How to Use the "Print Screen" Function on a Keyboard

The Print Screen function on your computer is great for saving an image of your monitor. You can use this to help troubleshooting a problem, to explain to someone how to do something in Windows or to save a conversation for posterity. It's simple to do.


1. Find the ⎙ Print Screen key on your keyboard. The Print Screen button is typically located above the Insert/⇱ Home/⇞ Page Up block of keys. On laptops, you may have to hold the Fn Function key to access the Print Screen function. It sometimes shares a key with SysRq. Print Screen may be labeled as:

  • Print Screen
  • PrtScn
  • Prt Scr

2. Press ⎙ PrtScr to take a screenshot of your monitor. Pressing the key by itself will take a snapshot of everything that is currently displayed on your monitor. It copies this image to the clipboard, so that you can paste it into another program, such as Paint.

  • There is no confirmation displayed when you capture a screenshot.
  • The dimensions of the screenshot will be determined by the resolution of your desktop.

 3. Press Alt+⎙ PrtScr to take a screenshot of your active window. If you hold down the Alt key when pressing screenshot, an image of the just the active window will be copied to the clipboard. Everything else on the screen will be ignored. 

4. Paste your screenshot. In order to save the screenshot or edit it, you will need to paste it into a program. The easiest way to do this is to open a new file in Paint and press Ctrl+V. This will paste the image into paint, and you can draw and highlight the image as you see fit.

  • When you are ready to save it, save it as a PNG or JPG image to cut down on the size. JPG images will lose some quality when they are saved, while PNGs will retain most of the original quality but will result in a small file.
  • You can paste the image into other programs, such as Word or an email.
  • Your mouse cursor will not appear in the screenshot.
  • The dimensions of the image that you create will be determined by the size of the window.


Article ID: 90200
Wed 10/23/19 1:32 PM
Mon 2/7/22 9:01 AM