Although there are around 8 different ways to take screenshots on a Windows computer, some users still find it difficult to do so. For many people, the screen capture shortcut commands do nothing. And when they do, the captured screenshots cannot be found. Does this happen to you too? Read this guide to find out how to get your Windows PC to take screenshots without any complications.
Usually, this problem occurs when a background application is interfering with your PC’s screen capture operations. In addition, some applications can save captured screenshots in a different directory on your PC, which makes you think that your device does not take screenshots.
Fortunately, it is not the button dedicated to the print screen that has given up.
Other factors are responsible for this problem and we will highlight them with the respective solutions in this post.
1. Close the interfering applications
You should check if any of the applications running in the background are interfering with the screenshot function. You can open Task Manager and close apps one by one to find out the culprit.
Cloud storage apps like Dropbox, OneDrive, and the Windows Capture Tool are generally responsible for this interference. Some users have also reported that shutting down some third-party photo capture and editing tools has helped restore their PC’s screen capture functionality.
Launch Windows Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You can also press “Windows Key + X” to launch the quick access menu, then select the Task Manager.
Then go through the Applications and Background Processes sections and close any active cloud storage and photo editing apps that might be preventing your Windows PC from taking screenshots.
To close an application from Windows Task Manager, tap the application and click the End Task button in the lower right corner.
Try taking a screenshot after closing these apps and see if it works.
2. Change OneDrive settings
By default, screenshots on a Windows computer should be saved to a dedicated subfolder of the Images Explorer folder / section.
If your screenshots do not appear in the correct folder, it may be because:
- Your PC does not take screenshots.
- The screenshots are saved elsewhere on your PC.
OneDrive is an application that allows you to save your screenshots elsewhere (other than the Screenshots folder). Sometimes the screenshots you capture are automatically saved to the OneDrive folder. If you take screenshots on your PC, but can’t find them, check your OneDrive settings.
Step 1: Right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower right corner of your PC’s taskbar.
2nd step: Then click on Settings.
This will open a new OneDrive Settings window.
Step 3: Go to the Backup section.
Step 4: Uncheck the option “Automatically save the screenshots I capture to OneDrive” 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 the keyboard driver
You may have difficulty using keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots if your PC keyboard driver is faulty, incompatible with your device’s operating system, or if the drivers are out of date. Try updating your keyboard driver and check if the screenshot functionality of your PC is restored.
Step 1: Use the Windows + X keyboard shortcut to launch the quick access menu and select Device Manager.
2nd step: 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: Then select “Automatically check for updated drivers”.
Note: For effective results, make sure your PC is connected to the Internet.
This will prompt Device Manager to search your computer and the Internet for an updated version of your keyboard driver. It may take a few seconds or minutes – depending on your Internet connection.
If there is an update for your keyboard driver, follow the installation prompt to install it on your PC. If the latest driver is installed on your device and you cannot take screenshots, proceed to the following troubleshooting option below.
4. Update Windows operating system
Some users running older versions of the Windows operating system on their computers have been able to recover their PCs to take screenshots by updating the operating system on their devices. If you’re having the same problem, you want to make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date. To do this, launch the Windows settings menu> Update and security> Windows update> Check for updates.
Take screenshots smoothly
Remember, use one screen capture tool at a time. If keyboard shortcuts do not work, restart your PC or update your keyboard driver. You can also use the Windows Snip & Sketch tool. And if none of this helps, at least one of the troubleshooting options listed above should restore your Windows PC’s screen capture functionality to normal.
Windows and Mac have native screen capture tools, but when you need advanced features to annotate and edit your snaps, the free screen capture tools listed in the linked article below can fix the problem.
Last updated June 4, 2020
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