Windows 10 and Windows 11 have many different ways to take screenshots. One of those options is the good-old PrintScreen button. The button does not require additional tools and works “out-of-box” on any old and new Windows version. Still, some users might incorrectly assume their Print Screen button not working. This article will tell you more about the PrintScreen button and what to do if you think it no longer works.
The PrintScreen Button Not Working?
People often assume the PrintScreen button is not working in Windows because they do not understand how it works. By default, Windows 10 and Windows 11 do not show notifications about any visual clues about taking a screenshot with the PrintScreen button. The operating system takes a screengrab “silently” and places it into the clipboard. After that, you can paste the screenshot into Paint or any other app with image pasting support.
In other words, you might simply not know that the PrintScreen button is working.
How to Fix the Windows PrintScreen button not working?
There are several options you can try to find out whether the PrintScreen button is working or not.
To begin, try pressing Win + PrintScreen. If the button is working, Windows 10 or Windows 11 will dim your screen for a second, then save a screenshot in the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
Also, you can try the Alt + PrintScreen shortcut. It works the same as the PrintScreen button. After pressing the shortcut, launch MS Paint or another image editor and hit Ctrl + V to paste your screenshot.
If those keyboard shortcuts did not work, check your keyboard. Some keyboards and laptops combine the PrintScreen key with other commands. That means you need to press the Fn and PrintScreen buttons. If you have a dedicated app for managing your keyboard, check its settings. You might need to enable or disable the Fn mode to fix the PrintScreen button not working in Windows 10 or Windows 11. Also, a missing chipset driver or keyboard software might cause the issue.
Some users may encounter a situation where the PrintScreen button is working, but it pastes a black screen instead of a proper screengrab. That mostly happens when someone is trying to take a screenshot from a streaming app. Video streaming services have sophisticated anti-piracy mechanisms that prevent content stealing, including taking screenshots.
Another thing you may want to try when fixing a non-working PrintScreen button is connecting a keyboard to another computer. Alternatively, try another keyboard with your PC. If you have figured out that the PrintScreen button does not work, try remapping it to another key. We have a dedicated article that describes how to remap keys in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Finally, you can simply ditch the PrintScreen button and switch to other methods of taking screenshots in Windows 10 or 11. For example, you can utilize the default Snipping Tool and its Win + Shift + S shortcut. Also, there are dozens of free third-party tools for taking screenshots. ShareX is the one we use for screenshots in guides like this.