How to Take Screenshots on a Dell Laptop in 2024

Taking screenshots is an essential skill for any Dell laptop owner running Windows 10 or 11. Screenshots allow you to capture images of anything displayed on your screen – applications, program windows, menus, webpages, and more.

Whether you need to grab screenshots for work, gaming, remote access, troubleshooting, tutorials, or any other situation, mastering screenshot methods on a Dell laptop is invaluable.

In this comprehensive guide, we cover all the top techniques you need to know to easily take customized, annotated, and shared screenshots on your Dell laptop.

Why Take Screenshots on a Dell Laptop?

Before we get into the specific how-to steps, let’s look at why you’d even want to take screenshots in the first place:

Save Information

Screenshots let you quickly preserve information displayed on your Dell laptop’s screen for later reference. This can be especially helpful for:

  • Saving settings or software configurations to aid with troubleshooting or when resetting your PC.
  • Capturing menus and program options to assist with tutorials or how-to guides.
  • Grabbing web content, PDFs, images, or other visual media for offline access and sharing.
  • Snapping data charts, spreadsheets, or reports to use in documents and presentations.

Troubleshoot Issues

Taking a screenshot can help when trying to solve technical problems with your Dell laptop. You can share the screenshots with support technicians or forum members to demonstrate and troubleshoot the issue.

Some examples include:

  • An application error message.
  • Strange laptop behavior or visual glitches.
  • Incorrect software configurations.
  • Website or network connectivity problems.

Share Visual Information

Screenshots provide an easy way to share visual information with others via email, documents, social media, and websites.

You may want to take Dell laptop screenshots to:

  • Illustrate tutorials with step-by-step images.
  • Show examples in presentations, work documents, school assignments, or reports.
  • Post graphics with comments on social media sites.
  • Create visual guides for remote troubleshooting or virtual assistance.
  • Develop tests and examples for software development and programmers.

Gaming Capture

For Dell laptop gamers, screenshots are essential for capturing cool gameplay moments, character builds, high scores, and bug issues.

Game screenshots can also be used when posting gaming content online or blogging about your favorite games.

Use the Print Screen Button to Take Fullscreen or Window Screenshots

The most basic way to take screenshots on a Dell laptop is using the Print Screen button. This allows you to easily capture fullscreens or individual windows.

Here’s a breakdown of how to use Print Screen:

Fullscreen Capture

To take a screenshot of your entire display:

  1. Fully open the window(s) or screen you want to capture on your Dell laptop.
  2. Press the Windows logo key + Print Screen key on your keyboard.
  3. This will take a screenshot of your full screen and automatically save it to your clipboard.
  4. Now you can paste the image into an editing program like Paint using Ctrl + V and crop or annotate as desired.
  5. Finally, save the file as a PNG, JPG, GIF or other image format.

This fullscreen Print Screen method is the fastest way to grab a snapshot of everything currently displayed on your Dell laptop.

Active Window Capture

If you only want to capture your currently active window instead of your full screen, do the following:

  1. Open the specific window you want to take a screenshot of on your Dell laptop.
  2. Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard.
  3. While still holding Alt, hit the Print Screen button.
  4. The active window screenshot will be copied to your clipboard.
  5. Paste into an image editor with Ctrl + V, annotate if needed, and save the file when done.

This Alt + Print Screen shortcut is handy for snapping individual windows like chat boxes, menus, or programs without capturing everything behind it.

Print Screen Tips

Keep these tips in mind when using the Print Screen button:

  • Use the Snipping Tool or other software to paste and annotate Print Screen shots before saving. The screenshot won’t be saved as an image file automatically – you need to paste it first.
  • To capture a scrolling webpage or document extending beyond your current screen, use the screenshot scrolling features in browsers like Chrome or Firefox instead of Print Screen.
  • If your Dell laptop has an Fn key, you may need to press Fn + PrtScn instead of just PrtScn to take a screenshot.
  • Always preview your screenshot after capturing to ensure you grabbed the correct window or fullscreen. Recapture if needed.

While simple, Print Screen provides an easy built-in option for quick screenshot capturing on Dell laptops. Let’s look at some more advanced alternatives next.

Utilize Snipping Tool for Custom, Selective Screenshots

For more control over the screenshots you take, use the Snipping Tool included for free in Windows. This allows grabbing customized snips of your Dell laptop’s screen.

