Knowing how to take screenshots on a laptop comes in very handy, and luckily, both Windows and macOS laptops have a built-in screenshot feature that you can use. While the built-in tools provide the basics, third-party screen recording and screencasting utilities are a much better option for the more advanced user.
Let's see how to take a screenshot on laptops running Windows 10 and macOS using the official tools at your disposal or through an advanced third-party app.
How to take a screenshot on a Windows 10 laptop
Windows 10 offers several ways to take screenshots. There are at least three methods built into the operating system besides third-party screen recording apps with advanced features. How to take screenshots on a Windows 10 laptop.
1. Take screenshots with the pushbutton
If you want to take a full screenshot, the dedicated Print Screen button on your laptop is the best option. It's also available on external keyboards if you have one connected to your laptop.
- To take a screenshot, press Print screen Key on your laptop keyboard. There's a good chance that "Print Screen" isn't all on the key. So look for one that says "PS", "PrntScrn", or "PrtSc" if you can't find it.
When you press the push button, a screenshot is saved to your clipboard. You can paste the screenshot into a third-party paint or photo-editing app and modify it accordingly.
To save a screenshot directly as a file, press Windows key + Print Screen. The screen will dim for a second, which means your screenshot will be taken and saved.
By default, all captured screenshots are saved in the following location:
C: Users username Pictures Screenshots
Depending on your laptop manufacturer, you may need to try different keyboard shortcuts to take the screenshot as a file. Refer to your computer's user guide for more information.
If your screen isn't dim, make sure the Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing option is checked in the advanced options.
You can access it from Settings> System> Info> Advanced System Settings. Open the Advanced tab and select Settings in the Performance section.
When using a dual monitor setup, the print screen feature captures every active screen. To capture only the active window, click the title bar of the window you want to capture and press Alt + print screen.
2. Take a screenshot with the Windows 10 snipping tool
Is your dedicated print screen button not working? Don't worry, you can take screenshots without a Print Screen on Windows. Microsoft Windows 7 and the later versions of the operating system come with the Snipping Tool – a built-in screenshot utility for capturing custom areas or active windows. How to use it.
Open the Windows search bar, enter cutting tool, and press Enter to launch the app.
Press the New to take a new screenshot. Drag the crosshairs to select the area you want to capture.
You can edit the screengrab by highlighting or scribbling text with the Pen tool.
For more snip options, click this mode Button. Choose Freeform to snap to a specific area, or the window Option to capture active windows.
In addition, you can delay the shutter speed from one to five seconds when taking screenshots.
3. Take a screenshot with the Snip & Sketch Tool
If you're running Windows 10 October 2018 Update or higher, you can use the new Snip & Sketch tool. It has some useful new features compared to the Snipping Tool.
How to take screenshots with Snip & Sketch:
Enter Snip and Sketch in the Windows search bar and open the app.
Click the New button. Your screen will dim for a moment and a toolbar will appear at the top. You can choose between the options "Rectangular", "Freeform", "Window" and "Full screen cut".
For delayed snips, click the down arrow next to the New Select option and Snip in 3 seconds or Snip in 10 seconds.
To adjust the screenshot, you can use a highlighter, a different colored ballpoint pen, a straight line roller, or a cropping tool to make the image smaller. If you screw it up, use the eraser to wipe away your mistakes.
Press Windows Key + S to save the picture.
Alternatively, you can use the to access the Snip & Sketch tool Windows key + Shift + S to take quick screenshots and save them automatically. All screenshots are saved in the This PC> Pictures folder.
4. Use the built-in Windows 10 game bar
Windows 10 now ships with the Xbox Game Bar. This bar provides quick access to screen recording and sharing functions for PC gamers. However, you can also use it to take regular screenshots in Windows 10 laptops.
To take screenshots with the Game Bar tool:
Press Windows Key + G on your keyboard to launch the Game Bar app.
Click the camera icon. Game Bar will take the screenshot and save it automatically. The currently active window is automatically captured, so make sure you have selected the correct window.
