At some point you may experience the issue that the Print Screen key does not work or is unresponsive. Although you can use other methods and applications to take screenshots, you will surely want to solve the problem with the Print Screen key.
In every Windows computer, be it desktop or laptop, the keyboard has a screen capture key , abbreviated as PrtScr, Print Screen or something similar. Pressing this key will capture the entire screen, which you can then paste into other applications such as Paint. This is one of the fastest ways to take a screenshot in Windows. Therefore, in this post we will see some suggestions to solve the problem when this key stops working.
Print Screen key does not work in Windows
Let’s see what you can do to fix the error if the Print Screen key is not working on your Windows 10 computer.
#1. Use keyboard shortcuts
There are other ways to take a screenshot using a combination with the PrtScr or Print Screen key . Try using the Alt + Print Screen shortcut , which will take a screenshot of the currently selected window instead of the full screen. This way you won’t need to trim or remove the unwanted background.
You can also use the Windows + PrtScr keyboard shortcut , with which full screen captures are saved in the Images> Screenshots folder.
If a keyboard or laptop with the Fn key, you can also use it just like the Windows key or in combination with the Alt key.
Press Windows Key + Shift + S to launch a flexible new way of taking screenshots. Your screen will fade out and you will notice a floating bar at the top. Use the mouse to select an area on the screen to take the screenshot.
#2. Keyboard hardware
You should try another keyboard as there may be something wrong with your current keyboard. Make sure everything works with your keyboard hardware and software. Connect it to another computer to verify, or borrow another keyboard from a friend to test with your computer. It could be that the USB port cannot detect the keyboard correctly.
#3. Hardware troubleshooter
Windows 10 includes a hardware troubleshooter that can check for errors on external devices like mouse, keyboard, printers, etc. You can use it like this:
Open the Settings application (Windows + i), enter the search box ” Find and fix keyboard problems ” and click the result to open it.
Select the ” Automatically apply repairs ” option at the bottom and click Next to continue.
Now the system will search for problems and suggest a solution as needed. Then he will apply the solution if it is within his means.
#4. Registry Editor
The issue could be in the Windows Registry itself. Therefore we will access the Registry Editor to verify.
Search for ” regedit ” in the Start menu and select Run as administrator on the Registry Editor in the results.
Now go to the following path in the registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
Then look for a file called ScreenshotIndex in the right pane of the window.
If the file is there, you don’t need to do anything. But if you can’t find it, right-click on a space in the right pane of the window and select New > DWORD Value (32-bit).
Name the newly created file ScreenshotIndex and double click to open it. The hexadecimal value data must be set to 5.
Now navigate to the following folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders
Find and open this file:
Then double click on the file to make sure the Value data is set to % USERPROFILE% \ Pictures \ Screenshots.
If the file is missing, create a string value file instead of the DWORD file like we did above and enter the old value.
If that doesn’t work, try 695 instead of 4 as the value in the ScreenshotIndex file at the beginning, and try again.
#5. Capture screen without Print Screen key
There are many applications available that you can use to take screenshots. For several predecessor versions of Windows, Microsoft has been offering the Snipping Tool . But there are also many third-party utilities available for taking screenshots.
The Print Scrn or Prnt Scr key is usually located in the top row after the function keys. It contains a universal feature that is available on all Windows 10 computers and works the same way.
Long before browser extensions and third-party apps were available, there was this screen printing option, and many people still prefer to use it because it’s fast and works anywhere. For that reason, if it stops working it would be a big annoyance that you will want to solve.