Although there are about 8 different ways to take screenshots on a Windows computer, some users still struggle with it. For many people, the screenshot shortcut commands don’t execute any action. And when they do, the captured screenshots are nowhere to be found. Does that happen with you too? Read this guide to learn how to get your Windows PC to take screenshots without any complication.
Usually, this issue occurs when a background app is interfering with your PC’s screenshot operations. Also, some apps could cause captured screenshots to be saved in a different directory on your PC, conversely making you think your device doesn’t take screenshots.
Hopefully, it’s not the dedicated Print Screen button that gave up.
Other factors are responsible for this issue and we’ll highlight them with respective solutions in this post.
1. Close Interfering Apps
You should check if any of the apps running in the background are interfering with the screenshot feature. You can open the Task Manager and close apps one by one to figure out the culprit.
Cloud storage apps like Dropbox, OneDrive, and the Windows Snipping Tool are commonly responsible for this interference. Some users have also reported that closing some third-party snipping tools and photo editing apps helped restore their PC’s screenshot functionality.
Launch the Windows Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut. You could also tap ‘Windows key + X’ to launch the Quick Access Menu and then select Task Manager.
Afterward, scan through the Apps and Background processes sections, and close any active cloud storage and photo editing app that could be causing your Windows PC not to take screenshots.
To close an app from the Windows Task Manager, tap the app and click the End task button at the bottom-right corner.
Try taking a screenshot after closing these apps and check if it works.
2. Modify OneDrive Settings
By default, screenshots on a Windows computer should be saved in a dedicated sub-folder in the Pictures folder/section of the File Explorer.
If your screenshots don’t appear in the appropriate folder, it could be because:
- Your PC is not taking screenshots.
- Screenshots are being saved elsewhere on your PC.
One app that causes your screenshots to be saved elsewhere (other than the Screenshots folder) is OneDrive. Sometimes, screenshots you capture are saved to the OneDrive folder automatically. If you take screenshots on your PC, but you can’t seem to find them, check your OneDrive settings.
Step 1: Right-click the OneDrive icon at the bottom-right corner of your PC’s taskbar.
Step 2: Next, click on Settings.
That will open a new OneDrive Settings window.
Step 3: Navigate to the Backup section.
Step 4: Uncheck the ‘Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive’ option and select OK to save the changes.
Now, take screenshots and check if they are visible in your PC’s default screenshot folder.
3. Update Keyboard Driver
You could face difficulties using keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots if your PC’s keyboard driver is faulty, incompatible with your device’s OS, or the drivers are outdated. Try updating your keyboard driver and inspect if your PC’s screenshot functionality is restored.
Step 1: Use the Windows key + X shortcut to launch the Quick Access Menu and select Device Manager.
Step 2: Tap the Keyboard drop-down icon to reveal your PC’s keyboard driver.
Step 3: Right-click the keyboard driver and select Update driver.
Step 4: Next, select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’.
Note: For efficient results, ensure your PC is connected to the internet.
That will prompt the Device Manager to search your computer and the internet for an updated version of your keyboard’s driver. It might take a couple of seconds or minutes — depending on your internet connection.
If there’s an update for your keyboard driver, follow the installation prompt to have it installed on your PC. If you have the latest driver installed on your device and cannot take screenshots, proceed to the next troubleshooting option below.
4. Update Windows OS
Some users running old versions of the Windows OS on their computers were able to get their PC back to taking screenshots by updating their device’s operating system. If you’re facing the same issue, you want to make sure that your computer’s OS is up-to-date. To do this, launch the Windows Settings menu > Update & Security > Windows update > Check for Updates.
Take Screenshots Smoothly
Remember, use one screenshot tool at a time. If keyboard shortcuts don’t work, reboot your PC or update your keyboard driver. Alternatively, you can use the Windows Snip & Sketch tool. And if none of these get things done, at least one of the troubleshooting options listed above should restore the screenshot functionality of your Windows PC back to normalcy.
Next up: Windows and Mac have native screenshot tools, but when you need advanced features to annotate and edit your snaps, the free screenshot tools listed in the article linked below can fix the chop.
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