In Windows 10 you can press Win ⊞ + Print Screen and it will save a screenshot of the whole desktop to disk. This works great.

What I'm looking for is this exact functionality but being able to choose a region using the mouse.

What I've found so far:

  • Snipping tool: Either brings an editor after capture, or saves to clipboard. Haven't found a way to automatically save to disk.
  • Lightshot: Also bring an editor, or automatically generate a link. Can't automatically save to disk

The solution can rely on a third party software that runs in background, or also AutoHotkey script.

  • 2
    Adding Alt- to the key combination will copy the foreground window. – AFH May 4 '18 at 21:56
  • i think i've seen Dropbox offer screen capture features, but i never tried it out. – drudge May 5 '18 at 0:21
  • 1
    Win Shift+S now captures a selection, but only to the clipboard, not to disk. – Jacktose Nov 8 '18 at 19:49

Since you mention Win ⊞ + Print Screen specifically, I am assuming you wish to save in the same location each time (e.g. C:\Users\Username\Pictures\Screenshots).

I would highly recommend Greenshot in this case. Greenshot is a free, open source screenshot tool. It's light-weight and currently supports Windows and Mac OS.

By default, it allows selection of a region to capture, though it can save full screenshots and the currently active foreground window as well (all through configurable shortcuts). Importantly, while it normally allows for a large number of potential output options once a screenshot is captured, it can be configured with both a static output path and a set number of automatic export options (which can include that path).

To configure Greenshot to save to a specific path automatically after a screenshot is captured:

  1. Right-click the Greenshot icon in the System Tray and select Preferences... from the menu. This should bring up the Settings dialog.

  2. Under the Output tab, specify your Preferred Output File Settings. In particular, enter your desired path to automatically save screenshots to in the Storage location field.

    Greenshot Output Settings - Screenshot

  3. Under the Destination tab, uncheck Select destination dynamically and check Save directly (using preferred file output settings). Leave the other options unchecked (unless you want one or more of them to run automatically as well).

    Greenshot Destination Settings - Screenshot

  4. Once finished, click Ok at the bottom of the Settings dialog to apply your changes.

With these settings, any time you capture a selected area (i.e. as soon as you release the mouse button after clicking and dragging with Greenshot active), the captured area will be saved (without prompting or dialogs) to the path specified.


  • As a personal preference, I dislike mouse pointer capture and the magnifier reticle for region selection being turned on by default. These can be disabled in Settings.

  • Per the comment by AFH, Win ⊞ + Alt + Print Screen is available in Windows 10 v.1703 (Creators Update - April 2017) and beyond (though regular Alt + Print Screen should still available in all current versions of Windows 7+). That said, this digitalcitizen.life article puts it squarely in realm of capturing screenshots in video games. In context, this would be the current foreground window, but you may simply want to test its behavior (out of game) yourself.

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  • 3
    Incredible, Greenshot finally does everything I want: 1. Uses the dedicated Print Screen button by default, 2. Can copy to your clipboard (same as Windows + Shift + S), 3. - You can set the output folder, 4. It also shows your mouse cursor in the screenshot, 5. File names can be customized, eg date-windowname.jpg, 6. It can also auto-upload to Imgur, 7. You can even set the destination as an auto-synced Google Drive folder that is shared with anyone with the link. I can't believe I've only just discovered it, I used at least a dozen screenshot tools all lacking one feature or another. – Maurice Aug 1 '19 at 1:58
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    Unusable on windows with a mac keyboard. Can't assign keybindings properly. – A__ Aug 1 '19 at 14:49
  • why was this answer not accepted? – Chagai Friedlander Dec 28 '19 at 23:20
  • Incredible this isn't built in... Macs, Fedora, Ubuntu, Android and iOS all save the snip before you edit – Ray Foss Apr 18 at 15:49
  • 1
    @A__ You can remap the keybindings. I set it to alt-S since my keyboard also doesn't have a PrintScreen key. – intuited Jun 1 at 11:50

Pressing the Windows Key + Shift + "s" will activate the Snipping tool. Allowing you to select the area you wish to "snip" and auto-saving your capture to the pictures folder of your user profile. Hope this helps. :)

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  • 10
    The OP knows about the Snipping tool and says “Haven't found a way to automatically save to disk.”  So please explain exactly how to do that.  Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. – Scott Jul 10 '19 at 21:06
  • 6
    That would be perfect if instead of copying to clipboard it auto saved to a specific folder – bortao Jul 11 '19 at 21:04

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