How to Capture and Edit Screenshots in Windows 11

Microsoft has introduced some exciting changes to its apps with the release of Windows 11. One of these changes is the integration of the Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch into a single tool. Despite this combination, it is still referred to as the Snipping Tool. If you're wondering how to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will guide you through the process of capturing and editing screenshots using the Snipping Tool.

Taking Screenshots Using Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 offers multiple ways to capture screenshots. Here's how you can do it:

1. Using the App

To access the Snipping Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Search bar and type “Snip.” The Snipping Tool app will appear. Click on it to open it. You can also pin it to the Taskbar for quick access.

  2. Once the Snipping Tool window appears, open the app or window that you want to capture. Click on the “New” button in the Snipping Tool.

  3. The screen will darken, and the snipping screen will open with four screenshot modes at the top. These modes allow you to define the area you want to capture:

  • Rectangle mode: This is the default mode that allows you to manually define the area to be captured in a rectangular form. Click and drag the mouse to capture the desired area.
  • Freeform Snip: This mode enables you to capture an area in a free-form manner, with no restrictions on the shape of the selected area.
  • Window: This mode captures a screenshot of a specific window on the screen. Simply click on the window to capture the screenshot.
  • Full-screen mode: Click anywhere on the screen to capture a screenshot of the entire screen.

Tips: Use the Tab key to navigate between modes and press Enter to select a mode. Press ESC or click on the X icon to exit the snipping screen.

  1. Once you capture a screenshot, it will automatically open in the Snipping Tool editing mode. We will discuss how to edit and save screenshots in the Snipping Tool later in the article.

Changing the Default Screenshot Mode

If you want to change the default screenshot mode for future captures, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Snipping Tool app.
  2. Click on the Rectangle mode icon and select the desired mode from the list. The next time you click on the “New” button, it will automatically open in the new default mode.

Adding a Delay

By default, the Snipping Tool captures screenshots immediately after you select the desired area. However, you can add a delay of up to 10 seconds before capturing a screenshot. This allows you to open the required app or perform a specific task before taking the screenshot. To add a delay, click on the “No delay” button in the app and select the desired delay time.

2. Using the Keyboard Shortcut

You can also activate the Snipping Tool using a keyboard shortcut. Press the Windows logo key+Shift+S to open the screenshot tool. Please note that when using the shortcut, the Snipping app will not open; instead, the screen will darken, and you will be taken directly to the snipping screen. From there, you can select the desired mode to capture a screenshot.

3. Using Print Screen

If you frequently capture screenshots, it is best to assign the Snipping Tool to the Print Screen key on your keyboard. Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to Windows Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard.
  2. Enable the toggle next to “Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping.”

Now, whenever you press the Print Screen key, the snipping screen will immediately open, allowing you to select the desired mode to capture a screenshot.

Note: If you want to add a delay before capturing a screenshot, use the first method described above.

Where Does Snipping Tool Save Screenshots?

When using the last two methods (keyboard shortcut or Print Screen key), the screenshot is not automatically saved to your computer. Instead, a notification will appear on your screen, allowing you to open the screenshot in the Snipping Tool's editing mode. If you miss the notification or cannot find it, you can go to the Action Center and look for the Snipping Tool notification.

Additionally, the screenshot is copied to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it directly into any app of your choice, such as Paint, Word, Google Docs, without having to open it in the Snipping Tool first.

Tip: Check out more ways to capture screenshots on Windows here.

Editing Screenshots in Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 provides several editing tools to enhance your screenshots. Here's how to use them:

Draw on Screenshots

The Snipping Tool offers a ballpoint pen and highlighter tool for annotating images. In the editing mode, click on the Ballpoint or Highlighter tool to activate it. You can then draw or write on the screenshot. Double-click on the tools to adjust the pen size and color options.

Erase Annotations

To remove any drawings from the image, use the Eraser tool. Click on the Eraser tool and use the mouse or your finger to erase annotations. To erase all annotations, double-click on the Eraser tool and select “Erase all ink.”

Use Ruler and Protractor

Although the Snipping Tool does not provide a native way to draw straight lines or circles, you can use the ruler and protractor tools for this purpose. However, you can only use one tool at a time.

To enable the ruler, click on the Ruler icon in the menu bar. The ruler will appear on the image. To use a protractor, double-click on the Ruler icon and select “Protractor” from the menu.

You can drag the ruler or protractor to change its position. To change their angle, hover the mouse pointer over the tool and use the mouse scroll bar. You can then use the pen or highlighter tool to draw along the ruler or protractor edges and create straight lines.

To hide the ruler or protractor, double-click on the Ruler icon and click on the active tool to hide it.

Enable Touch Writing

If you have a touch-enabled device, you can activate the touch-writing mode by clicking on the Touch-writing (hand) icon. This allows you to write on the image using your fingers.

Crop Screenshot

If your screenshot contains unnecessary areas, you can use the Crop tool to remove them. Click on the Crop icon to enter the cropping mode. Select the unwanted area by dragging the edges using the white bars. Click on the checkmark icon or press Enter to confirm the selection.

Save Screenshot

Once you have finished editing the screenshot, click on the Save button or use the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut. The Save As window will open, allowing you to give the screenshot a name and save it to your preferred destination.

Bonus Tips to Use Windows 11 Snipping Tool

Here are some additional tips to enhance your experience with the Snipping Tool in Windows 11:

1. Edit Old Screenshots

If you like the editing options provided by the Snipping Tool, you can import old screenshots or other images into the editing tool. Simply launch the Snipping Tool app, click on the three-dot icon, choose “Open File,” and select the image you want to edit.

2. Open Screenshot in Another App

You can directly open screenshots from the editing mode in a different photo-editor app. To do this, click on the three-dot icon in the Snipping Tool and select “Open with.” Choose the desired app.

3. Add Outline to Screenshots

If your screenshots require a border, you can automatically add one using the Snipping Tool. Go to the Snipping Tool Settings from the three-dot icon and enable the toggle next to “Snip outline.” You can also change the outline color and thickness by clicking on the arrow next to the toggle.

4. Enable Multiple Windows

If you prefer each screenshot to open in a new window instead of replacing the existing screenshot in the tool, enable the “Multiple windows” toggle in the Snipping Tool Settings.


The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 is a powerful utility for capturing and editing screenshots without the need for third-party apps. By following the methods and tips mentioned in this article, you can easily capture, edit, and enhance your screenshots. Give it a try and make the most out of the Snipping Tool in Windows 11.