If Your PrintScreen Key Isn’t Working, It Might Be Dropbox
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Though there are multiple ways to capture what’s on your screen, the Windows PrintScreen button is a tried-and-true favorite that doesn’t require any extra software. However, Dropbox can hijack this button and keep it from copying a screenshot to your clipboard. Here’s how to disable this option and reclaim the key.

Start Dropbox if you don’t already have it running at startup and find its icon in the system tray. Then, you need to open Dropbox’s preferences by clicking the icon, followed by Gear Icon > Preferences…


Under the Import tab, uncheck the Share screenshots using Dropbox option. Oddly enough this is enabled by default even though it’s confusing and totally changes the use of the PrintScreen key.

While this setting is on, anytime you press PrintSc, the screenshot is instantly saved into a Dropbox folder instead of being added to the clipboard – so when you try to paste, you end up pasting the previous item you copied instead of your new image.

Try it out – you should now be able to press PrintScreen and paste your image into Paint or another editor to work on. If you find this method too basic for your screenshot needs, try a more powerful screenshot tool.

Was Dropbox causing this problem for you? What’s your favorite screenshot utility? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Anonymous
    October 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Thanks. I rarely use print screen, but the few times when I did I had no clue what happened to the screencap I just took. I cleaned a dozen pics out of my dropbox that I had no need to keep.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 6, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      You're welcome! It's always weird when a key suddenly stops responding. Glad we could help!

    • Anonymous
      October 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      It was the same with me, except I only had two pics to clean out. I just started using the Windows Snipping Tool instead.

      I changed my Dropbox preferences, and the PrtScr works again but, I think I will continue to use the Snipping Tool anyway.

      • Ben Stegner
        October 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

        That's a good idea, Steve. The Snipping Tool is really useful and doesn't require any extra software, so it's almost always a better choice than using PrintSc unless you need an ultra-fast grab of something.