and offers an impressive suite of features that you’d usually expect to find in paid tools.

In addition to the usual capture modes, you can choose any app window from a list to capture it instantly. ShareX also lets you take easy screen recordings in GIF format, plus it has a Scrolling capture feature like PicPick.

That’s just the beginning of what ShareX has to offer. After you capture a screenshot, it includes an image editor with easy options to blur, crop, highlight, add a mouse cursor icon, and much more. It’s not quite as clean as PicPick, but still easy to use.

After you’re done editing, ShareX allows you to upload to many image-hosting services The 7 Best Imgur Alternatives for Uploading and Sharing Images Fed up with Imgur and its restrictions? Here are the best Imgur alternatives for uploading and sharing images. Read More , including Imgur, Flickr, and Google Photos. It also supports adding photos to cloud storage like Dropbox and OneDrive.

For maximum efficiency, you can define custom tasks that run every time you take a screenshot.

For example, you might choose to save the screenshot, copy it to your clipboard, and open it in ShareX’s editor. It also lets you define steps to run automatically after you upload the image, so you might shorten the URL and copy it to your clipboard.

ShareX Sharing Options

ShareX has a lot more to offer, including tools like a color picker and ruler, as well as tons of settings and hotkeys to customize. It might overwhelm people who only take screenshots occasionally, but you can’t expect much more for free.

Download: ShareX (Free)

4. The Best Premium Screenshot Tool: Snagit

Snagit Editor

Snagit is the luxury option in the screenshot tool world. While its price tag of $50 might seem excessive compared to the capable free options above, it’s worth the investment for anyone who uses screenshots regularly.

The impressive Snagit feature list is too long to detail here, but some of the standouts include:

  • The Library, which holds all of your captured images and divides them by which app or website you took them from.
  • A Simplify tool, which lets you remove unnecessary info from a screenshot. It automatically generates shapes and icons using colors pulled from the image.
  • OCR, which allows you to grab text from an image and use it elsewhere. You can also select some text and use the Edit text option to change the wording inside a screenshot.
  • Video capture, which is great for creating short screencasts when a screenshot isn’t enough.
  • A huge library of stamps for adding common OS elements like loading symbols, toggle switches, and much more.
  • An excellent support library to help you learn how to use the software and get help if something goes wrong.

Snagit has a truly staggering amount of features, and it gets better all the time. But unless you work with screenshots all the time, it’s probably overkill for you.

After a free trial, the initial $49.95 purchase lets you use the current version of Snagit for as long as you like. You can add on a year of maintenance for $12.49, which guarantees you’ll get the next major version of Snagit when it launches and includes some other perks too.

Download: Snagit ($49.95, free trial available)

What About Greenshot?

For a long time, Greenshot was the preferred Windows screenshot tool of many. It offered easy capture tools, a handy and straightforward editor, and a variety of sharing options. However, at the time of writing, Greenshot has not seen an update since August 2017.

While you can still use Greenshot if you really like it, we don’t recommend using apps that have been abandoned for years. All the above options receive regular updates, and are thus safer and include more features.

What’s Your Favorite Clipping Tool for Windows?

We’ve taken a look at several free screen capture tools for Windows, plus Snagit as a premium option. Chances are that one of them will fit your needs nicely, whether you just need something basic or want advanced sharing options.

Of course, there are many other screenshot programs available, but most offer similar features to the above. The best test is integrating them into your workflow for a while so you can explore their features fully.

Meanwhile, if you want to take video recordings of your desktop, check out the best screencasting apps Record Your Desktop with These 12 Great Screencasting Apps Need to record your desktop? Luckily, you'll find that screencasting apps are more common than you might think. Here are some of the best free ones. Read More instead.

Image Credit: Greg Brave/Shutterstock

Related topics: Screen Capture, Screenshots, Windows Apps, Windows Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Nobruca
    June 3, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I like the simplicity of Lightshot (

  2. Jim
    April 8, 2018 at 8:50 am

    As for me, I use the Acethinker Free Screen Grabber Online for taking screenshots of anything on my screen, especially when I want or need to share something with my friends like online articles. It is very easy to use. It has features perfect for grabbing an image. Sharing is not a problem because I can directly share or upload it to other platforms. You may give it a try.

  3. Gilles
    December 2, 2017 at 6:05 am

    I use Screenr. It is a new extension on the chrome store that is amazing. Faster and easier than most screen capture and annotation tools. They organize all annotations on a side panel. Very convenient. And 100% free.