Follow these steps to start using Snipping Tool:

Accessing Snipping Tool

There are a couple ways to open the Snipping Tool program on your Dell laptop:

  • Type “Snipping Tool” in the Windows search bar or taskbar and click the Snipping Tool app icon.
  • Alternatively, you can press Windows logo key + Shift + S as a shortcut to launch it.

Snipping Options

Once Snipping Tool is open, click the down arrow next to “New” to select your desired snipping mode:

  • Free-form Snip – Manually select any area to capture by clicking and dragging.
  • Rectangular Snip – Click and drag to snap a rectangular region.
  • Window Snip – Select an open window to take a screenshot of that window.
  • Full-screen Snip – Capture your entire display.

Taking the Snip

After choosing your snipping mode in the Snipping Tool toolbar:

  1. Click and drag your mouse to take a screenshot of the desired area.
  2. Your selected screenshot area will open in the Snipping Tool editor.

From here you can annotate, crop, or markup the image as needed before saving.

Editing and Saving

In the Snipping Tool editor:

  • Click the pencil icon to draw, add text boxes, or markup your screenshot.
  • Click the crop icons to cut away unwanted areas.
  • When finished, click Save or Copy to save the screenshot image file to your PC as a PNG, JPG, GIF or other format.

With Snipping Tool, you can grab very specific portions of your Dell laptop screen instead of just full screenshots. This is useful for capturing menus, UI sections, or visual details.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Fast Screen Grabs

In addition to Print Screen and Snipping Tool, Windows also offers several handy keyboard shortcuts for easy screenshot capturing on a Dell laptop.

These shortcut key combinations allow you to take fast screenshots without having to open any additional programs.

Here are some of the most useful Windows screenshot keyboard shortcuts:

Windows logo key + Shift + S

This is the shortcut to launch the Snipping Tool and take ad hoc freeform screenshot snips, as covered earlier.

After pressing Windows logo + Shift + S:

  1. Click and drag to take a freeform screenshot.
  2. The screenshot will open in the Snipping Tool editor for annotating and saving.

So with just one shortcut, you can quickly snip custom screenshots.

Alt + Print Screen

We already covered how to take active window screenshots using Alt + Print Screen. This shortcut instantly captures just your currently active window for pasting into an image editor.

Windows logo key + Alt + Print Screen

This shortcut takes it a step further and saves an active window screenshot directly to your Pictures > Screenshots folder as an image file.

Just press Windows logo + Alt + Print Screen to automatically:

  1. Capture the active window.
  2. Save it as a PNG file to your screenshots folder.

You can then find the screenshot file there later for sharing or editing.

Other Screenshot Shortcut Keys

Here are a few other handy Windows screenshot keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows logo key + PrtScn – Take a fullscreen screenshot and save to Pictures > Screenshots.
  • Alt + Windows logo key + R – Record a Gif of your screen activity.
  • Ctrl + PrtScn – Take a screenshot of your current mouse cursor location.

These shortcuts make capturing screens faster than having to use menus or programs.

Refer to Microsoft’s documentation for a full list of Windows screenshot shortcuts.

Game Bar for Easy Screenshots While Gaming

The Xbox Game Bar included in Windows 10 and 11 offers a fast way to take screenshots and recordings without interrupting your gameplay.

Here is how to use Game Bar while PC gaming on your Dell laptop:

Accessing Game Bar

While playing any game, press Windows logo key + G on your keyboard to open the Game Bar overlay.

You can also open it via the Start menu by searching “Game bar”.

Taking Screenshots

In Game Bar:

  1. Click on the camera icon to instantly take a screenshot of your current game screen.
  2. This screenshot will be automatically saved to Videos > Captures.
  3. You can view your gaming screenshots and recordings in the Captures folder later.

With Game Bar’s screenshot feature, you can easily grab shots of high scores, game accomplishments, or funny gameplay moments without having to leave or pause your game.

Recording Gameplay

The Game Bar also lets you easily record gameplay video clips:

  1. Open Game Bar while playing a PC game on your Dell laptop.
  2. Click the red dot video icon to start recording game footage.
  3. Click it again to end recording. The game video will be saved to your Captures folder.

Game Bar is ideal for capturing gaming screenshots and videos on the fly during PC gameplay on your Dell laptop.

Use Third-Party Software for Advanced Screenshot Tools

While the built-in Windows options like Print Screen, Snipping Tool, and Game Bar cover basic screenshot needs, third-party software can provide more advanced features.

