I'm using the Snipping Tool on Windows 7. When I click on the Snipping Tool's Properties in the Start menu, I can assign a shortcut like Ctrl+F12 to it

Can I also assign only the key PrintScreen as a shortcut for Snipping Tool?

  • No answer, but a recommendation picpick.org/en
    – bummi
    Dec 26, 2012 at 13:34
  • 5
    You can use AutoHotKey to make "Print Screen" key -- or another -- do almost anything you wish.
    – martineau
    Dec 26, 2012 at 13:43
  • any 3rd party screenshot tools can grab the print screen key to capture automatically
    – phuclv
    Jun 12, 2017 at 2:26
  • Pin it in the taskbar. If you want to use it its just a click.
    – Vlad
    Jan 17, 2018 at 6:08

8 Answers 8


Not without installing special software. System hot keys must be in the following format:

Ctrl + Alt + Another key

Not all keys may be used as the last key, so just experiment to find what works. Unfortunately Print Screen doesn't. I just use Ctrl-alt-p

  • 2
    How is this answer different to what I already figured out? Aug 7, 2014 at 20:49
  • 5
    @moose the answer is different because it answer's your question "no, not without installing special software" May 19, 2015 at 19:38

Using Windows 10, Win+PrtScrn will do a full shot and save to your pictures folder. Also, Ctrl+PrtScrn will let you make a selection.

  • 3
    +1 Awesome, actually a great answer and does exactly what was asked for, only issue is with Ctrl+PrtScrn is snipping tool must already be open and blank
    – AquaAlex
    Mar 16, 2016 at 7:19
  • First I used this AutoHotkey script to capture the PrtScr key and emulate a Win+PrtScr keypress, which then runs Snipping Tool for you:

    SendMode, Input
      Send, {LWin Down}{PrintScreen}{LWin Up}

    Put a link to the script in the Start Menu/Startup folder to launch it at every startup.

  • But then I got tired of not being able to customize where the files were being saved. So I abandonded Snipping Tool and installed Greenshot instead (2.5Mb), which can be customized a bit more. Greenshot is free as opposed to SnagIt mentioned in another answer.

If you want print screen key to trigger a snip-like prompt, you could try using Snagit. It, by default, does what you are seeking.

  • 1
    I would prefer not to install a new piece of software. Dec 26, 2012 at 15:01
  • 1
    @moose I'm afraid you can't change the behavior of the PrintScreen key without using 3rd party software. Dec 27, 2012 at 14:56
  • Do you have a Microsoft source for that? How does 3rd party software change the behavior? Does the 3rd party software have to run in background for this to work? Dec 28, 2012 at 11:03
  • 2
    It uses the Windows API to do this. The Windows shell, as is, doesn't support that apparently, so yes, it would have to run in the background. I think the suggestions of AutoHotKey sounds pretty lightweight.
    – Zombies
    Dec 29, 2012 at 4:20

You can't alter the behavior of the print screen key without 3rd party software. If you're looking for a free tool to let you do more than just plain screenshots, check out Lightshot: https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html

I have it assigned to the Pause key, but you can have it use Print Screen instead.


I'm using PicPick and Logitech Setpoint/Options. I had difficulty assigning print-screen to one of the side-mouse buttons. I tried a couple combinations like Shift+F12 or Shift+PrintScreen. I eventually got Shift+Ctrl+F12 bound to my side-mouse button in Logitech Options and then in PicPick I set Shift+Ctrl+F12 to region print-screen. It seems some key combinations were not allowed in either or both of these programs. Now my side-button on the mouse performs a region print screen.


If you just want a shortcut for the Snipping tool, Windows 10 already has one it is:

{Windows key} + {Shift key} + S

{Print Screen key} will copy the entire screen to the clipboard but

{Print Screen key} + {Alt key} will only copy the currently selected window.


Onedrive seems to be another culprit for grabbing the printscreen key, I pulled this from sourceforge:

I've fixed it by myself. First problem was OneDrive from Microsoft where I had activated the auto store screenshot in tab "Auto save" in the settings. "Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive". After unchecking this option directly Dropbox asked for activating this feature for itself but after denying it I was able to reassign the PrintScreen key to Greenshot! Would it be possible for Greenshot to tell the user which application has beens registered for the PrintScreen key? So the user is not tapping in the dark like me. Also it's very hard to find anything via google. Most hits points to DropBox but I know that I didn't had activated the feature at Dropbox. But OneDrive I didn't though about or had forgotten it because it had ask once after computer installation and I didn't used the feature activly...

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