The Game Bar's screenshot feature is pretty straightforward, but works well for what it's worth. It was designed to work with games and that shows in its functionality.
Go to Start> Settings> Gaming> Xbox Game Bar to customize the keyboard shortcut and everything else.
5. Use ShareX to take professional screenshots with advanced features
Windows 10's rudimentary screen recording apps are very good at doing basic tasks. However, if you want more advanced features, ShareX is the best free screenshot tool available for Windows 10.
ShareX lets you take screenshots, quickly annotate them, record the screen, create GIFs, and choose from multiple recording methods. And we haven't even looked at the post-capture features, including annotations, blurring, frame adjustment, etc.
ShareX is a great utility when you need powerful screenshot software that can do more than just take screenshots. It is feature-rich and, most importantly, free to use.
Download: ShareX for Windows (free)
How to take a screenshot on a MacBook or macOS
macOS offers numerous ways to take a screenshot on a MacBook. With the release of macOS Mojave, there's finally a built-in screenshot tool similar to what we've seen with Windows OS!
1. Take a screenshot with the screenshot tool
macOS Mojave and newer versions have a built-in screenshot tool. To open it, navigate to Launchpad> Other> Screenshot or use the Shift + Command + 5 Abbreviation. How to use it.
Press the Shift + Command + 5 to start the screenshot tool. A floating toolbar will appear with a few options.
You can capture the entire screen, custom area, active window, and more.
There is a delay feature that you can access by clicking Options. Options such as choosing where to save your Mac screenshots will appear. By default, the screenshots are saved on your desktop.
This tool also offers a screen recording function. Start the tool, select Record the entire screen or Selected part, and drag the crosshairs to select the area. When you're done, click the recording Button to start screen recording on your MacBook.
2. Use Shift + Command to take screenshots on a Mac
macOS comes with predefined shortcuts to capture a full screen, custom area, and active window. It's useful for taking quick screenshots without launching the screenshot tool.
To capture screenshots with shortcuts on a MacBook:
Press Shift + Command + 3 on your keyboard to capture the entire screen. You will see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen. You can edit the screenshot or wait for it to be saved on your desktop.
Press Shift + Command + 4 to capture part of the screen. Drag the crosshairs to select the area to record.
Alternatively, press Shift + Command + 4 + Spacebar. A camera icon is displayed. Select the window you want to capture, then click the camera icon.
If you want to send the screenshots to your clipboard, use the Ctrl key in combination. For example, if you want to capture a custom area, press Shift + Command + Ctrl + 4, take a screenshot and it will be saved to your clipboard.
3. Use Snagit Screen Capture and Recording for Mac
Snagit is powerful screen capture and recording software from Techsmith, the developers of Camtasia Studio. It's premium software for quickly capturing your screen, adding extra context with annotations, text, and more.
Snagit supports several methods of capturing screenshots and screen captures. You can also edit videos with text, annotations, and visual instruction templates.
Unfortunately, Snagit isn't free. If you don't want to splurge on a screen capture tool just yet, there are some excellent free alternatives for the Mac including Snappy, LightShot, and Skitch.
Download: Snagit for Mac (Free Trial / $ 49.99)
How to take a screenshot on a laptop
Screenshots are handy for sharing an error screen with tech support, sharing your new find on social media, or even celebrating a milestone with friends or family. Now you know the best screenshot tools available, whether you prefer Windows or macOS.
However, if you're not a fan of installing apps for everything, online screenshot tools are effective alternatives that are getting better every day.
8 websites that let you take screenshots online without your keyboard
With a defective keyboard or without the "Print Screen" button, you can create high-quality online screenshots.
About the author
(11 articles published)
Tashreef is a technology writer at MakeUseOf. With a bachelor's degree in computer applications, Tashreef has over 5 years of writing experience and covers Microsoft Windows and everything related to it. When he's not working, you can tinker with him on his PC or play FPS games.
By Tashreef Shareef
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