My Print Screen Key Won't Work

By Leighton Sawatzky

The Print Screen key copies the image displayed on your monitor to Windows' clipboard, allowing you to paste it into documents. To paste the copied image, simply right-click inside a document window and select "Paste" from the menu. If your Print Screen key isn't working at all, though, there are a few things you can try to get it working again.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver (optional)

Step 1

Hold the "Function" key on the keyboard when pressing the Print Screen key. On some keyboards, it is abbreviated "Fn." The "Function" key is mostly found on laptop keyboards, where some keys have several commands linked to them.

Step 2

Press the "F-Lock" key to toggle the way the keyboard's function keys operate. On some keyboards, the "F1" through "F12" keys have alternate functions that are enabled when the "F-Lock" function is disabled; the "Print Screen" command is one of these alternate functions on some keyboards. Most keyboards have an indicator light showing when "F-Lock" is turned on.

Step 3

Download and install updated keyboard software if neither of the above steps work. Check the support or download area of the keyboard manufacturer's website for updated drivers or control software.

Step 4

Remove the Print Screen key from the keyboard by prying it off with a flat-head screwdriver. Check underneath the key and clear away any debris that may be preventing the key from being pressed down all the way. Press the key back on.