  4. kailas
    May 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    While trying to open a game my computer shows "The program can't be start because d3dx9_30.dll os missing from your computer.try reinstalling the program to fix this problem "what can I do for this

  5. Tom
    January 26, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    EasyCapture is lightweight, feature-filled, and portable. I have used it for a long time to produce screen captures for user tutorials or troubleshooting evidence. It includes snapping images of open menus, which isn't always available. It has the basic editing tools I need to crop and add arrows or highlights. If I need something more than that, it's time to open an image editing program.
    I had tested quite a few screen capture packages, but EasyCapture was the one that met my needs. I'm now a very loyal user.

  6. Druuge
    December 31, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Uh. I see these articles about "best" screen capture tools all the time, at various tech-related sites and never see ShareX mentioned. It's really weird. Is it because it would be unfair to the other tools listed? Because ShareX infinitely destroys the competition for "Screenshot tools" in terms of features and customization. It even uses "greenshot" as it's baked in image editor, and offers all the premium features mentioned of SnagIt for free. Perhaps al l the options and features would bring the interface score down a notch because it might be intimidating at first for Aunt Ruby but it's far from being a mess. Certainly a "power user" screenshot tool and one than many readers of this blog would enjoy the most, I'd imagine.

    So again, I don't understand why it's rarely mentioned in these comparison articles or even message boards discussing free screenshot tools. I can't fathom it's due to lack of exposure because it's even on for Pete's sake!

    • Ben Stegner
      January 2, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      My method for choosing tools to compare in this article was to use a few I knew about, and search for "screenshot tool" on CNET and similar sites to compare their most popular tools. It seems that ShareX is a fan favorite, and I apologize for not including it. I hadn't heard of it until now, and will take a look at it because you've intrigued me!

  7. sally
    December 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I get your point about Jing, but why so low rating on ease of use?? Nothing is easier!

  8. Alex
    December 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I personally find it strange that you mentioned Jing as a program to avoid and didn't put IrfanView and Icecream Screen Recorder in the list.

  9. Elio
    December 27, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Greenshot is the best one, filled with great features like integrate the capture to another app using context menu

  10. Flubber
    December 27, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Jing allow other upload system, i used it for years but it's quite heavy.

    For now i use imageuploader.

  11. ma_t
    December 27, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Seriously, where's ShareX?

    • Ben Stegner
      January 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I never knew about ShareX until people started leaving comments on this piece, as I didn't come across ShareX in my travels when choosing tools for this article. I'll give it a shot for sure!

  12. Heinz Gehlhaar
    December 27, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I use IrfanView. It worked real well in previous versions of Windows, because you could have as many IfanView windows open as you wanted. Miserable Win10 does not do that ( and many other things!)

    • Tina Sieber
      December 28, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Heinz, how did you previously open additional IrfanView windows? I'm asking because it still works in Windows 10, but maybe your method is not available anymore.

      I keep a shortcut to IrfanView in the Taskbar. Right-click the shortcut and select IrfanView (version 4.38), and it will open a new IrfanView window. You can repeat that as often as you like. I'm on the Windows 10 Insider Preview.

      • Heinz Gehlhaar
        December 28, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        Thank you! Thank you!Thank you!

        Never thought of right-licking on the Taskbar-Shortcut. Works like charm.
        And I am always preaching to my friends: Use the right-click. Its free. Its amazing what it can do for you.

        Well, I am (very) slowly learning the benefits of Win10.
        Thanks again,

        • Tina Sieber
          December 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

          Glad I could help, Heinz! :) Happy New Year greetings from Berlin.

  13. Miaousse
    December 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I use screenpresso, the free version is enough for my need.

  14. valery
    December 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I used to use Greenshot, but now I find ShareX much more better. Tons of customization options and quick actions make it very very useful.

  15. Maxence
    December 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    FastStone Screen Capture

    • Pow?zka Przemys?aw
      December 27, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Exactly. Best for me.

  16. Howard A Pearce
    December 26, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Any that allow you to append screenshots on the go - so as to for a mural-like combination of pics?

    Probably not

    • Ben Stegner
      January 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      I haven't heard of any that do this Howard; perhaps it would be best to use a tool that automatically saves screenshots in a folder and use another photo editor to make the mural.