Print Screen Not Working on Windows 11: How to Fix it

Your surefire solutions to taking screenshots again on your PC

Reading time icon 8 min. read


Readers help support Windows Report. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report sustain the editorial team Read more

Key notes

  • Our users found the print screen feature to not be functioning as expected after installing Windows 11.
  • Snipping Tool is a native feature that works well for the most part, with a few minor glitches.
  • If pressing the Print screen key doesn't work, you can alternatively try a handy keyboard shortcut that you'll find below.
snipping tool error windows 11 screenshot not working

Whether you’re using a smartphone, a tablet, or a PC running Windows 11, taking a screenshot of your screen is really useful.

Even though the operating system has a great deal to offer in terms of new functionalities, looks, and interface improvements, its core is not that different from its predecessors.

You’ve come to the right place if your screenshot feature or Snipping Tool isn’t working as expected. We’ll walk you through some troubleshooting steps that should get them back up and running.

Snipping Tool remains an important utility for taking screenshots on Windows 11 for many of us. Any problems with the app can easily take a toll on productivity.

But if the issue persists, you can consider switching to third-party apps to fulfil your screenshot needs.

Why can’t I take screenshots anymore?

If Windows 11 screenshot is not working with either the print screen key or Snipping Tool, it might be because of broken system files. You can fix this by using dedicated software or the built-in Windows repair tool.

Another known cause of the error is an outdated keyboard driver. This is especially true if the keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots are not working.

How do I take a screenshot in Windows 11?

Microsoft’s desktop operating system has had a plethora of choices for collecting photographs from your PC’s screen for quite some time, perhaps too many.
snipping toool search windows 11 screenshot not working

Fortunately, Windows 11 makes things easier. We’ll show you how to take screenshots on your PC using the new operating system.

The ways range from traditional keyboard shortcuts to more modern, powerful tools that allow you to do things like set screenshot timers, edit, and share them.

You’ve been able to take a screenshot with the press of a single key since well before Windows 11: PrtSC. Some keyboards spell it out all the way to the bottom of the Print Screen.

To copy the entire desktop image to the clipboard, use this key. Then, using any app that accepts pasted images, such as Paint, Paint 3D, or Adobe Photoshop, paste the image in.

You may also use PrtSc in conjunction with OneDrive to have it create an image file of your screenshot in it automatically. Because the result is so different from the usual option, it saves you the extra steps of opening an app and pasting it from the clipboard.

Windows 11 cleans up the previous screenshot tooling confusion by combining the earlier Snipping Tool with Windows 10’s terrific Snip & Sketch tool.

By hitting Windows + Shift + S, you can quickly access the Snipping Tool. You can use that keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot with a rectangular selection, freehand selection, whole window, or full-screen capture.

Instead of using the keyboard shortcut, type Snipping in the Start menu and open the program window to employ a timer before snapping the screen.

How do I fix the screenshot tool not working on Windows 11?

1. Check the date and time set

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Select the Time & Language option in the left pane and select Date & Time from the right panel.
    time and language windows 11 screenshot not working
  3. If the Set time automatically option is switched on, turn it off.
    set time auto off windows 11 screenshot not working
  4. Select the Change button next to Set date and time manually.
    set date manually windows 11 screenshot not working
  5. Change the date to October 31 or before, then set it back to the latest current date.

By manually resetting the time and date, the Snipping Tool reconfigures its settings, therefore correcting any potential problems that may have occurred previously.

2. Restart the app

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to launch the Task Manager app.
  2. Select the Snipping Tool app under the Process tab, and click the End task button at the bottom.
    end task snipping toolwindows 11 screenshot not working
  3. Now press Windows + S to open the search function and type in snipping tool to re-open it.
    search snipping   windows 11 screenshot not working

Once the program has been relaunched, you have the option of either closing it or leaving it open in the taskbar. To take screenshots with it, hit the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut combination.

3. Update the keyboard driver

  1. Press the Windows key + X and choose Device Manager from the shortcut menu.
    device manager  windows 11 screenshot not working
  2. Expand the Keyboards directory.
  3. Right-click on Standard PS/2 Keyboard and select Update driver.
    keyboard update  windows 11 screenshot not working
  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software and wait for Windows to automatically install the latest driver.
    search automatically  windows 11 screenshot not working

After the update procedure is complete, restart your computer and check to see if the print screen key is now operational.

Most common Windows errors and bugs can result from faulty or incompatible drivers. An outdated system can lead to lags, system issues, or even BSoDs.