Here are some top free options to enhance your screenshot workflows on a Dell laptop:


Lightshot is a lightweight, customizable screenshot program that makes capturing and sharing screenshots easy.

When taking screenshots with Lightshot, you can:

  • Annotate with arrows, shapes, text boxes, and stickers.
  • Blur or pixelate sensitive areas.
  • Apply image effects like highlights and underlines.
  • Seamlessly send screenshots to photo sharing sites.

Lightshot also offers screen recording capabilities along with its advanced screenshot features.


Greenshot is an open source screenshot tool popular for its robust annotation capabilities. After taking a screenshot, you can:

  • Draw, add text boxes, arrows, shapes, lines, and highlights.
  • Redact or obfuscate confidential areas.
  • Apply various image effects and filters.
  • Seamlessly export screenshots to file sharing platforms like Google Drive and Imgur.

Greenshot makes it simple to take detailed, explanatory screenshots with all its markup options.


ShareX is a free, open source program for Windows that elevates screenshotting and screen recording.

Key features include:

  • Customizable screenshot capture options, including scrolling window capture.
  • Extensive markup and annotation tools.
  • Screen recorder that supports fullscreen, area, and webcam capture.
  • Upload screenshots or recordings directly to file sharing sites like Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Screen color picker, hash checker, DNS management and more.

While robust, ShareX has a steeper learning curve, but provides immense functionality once mastered.

Comparing Tools

Program Key Features
Lightshot Basic annotations, fast sharing
Greenshot Robust marking up tools
ShareX Advanced capture and uploading

The software can be downloaded for free to unlock more advanced screenshot capturing functionality than just the basic Print Screen tool.


Taking screenshots on your Dell laptop running Windows 10/11 is a breeze with all the built-in and third-party options covered in this guide.

To quickly recap, you can take screenshots using:

  • Print Screen – Fullscreen and window capturing.
  • Snipping Tool – Custom, selective screenshot snips.
  • Keyboard shortcuts – Quick screen grabs with key combinations.
  • Game Bar – Instant game capturing while gaming.
  • Third-party software – Advanced annotation and sharing tools.

The key is choosing the right screenshot method for your needs:

  • Print Screen for fast full or window captures.
  • Snipping Tool for precision, customized snips.
  • Shortcuts for quick ad hoc screenshots.
  • Game Bar for easy gaming screenshots.
  • Third-party tools when advanced features are required.

With the skills from this guide, you can take tailored, editable screenshots for work, gaming, troubleshooting, content creation and more on your Dell laptop.

Snap away with your new screenshot superpowers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about taking screenshots on Dell laptops:

How do you print screen on a Dell laptop?

Press the Print Screen (PrtScn) key to take a screenshot and copy it to your clipboard for pasting.

Can you screenshot on a Dell Chromebook?

Yes, you can take screenshots on Dell Chromebooks using the Ctrl + Switch Window keyboard shortcut or the screenshot utility in Chromebook settings.

How do I capture scrolling screenshots?

Use the screenshot tools in browsers like Chrome and Firefox to take scrolling, long screenshots of webpages or documents extending beyond your current screen.

What is the best screenshot app for Windows?

Top options include Snipping Tool, Lightshot, ShareX, and Greenshot. Snipping Tool comes free with Windows, while the others are free third-party programs with additional features.

How do I edit a screenshot after capturing?

Open your screenshot in an image editing program like Paint, Snipping Tool editor, Lightshot, etc. where you can annotate, blur, crop, highlight and make other edits to your screenshots.

Can you screenshot a video?

Yes, you can pause a video and use any screenshot method to snap an image of the current video frame. Game Bar also lets you screenshot as videos play.

How do I screenshot on a Dell laptop with a Chrome OS?

On Dell Chromebooks, press Ctrl + Switch Window button or use the screenshot utility in Chromebook settings to capture screenshots.

Where are screenshots saved by default on a Dell laptop?

Screenshots taken with Print Screen and some shortcuts get saved to your Pictures > Screenshots folder unless you paste them somewhere else. Snipping Tool saves screenshots wherever you specify.

We hope these answers help explain some key questions about taking screenshots using the various methods covered in this guide. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions!


Kevin is a seasoned tech enthusiast with a passion for diving deep into the intricacies of the tech world. With a background in computer science, he guides readers through the latest trends, software developments, and everything tech-related.

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