How to Do a Print Screen in Windows Explorer

By Michael Dance

The "Print Screen" function in Windows captures an image of everything that appears on your computer monitor at any given point and posts the results to the clipboard. Making such a screen capture can be a useful tool if you want to save a web page as an image, create visual aide for a program's help guide, or even capture the "Victory" screen on a game you're playing so you can brag to your friends. Luckily, the process is easy to perform, and is even built right into your keyboard.

Step 1

Make sure your computer screen looks exactly as you want it to be captured, and that the appropriate windows or programs are open.

Step 2

Locate the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard. The location will depend on your keyboard manufacturer, but it should normally be in the upper-right hand corner. On desktop computers, the function often has the key all to itself, and you can simply click on it; on laptops, the function may share the key with another function, and you may have to press it while holding the Shift key or the "Fn" (Function) key. After you press it, the screen as it currently appears will be copied to the Windows clipboard.

Step 3

Open Paint or your favorite image-manipulation program and create a new blank image.

Step 4

Click "Edit>Paste" or press Ctrl+V. The screen capture will appear in the program.

Step 5

Save the screen capture as an image file after making any of the desired changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Nothing visible or audible will happen when you hit the "Print Screen" button; in other words, you won't know whether or not it worked until you try to paste it into the image program.If it didn't work, just try again, and make sure you're pressing it correctly.