You can prevent these problems by using an automatic tool that will search and install the correct drivers on your computer with just a few clicks. That's why we recommend you use Outbyte Driver Updater. Here's how to do it:
  1. Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
    OutByte Driver Updater Scan
  4. Afterward, it will show you a list of the drivers found to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
  5. Click on Update & Apply Selected to download and install the newest versions.
  6. Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
Outbyte Driver Updater

Outbyte Driver Updater

Use this software and solve all driver-related issues from your PC.
Free trial Download now
Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.

4. Allow the Snipping Tool to run in the background

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app on your PC.
  2. Select the Apps tab on the left and click on Apps & features from the right panel.
    apps and features   windows 11 screenshot not working
  3. Use the search box to locate the Snipping Tool app quickly. Now use the three-dot menu on its right side to open Advanced options.
    advanced options snipping tool   windows 11 screenshot not working
  4. Under Background apps permission use the dropdown menu to choose Always from the list.
    always   windows 11 screenshot not working

5. Repair the app

  1. Tap the Windows key + S to open the search function and type in snipping tool.
  2. Right-click on the top result, and choose App settings.
    app settings snipp   windows 11 screenshot not working
  3. Next, navigate to the Reset section and click on the Repair option.
    reset snipp   windows 11 screenshot not working

If mending the app doesn’t work, you may try resetting it by going to the same section and hitting the Reset button. It’s worth noting that resetting the app would wipe out all of your data.

6. Use other hotkey combinations

If hitting the single PrtSc key does not yield results, you might try the keyboard shortcut buttons listed below:

With the Alt key + PrtSc, you can capture the currently chosen window and save it using Paint or another image-editing tool of your choosing.

These great free photo editing apps are waiting for you. Even if the list is for Windows 10, most of them may be enjoyed in Windows 11 too.

Likewise, a screenshot will be taken by pressing the Windows + PrtSc hotkeys combination, which will be saved to the Screenshots folder with the name Screenshot (NUMBER).

This folder can be found in the Pictures folder on your PC. Please keep in mind that on laptops, the combination Fn + Windows + PrtSc should be used.

7. Check the F lock key

Some keyboards contain an F Mode or F Lock key, which can be useful. If they are turned off, the print screen key will not work properly. For the print screen key to function, you must first enable the F Mode or F Lock keys by pressing them.

8. Run the SFC scan

  1. Press the Windows + S keys then search for cmd and right-click on the top result to open it as an administrator and get full privileges.
    cmd search   windows 11 screenshot not working
  2. Type or paste in the CMD prompt the following command then press Enter:
    sfc /scannow
    sfc scan windows 11  windows 11 screenshot not working

Wait for the procedure to be completed. Restart your computer and run the Snipping Tool software to see if everything is operating properly.

How do I change where screenshots go in Windows 11?

With the Snipping Tool, you might not need to use a third-party screenshot application anymore. Everything on the screen can be simply captured with the built-in app.
screenshots location windows 11 screenshot not working

The location of screenshots taken with the built-in tool on Windows 11 is this directory: C:\Users\<user name>\Pictures\Screenshots

However, you can move the default location to a different folder for easy access or if Windows 11 screenshot is not saving. To begin, use Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory: C:\Users\<user name>\Pictures\Screenshots

Please note that <user name> should be replaced with your actual username.

Right-click the Screenshots folder in the photos directory and choose Properties from the popup menu. The next step is to go to the Location tab and press the Move button.

Select the destination folder you want to use as your default screenshot folder in the File Explorer box and click Select Folder.

You’ll get a dialogue box asking if you want to move all of your files from the old location to the new one, you’ll need to select Yes.

Those programs, including Snipping Tool, that used the Screenshots folder to store photographs by default will now use the newly selected destination directory after completing the aforementioned instructions.

Why is PrtSc not working?

If the PrtSc key is not working, it might be down to the F Mode or F Lock keys on your keyboard. This is because these keys disable the print screen key.

Another known cause of the issue is outdated drivers. We have shown how to fix these issues in this guide. So, be sure to check out the solutions.

As you can see, certain features in the new OS have changed dramatically, while others haven’t. If you want to learn more about the subject, here’s a full comparison of Windows 10 vs Windows 11.

If you are interested in finding out more about screenshot tools, check out our guide on how to take a screenshot in Windows 11.

Comment below and tell us the screenshot tool you are using and which solution you found to be the most effective.

More about the topics: Windows 11