How to open the Windows 11 Snipping Tool with a single keyboard shortcut to capture, edit, and save screenshots

Dave W. Shanahan

windows 11 snipping tool

Updated December 26, 2022.

Need to take a screenshot? Microsoft has the Windows 11 Snipping Tool. This tool captures and allows edits to screenshots of your Windows 11 desktop.

Microsoft teased a new Snipping Tool for Windows 10 in August 2021, but the experience has not changed much.

Follow this guide to see how to quickly launch the Snipping Tool on Windows 11 using just one key on your keyboard!

Launch Windows 11 Snipping tool with a keyboard shortcut

In order to open the Snipping Tool, press the Windows logo key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut on your keyboard.

Once you perform the keyboard shortcut, your desktop screen will darken, which indicates the Snipping Tool is open and active. At the top of the screen, you will see five icons.

Viewing the 5 snipping tool options from left to right, here’s what each one does:

windows 11 snipping tool

1. Rectangular snip: capture a rectangular area on your Windows 11 desktop.
2. Free-form snip: capture a free-form, custom-shaped screenshot on your desktop.
3. Windows snip: capture a specific window on your desktop.
4. Fullscreen snip: Capture a screenshot of your entire desktop.
5. Close snipping: Pick this option to close the tool.

When you capture a screenshot, Snipping Tool displays a notification in the bottom right corner of your screen. Please note: If you have your notifications turned off on Windows 11, you may not see this notification.

windows 11 snipping tool

Click this notification to open the Snipping Tool to view and access more features. With the full Snipping Tool now activated and open, you can change the keyboard shortcut from Windows logo key + Shift + S to the Print Screen key instead.

Use the Print screen key to take screenshots

If you want to use the Print Screen key to capture screenshots, here’s what you need to do.

1. Go to the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and click Settings.

windows 11 snipping tool

2. Next to the Print screen shortcut, click Change in settings. This link will take you directly to turn on (and off) the Print Screen keyboard shortcut in Windows Settings.
windows 11 snipping tool
You can also change settings for the Windows 11 Snipping Tool, including whether to auto-copy content to the clipboard, save snips, open each snip in a new window, or use an outline around your snips.

3. Under the On-screen keyboard, access keys, and Print screen turn the Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping switch to the On position.

windows 11 snipping tool

Snipping Tool keyboard shortcuts

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts you can use once the Snipping Tool is activated:

1. Ctrl + N: Take a new screenshot
2. Ctrl + S: Save your current screenshot in your preferred location or folder and in your preferred file format.
3. Ctrl + C: Copies your current screenshot to the clipboard
4. Ctrl + P: Print your screenshot

Snipping Tool features and options

1. In the app at the top, you can capture a new screenshot using the “+ New” button. You also have options to delay the snipping time. This can be used to Snip in 3, 5, 10 seconds, or No delay after clicking the + New button.

windows 11 snipping tool

2. In the middle (from left to right), you can annotate, highlight, or erase content on your screenshot. If you need to make measurements on your screenshot, you can use a protractor or ruler, or optimize your screenshot so you can use your finger for touch writing. Image crop is available if you need to crop your screenshot, and undo and redo arrow buttons are also available if you make a mistake.

windows 11 snipping tool

3. At the right corner, you can access the magnifier to Zoom in and out of your screenshot. You can also Save, Copy, and Share your screenshot creation. If you click the three-dot menu, you can choose to Open a file or you can use Open with to open your screenshot in another program located on your PC.

windows 11 snipping tool

Print, Send feedback, Settings, and Tips & Tricks are also available if you want to use your mouse to click through the menu instead of using keyboard shortcuts.

Once you develop a workflow for capturing, editing, and saving screenshots using the Windows 11 Sniping Tool, you will no longer have to use multiple programs when you need to capture, edit, and save screenshots on your PC.

What other methods do you use to capture and save screenshots on Windows? Do you use any Microsoft Store apps or third-party programs? Let us know in the comments below!