Print Screen Not Working on Windows 10/11: Quick Fixes
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Jonathan Field
Jonathan Field
Digital Marketing Strategist
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Print Screen Not Working on Windows 10/11: Quick Fixes

In the digital age, capturing what’s on your screen in a moment’s notice is essential for professionals across various fields. Whether you’re a project manager documenting project progress or a stock trader analyzing charts, the ability to quickly and accurately take screenshots is a non-negotiable part of your workflow.

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Yet, a common and frustrating issue that many encounter is the ‘print screen not working’ on Windows 10/11. This guide is designed to tackle this problem head-on, offering a series of solutions that range from simple checks and adjustments to leveraging advanced tools like Screenpixel. By following these steps, you can ensure that capturing your screen is no longer a hurdle but a seamless part of your day-to-day tasks, enhancing productivity and simplifying your digital life.

1. Correct Key
Ensure you're pressing the correct key or combination
Simple and quick to check
May not solve deeper issues
2. Enable Shortcut
Enable print screen shortcut in settings
Resolves disabled shortcut issues
Requires navigating system settings
3. Screenpixel
Use Screenpixel for easier screenshotting
Fast, user-friendly, additional features
Requires third-party software installation
4. Shortcut Combination
Use different keyboard shortcuts
Offers alternative capture methods
Might not work if the issue is with the system
5. F Mode/F Lock Key
Check the F Mode or F Lock key on the keyboard
Solves problems specific to certain keyboards
Not applicable to all keyboard types
6. Update Driver
Update the keyboard driver
Can fix issues related to outdated drivers
Requires a bit of technical know-how
7. Stop Background Programs
Close potentially interfering programs
Resolves conflicts with other software
May not be easy to identify the culprit program
8. Update Windows
Ensure Windows is up to date
Fixes bugs and improves features
Updates can take time and require restarts
9. Restart Computer
Restart your PC to clear glitches
Often resolves temporary software conflicts
May not solve underlying hardware or software issues

Solution 1: Make Sure You’ve Pressed the Correct Key

The first step in troubleshooting the ‘print screen not working’ issue is to ensure you’re pressing the correct key or combination of keys. On most keyboards, the key is labeled as “PrtScn,” “PrntScrn,” “Print Scr,” or something similar. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Single Press on PrtScn: On Windows 10/11, pressing the PrtScn key by itself captures the entire screen and copies it to your clipboard. You can then paste (Ctrl + V) this screenshot into any program that accepts images, such as Paint or an email.

PrtSc key on keyboard
PrtSc key on keyboard on Windows
Paste shortcut keys on Windows
Paste shortcut keys on Windows
    • Windows Key + PrtScn: If you're looking for an automatic save feature, pressing the Windows key together with PrtScn will save the screenshot directly to your Pictures library under the "Screenshots" folder. Your screen will briefly dim to indicate a successful capture.

    Screenshot Automatic Save shortcut keys on Windows
    Screenshot Automatic Save shortcut keys on Windows
    • Alt Key + PrtScn: To capture only the active window and not the entire screen, use this combination. It copies the active window to your clipboard, ready to be pasted wherever you need it.

    Shortcut keys for Active Window Screenshot
    Shortcut keys for Active Window Screenshot

    If you’ve tried these combinations without success, it may be time to dig a little deeper into system settings or consider alternative solutions.

    Solution 2: Enable the Print Screen Shortcut

    Sometimes, the issue may stem from the print screen shortcut being disabled in your system settings. To ensure it’s enabled:

    • Open the Windows Settings App: You can do this by pressing the Windows key + I.

    Windows Settings keyboard shortcut
    Windows Settings keyboard shortcut
    • Navigate to Ease of Access: Look for the Ease of Access section, which houses various settings to make Windows more accessible, including keyboard shortcuts.

    Ease of Access Section in Settings
    Ease of Access Section in Settings on Windows 10
    • Keyboard Settings: Within Ease of Access, find the Keyboard settings on the left-hand menu. Scroll down to the Print Screen shortcut section.

    • Enable Print Screen Shortcut: There should be an option that says "Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping." Toggle this option on. This enables you to open the screen snipping tool with the press of the print screen button, giving you a more intuitive way to capture screenshots.

