Up to date Windows 10 O/S... screen capture fails sporadically. Failure rate is between 10% and 90%.

The failure mode is that the clipboard will not show anything was captured with the copy operation. Nothing will be in the buffer to paste and no new entry will appear in the Clipboard History.

It will correctly capture and fail randomly during a single session (between reboots).

I have

  • (x3) monitors. Fails on each of them.
  • Fails in all applications (Windows desktop, browser, ...)
  • Used the Clipboard history and the issue appears to be that the copy does not copy (not that the paste cannot paste)
  • Issues are with every form of screen capture inc.: Snip & Sketch and even Adobe Acrobat take a snapshot
  • 1
    Do you have a dedicated GPU, and are your graphics drivers up-to-date? What does "fail" mean? Does it give you an error message, or does it just crash when you try to take a snip, or maybe take the snip, but the snip is blank? Does the Print Screen key on the keyboard work? – Sam Forbis Aug 26 '20 at 21:05
  • @SamForbis - no error. no snip is pastable. no new snip is added to the Clipboard history. – user3533030 Aug 26 '20 at 21:57
  • Have you made sure that "Auto copy to clipboard" is enabled in Snip & Sketch? – Sam Forbis Aug 26 '20 at 22:30
  • Yep! It was already enabled - @SamForbis – user3533030 Aug 26 '20 at 22:44
  • When it fails, PrintScreen does nothing - @SamForbis – user3533030 Aug 26 '20 at 22:50

First, Window Clipboard History uses a buffer (virtual memory, i.e. pagefile.sys). If that buffer fills, it could be causing the issue. Images may be many megabytes, so are particular;y pernicious. To increase its size, do the following as Administrator.

  • Press WindowsPause to open the System CPL.
  • Select Advanced system settings for the System Properties dialog.
  • Select the Advanced tab. [A bit redundant, n'est-ce pas?]
  • Select Performance to view Performance Options.
  • Select Advanced tab. [Yep, again.]
  • Select Virtual memory to Change the page file size.
  • Depending on available RAM and disk space, consider increasing the size. BTW, setting a Custom size, with Initial size and Maximum size set to the same value, prevents continual resizing of the page file, and concomitant disk fragmentation.

Second, there might be flaws in Microsoft's implementation of Windows History. You can turn it off, and try an alternative such as CopyQ or one of the other many clipboard managers. As with any software, check it at VirusTotal for possible malware.

And here's a workaround, though not an answer:

Add a system sound for the Windows SnapShot command, to confirm that screen shot was taken. You can do so using the tenforums.com .reg file, or follow these directions.

Registr, adding SnapShot sound

  • Press Win, type reg and select Regedit.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\.Default\ (or copy and paste that into the Regedit location bar).
  • Add a key for SnapShot.
  • Add the key .Current to `SnapShot. Note leading end-stop (period).
  • Add the key .Default to `SnapShot. Note leading end-stop (period).

Now you can either put the location of the sound file in the (Default) REG_SZ value, or use the Windows System Sounds control panel to select the sound for SnapShot.

Every time you press Prtsc or AltPrtsc (and Fn, if needed), you should hear a confirmatory sound.

Why MS did not include that key is a puzzle...

  • What would you suggest I do if I don't hear the sound? Once if fails, even I try again, it rarely starts working again. If I get frustrated and find a different way to copy-paste, it may mysteriously start working again in 5 min to 20 min. – user3533030 Aug 27 '20 at 4:22
  • @user3533030, See changes to my answer. – DrMoishe Pippik Aug 27 '20 at 18:16

Try an uninstall and reinstall of the videocard drivers. Also use updated drivers. AMD videocards are sometimes glitchy.

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