Print Scrn Key Captures Desktop Screenshots in One Click

Have you used the Print Screen key ever to capture desktop screenshots in one click? Print Screen key lies on the top right part of most keyboards along with the Scroll Lock and Pause Break Key and can easily capture desktop screenshots.

print screen key1. Captures Screenshots

If you use Windows, then just by clicking on print screen key will capture or take a photo of all content of your current desktop screen. This image is attached to the clipboard.

2. Paste Screenshots

Then just paste this to any image editing software.

a) Microsoft Paint is freely available on all Windows Software. Windows Paint is located at Start>All Programs>Accessories>Paint. The whole screen image will be pasted. Just select your area of interest and ‘crop’ it. Then save the image. (This image on the right side showing how to locate the Paint is taken by this technique).

b) My personal favourite free image editing software is Irfan View. Just open it, CTRL+V pastes the image, drag to select the area of interest, ‘CTRL+Y’ crops the image as desired, ‘S’ saves as the images to where you want it.

c) There are several professional screenshot capture shareware software like Snagit– that will do the job for you too.  But many such image capturing software have ads, embedded text, limited trial period or disabled features.

But for most routine jobs, The Print Screen Key works just great. Give it a try. Just vary the area of cropping and you can create great effects with multiple windows or just flaunt your weird desktop for all to see!


  1. Lee Grey says:

    You’re going to kick yourself when you hear this. I did. ;-)

    Even more useful than plain old Print Screen is Ctrl-Alt-Print Screen. It takes a snapshot of only the currently active window. No more cropping!

  2. Michael Pastore says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  3. Michael Pastore says:

    A great screen capture program is FastStone, at


  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t remember where I found it, but a program called “GrabClipSave” works great. Minimizes to the tray, then just hit PrtScrn and it automatically takes the screenshot and saves it (.jpg, .bmp, or .png) to the folder of your choice. You can also choose to have it make a sound once the screenshot is captured, but the sound will be delayed a second or two (but the picture will be taken when you hit the Prt Scrn button). Works with Zoo Tycoon running in full screen, so I’d assume it works in other games too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good info… I can use this page to help others figure out how to take a screenshot :). I think alt + print screen does the same as described by Lee Grey.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I paste it on paint and save the captured image but when I look at it again and open it, I only see blank space

  7. Lynea says:

    I just want to say “Thank you sooooooooo much” :) I had tried everything to capture a photo from media player and real player and nothing worked.. Thank you so much.. This is exactly what I needed.. If I ever get my website back up and running, I am definitly gonna put a link to this trick.. Awesome!

  8. HART says:

    Hmm.. I often wondered why there is still that “PrtScr/SysRq” button on my keyboard.

    I’ve been using the Screen Capture Utility from .. I still think it’s worth it, for $19.95usd .. as it creates it’s own .jpg on the fly .. but, had I seen your tip before I shelled out the moolah, I’d probably just use that Print Screen button and Adobe Photoshop.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I found another program that is similar to the two mentioned called Desktility, which uses the print screen key as the hotkey. It is $17.95 and I’m using the 30-use trial version to see how it goes. It creates a jpg (default) and stores it in the directory of your choice. Pretty cool.

  10. Liz says:

    Your entry was such a great help. Thanks!

  11. _Infinity_ says:

    Thanks … that was really helpful.

  12. Jully says:

    I have the same question as Poster number 7, August 18th, 2005.
    I paste it on paint and save the captured image but when I look at it again and open it, I only see blank space.
    Can someone please tell me what’s wrong? I unchecked ‘use overlays’, and put the slider to ‘none’ – but I have the same problem!! HELP!

  13. annonymous says:

    i found a freeware prog called Gadwin Print Screen you can basically take a picture of your desktop and you can set the prog to save directly or you can control every step of the save process
    i just used this program and my photo editor to grab stills of musician Billy Joel from a video of him that i had, i have the prog set up so i just need to hit 1 button, Print Screen (Pnt Scrn)and it saves as a jpeg file or the format of your choice then i can crop it in my photo editor, Gadwin Printscreen as far as i know is freeware and it doesnt have any adware or anything bad but please scan it just to be safe as always, Google “Gadwin Print Screen”

  14. Q. says:

    Thank you soooooooooo much! I have been trying to figure this out for years. I could not find a website that could help. Your instructions were easy and clear. You’re awesome!

  15. acemble says:

    Thanks for see me way “ALT + PINT + SCREEN” work.

  16. arthur says:

    This didn’t work for me either, but using Windows Media Player Classic, I simply pressed

    File > Save Image

    Windows Media Player Classic – What a great program

  17. Lala says:

    When I clicked Print Screen, nothing happened. =(

  18. Me says:

    Thanks so much! This was extremely helpful. I appreciate this!

  19. jason says:


    Yeah, it looks like nothing happened–which drove me crazy at first–but for me it actually is there on the clipboard when I try to paste into another program. I am an academic working on presentation about a particular film and just hit “print screen” and then paste into word. It’s magically there.

    Good luck and thanks for the tips!

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