    Print Screen Shortcut Settings
    Print Screen Shortcut Settings

    After enabling this setting, try using the print screen function again. If it still doesn’t work, it might be time to explore further solutions, such as updating drivers or using third-party software like Screenpixel, which can provide a more reliable and feature-rich screen capturing experience.

    Solution 3: Use Third-Party App (Screenpixel)

    When built-in solutions fall short, third-party applications like Screenpixel emerge as reliable alternatives, especially for users who frequently rely on screen captures. Screenpixel is designed for ease of use and efficiency, offering a seamless way to take screenshots without the hassle of traditional methods that might be hindered by the “PrtScn not working” issue. Here’s how to get started:

    • Quick Installation: Visit the Screenpixel website and download the application. The installation process is designed to be straightforward, ensuring you can get up and running in no time.

    Free download
    Windows 7/8/10/11
    • Effortless Capture Method: Screenpixel offers an innovative approach to screen capturing. By pressing two mouse buttons simultaneously, you activate the capture mode. This method is particularly useful for users looking for a quick and easy way to take screenshots without navigating through keyboard shortcuts.

    • Precise Selection and Capture: With Screenpixel, you have the flexibility to select exactly what part of your screen you want to capture, whether it's the entire screen, a specific window, or a manually selected area. Once you've made your selection, simply press Enter to capture.

    • Instant Sharing: After capturing a screenshot, Screenpixel provides you with a short link to your screenshot, copied to your clipboard for easy sharing. This feature is invaluable for professionals who need to quickly share screen captures with team members or clients.

    Screenpixel stands out not just for its ease of use but for its speed and the added convenience of instant sharing, making it a robust solution for overcoming the ‘prtscn not working’ issue.

    Solution 4: Use Shortcut Combination

    Sometimes, the right combination of keys can bypass the “print screen not working” issue. Beyond the basic PrtScn key, Windows offers several other shortcuts that can serve your screenshot needs:

    • Windows Key + Shift + S: This shortcut activates the Snip & Sketch tool, allowing you to select a portion of your screen to capture. Once selected, the screenshot is copied to your clipboard.

    Snip & Sketch shortcut
    Snip & Sketch shortcut
    • Alt + PrtScn: This combination captures only the active window, not the entire screen, which is perfect for when you need to focus on a specific application.

    Exploring these combinations can provide a workaround for the print screen function not working and offer more flexibility in how you capture your screen.

    Solution 5: Check an F Mode or F Lock Key

    Some keyboards feature an F Mode or F Lock key that can disable or change the function of the PrtScn key. This is often the culprit behind the ‘print screen stopped working’ issue. Here’s what you can do:

    • Locate the F Mode or F Lock Key: This key is usually found near the top of the keyboard, near the function keys (F1 to F12). The exact location and labeling can vary depending on your keyboard model.

    • Toggle the F Mode or F Lock Key: Press this key to toggle between different function modes. Some keyboards require you to hold down the Fn key simultaneously to change modes.

    • Test the Print Screen Function: After toggling the F Mode or F Lock key, try using the 'PrtScn' key again to see if the issue has been resolved.

    So, print screen stopped working? Adjusting the F Mode or F Lock settings can fix the issue, allowing you to continue capturing your screen without interruption.

    Solution 6: Update the Keyboard Driver

    An outdated or corrupted keyboard driver can lead to the ‘prt sc not working’ issue, as the system may not correctly recognize the command from the keyboard. Updating the keyboard driver can resolve this problem by ensuring that your hardware communicates effectively with your operating system. Here’s how to update your keyboard driver:

    • Open Device Manager: Press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager from the menu that appears.

    Windows Power User Tasks menu keyboard shortcut
    Windows Power User Tasks menu keyboard shortcut
    Device Manager section in Windows Power User Tasks menu
    Device Manager section in Windows Power User Tasks menu
      • Locate Keyboards: In the Device Manager window, expand the Keyboards category to see a list of keyboard devices connected to your computer.

      Keyboard devices in Device Manager
      Keyboard devices in Device Manager
      • Update Driver: Right-click on your keyboard's name and select Update driver. Choose the option to "Search automatically for updated driver software." Windows will then search for and install any available updates for your keyboard driver.

