How to find and use the Snipping Tool in Windows

If you want to take a partial screenshot in Windows and not your entire screen, it’s time for the Snipping Tool. Here’s how to find it, trigger it, and use it in Windows 11 or 10.


To launch the Snipping Tool, press Windows-Shift-S or search for “Snipping” in the Start menu. Select Rectangle, Freeform, Window, or Full Screen mode, then click New.


How to find the Snipping Tool in Windows

There are two quick ways to launch the Snipping Tool, the first is the Windows-Shift-S combination on your keyboard. If your keyboard doesn’t have a Windows key, or you’d rather use another way, you can just click the Start button and search for “snipping”.

For even faster access, you can pin the app to your taskbar in the future. With the tool running, right-click the taskbar icon and select Pin to taskbar.

How to use the Snipping Tool in Windows


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Four modes are available. After selecting a mode from the Mode drop-down menu, click New to take a screenshot. As you can see there is also a delay menu in case you need a 3, 5 or 10 second wait.

Rectangle is the default mode and lets you click and drag to select a box-shaped area. Freeform allows you to capture any shape by clicking and dragging. This isn’t often practical, but it lets you get creative. Window prompts you to select a specific window to completely copy. This and Rectangle are often the most useful modes, but choose Rectangle if you don’t want to copy interface elements like browser tabs. Full screen is the shotgun approach, capturing absolutely everything on the screen.

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Edit your snip

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Once you’ve taken a screenshot, there are a few different editing options.

If you want to annotate an image, use the ballpoint pen or highlighter. In either case, you can click a tool’s icon a second time to customize its color and brush width. Select the eraser to undo some or all of your annotations. If you click the icon when it’s already selected, you’ll see the Erase All Ink option. With the image cropping feature, you can trim a screenshot by clicking and dragging tabs in a selection box. Click the check mark when finished, or click X to undo the operation and keep the original border. The curved arrows are the undo and redo buttons in case you make a mistake or change your mind. Save a snippet

When you’re done, click the Save (Have Disk) button in the top-right corner. You will be prompted to choose a destination and filename. You can also choose to save in PNG, JPG, or GIF format.

Copy a section to the clipboard

All snips are automatically copied to the Windows clipboard. If for some reason a snippet doesn’t copy, or you want to copy an edited version, click the copy button (overlapping rectangles) in the upper-right corner. From there you can just paste it into another app.