Each keyboard, whether external or portable, comes with an abbreviated PrtScr print screen button. Press the print screen button to capture the entire screen which you can then paste into an application like Paint. This is one of the fastest ways to take a screenshot on Windows. For some users, the PrtScr key is not responding or simply not working. In this case, you can use a keyboard shortcut or an app to take screenshots. Why would you do this when you have a dedicated screenshot key on the keyboard?
The Print Screen is a universal button that is available on all Windows 10 computers and works the same. Typically, it is located in the top row after the function keys. Long before browser extensions and third-party apps were available, there was a print screen option, and many people still prefer to use it because it’s fast and works everywhere. So when it stops working, this inconvenience is often annoying.
Let’s see how we can fix the print screen not working error on your Windows 10 computer.
1. Use keyboard shortcuts
There are other ways to take screenshots using a combination of PrtScr buttons. Instead, try using the Alt + PrtScr shortcut. This will take a screenshot of the currently selected window instead of the entire screen – no need to crop or remove the unwanted background now.
When using Windows key + PrtScr shortcut, full screen screenshots are saved in Pictures> Screenshots folder. If you are using a keyboard or laptop with the Fn key, you are in luck. You can use it with the Windows or Alt key combination.
Some keyboards come with an F lock key instead of the Fn key. If so, you don’t need to hold it down. Just tap it once to activate it just like you do with caps lock.
Pro tip: Press Windows Key + Shift + S to launch a flexible new way to take screenshots. Your screen will dim and you will notice a floating bar at the top. Use your mouse to select an area of the screen to take a screenshot. The feature was earlier part of OneNote, but Microsoft included it in the Windows 10 Creators Update.
2. Supported as a shortcut to a third-party application
The shortcut may have been associated with a third-party app such as Dropbox, as noted by a user named gbbay in the Microsoft support forums. It could be an app that you recently updated or installed. So, check if a third party app has picked it up.
3. Keyboard material
Have you tried with another keyboard? There might be a problem with your current keyboard and it needs to be fixed. Make sure everything works with keyboard hardware and software. Connect your keyboard to another computer to verify or borrow a friend’s keyboard for your computer instead. Sometimes the USB port may not be able to correctly detect the keyboard.
4. Hardware troubleshooting tool
All editions of Windows 10 come with a hardware troubleshooter that checks for errors in external devices like mice, keyboards, printers, etc.
Step 1: Press Windows key + I shortcut to launch settings. Once opened, search for “Find and fix keyboard problems” and click to open it.
2nd step: Select the ‘Apply repairs automatically’ option at the bottom and click Next to continue.
Windows will now search for the issues and suggest a solution if necessary. He will then apply the solution if it is within his rights.
5. Registry Editor
Unlike Group Policy Editor, which is preinstalled in Windows Pro and later versions only, Registry Editor is available in Windows Home.
Step 1: Find and open it from the Start menu. Make sure to run it with administrator rights as shown in the screenshot below.
2nd step: Navigate to the folder structure below.
Step 3: Find a file named Screenshot Index in the right pane of the window. You don’t have to do anything if the file already exists. If the file is missing, right-click a space in the right pane and select DWORD (32-bit) Value under New. I have the file as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 4: Name the newly created file as Screenshot Index and double click to open it. The hexadecimal value data must be set to 4.
Step 4: Access this folder now.
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerUser Shell Folders
Step 5: Find and open this file.
Step 6: Double click on the file to make sure the value data is set to % USERPROFILE% Pictures Screenshots. If the file is missing, create a string value file instead of the DWORD file like we did above and enter the value as shown.
If that doesn’t work, try 695 instead of 4 as the value in step 4 and try again.
6. Try third-party apps
There are many apps available that you can use to take screenshots. Microsoft has offered the capture tool for years. Then there are browser extensions that you can use with additional built-in features like screen recording.
Put it on the screen
I continue to use the print screenshot feature on my Windows 10 laptop. It helps me take screenshots of screens that other applications are not working on. For example, the Start menu. It disappears as soon as you click on something else. The print screen feature fixes this problem, as do some of the other apps and options described above.
Hope we have been helpful. If you’ve found another way to fix the issue, please share it with us in the comments section below.
Are you using a multi-monitor setup? Click the link below to learn how to take screenshots on a specific monitor in Windows 10.
Last updated on Jul 31, 2020
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