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How can I take a screenshot of the Windows 10 Login Screen?

I have read How can I take a screenshot of my logon screen in Windows 7?. Unfortunately, the posted answers reportedly only work for either Windows XP or 7.

I've considered using VirtualBox or VMWare as suggested in How can I take screenshots of the PC before it boots up?, but this wont allow me to capture a computer-specific login issue*. The aforementioned question also specifically asked for solutions before the PC boots into Windows.

*The "Shut Down" button disappeared from my desktop's login screen, but that's an issue for a future question.

Windows 10 login screen

  • Also related: superuser.com/questions/382872/… – Nathan Osman Jun 8 '17 at 19:00
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    Can you run it as a VM? – jpmc26 Jun 9 '17 at 8:06
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    For some people the easiest way is to use something like this Although I understand that it's not for everybody. – Andrew Savinykh Jun 9 '17 at 22:23
  • Really? I would have thought print screen button would do this? Perhaps there's no access to the clipboard at that level – Kolob Canyon Jun 10 '17 at 8:37
115

Add the Snipping Tool as the Ease of Access button to do the job.

Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options

Create a new Key called utilman.exe on the left panel and a new String value called Debugger at the right panel. Then set the path of the snipping tool (see below) as the value of the string.

C:\Windows\System32\SnippingTool.exe

enter image description here

At the Login Screen, Click the Ease of Access button, the one next to the Power button at the bottom right corner of the screen. The snipping tool pops up. Take the screenshot of the Login Screen and click Copy button to copy it to the clipboard. You won’t be able to save the screenshot you just took, but you can still use Clipboard as your middle man to transfer the content.

Log back to your desktop, launch Paint app or any other photo editing or screenshot app you use and paste it.

Source: https://www.nextofwindows.com/windows-10-tip-how-to-take-screenshot-of-lock-screen-and-login-screen

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    Are the accessibility options still accessible, or are they entirely replaced by the snipping tool? – Steven M. Vascellaro Jun 8 '17 at 17:24
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    As an alternative that does not change the ease of access button, you could also use the old hack of replacing sethc.exe with a copy of cmd.exe and press shift multiple times on the login screen to have a cmd pop up (as admin. careful not to leave that available!) and start any tool you want from there. Make sure to create a backup of the original sethc.exe to later reverse this hack. – lucidbrot Jun 8 '17 at 19:16
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    @StevenVascellaro it's completely replaced. – user725131 Jun 8 '17 at 19:31
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    I'm surprised that the clipboard survives through the login process. This intuitively seems bad. – spender Jun 9 '17 at 12:53
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    @ToddWilcox It's not a bug; it falls under one of the immutable laws of security. If you can modify the operating system, you can already do anything. "Fixing" this would be security theatre. – a-- Jun 11 '17 at 6:47
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The word "camera" leaps to mind. :-)

If you've got a mobile phone there's a good chance you've a camera in it as well, so that's usually an easy option.

You can easily transfer the photo to whatever you want after that.

There's a tendency with issues like this to only look at solutions within the problem domain - i.e. you're looking at a way to get the computer to take a screenshot, not looking for a way to get a shot of the screen.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wasted ages myself trying to get the computer to do something that just grabbing my camera and taking a quick snap shot wouldn't have done way faster. People get tunnel vision on problems and don't look for alternatives.

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    @Dan-Neely : It's for reporting a bug, not a photography contest. I'm frankly baffled by why people would downvote this. We're not talking about documenting something for production purposes. I've dealt with a lot of bugs in my time and from personal experience, if it take ten seconds to take a shot with a mobile phone and tells me what I need to know, telling a user to open registry and fiddle with keys is practically guaranteeing more trouble than it's worth. KISS is the principle, not Do-It-The-Hard-Way. – StephenG Jun 8 '17 at 20:45
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    @yass : Better is relative. If you mean I didn't enable an essentially useful functional extension for a once of minor problem using a complex procedure to solve a simple problem like getting a screen shot to show a problem, then, yes, that's what I did. We old engineers are very practical like that. – StephenG Jun 8 '17 at 20:47
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    The internet is packed with photos of screen shots taken with phones which are good enough for purpose. You're inventing problems to fix before they happen. It takes very little time to get the user to take a photo and attach it to an email. If, and only if, it's still a problem to read it well enough to see the issue, then you can start looking at more solution requiring more effort and time. Try the easy way first, then try the complex way. – StephenG Jun 8 '17 at 21:17
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    +1 for offering the simple solution. I'm certainly not going to tell the average user to start messing with system files, and almost everyone has a high-resolution camera in their pockets these days. – Bob Jun 9 '17 at 0:26
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    I would really hope that any organization that frowns on unauthorized camera use would have equally furrowed brows when you start editing the Windows registry. Not to mention that if you're actually having a problem at the Logon screen, editing the registry may be really problematic. – Auspex Jun 9 '17 at 14:21
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Alternatively, Lee Whittington made a freeware tool to achieve that:

Ease Of Access Replacer

The freeware replaces the button with the following useful tools:

  1. Logon Screen Screenshot : Take a screenshot of the Logon Screen. Logon Screenshots are saved to C:\Screenshots.

  2. Lock Screen Screenshot : Take a screenshot of the Lock Screen. Lock Screen Screenshots are saved to C:\Screenshots. (Among other tools as well)

It should work on Windows 10 as well (used it)

enter image description here

4

Connect to your Windows 10 PC from another computer using remote desktop and then use fast user switching to get to the login prompt so you can grab a screen shot.

3

You can also use an external video capture box, but this suggestion may be way too expensive and complicated for what you're trying to do.

3

Just press the Print button without CTRL or Alt and paste it in Paint/PhotoShop

I tested it on Windows 10 Pro (Version 1703).

protected by Community Oct 12 '18 at 8:20

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