If Your PrintScreen Key Isn’t Working, It Might Be Dropbox

Ben Stegner 06-10-2015

Though there are multiple ways to capture what’s on your screen Multiple Ways To Capture Or Print What You See On Your Screen Print Screen is a term that lost its original meaning decades ago. Today, actually printing a screenshot takes several steps. Combined with shortcuts and software, you have a powerful 21st century tool at your fingertips. Read More , 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 5 Tips to Manage Your Windows Clipboard Like a Pro Better known as Copy & Paste, a tool for students to lift passages from Wikipedia, the Clipboard can save you loads of typing time. We'll show you how to use it like a pro. Read More . Here’s how to disable this option and reclaim the key.


Start Dropbox if you don’t already have it running at startup 10 Startup Programs You Can Safely Disable to Speed Up Windows Computer booting slowly? You probably have too many programs running at startup. Here's how to disable startup programs on Windows. Read More and find its icon in the system tray Manage And Tidy The Windows 7 System Tray Every Windows user has seen the Windows system tray (also known as the notification area) become cluttered over time. We’ve covered disabling distracting desktop notifications in the past, but what if the icons themselves are... Read More . 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 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 or another editor to work on. If you find this method too basic for your screenshot needs, try a more powerful screenshot tool 4 Best Tools For Creating Screenshots Compared CTRL + SHIFT + 4. Three keys - that's all you need for perfect screenshots. It doesn't need to be a hassle! Try these advanced screen capturing tools and you won't ever look back. Read More .

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

Related topics: Dropbox, Screen Capture, Windows.

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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.