      Update Driver option
      Update Driver option
      "Search automatically for updated driver software" option
      "Search automatically for updated driver software" option
        • Restart Your Computer: After updating the driver, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

        Updating the keyboard driver can often restore functionality to keys that have stopped working, including the PrtScn key.

        Solution 7: Stop Background Programs

        Sometimes, “prtscn not working” issues can be caused by background programs that interfere with the system’s ability to process the print screen command. This is particularly true for programs that use keyboard shortcuts or overlay features. Stopping these programs can help resolve the issue:

        • Open Task Manager: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

        Task Manager keyboard shortcut
        Task Manager keyboard shortcut
        • Identify Suspect Programs: Look for programs that might be using the print screen key or are known to cause conflicts with keyboard shortcuts.

        • End Task: Select the program and click End Task to stop it from running. Be cautious with ending system processes, as this can affect your computer's operation.

        End Task button in Task Manager
        End Task button in Task Manager
        • Try the Print Screen Function Again: After closing potential interfering programs, attempt to use the PrtScn key again.

        Stopping conflicting background programs can free up the print screen functionality, allowing you to capture your screen without issues.

        Solution 8: Update Windows 10/11 to the Latest Version

        Operating system updates often include fixes for common bugs and improvements to existing features, including those related to keyboard functionality and shortcuts. Ensuring that your Windows 10/11 is up-to-date can solve the “print screen not working” problem:

        • Open Settings: Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.

        • Navigate to Update & Security: Click on Update & Security to access the Windows Update section.

        Update & Security section in Windows Settings
        Update & Security section in Windows Settings
        • Check for Updates: Click on Check for updates. Windows will automatically search for and download any available updates.

        Check for Updates button
        Check for Updates button
        • Install Updates: If updates are found, follow the prompts to install them. This may require restarting your computer.

        Updating Windows can not only fix the issue with the print screen functionality but also enhance your system’s overall security and performance, ensuring a smoother user experience.

        Solution 9: Restart Your Computer

        Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective. If you’ve tried everything and still find the “print screen not working” issue persists, a system restart can often resolve underlying problems that aren’t immediately apparent. Restarting your computer can clear temporary glitches, refresh system resources, and restore functionality to features that have stopped working, including the print screen function. Here’s what to do:

        • Save Your Work: Ensure all your work is saved, and any open applications are closed to prevent data loss.

        • Restart Your Computer: Click on the Start menu, select the Power button, and choose Restart from the options. This will initiate a system reboot.

        Restart button in Start Menu
        Restart button in Start Menu
        • Test the Print Screen Function: Once your computer has restarted and you're logged back in, try using the print screen function again to see if the issue has been resolved.

        A restart can often act as a “reset” for your system’s operations, addressing minor software conflicts or bugs that may have been affecting the print screen functionality.


        When the ‘print screen not working’ issue arises on Windows 10/11, it can disrupt your workflow and productivity, especially for professionals reliant on quick and accurate screen captures. By systematically exploring the solutions outlined—from checking you’re pressing the correct keys, enabling print screen shortcuts, updating drivers, to using third-party applications like Screenpixel—you can find a resolution that restores this essential function. Remember, technology is meant to assist your workflow, not hinder it. With the right tools and troubleshooting steps, you can ensure your screen capturing capabilities are always at the ready.


        • Why is Print Screen Not Working?
          The issue can stem from various sources, including software conflicts, outdated drivers, incorrect system settings, or hardware problems. Starting with basic troubleshooting steps like checking keyboard shortcuts and settings, and then moving on to more advanced solutions, can help identify and solve the problem.
        • If I connect another keyboard, will the problem be solved?
          It's possible, especially if the issue is related to a faulty keyboard. Connecting a different keyboard can help determine if the problem is hardware-specific. If the new keyboard works, then the issue was likely with the original keyboard.
        • What is the fastest way to fix Print Screen Not Working?
          The fastest fix can vary depending on the root cause of the problem. Starting with a system restart can quickly resolve temporary glitches. If that doesn't work, using third-party screenshot tools like Screenpixel provides an immediate alternative to the native print screen function, offering both speed and versatility in capturing screenshots.

        Thank you for choosing Screenpixel
        To install, open the downloads list and run the installer. Also, after the launch, a special bonus awaits you!